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Old 06-28-2004, 11:06 PM   #1
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Coralife Aqualight Retrofit Kit

Does anyone have any opinion on the Coralife Aqualight Retrofit Kit? I am looking at the 36" model that comes with two 96 watt PC - one Actinic and one 10,000K bulb. I have a 180 gal tank and am planning to buy two of them.

Any Pros, Cons?

Thanks in advance.

Marcel
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Old 06-28-2004, 11:29 PM   #2
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For a 180 gal tank, I wouldn't suggest these lights if you intend on having a reef tank eventually. If your a good DIY person you could start with these but depending on the corals you wish to keep, I'd suggest either MH for SPS/clams or 4x165 VHO (bare minimum) if you decide on mainly a LPS/soft coral selection.

Considering the cost difference for what your going to need (MH or VHO), I'd go with the MH. You can still use the Aqualight retro later on as actinic supplimentation if you end up purhcasing it.

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Old 06-28-2004, 11:45 PM   #3
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The aqualights are very nice. I have never had a return due to quality. For a 180 they will be lacking the punch needed for a reef. If you have a canopy I would recommend a MH retro kit such as Coralvue. Or if you want to stay with PC'S than Coralife also makes a nice 6-96 watt PC hood that would be good for most softies and LPS corals. Just no SPS or clams.
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Old 06-29-2004, 12:24 PM   #4
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If I do get a MH, wouldn't that then require a chiller?

Quote:
Or if you want to stay with PC'S than Coralife also makes a nice 6-96 watt PC hood that would be good for most softies and LPS corals.
I already have a canopy, so getting the 6-96 watt hood would be a waste of $$ imo. If I was to get a total of 6-96 watt PC then that would be ok? As long as I stay away from SPS and Clams?

I guess I should add that I currently have 2 VHO lights - not sure of the watts, but they are 6'ft long and run off of a Ice Cap Ballast. So if I were to keep these and add PC, then what would you recommend? I don't belive that I will go with SPS or clams.

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Old 06-29-2004, 12:38 PM   #5
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You could use the (2) VHO tubes you have with (2) Coralife aqualight kits. That would be about the bare minimum light for soft corals and some LPS. You would have to Keep the bulbs fresh to maintain intensity. I would change the bulbs every 6 months with this set up. The same applies t the (6) 96 watt set up. This may be cheaper in the short term but in the long run Metal Halide will be cheaper. Since you already have the VHO you could pick up (3) CoralVue 250 watt MH retro kits for $199 each and screw them to your canopy. Add Your VHO Actinics and you are set for anything you want to keep. The MH bulbs last for 9-12 months and are cheaper to swap out once a year than the PC/VHO twice a year. Plus you have the lights that can grow with your hobby interest!

Heat may be an issue but with good fans in the canopy and one in the sump if you have one will go a long way to help keep the tank cool.
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Old 06-29-2004, 01:40 PM   #6
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CoralVue 250 watt MH retro kits
What would you recommend as a minimum clearance from the top of the tank (glass tops) and the MH bulb? Currently, I only have about 5 inches (between glass top and canopy). I would have to modify the canopy some to raise it, but I could do it if needed.

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Old 06-29-2004, 01:59 PM   #7
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I do not like less than 8" for heat reduction you could go as high as 10". You can view the Coral Vue retro kits on my site to give you a better idea what you are dealing with.
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Old 06-29-2004, 03:35 PM   #8
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I was looking at your site at the Coral Vue retro kit. I am pretty sure I know the answer to this but just want to be sure. If I get three of these MH - where is the best place to mount the Ballasts? - Under the tank in the sump area? - I take it that they also put out some heat?

Also, do u know where I can get reflectors. I need two for my 72" VHO's.

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Old 06-29-2004, 07:35 PM   #9
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The ballasts usually mount on the floor. They have 7 foot power cords from the ballast to the bulb. They also have built in fans and run quite cool to the touch.

Not sure about the reflectors; i have never seen any that were 72" long? If you have MH you can get by with no reflectors on the VHO bulbs.
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