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Glass top on rimless tank

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Pyro, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Aquadream

    Aquadream Guest

    The PAR measurement in planted tanks is nonsense. A way of pointless sophistication of a hobby that is far simpler.
    I would like to see all of those guys with the PAR claim how they actually do grow plants. After I see undisputable effect on the plant growth then I will be more willing to go on deep see discussions about PAR.
     

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  2. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Aquadream. Please read the forums. You will be surprised. Then please try researching this subject. You will be even more surprised.

    PAR is not a 'needed' part of the hobby for most. However it is of good use and those who want to test provide useful information to those who want that information. That trickles through and benefits all of us.

    Since people started testing PAR we have not only found that highlight is not needed. We have found that many of the top aquascapes actually have pretty low light over them. Even ones where the old WPG rule suggests they are high light.

    Onto a few of your statements.

    This is not true at all. Most<---yes most not all, standard glass blocks UVB radiation. It does not block UVA or UVC (if any UVC is created by the artificial lighting)

    This should not (I am saying should not rather than will not because I am no expert on this are) affect the PAR reading because PAR is 400-700nm. UVA is 320-400 and UVB is 280-320. both are below the PAR reading parameters so if anything you will get just a little of the UVA.

    People can and do get a tan under or behind glass. It just takes much much longer because they are only receiving UVA. It is UVB which is more destructive.

    We are not at all interested in what PAR a tube outputs. This would be as bad as the WPG rule. What the light source outputs is then affected by variables such as reflectors, height, positions etc. The point of PAR is that we can measure the light received by the target, namely we can measure what the PAR is at the substrate, mid water, water surface etc.

    This is a little pointless really. Daylight is essentially 800-2000. Partially shaded is circa 300-800 and fully shaded is circa 80-300. All of our tanks are in this 'shaded' area because aquatic plants mainly grow in fully shaded areas. at the edges of the river, under forest canopies in bogland etc.

    This is exactly the point. We don't have to go by PAR but it is useful.

    Many people use this information without knowing. The hobby is already using less light because those who measured passed on their info and as it filters down people use less light without ever knowing the PAR readings that brought them to this process.

    This is good news for all of us. Whether you want to reduce the energy you use or just reduce your electricity bill this is good stuff.

    See above r.e. UV and PAR.

    I answered the main question. glass lid reduces PAR. My answer is directly related to the question.

    As you ask about the science and I am not peer reviewd on this subject nor have any scientific background I will ask someone if they can provide a more detailed and accurate reply than I can give.

    Not at all. We are not all inthis hobby for the same reasons, nor have the same interests. We may have the same or similar end goal but along the way some like the gardening, some like the science, many other things that we all take from the hobby so for some of us this is very important and not just some nonsense. for me if I can reduce my energy costs that is a bonus.

    Same reason I made my own LED unit. Not to show off, not because I wanted to be cool, because it reduces my energy costs and eliminates UV in a house where I have 3 children.

    I could reduce it even further (currently a 1.12WPG unit) but that would mean I would lose the choice of lowlight or high light which I gain from being able to raise/lower the unit. However it is still even when raised high and wasting some energy using less energy than a low light flourescent fixture.

    If it were not for those PAR testing we would not have known that the gain from LED was so huge in comparison to other currently used lighting and we would still be assuming by the WPG scale that it was the same as or by Lumens that it was less. PAR is very useful but you can use other's information. We do not all need a PAR meter.

    This evidence is already out there without you knowing. It is on your aquarium. If your highlight aquarium grows plants faster than your low light aquarium then you answer your question. The higher PAR is growing faster than the lower PAR. I don't understand your statement here.

    I will ask someone with more credibility than me to answer these questions. They may well correct some of my statements too as I am not the expert on this matter.

    Andy
     
  3. Aquadream

    Aquadream Guest

    Andy, can you please show here any real test results or not? Yours or done by anybody else.
    I would like to see PAR measurements from a river or pool vs. those in aquarium.
    If you do not have that kind of tests evidence to support these theories, then it is all gibberish.

    Also I would like you to show to all of us here what are the improvements in your planted tanks after the PAR were taken into account.

    No more rubbish long talk. Test results please.
     
  4. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    As I said I have not taken PAR readings of my tank. I have used data that others with PAR readings have and used them to forget about the 'need' for highlight etc. and reduced my lighting accordingly.

    I have also used the data from those who have measured LED to persuade me to outlay 3 times the price of a DIY flouro fixture in order to make a DIY LED one. The lack of light spill, the non existence of UV (of any form) makes LED much more efficient i terms of light actually reaching the desired target, namely within the tank.

    Nor have I any evidence to show you of PAR in river's or pools. This is why I said I would ask someone who does know more about this subject in terms of science, proof, meter readings etc to comment rather than my uneducated explanations which are purely an accumulation of mass readings of others findings.

    Whilst I may have a pretty high understanding of light in the planted tank I do not have the scientific knowledge to explain it all. In this case I am the copier/influenced by person we spoke of in the 'Art' thread. I take other people's findings and discoveries and implement them into my own setup, hence why my tanks cost me very little to run and make a decent profit once plant and livestock sales are taken into account.

    I hope the person I asked can come on to explain this as it would be a little pointless of me to explain with my limited knowledge of the subject at hand.

    All I can say is that a plant in the aquarium is going to have PAR of 50 (low light) to 300 (very high light.) A plant at the riverbank under the shade of the trees growing at the riverbank and also the shade of the overhanging grasses will be in the very high light range nearing 300. That is of course a natural river/lake and not a manicured town river with grass banks et al.

    So please wait and hopefully my invitation will be accepted. We could banter all day long but better for someone in the know to correct both my and your mistakes than for us 2 to argue with each other. I have no doubt I will have some errors in my statements above and I am more than happy for them to be corrected as it then furthers my knowledge.

    Andy
     
  5. Aquadream

    Aquadream Guest

    It would have been so much better to advise the guy who open this tread about what glass top to use, rather than going into this.
    I can promise you PAR will be of a very little use if any, because I know from extensive experience that plants can grow very well under almost any light providing that nutrient balance is correct.
    The rest is only complications.
     
  6. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    The Top ADA tank in the USA has a par of 40-50micomols, 20th ranking.
    My own also have this range.

    I've grown to a high level of gardening about 300-400 species of plants at this range.

    W/gal estimations are sorely lacking. The ADA tank suggested 2x as much as my tank. Yet, I had better optimized growth.

    This was no due to light however, also PAR meters are use to measure comparative between lighting types, distances, bulb types, efficacy of the ballast transfer etc, glass lids, and all the other variables.

    You can measure individual leaves and tanks on the same basis, you CANNOT do this with W/gal or liter per Gal rules.

    Obviously 2-3 maybe 3x the light intensity have dramatic impacts on the nutrients/CO2 uptake and importantly..........management.

    See Tropica's light CO2 article, also see Bowes Van Haller 1976.
    Both give a good idea on light and CO2 issues.


    Rivers had about 1200 mmol at my old study site, with the peak in Spring/midsummer. In my sites in Lake Tahoe, 2400 mmol, extremely high. These systems are CO2 limited mostly in denser plant beds, not light limited. Aquariums have no business using such light for horticulture.

    In otherwords, one cannot argue strongly for limiting nutrients and then go full sun on lighting, aquatic plants are CLEARLY shade adapted plants. Every aquatic botanist you ask will tell you this and the Bowes et all paper clearly shows this.

    Adding more just makes CO2 and nutrients much harder to manage.
    Tropica's article also makes this same case, Troels and Ole are both researchers like myself and make the SAME case. We do not disagree about 99.9% of all things, except it is "all Troel's fault":)
     
  7. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I have several PAR meters, I and most others have found them very useful indeed, more than anyone would have predicted in helping BETTER manage planted tanks.

    A simple meter and have it loaned or test the same thickness of glass will quickly tell how much PAR is reduced, I have about 10-15% reduction.

    I use glass lids during the winter for reduced evaporation loss.
     
  8. Aquadream

    Aquadream Guest

    I agree with all you say.
    However most people including those participating in competitions do not use PAR meters and seem to manage quite well including my self. I can show the conditions of all my plants both in aquariums and in hydroponics boxes and you will see that they are just as good as any plant elsewhere.
    The curious fact with my plants is that in the hydroponics boxes they are all under standard glass and the illumination is 4100 Kelvin from T5, some yellowish crap which I do not like, but it is dirt cheap. If you would like I can post pictures from my Hemianthus Cuba and also put those pictures from the same plant grown in nursery in the Netherlands.

    As I mentioned earlier PAR control can be done if any specific set up would require that (solely the choice of the aquascaper). Other wise the planted tanks can do quite well without that especially when some good experience is at hand.

    I have also seen some movies from rivers in Brazil where the aquatic plants were not under any shade, but directly under the sun light.
    In this respect I would suggest that there are all kinds of conditions and the PAR in all of those cases is very different.

    Now here comes the question.
    When one decides to make any aquascape set up how to know what the best PAR for all of his plant choices would be? Most people are making aquariums with plants collected from all opposite sides of the planet.
    Then what is the middle ground?

    When you use glass lids in winter, do you also adjust the illumination to compensate for the loss of PAR?
     
  9. CatfishSoupFTW

    CatfishSoupFTW Aspiring Aquascaper

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    holy jesus, i didnt know it cuts it down by half! D:
     
  10. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    catfishsoup, i believe he stated a 15% reduction from glass (when measuring PAR), that would not be half.
     
  11. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I have never stated they are required, a test kit of any sort is not required either, but can help with better management once a range of uptake is developed. Same is true for light if not more so, since light is the most stable parameter we have to work with.

    Light changes over the course of several months, years, CO2? Minutes........nutrients? Weeks, and yet many aquarist suggest to hobbyists to test for NO3, and PO4, but much less os for CO2 and virtually never for light. Likewise, many reef folks never bother with light meters on their reefs and do extremely well.

    The question is not whether it can be done. The question is larger than that, much larger. It drives at the very core of what drives the rate of plant growth.

    Light drive => CO2 demand=> nutrient demand.

    If light is lower, then the efficiency at which the plant is able to acquire CO2 and nutrients is greatly increased. This means dosing CO2 and nutrient is much easier, and the hobbyists uses less energy for the same rates of growth with less algae than the hobbyists who adds too much light, they do not get the same results and ease of care.

    Color temp and type of light is really not sufficient to explain light in the aquatic environment. Depth distance vs decline of PAR curves can be made for various ideal set ups. These can be used to better estimate lighting without using a light meter. Open top suspension lighting is ideal because I can simply adjust the light up/down to increase PAR over a very wide range. Plants also grow at different rates within the aquarium also, a stem plant might be 18cm from the light bulb source, whereas HC might be 40cm away. Which plant, the stem or the HC will get most of the CO2 is the CO2 is not really cranked up? The stem plant.

    So CO2 is really important as well when addressing light.
    This is where management is really useful, light and CO2.
    Nutrients? "Small potatoes" so to speak(idiomatic expression).

    The video in Brazil is similar to my old study site in Florida, Ichetucknee river, same type of system, but different species of fish and plants, but same vitality and growth, light etc. The light is generally not for more than 6-8 hours in some parts of the river, due to trees etc, in the open marsh regions, it can be 12-14 hours.

    BTW, "nature" does not imply what is BEST for horticulture, this is an assumption a bad one.

    If we applied this to agriculture and horticulture, we'd have many problems. The same is true for livestock.

    Aquariums have their own ecology and we have many options and goals, but nature is not one of them. Are systems have too many limitations for that and our goals are very different from natural systems. Some aquarist might talk about nature and have some fanciful romantic notions.......but the reality is something very different.

    Likewise, farms, agriculural ecology is very different from natural lands and conservation ecology. I'd never assume these two broad areas to be the same.

    The goals/management/labor/effort are very different.

    We can use somethings from natural systems, observations etc.......but this does not imply anything about what is best for horticulture or management.



    This seems to be about 40-50 mmol for most aquarist, it might be a little lower, but a little buffer room is useful.

    This is for about 400 species of plants. I have NEVER found a plant yet that cannot be gardened to a high degree at this level and I often challenge hobbyists name some species that require more light.

    That's been a long time now, no one has show any species to date:-"
    They might be able to be grown at less light, but I know most anything can be grown at this level.

    Well a good way to compare light is the starting point so we can discuss light in the same units that can be measured regardless of the brands, bulbs, fixtures, reflectors, glass/no glass lids/distances from the plants, the spread of light on and on and on...........

    From there, we can compare within our local clubs (we have about 120 people in SAPS, 500-600 in SFBAAPS, 500-600 in SCAPE, and the various other clubs........all have a PAR meter for the club's usage). We can also go to the ADA stores and measure their set ups, or anyone's. We can measure the nice examples, the not so nice examples.

    The tanks with bad algae...etc........

    No, I place the lids on only at night before I go to sleepI-)
    This is because I do not want condensation on my windows, I have daul pane windows, but the temperature differences can cause mold on the walls and windows. I rarely if ever use the heater, it rains a lot in the winter where I live and is hot and dry during the summer.
    So cool + wet is a good way to grow mold.
     
  12. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    If you have old scratched lime covered glass, then yes, 50% might be the case. I wipe and clean the glass, but since I use them only at night, it's not much of an issue.

    There are a number of fish I cannot keep because they jump out and die.
     
  13. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Citations for light:

    Tropica Aquarium Plants - Rådgivning - Tekniske artikler - Vandplanters biologi - Interaktioner mellem lys og CO2

    http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/58/6/761.full.pdf

    You can also see how the angle impacts light as the sun rises.
    Quite a few good things from this one paper.

    Figure 6 has a lot going on in the figure.
    There's no CO2 enrichment in this however.

    In Figure 4, they added CO2, at about 0.5mM to 0.7mM CO2, or about 25-35ppm~~ this is the CO2 non limiting point. This is for some noxious weeds though,,which are VERY good at getting CO2, most of the plants we keep are not going to be as good as these weeds at getting CO2.

    CO2 competition between plants is intense in many systems.
    And it occurs rampantly in planted aquariums.

    The Tropica article is the best article the last decade I was say.
    In all cases, the plants still grow, but they grow at different rates and the conditions tend to require more work and have a higher risk of algae with more light intensity.

    The light values in PAR units are 24, 89 and 250 mmol or so I think.
    The plant they used was Riccia.

    Read up on this, also see Hoppy's PAR data graphs on TPT forum as well.
    These should be useful to most interested in light. If you master both light and all ranges CO2 like Table 1 matrix in the Tropica article, then you can master any method in planted tanks.
     
  14. Markpolo123

    Markpolo123 New Member

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    better have a top like our houses have roof .live under the sky is a good idea ,but live under the rain may be not
     
  15. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist New Member

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    Hi All,

    That is not what my measurements with a PAR meter provided. Here is a post I put on another forum:

     
  16. LKK

    LKK New Member

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    I lost some fish and shrimps every once a while because they jumped out of the tank. I use plastic wrap to cover the top - the cheapest way. The plastic wrap allows to be stretched and create a flat surface top so it doesn't look ugly at all. You can replace the wrap as ofter as you want.
     
  17. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    LKK

    Did you notice the date of the last reply Dec 1, 2012

    Introduce your self at this topic please.
    Introductions and Greetings

    Keith:):)
     
  18. atriz

    atriz New Member

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    read all the forums and tried to make my own and failed. but i found this and it really does work great and doesnt make the tank look bad
     
  19. atriz

    atriz New Member

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    dont know why link was deleted but its rimlessaquariumlids.com
     
  20. Intothewrx

    Intothewrx New Member

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    have you ever wanted to get tan and look hot like those people in magazines and tried to use all the sunlight opportunities during a road trip through the car windows to get a nice smooth caramel tan on your skin? but then we learned that if you have the car windows up, it blocks all your tanning energy. same with the fishies, i mean plants. if you throw a piece of glass between the light and the photosynthesis receptors, then you are putting a drag on their PAR. Homie.
     

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