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Old 12-10-2004, 02:03 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 14
would like opinions on lighting

I'm trying to decide on some lighting for a 125 gallon tank. It's dimensions are 60"w by 18"d x 24"h. I'm very new at this and lighting has me very confused. I'm only going to start out with fish and live rock but taking the advice of others, I'd like to purchase a lighting system that I can 'grow' into as I progress in the future with corals, etc...

I've found these two retrofit packages that are about the same price, but slightly different setups and would like some opinions on which might be better:

1. http://www.hellolights.com/60fixtures.html
* 60" -Retrofit Metal Halide/Flourescent -Coralife
* BJB waterproof endcaps.
* Polished Aluminum Reflector
* Enclosed remote magnetic ballasts w/15' cords.
* Ballasts not upgradeable to 250W or 400W.
* Separate control for halides and fluorescents.
* Coralife brand Metal Halide Bulb Upgrade to 6,500K, 10,000K or 20,000K.
* Coralife Actinic 03 fluorescent bulbs are included.
* No substitutions can be made for other brands of bulbs or ballasts.
* No. of MH Lamps: 2
* Wattage of MH: 175W (not upgradeable)
* No. of Fluorescent bulbs: 2, 40W Actinic (VHO upgrade: 140W).

with the upgrade to 20k halide and vho 140w - $550 / 630watts total

2. http://www.aquarium-supply.biz/order..._250Retro.html
* Hamilton Lighting - Metal Halide - Power Compact Retrofits
* 60" 2x250W 10K
* Metal Halide Lamps - 2x250W 10K Bulbs
* Power Compact Lamps - 2-96W Actinic Bulbs
* Polished aluminum reflector
* Remote Metal Halide Ballast with 10 foot cable and quick disconnects
$605 / 692watts total

So basically, the way I see it, the difference is 20k 175w Halides vs 10k 250w Halides and 140w VHO vs 96w PC. Also the 62w difference between the two, if that would make that much of a difference.

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 12-10-2004, 03:23 AM   #2
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If you can, go for electronic ballasts. Better efficiency and bulb life.
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55g reef, 2x250W 10k MH + 2x96W PC actninc, 10g sump, AquaC Urchin skimmer, 65lbs LR

xenia, mushrooms, wels. open brain, fungia radiata (orange), green eyed zoos

flame angel, mated pair of false perc, 6-line, firefish

20gH electric yellow cichlid
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Old 12-10-2004, 12:53 PM   #3
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Ah yes, electronic ballasts. hellolights.com has that custom build option, it would be about $150 more to upgrade to the electronic ballasts. Would it be worth that much more to upgrade?

Any opinions on the 20k 175w halide/140w VHO vs 10k 250w halide/96w PC?

Thanks.
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Old 12-11-2004, 04:59 AM   #4
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Well, for fluorescents, you get a more light per input watt, and you get rid of the very annoying 60hz buzz from magnetic ballasts. The bulbs tend to keep their spectral range more and last longer too.

I don't run MH, but I believe the same applies.
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55g reef, 2x250W 10k MH + 2x96W PC actninc, 10g sump, AquaC Urchin skimmer, 65lbs LR

xenia, mushrooms, wels. open brain, fungia radiata (orange), green eyed zoos

flame angel, mated pair of false perc, 6-line, firefish

20gH electric yellow cichlid
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