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Old 12-28-2003, 10:07 PM   #1
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Calling all DIY, want input on PC retro idea

Okay, here is the scoop. I am setting up a new aquarium and already have a Custom Sealife 48" PC/moon-lite it has 2X65W 10K's and 2X65 watt blues. I have since decided that I want to put a halide bulb in the mix, but have no room up top for halide. So im looking for any input regarding ditching one of the 65W 10K bulbs and mounting a single 250W halide retro kit in its place. I have no experience with Halide and don't know if it will be okay to have a "resting on glass" light fixture with halide that close, etc. Any input would be great. Thanks everyone!
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Old 12-28-2003, 10:16 PM   #2
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outer envelope of a metal halide bulb reaches about 500 degrees F ... it shouldn't be resting on anything or have anything withing 2" of it

also, if your tank is 4ft across, you'll have a bright area surrounded by shadow without using 2 MH bulbs.
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Old 12-28-2003, 10:30 PM   #3
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Okay, thanks for the info, I guess that idea is not going to work. If you have any suggestions for me on any kits or fixtures that would allow me to squeeze a 175 at each end I would appreciate it. I have a wooden canopy over the tank. If possible I could mount a braket into the front of the canopy where it opens and hook the lights up there. However I guess a 500 degree reflector bolted to a piece of wood isn't a good idea. Oh well, anyone has suggestions im all ears.

Thanks.
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Here's to swimmin with bowlegged women.

-105G SPS Reef with 30G Sump/Fuge Combo
-30G LTAnemonarium with mated porcelain crabs, 10 sexy shrimp, and 2 pink skunks all tied into the other 135G in my system.
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Old 12-28-2003, 10:50 PM   #4
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well, mh and wood can get along as long as you observe a few things.

the envelope of the bulb is 500 degrees, but that heat is pretty much trapped there - the air around the bulb keeps it well insulated - what you end up with is about 150 degrees of radiant heat, most of which bounces off your reflector and into your tank.

the rest needs to vented out of the light fixture somehow.

I built my MH light out of a wood box, lined with an aluminum reflector. to keep things cool, I used spacers between the aluminum and the wood, giving it about 1" of air gap. I also drilled a hole in the 'top' of the wood box for hot air to chimney out of.

when the light has been on for some time, the sides of the box are warm, but no where near being dangerous - cooler than several aluminum light fixtures that just use fluorescent bulbs.

check out www.hellolights.com ... they have a lot of parts and pieces - you might be able to come up with something and we're here to help
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Old 12-28-2003, 10:58 PM   #5
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Just my two cents but I would keep that bulb at least 6 inches of any glass or any other top you might be adding under your canopy ( if any for jumpers ). I have been through more heart ache in the last two weeks then you can imagine from just adding a MH 250 bulb.. We wont even mention the 250.00 in damage equipment.. or the 600.00 in lost live stock.. Good luck.....
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Old 12-28-2003, 11:08 PM   #6
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Maybe I should address the reason why im doing this in the first place and see if you guys think its necessary. I want to house a couple SPS and a lot of LPS eventually, and although I could easily get 6.5 - 7 WPG out of my PCs, I was told that I had to have halide to keep LPS corals (im not talking about any expert corals, however aside from the incredibly difficult breeds I dont want to be limited)

So I guess the question I need to be asking you guys is "do I really need to invest in halide or will 6.5 - 7 WPG accomplish adequate lighting for these organisms? Please feel free to load me up on any info im pretty green to this and am glad to soak up whatever I can.
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Here's to swimmin with bowlegged women.

-105G SPS Reef with 30G Sump/Fuge Combo
-30G LTAnemonarium with mated porcelain crabs, 10 sexy shrimp, and 2 pink skunks all tied into the other 135G in my system.
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Old 12-29-2003, 10:01 AM   #7
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I have seen Acros and other SPS corals under 5 WPG with PCs. Not to say it is the right thing to do, but they were growing nicely and they kept their colors. LPS corals should be fine under that light.
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Old 12-29-2003, 12:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by astride13
Not to say it is the right thing to do, but they were growing nicely and they kept their colors.
Not to poke fun but for my own curiosity, why would it be the wrong thing to do. If properly researched and the right species of SPS are chosen, they should do just fine under the right intensity of PC lights. Not all SPS corals require MH to be successful and maintain proper coloration...

Cheers
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Old 12-29-2003, 01:08 PM   #9
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Okay, thanks for all the great information. I guess I had my info backwards with SPS and LPS. I am mainly planning on housing LPS with maybe an Orange Encrusting Montipora and Wrinkle Leptoseris.
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Here's to swimmin with bowlegged women.

-105G SPS Reef with 30G Sump/Fuge Combo
-30G LTAnemonarium with mated porcelain crabs, 10 sexy shrimp, and 2 pink skunks all tied into the other 135G in my system.
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