Estimating PAR without a par meter?

Joshaeus

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HI everyone! I was wondering...is it possible to calculate how much PAR your tank is getting without an actual PAR meter? I found this calculator that allows you to estimate the PAR values produced by a variety of common light types;

And I found an equation for estimating light penetration in water; IZ=I0(1−f)e^(−Z*E). IZ is the irradiance at depth Z (in meters), I0 is the irradiance at the water surface, f is how much water is reflected/back scattered at the water surface (usually .1), e is a constant (2.71828), and E is the attenuation coefficient in M^-1. The attenuation coefficient is difficult to measure, so I was going to assume a range between .15 (very clean water) and 2 (very dirty or algae rich water). Different wavelengths have different attenuation coefficients (EG red has a much higher coefficient than blue).

ANYHOW! Can I use such calculators/equations to estimate substrate PAR levels in an aquarium? Thanks :)
 

JenC

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There's another calculator here that I've used in the past, in case it's helpful. Maybe compare the two and see if they produce similar results?
 
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Joshaeus

Joshaeus

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JenC said:
There's another calculator here that I've used in the past, in case it's helpful. Maybe compare the two and see if they produce similar results?
I found this calculator during my research...I get significantly different results between them. I do not know why...
 

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