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Old 12-01-2007, 01:03 PM   #1
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New Lighting for 180gal

I have a 180g tank that I am setting up as a reef tank. It is 30 inches deep. I am thinking about getting the Coralife 72" Aqualight Pro HQI/Compact Fluorescent/Lunar Light Fixture.

I have a couple of questions:
1) do you recommend I get the 150W version or the 250W version?
2) If I get the 250W version can I downsize to the 150W bulbs if it is too much?

I currently have about 200lbs of live rock and about 20 fish. As for inverts I have Encrusting Gorgonia, Mushrooms, Pulsating Xenia. I plan on getting mostly soft coral.

My current lighting is 2 72" 96-watt VHO lamps.

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:02 PM   #2
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For a 30" deep tank, go with the 250. For a 6' tank, it should have 3 mh bulbs. You can't mix and match ballast/bulb combinations. If you get a 250w fixture, you must use 250w bulbs.
You may think it's too much light now, but it's better IMO to have the ability to keep anything.
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:36 PM   #3
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I'll second that!
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:36 PM   #4
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I totally agree with the 250`s. It wont be too much.
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Old 12-01-2007, 08:58 PM   #5
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I have that fixture on a 125 with with the 3x150w MH. I wish I had the 250's. You may want to think about going with 400w bulbs on that deep of a tank. It depends on what you want to keep.

Oh, and changing the bulbs is a PITA. You have to remove an endcap, then slide a cover back so you can start to slide the glass covers of the MH bulbs to gain access. This is best accomplished by two people as the fixture is 6' long and the bulbs are breakable.

I strongly suggest that if you order it online you insist they ship ALL bulbs separately. I got my unit from the Drs. and I was able to arrange cross shipping (twice) due to the sound of broken glass in the boxes when they arrived. It was the PC bulbs that broke.

I love the fixture. It looks great, is easy to clean and is pretty quiet (3 fans, 1 above each MH bulb). But it's almost time to change bulbs again...
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Old 12-01-2007, 10:48 PM   #6
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Thanks for all your input, I will get the 250W fixture.

What temperature bulb do you recommend? 10000K, 14000K or 6700K? I know the fixture comes with 10000K bulbs, but when I change them, should I stick with 10000K? I have read that 10000K lose their 'power' faster? That 6700K keep it longer.

What is the difference between them all? Which is better?

Thanks again for all your help!!
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Old 12-01-2007, 10:59 PM   #7
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I personally like 14K with some actinic. If you have the option, I would get 14K's and actinic cf's.
67k is quite yellow looking, but you will get the best coral growth and they are generally the brightest (highest PAR).
10K a little yellow with very good growth.
14K slight tinit of blue with good growth.
The bulbs don't actually lose power, but they start to shift colors. You can get a good year out of mh bulbs.
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:16 PM   #8
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I agree with everyone else. The 250 watt version will be best. It will give you a larger range of corals you can keep and give you more options for placememnt. I recently upgraded to 250watt MH from 175 and I like them a lot more. The K rating of the bulbs is really up to you. And trust me...it does vary from maker to maker. One companies 14K bulb will look different from another company's 14K bulb. It is also important to let the bulbs go through a "burn in" perieod of a couple of weeks before you judge the overall appearence. I think you will be happy with the 10K coralife lamps as long as you have the actinic supplicmentation. If not, give a couple of months and try some new bulbs.
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Old 12-03-2007, 03:10 PM   #9
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I'm going through that debate myself right now. It's almost time to change bulbs. I like the look of the tank with the 10k MH and the 4x96 actinics. I'm thinking of getting 2-10k and 1-14k for the middle just to see the difference. Give me shout at the end of January and I'll let know what I think, and upload a photo so you can judge the difference.
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:41 AM   #10
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Reeflux 10ks are a nice white and still give an actinic hit. I like the XM 20k too. Not too many 14k's I have found that have good par and dont cost a lot.
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