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Old 03-02-2005, 08:24 PM   #1
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Location: San Antonio, TX
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Another lighting Question......

I'm in the process of doing all my homework in preperation of setting up a reef aquarium, and like all noobies I'm getting hung up on the lighting end of the process. I already have a 55g tank and I need to build a hood for it, but I'm not sure which lighting I am going with so I dont know how tall I need to make it. I'm not really stuck on having any specific corals, I just want to be able to have a wide variety of corals not just 100 different kinds of mushrooms cuz I didn't get lighting. However, I do want to be able to have an anemone of some kind because I intend to have a pair of percs and I think that anemone/clown combo is friggin sweet....back to my question... I was gathering info on light prices, specificly blub prices, because I want to determine which would be cheaper in the long run. My light choices are 4x110w VHO, 4x96 PC, or 2x150/175/250 MH. My problem is that I can't find consistant data on how often each of these need to be changed. I have heard that VHOs are good for 8-12 months at 10hrs a day, PCs are good for 12-18 months at 10hrs a day, and that MHs are good for about 10-14 months at 10hrs a day.

Shopping a Hellolights i get:

-VHO with 2x110w Coralife 10,000k @ $25.95ea, and 2x110w Coralife Actinic @ $21.95 is a total of $95.80. Running for 10 months is $9.58 a month operating cost.

-PC with 4x96w 50/50 at $35.95 for a total of $143.80. Running for 15 months i get $9.59 a month.

-MH 2x(150w XM hqi or 175w XM mogul) @ $59.00 for a total of $118.00, and running for 12 months i get $9.83 a month.

and now i have a couple of questions....
1. Im assuming that the MH would give the most light, but between the PC
and the VHO would be the brightest?

2. Are all of my blub lifespans accutate?

3. Are my calculations skewed in anyway?

4. Is heat going to be as big of an issue with the PCs and VHOs like with the MHs

5. Could i still keep my anemone that i want with the PCs and VHOs if i put it at the top of the tank.

OK i would like to say Thank You SOOO much in advance for your help and time, because i know that just reading this is going to take a chunk of time.


Tank: 55g FW w/2 hot mag filters (w/d in the future)...scored tank, cab, hood, filters for $150

Fish: Cal Ryukin, R&W Ryukin, Baby Champion Panda, R&W Ranchu, Cal Ranchu, 2 Tamasaba, Pearscale, Lionhead, Black Moore, Pleco
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Old 03-03-2005, 02:17 PM   #2
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I'm not a lighting expert but I can help in answering some of your questions.

It sounds like you already know what you would like to keep, a variety of stuff. So you best option is go with MH HQI. No need to waste the money upgrading from PC to MH like I did.

PC should be changed every 8-10 months, not sure on how often VHO should be changed.
Heat is an issue with MH but can be remedied easily and cheaply by blowing a small fan accross the water surface to cool the tanks temp by evaporation.

BTA anemone have been know to do ok under PC lights but most anemone should be under MH.

Having MH will open so much more options in the livestock you will be able to keep.

Paintballs look like bubble gum
14G starphire,150W MH+32W act03,AquaClear 150 HOB filter, 75W EboJager, IceProbe chiller, Remora skimmer, closed loop SCWD mag5, auto toper-offer.
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Old 03-03-2005, 02:30 PM   #3
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I am in the same boat and Ihave read alot about both PC and MH but nothing much on VHO?? are there too many cons with VHO vs MH or PC.
I am thinkin of goin with a retrofit with a mix of MH and PC but gezzz the expense is crazy.
check my site out --> www.coppernreef.com
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light, lighting

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