Borrowing the Club’s - 3 MQ-510 PAR Meters


Staff member
We now have 3 Apogee MQ-510 PAR meters available for lending to BAR members! This instrument includes a waterproof sensor to measure photosynthetically active radiation at various depths in your aquarium. It is free to borrow if you're a Supporting Member.


Rules *Updated*
  1. Must be a Supporting Member of this Club for at least 2 months.
  2. The person who has it is responsible to reach out to the next person to arrange pickup, and the next person is responsible to go get it.
  3. Do NOT let the display unit get wet since this part is not water proof. The sensor is delicate. Put the protective cap on when not in use.
  4. You have 7 days to use the PAR meter.
How do I borrow the Par Meter?
  1. Plan your days with the Par Meter efficiently.
    • Do not borrow the Par Meter when you will be too busy to use it right away or if your lights aren’t set up yet.
  2. Post to this thread to get in line to borrow it.
    • Add yourself to the list- Copy the whole list including who currently has the meters, and add yourself at the bottom.
  3. Put your username, home city, and work city if applicable.
    • All 3 really helps with drop-off and pick-up.
  4. Feel free to move your name down the list to make pickup/drop-off easier or if you aren’t ready to use, but no swapping up the list.
  5. Since you only have 7 days with the meter- When you first get the meter, reach out via PM to the next 3 people to arrange the handoff even before you are done with it.
  6. You must help the next person pick it up.
    • Be available, even if a bit busy.
    • Perhaps bring it to work.
    • Perhaps meet at LFS.
Passing off the Par Meter
  1. Wipe down the meter and let it dry before packing in box.
  2. (Remember the handheld display unit is not water proof)
  3. The next person in line will come and get it from you. Work with them to make that easy.
  4. Get the phone number of the next member who is picking it up. This helps with the handoff and also gives a way to reach the person later if needed.
  5. If nobody is in line, bring it to a BOD member for storage.
  6. We have BOD members throughout the bay area where you can drop the Par Meter off.
How do I use the Par Meter?
  1. First off, check to see if it's working.
    • If the meter comes to you broken or damaged post and let a BOD member know ASAP.
    • You are responsible for replacing or repairing the meter if you damage it.
  2. You can read the online product manual :
  3. Turn off surface flow as much as you can to reduce ripples.
  4. Use the included wand to position the sensor at various depths, sensor pointing up, record the average number at each location.
  5. It is useful to record these numbers for later, for example by writing them on a full tank shot picture.
No More Par Meter For You If
  1. If the Par Meter shows up to you damaged/dirty, you can post in this thread and take a picture of the meter.
    • If the BOD members agrees, the previous user will get a Warning.
  2. If you do not return the Par Meter within 14 days, you get a Warning.
    • Plan your Par Meter days efficiently before borrowing.
  3. If you get 2 Warnings, you're done. No more Par Meter for you. If you need an exception, reach out to the Board.
  4. Clean and protect the Par Meter. This is your Par Meter too.
(updated 11/8/2020 by JVU)
Last edited by a moderator:


Staff member
The PAR new meter is with me right now.
Home = Union City. Work = Cupertino

** We will give people on the other list priority for borrowing **


Staff member
My tank results:
Upper coral, about 6" down = 250 PAR
Mostly hard corals
Most middle coral, about 12" down = 200 PAR
Lower coral, about 20" down = 150 PAR
Mostly soft corals

I have AI prime LEDs. Turned fairly far down.


Staff member
wow.. i think no one will want to borrow the old one after they seen this wand...
We have a new wand for the old one also.
And now cases that fit both meter and wand safely.

And yes, new wand is WAY better. I have used both.


Staff member
This new meter as well as the new wands and cases for both were made possible by the successful fundraising at events over the past year. Your dollars at work!

Thanks Mark for buying, organizing, and posting the new meter.


Staff member
Why is this any better than the old PAR Meter?
The sensor and firmware of the MQ-510 is supposed have a wider spectrum and be a bit better at the blue end.
389-692 vs 410-655
Don't expect big differences though. Simply moving the wand around will have more of a difference.

The main reason we bought another is because the PAR meter gets a lot of use and the waiting list can get long at times.


Supporting Member
are we running 2 meter thread now? or it should stay within 1? and has the rule changed yet? i'm still seeing people delivering the meter to the next in line.


Supporting Member
I have Par meter #2. Should be done this weekend.

I was thinking of going down the list after me since the par meter #1 is way up in north bay.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Staff member
are we running 2 meter thread now? or it should stay within 1? and has the rule changed yet? i'm still seeing people delivering the meter to the next in line.
Rules have changed, at least for this one.
Too many hassles/complaints with delivering par meter.

For now, there are two threads, one for each.
There is probably a better way. Ideas welcome. Google docs list?


Staff member
The rules for the older meter should be be updated to match the ones for the newer meter, with the most important change being that the person next in line has primary responsibility to pick up, rather than previous person dropping off.