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Old 01-14-2007, 10:24 PM   #1
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Upgrading to Metal Halide, Which One?

So I finally decided to go with a new metal halide system for my 29 gallon reef. Its almost impossible to find anything decent that fits the dimensions of the tank (30 inch) with the wattage that I would like to use, so I guess I'm gonna wind up going with a pendant. Which one do you guys prefer? I found these two, but what about wattages for a 29 gallon? Should I go with the 250 or 400? And for the 400 do I need to buy the ballast as well or can I just go with the pendant? Here are the two I found:

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113352

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113352

Or does anyone know of something better? TIA...........
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:33 PM   #2
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How about a 150? Definitley NOT 400 watts, 250 may even bleach some of your stuff out. That's an enormous amount of light for 29 gallons.

http://www.hellolights.com/15hqicoaqpep.html

If you are not interested in keeping the high light sps corals, I would go with a 150W max MH.

Just my opinion.
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:45 PM   #3
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Thats the thing, I do plan on keeping high lights sps's and a clam. Is 150 the max you think for a 29 gallon, or could I go a little higher. The only reason why I ask because every one knows how bad it is to buy something that you are going to want to update later and spend the extra money on. I want to buy a lighting system that would benefit my tank the most and not have to upgrade again. 150 the max?
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:01 PM   #4
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You could swing a 250 if you keep the high light corals at top and get some cover for lower light corals. Like build some ledges with your rockwork or something like that.

It's a strong light. And a 150 may be all you need. IMO, it would be fine. Someone else might have a different opinion though.
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:03 PM   #5
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Also, whether I decide to go with the 150 or 250, which Kelvin should I use? I know the higher you go, the bluer it is. Since their is no actinic bulbs I figured go with the 14 or 20k. I know most of it preference, I personally like a bluer tank, but does it make a difference in response to corals?
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Old 01-15-2007, 12:18 AM   #6
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I think it's been shown that corals grow best at somewhere between 10k and 14k. I like the 20k too though. It is definitley blue!
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:31 AM   #7
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I have a Coralife MH 150 w/2x65w 420nm actinics over my 29G. I keep montipora, acro and a stubborn BTA in it. After almost a year and a half I am ready to trade the MH system for a nice 4 x 54W T5 system. Its just too much light for the tank. Your right, nothing really fits the tank well either. Certainly buy what you want but between heat and over exposure I think you will find that even a 150w MH with a couple 65w PCs will be a little much for most coral. Softies are very slow to grow and if want to stop growth all together in a colony of polyps, just dump them into your tank. As it stands I am currently only running the 2 x 65w actinics and I got to tell you the color in the montipora and acros are way better. I don' think its so much the color temp as it is the amount of light. I mean at 150 plus 130, thats 280w of light over a fairly shallow tank. At 9.6w/gal your looking at being pretty selective about what your keep. I might also mention that unless you get a pendant/hanging kit its darn near impossible to get a skimmer or anything else to hang from the tank since the light takes up so much space (Assuming you don't have a sump of course...) My advice, T5 with about 150 or less of power or single 14k MH light at 150w. 250w will simply eat anything you put in there..its gonna be hot.
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Old 01-15-2007, 04:21 PM   #8
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Is that all in one fixture? I've been looking for a light with a metal halide lamp and some actinic bulbs, but couldnt find a 30 inch fixture. If it is one unit where did you get it from, cause I couldn't find anything but pendants. By the way will my corals be alright with 150 watt metal halide at 20K. I have : Red Xenias, Flower Pot, bubble, shrooms, frogspawn, open brain, closed brain. A couple of those are high light species which is why im upgrading. The open brain and frogspawn are showing signs of brown which is why im upgrading. Im so confused with metal halide.
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Old 01-15-2007, 07:19 PM   #9
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When you say signs of Brown what do you mean? I have less WPG then you and have most of the same corals you do and they are going just great.
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Old 01-15-2007, 07:27 PM   #10
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I use a 150w MH pendant over 1/2 of a 33L prop tank. It is only 12+" tall. The light is about 12" off the water and I have some monti cap and acros at the top of the water level on eggcrate. There is even zoos and xenia on that side of the tank.

The thing with the pendant is that is is pretty focused. You could look at a 175 retro kit if you have a canopy.
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*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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