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Old 02-07-2005, 03:18 PM   #1
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Metal Halide 175 or 250?? 10, 14, or 20k?

I am about to get some MH's and I was wondering what you think would be best for my tank. It is a 75g 48" long tank. I have a number of softies in there, and I want to get a light to keep most happy, but support most all other corals and clams. Will the 250w burn my softies?

Now which bulb? I am probably going to do a retro, and suppliment with pc's.
If I went with the 14k would I need the pc's?

What would you get as far as fixture and bulb if my set up was yours?


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Old 02-07-2005, 03:35 PM   #2
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I run the Coralvue 2x250/T5 retro. Affordable and nice quality. 250's did not burn anything in my tank but I did do the photo acclimation as mentioned on the articles page. I still have a softie dominant tank but I have SPS and LPS as well. I hope to get a clam sometime.

Make sure you consider the heat aspect. 250's will generate some heat. I have a closed canopy so I had to put 2 fans blowing out and 1 blowing in. Heat still hits 84 on some days depending on humidity/temp in the room.

As for the color of the bulbs, depends on the manafacturer and the color you like. I am planning on getting 14ks to replace my 10k's but some 14's are real blue and some are not. I like the color of my 10k's with T5 actinics but would like a touch more blue.


*180 gal Display, 100 gal basement sump, 33 gal refugium, 3x250 MH, 2x160 VHO actinics, zoos, some softies, LPS & lots of acros and other SPS.
*100 gal prop tank plumbed into main system w/ 2x96 PC lights and 1x150 MH,
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Old 02-07-2005, 03:39 PM   #3
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The size will depend a lot of the depth of your tank, and the popular bulb is the 14000k, With a 48" tank I would guess the depth in the range of the 175. The heat will be a serious problem to contend with as well so the lower watt bulbs will be a better choise as long as they are suffecient to do the job.
150 rr Oceanic, 300 pound lr,250 pounds ls, lps's, polyp's,soft corals, sps's,
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Old 02-07-2005, 11:14 PM   #4
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I run 14k's w/ T5 actinics. It really depends on your personal preference. I really like a blue looking tank and will be running VHO actinics in addition on my new tank.

I do not think you will have problems buring your softies under 250w MH"s as long as you acclimate them properly to the new lighting.
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Old 02-07-2005, 11:20 PM   #5
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We have 2 250w 20,000k on our 90g 48" tank. We have a variety of corals and have never had a problem with burns. We're looking forward to getting some clams. With 14,000k or higher you won't need to supplement with actinics. You may want something to use for alternate lighting. I have a plain no fixture with one blue and one 10,000k to come on 1hour before and go off 1 hour after the mh. This is of course to keep them from being blasted by the mh out of the blue. The no also have the fans on the same circuit to keep pulling out the heat after the mh go out.
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Old 02-08-2005, 12:40 AM   #6
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Do you want a full hood or a retro kit? If it were me i would do (2) 250 watt 14K retro kits and be done with it. You could even pull apart your PC hood for actinics if you wanted and run the 10K. Retro kits will definately save you money.
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Old 02-08-2005, 01:20 AM   #7
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As far as color temp goes, this should help rev:


I am trying to decide here too, it's between the 10k & 14k bulb for me. Tough choice again....
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Old 02-08-2005, 07:56 AM   #8
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14K with no actinics 10K with them. THat would be my choice. I have ran both set ups and prefer the 14K's with no actinics. Less equipment to buy and lower power bills without the actinics! Coralvue kits can also be subbed for 14K or 20K bulbs.

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