Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 05-18-2006, 01:33 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 134
Metal Halide VS VHO - Longevity

Hi,

So i'm getting ready to start cycling my 45 and i've been considering what lights to get. The tank is 36" by 18" and the two options i've been considering are Metal Halides and VHOs. For a Metal Halide setup I could get the ballast for a 250W bulb for about $85, i'm sure the fixture would amount to $15 or so, and the bulb for about $100. So that puts me at an intitial cost of $200 to set up a Metal Halide system (Not including the hood i'll build). On the VHO side I can get an Icecap 600 and the fixtures/mounting for $100 from a friend even. Now the bulbs appear to cost about $25 give or take and i'd be doing 3 96 watt bulbs, 1 50/50 actnic and 2 10k white. That puts at an initial cost of $175 for the VHO's.

Now looking at some of the hour ratings on these metal halides the average life seems to be about 7500 hours, which means if I have a 12 hour day cycle that would put me at 1.75 years per bulb or for an 8 hour cycle
2.65 years per bulb. So just to take an estimate let's say 2 years per bulb. So $50 a year physical cost (not electrical) for metal halides. It seems you need to replace VHO bulbs about every 6 months so that means $150 a year for 3 bulbs in my case.

My question i suppose is, am I looking at this correctly? Are Metal Halides really the more cost effective solution? Or does the power consumption even it out? My friend also suggested some other configurations, perhaps one metal halide and an actinic together. Please let me know what your take is on this.

Regards,
Ken
__________________

__________________
xkenneth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2006, 09:45 AM   #2
AA Team Emeritus
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 3,391
Send a message via Yahoo to tecwzrd
Either way the electrical cost will be close. As far as when to change the bulbs you are correct that VHO should be replaced about every 6 months but also consider that MH bulbs should be replaced once a year to avoid algae issues.

One MH 250W bulb is going to roughly cover 24” so the ends of your tank will not receive as much light as the middle.

Is your tank a 30 Breeder that is 36 3/16 x 18 1/4 x 12 15/16? If so then the MH light may be too intense considering the 12” high and I would go with VHO if that is the case.
__________________

__________________
-Micah-

If you haven't figured it out yet I like to BOLD links :P

Vote for AA at Aqua Rank
tecwzrd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2006, 10:11 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: arizona
Posts: 517
Quote:
So i'm getting ready to start cycling my 45
i dont think its a 30 breeder, lol just kidding.

but ya, i think mh's last a bit longer, but you do get the un-lit part on the sides if your tank is too long. so what you could do is get 2 smaller wattage ones and space them out across the tank.
__________________
sir_dudeguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2006, 10:22 AM   #4
AA Team Emeritus
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 3,391
Send a message via Yahoo to tecwzrd
I know he said 45 but most 45 gal tanks are 36 1/4 x 12 5/8 x 23 ¾ so I’m wondering what the total H/W/L is on this tank.

A 30 Breeder is the closest I can think of to match the 36” long by 18” wide.
__________________
-Micah-

If you haven't figured it out yet I like to BOLD links :P

Vote for AA at Aqua Rank
tecwzrd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2006, 10:57 AM   #5
AA Team Emeritus
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 7,224
Send a message via Yahoo to Hara
The VHO bulbs made by URI are good for a year.
__________________
Hara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2006, 11:42 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 134
And they avoid spectrum loss? The tank dimensions are 36.5" wide, 18.5" deep and 17.5" tall measuring on the rims. After these comments and just some more thought the VHO's seem to be like the better idea. Is there any way I can easily measure the spectrum they're putting out so I can know when to replace the bulbs? Or will it just be apparent by algae growth and other tank changes?

Regards,
Ken
__________________
xkenneth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2006, 11:47 AM   #7
AA Team Emeritus
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 7,224
Send a message via Yahoo to Hara
The URI bulbs are pretty consistent in their "lifespan". I have used them for several years now. Most other bulbs are 6 month bulbs. You cannot really eyeball for color shift and the meters are quite expensive. I use the "calendar" method
__________________
Hara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2006, 03:53 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Poughkeepsie, NY
Posts: 3,294
IMO 6-8 months is a good time to change the bulbs out. I use the URI also and I notice algae issues when my bulbs start to get older. My frined has the meter and he says that the bulbs start to drop out alot after 6 months.
I push mine and run them 8 months to try and save a few $$. You can't go wrong IMO with the VHO lights, they give the tank a nice look.
__________________

__________________
9/02-125 REEF, 125 lbs LR,LS 4x160 VHO, Reef Devil /Sump, Fuge
7/03-55 FOWLR 60lb LR, 50 lb SD sand 2x40 NO strip light, Reef Devil/sump, Fuge

TANK PICS http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=98202
seaham358 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
halide, long, metal, metal halide

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
metal Halide madstyle1 General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 0 11-03-2008 01:52 AM
Metal Halide xkenneth Saltwater Reef Aquaria 10 07-20-2006 11:46 PM
Metal halide Jgtucci General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 1 06-30-2005 08:47 AM
metal halide ohio reefer Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 8 10-23-2003 08:06 PM
Metal Halide Dewey Saltwater Reef Aquaria 1 09-10-2003 09:11 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.