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Old 12-24-2009, 01:56 PM   #1
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Recommendation for MH

I am starting a 3 250 watt single-ended metal halide system with 2 VHO's (which will be superactinic). My question is which metal halide bulbs should I go with, I have read the charts and seen the par ratings on all the bulbs. But I want to know which bulbs you guys use and have the best luck with. I can buy the bulbs but I don't know if their any good. I am shooting for more of a white look with a mild blue look (just a hint of blue). I realize 10k bulbs have the better par rating but they look too yellow to me. I don't know if using all 10k bulbs with 2 VHO's will blend well. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
(using Icecap Ballasts)
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:27 PM   #2
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Hortilux Eye metal halides are the best bulb in the buisness. You will not regret buying one. Easiest thing to do is head to a hydroponics dealer and order them, to make sure you get what you really want.
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fshfrk58 View Post
I am starting a 3 250 watt single-ended metal halide system with 2 VHO's (which will be superactinic). My question is which metal halide bulbs should I go with, I have read the charts and seen the par ratings on all the bulbs. But I want to know which bulbs you guys use and have the best luck with. I can buy the bulbs but I don't know if their any good. I am shooting for more of a white look with a mild blue look (just a hint of blue). I realize 10k bulbs have the better par rating but they look too yellow to me. I don't know if using all 10k bulbs with 2 VHO's will blend well. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
(using Icecap Ballasts)

I think you would like a 14k bulb, I've herad good things about the Ushio 14k. I tried the 10k Ushio with 2 VHO superactinics and I thought it was still too white/yellow. Also look into the Radiums, thats what I am using now and without any supplemental light it is a nice white color with a little blue. You can save electricity and not use the VHOs with the Radiums which are 20k. I was running the Radiums with actinics for a little while, but then I stopped.
I personally have not heard of Hortilux for a reef tank and I definitely would want to at least see some sps pictures of somebody running those bulbs before I would buy them for a reef tank.
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:48 PM   #4
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Here's Sanjay's 250w MH bulb performance chart for all 250w bulbs on an IceCap ballast. Check the CCT (Correlated Color Temperature), which is the actual K temp of the bulb.
A couple that look pretty good to me as far as PPFD and CCT are:
SPS 10K - 90 PPFD, 18.6K
Coralife Reeflux 10K - 86 PPFD, 15.9K
ReefOptics 10K - 77 PPFD, 16K

I use 3 175w Iwasaki 15K (86 PPFD, 14.5K) with 2 VHO SuperActinic over my 125.
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:52 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replies, I will continue to do some research on this and I was considering trying the ushio's, lots of people seem to think these are good bulbs. I can't seem to find any technical information on hortilux bulbs. I would like some info on them before I spend any money becuase they seem kind of expensive.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:00 PM   #6
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Those are all going to be quite yellow wouldn't you think ccCapt? I'm not sure what the correlated color temp means really? If the manufactures say it's 10k but the CCT is 14k which one gives you the actual color. because 10k to me seems yellow and 14k to me seems more white.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:38 PM   #7
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The CCT shown on the chart I posted is how the bulbs tested in real life, not what the manufacturer claims. Sanjay did all these test with some elaborate equipment and posted the results as they came out. Some of the higher K bulb show 0 CCT because the software he used couldn't decipher the result of those bulbs.
My bulbs tested out at 14.5K and they are a crisp white with a very slight hint of blue.

The Hortilux Eye are Iwasaki bulbs (made by Eye Lighting), but they are in the wrong color spectrum for a reef tank with a name referring to horticulture and a 4200K (4K in relation to 15K aquarium bulbs) rating. Even the spectral chart for it shows it real high in the yellow range.
My Iwasaki bulbs, MT175AQUA2/HOR, are listed here.
Color HID Lamps
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:25 PM   #8
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Thanks for clarifying all of that. I believe I will try the Coralife reeflux. Sounds like a good choice.
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