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Old 01-06-2007, 08:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomd
I love the purple look VHO's give. If you are going for light intensity T5's are a little stronger but on the other side VHO's give the best true acitnic look by far IMO.
T5's would be good if they had more wattage.

You have to use soo many just to get wattage.

My T5's Were no where near as intense as thease T-12 VHO's, But thease are 110w's vs 28w's with the T-5's.

-TheChad
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Old 01-06-2007, 11:13 AM   #12
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VHO has the prettiest look over a tank IMO. I have everything except PC to compare it to and if I could get the high wattage needed for some of my tanks, they would ALL have VHO. Unfortunately, the intensity of MH is often required.
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Old 01-06-2007, 04:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheChad

So use a 50/50 and the Super Atinic?
Yes I would. I know you are saying why all that blue light? Blue is the only part of the spectrum that will make it that far down to the corals. That`s why we place so much emphasis on the actinic part. At least I do. Hope all goes well.
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Old 02-03-2007, 01:57 AM   #14
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I actually found this thread during a google (small world) so I figured I'd perform a little necromancy instead of starting a new thread.

I have a six foot long, 3 bulb VHO DIY on my 125g with a ballast that has absolutely no markings or identification whatsoever.
(I bought the tank used)

Melosu58, you said you're only using 2 bulbs with all those corals and a BTA?
That's only about two and a half wpg.
I've always been under the impression you needed a lot stronger lighting that that for a reef tank with the kind of variety you have.
BTW, beautiful tank! 8O
I may have to trade out one of my actinic whites for another super actinic after seeing that...
(Currently running 2 URI actinic whites, and 1 URI super actinic)

Although my real question for you (and anyone else with VHO experience) is where do you get your bulbs and ballast from?
I'm gonna need replacements real soon and need to start shopping around.
My ballast is about 1-2 yrs old, and the bulbs are about 1 yr old.
When should both be changed?
Also, I've been searching out ballast specs/prices, and I can't find the proper ballast for my 480w, 3-bulb setup.
Any suggestions?
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Old 02-03-2007, 04:55 AM   #15
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I need to update my info as I have not had the BTA in a couple yrs. Thanks for pointing that out. I saw where he was not going to make it so I traded it back in. As far as the corals they are all low to medium light corals. The internal reflectors cause a bit more intensity that help my reef tank out. The ballast is the same that I got nine yrs ago and is one of those big black ones. I forget what they call them. My bulbs I get at the good doctors and I get the URI brand that has internal reflectors that focus alot of the light back in the tank. If you used 2 actinic it will really give you some blue light. I would almost stay like you are. I change mine every 6 months and I change them 2-3 weeks apart. I got my ballast from my LFS. Thanks for the compliment about the tank.
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loyalrogue
Although my real question for you (and anyone else with VHO experience) is where do you get your bulbs and ballast from?
I'm gonna need replacements real soon and need to start shopping around.
My ballast is about 1-2 yrs old, and the bulbs are about 1 yr old.
When should both be changed?
Also, I've been searching out ballast specs/prices, and I can't find the proper ballast for my 480w, 3-bulb setup.
Any suggestions?

Hi Loyalrogue,

I purchased my VHO setup (Ballast, end caps, and lamps) from HelloLights.com. I had a GREAT experience, they came really fast, very well packed, and great prices!

I origionally Purchased 2 VRO Brand Ballasts to use 4 lamps over my 55G tank, which would have given me 8wpg. But after installing just 2, I decided that 4 lamps would be too much, both room, and light intensity wise. So E-mailed HelloLights.com and asked If I could return the Ballast (I wanted to keep the extra lamps), and they sent me an RMA, I mailed it back, and was credited right away. I also broke one of the mounts for the end caps, and had to barrow one from the 2nd ballast kit, I told them about it, and offered to have them debit the replacement from my refund amount, but they told me it was no problem, and they wouldn't charge me for it!

So my experience with them was great! As for my setup, as I mentioned I have a VRO AS220 Ballast, 2 URI Lamps with Internal Reflectors, and the water proof German End Caps.

So far I have not had any problems with the VRO Ballast. The "Best" Ballast is suppose to be the Ice Caps Ballast's but they are over 2x the price of the VRO's, and Mine starts up every day spot-on. Mine Is an electronic ballast, and runs only slightly warm. I would Recommend a VRO Electronic ballast to anyone.

I currently run 1x Super Atinic w/ Internal Reflector, and 1x AquaSun 10k w/ Internal Reflector.

HTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by melosu58
The ballast is the same that I got nine yrs ago and is one of those big black ones. I forget what they call them. My bulbs I get at the good doctors and I get the URI brand that has internal reflectors that focus alot of the light back in the tank.
melosu, You said your ballast is 9 years old, Is it magnetic or electronic?

I was reading that with electronic ballasts the lamps last longer than with magnetic.

Thanks,


-TheChad
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Old 02-03-2007, 01:06 PM   #17
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Mine is the magnetic one. The one that is a long (12") black metal box. I dont know which last longer but I know I`ve got my money out of mine.
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Old 02-03-2007, 06:29 PM   #18
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I purchased my VHO setup (Ballast, end caps, and lamps) from HelloLights.com. I had a GREAT experience
Me too. Good prices, products, and great customer service. I've had an ARO electronic VHO ballast for over three years w/ no issues at all. Like TheChad said, it barley even gets warm when in use.
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Old 02-03-2007, 06:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT79
Quote:
I purchased my VHO setup (Ballast, end caps, and lamps) from HelloLights.com. I had a GREAT experience
Me too. Good prices, products, and great customer service. I've had an ARO electronic VHO ballast for over three years w/ no issues at all. Like TheChad said, it barley even gets warm when in use.

Hey MT79,

How often do you replace your Lamps?

I can't find where I was reading, but I read that with electronic Ballasts you can get 2-3 times longer lamp life vs a magnetic one. 1-1.5 years vs 6 months.

Thanks,

-TheChad
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Old 02-03-2007, 06:55 PM   #20
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How often do you replace your Lamps?
I replace them every 12 months because my MH's are the primary source of light. When I was just using VHO's I would change them out every 8-10 months, and the new lamps would visibly be brighter. I've heard of getting longer lamp life out of e-ballast as well. I'm pretty sure it's true, but I've never used a magnetic ballast to compare it with. HTH
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