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 07-29-2004, 04:01 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Arizona, Tempe
Posts: 196
MH necessary?

I was considering upgrading my lighting system to MH but was quite shocked at the pricing. Retro-fit isn't really an option if I can help it since I don't have a hood, and will likely electrocute myself in the process. Therefore the minimum I can find for a decent 60" MH canopy is $550, a little bit out of my price range.

What I do have is a 60" CSL 4x65 PC canopy with a reflector. Is it possible to retrofit this with metal halides?

If not, my other option is for ~$250 I can get another PC fixture.
This will give me a total of 8x65w or 520w for a 110g which = 4.72 w/g

Is this enough for most corals, or do I need to just cough it up and go for MH?
__________________

__________________
NightSpirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2004, 09:48 AM   #2
AA Team Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,256
Send a message via ICQ to fishfreek Send a message via AIM to fishfreek Send a message via MSN to fishfreek Send a message via Yahoo to fishfreek
Lighting is the most expensive part of the reef setup. Dependign on the caonpy you might be able to retrofit it but you said above your not all that handy with electrical wiring. You wont be able to just slap a MH socket and bulb and wire it up to the existing PC ballast. MH requires a MH ballast thats ballanced with the wattage of the bulb. (IE a 150W MH will require a 150W MH ballast, a 250W MH bulb will require a 250W MH ballast).

Wiring these things up is more intimiadating than difficult. Your cheapest route would be to construct a canopy out of wood and install the MH reflectors and sockets in the canopy and remote locate the ballast. Install a few of your 65W PC bulbs in the same canopy and run them with actinic bulbs for suplemental lighting.

How many center braces does your tank have? That will somewhat govern how many MH bulbs your tank would look best with. Unlike florecent the MH bulbs WILL cast a shadow where the center brace is if its one of those plastic braces unless you put a bulb on either side of the brace to balance out the shadow effect.
__________________

__________________
Remember dont tap the glass, your fish will think you're an idiot -Anonymous mother

Check out our articles area. 30+ Aquatic articles for your enjoyment
Are you in or around the Shenandoah Valley area? If so click here to join our regional forum.
fishfreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2004, 11:25 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Missouri City, TX USA
Posts: 441
I've read that because of the higher intensity, the 3-5 watt/gallon rule does not really apply to PC but I don't really know at what point it is necessary to get MH.
__________________
Sean

Don't forget to check AA Sponsors first.

www.macna2006.com
saberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2004, 11:52 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Nebraska, USA
Posts: 6,703
PC's are more intense than normal fluorescents...but it's only by like 15% on average. What I ususally do for FW plant setups is still use the wpg 'guidelines' for plants, but am aware that at 3wpg, I should have more than enuf light for any plants.
__________________
Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
malkore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2004, 12:16 PM   #5
AA Team Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,256
Send a message via ICQ to fishfreek Send a message via AIM to fishfreek Send a message via MSN to fishfreek Send a message via Yahoo to fishfreek
For a SW tank MH become more of a requirment depending upon what kinds of corals your looking to keep. Some corals should not be consitered unless you have very high output lighting over your system where as other corals should be shaded if such lighting exists over the tank.

The WPG rule of thumb is onliy good for flroecents. Toss it out the window when talking about MH.
__________________
Remember dont tap the glass, your fish will think you're an idiot -Anonymous mother

Check out our articles area. 30+ Aquatic articles for your enjoyment
Are you in or around the Shenandoah Valley area? If so click here to join our regional forum.
fishfreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2004, 12:32 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Missouri City, TX USA
Posts: 441
Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
PC's are more intense than normal fluorescents...but it's only by like 15% on average. What I ususally do for FW plant setups is still use the wpg 'guidelines' for plants, but am aware that at 3wpg, I should have more than enuf light for any plants.
A 55 watt PC is more intense than a 110 watt VHO.

BTW, I think the MH may also become necessary if the tank is 20" or deeper.
__________________
Sean

Don't forget to check AA Sponsors first.

www.macna2006.com
saberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2004, 06:14 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Arizona, Tempe
Posts: 196
Thanks everyone.
Tank is 24" x 18" x 60"

I would build my own canopy, but I'm as good with woodworking as I am with electricity, plus I have no tools. Also, the manufacturer of my stand/tank went out of business, so the only place that sells canopies in town doesn't stock mine anymore.

I realized what's wrong, my PC fixture is 1/2 as bright as it used to be. The thing is, I only bought it 5 months ago, and I've only been it using really for the past 3 months. Do you thing it's just the bulbs were junk and need replacing, or maybe somethings wrong with the ballast/something else?

If I bought MH lighting what would be better for my 110, to keep most corals?
1) 2x175 MH w/ actinic PCs
2) 2x275 MH w/ actinic PCs

I'm thinking of going with option 1, since the lights won't really be suspended too much from the top of the tank.

My tank has a center support, so a center bulb won't do too much, I don't think.
__________________
NightSpirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2004, 08:21 PM   #8
AA Team Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,256
Send a message via ICQ to fishfreek Send a message via AIM to fishfreek Send a message via MSN to fishfreek Send a message via Yahoo to fishfreek
If the PC's are not as bright as they used to be then it could be due to saltcreep on the bulbs itself or it could be due to the bulb fadeoff that happens. Although 5 months is a bit short lived for a PC bulb. Maybe they where off brand.

TO keep most corals the better would be the brighter MH fixture. A center bulb will look awful with the center support. You need two bulbs both centered between the side of the tank and the center support.
__________________
Remember dont tap the glass, your fish will think you're an idiot -Anonymous mother

Check out our articles area. 30+ Aquatic articles for your enjoyment
Are you in or around the Shenandoah Valley area? If so click here to join our regional forum.
fishfreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2004, 08:32 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Arizona, Tempe
Posts: 196
Thanks....it appears ACE hardware will cut everything for me for a couple of bucks, so I might just DIY on the canopy and go with a MH retro-fit system.

Is there anyway to make my CSL system retro-fit, or would I have to buy a new retro PC/VHO for the actinics as well? Anyone know of a retro-fit guide for idiots?
__________________
12g JBJ nano-cube dx
NightSpirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2004, 03:33 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Arizona, Tempe
Posts: 196
Another question, would running the VHOs or PCs down the middle negate the need for two MH bulbs in the middle?

Or could I just put the more light intensive corals near the sides and the less light intensive corals near the middle?

It seems running two MHs in the middle would near double the cost of the setup.
__________________

__________________
12g JBJ nano-cube dx
NightSpirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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








» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:38 AM.


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