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Old 04-20-2006, 10:58 AM   #1
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Metal Halide - Newbie Perspective

"Do I need a Metal Halide?" - This is a question I think myself and all other "Newbie's" ask. I think, deep down, we all know we need to use them, however, somewhere in our mind, lurks the hope that we can avoid the high costs associated with MH lighting. I thought I would share my experience with others out there contemplating MH lighting. First, there are plenty of articles out there on creating a DIY Metal MH fixture. I was a little hesitant but decided to take the plunge.

I purchased all the required hardware (MH Ballast (w/ capacitor), mogul base w/ bracket, bulb (250W Iwasaki) and built my own canopy. Total associated cost including the lamp itself was about $125. I was hesitant about the wiring as I am no electrician. Wiring was a snap and took about 15 minutes and first try, it lit like a champ.

For those of you contemplating MH on a budget, do not dispair as their are low cost options.

Although the tank in the below photo is still cloudy from the initial filling, you can already see the huge difference MH makes. Can't wait to get some critters in there!


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Old 04-20-2006, 11:17 AM   #2
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Only if keeping corals, otherwise NO lighting if fine for just lighting the tank. Looks great by the way, I see your sand cloud is just about done

You got the 250W setup for $125? Where??? The bulb alone runs $70+
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Old 04-20-2006, 11:28 AM   #3
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I did a lotta research and searched big time. I found the bulb for $59 and the ballast for $50. The mogul socket was $5. Sheet of aluminum $4.
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Old 04-20-2006, 12:00 PM   #4
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That’s great, I assume the ballast is magnetic and not electronic. Is the bulb 20K? Looks like the one 250W gives you pretty good coverage since it’s a corner tank
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Old 04-20-2006, 12:23 PM   #5
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You are correct, its a coil and core ballast. Not as efficient but easier on the wallet. I have gone way over budget as it is and haven't baought the LR yet. Not really popular with teh wife lately! Hopefully when its all together, she will appreciate it.

The bulb is 6500K. All the research I could gather indicated that this was the best bang for the buck. It covers very the tank very well. I am not happy with my reflector as it is arched rather than parabolic, however, spacing was very limited due to the shape of the tank.
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