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Old 03-18-2005, 02:19 AM   #1
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Disappointed with MH?

Has anyone out there switched from PC lighting to MH and been disappointed with the difference? I went from 4x65w Coralife PC to a 175w Mh fixture and find that the PC lighting looked better. I am(and always was) planning on adding my PC lighting to my hood for better coverage but by itself I'm a little disappointed with the MH. I have a used ballast with a new socket and bulb is it possible that the ballast is not firing the bulb properly?
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Old 03-18-2005, 03:32 AM   #2
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Oh yea... thats why i dont understand why so many people preach on MH's. Yea they do have great power and have crystal clear light, but lack the acinitic look. without VHO or PC acinitic supplement MH's look nothing more then a headlight on your aquarium. but dont get me wrong if you have a bigger tank you will definitly notice the difference in the growth of your corals or anything that need high output lighting. i just ordered a 4x96w PC's from ahsupply.com and am awaiting the shipment. reason i didnt go with MH's is because i only have a 75g and i also plan on getting a lunar tracker to see how it is since no one here or on any other forum has tried it. if your interested in lunar tracker they have a website at www.thelebos.com and also sell on ebay just search for lunar tracker.
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Old 03-18-2005, 09:21 AM   #3
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What size tank? What specitrum and brand is the bulb? What kind of ballast are you using?

A high kelvin ballast wont need supplmental lighting.
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Old 03-18-2005, 12:27 PM   #4
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A little more info about your light and tank setup please.

I'm so glad I went MH and will never go back to strictly using PC. My current setup is a 150w 13k MH supplimented by 32w act03 PC. I bought my MH hood used and it was already setup to support PC lights also. I dig my MH setup on my 14g tank.

I've used a AB 20k bulb and it was very blue, no need of actinic suppliment there.
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Old 03-18-2005, 03:55 PM   #5
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I've never looked back since switching to MH. I'm using 14k bulbs, IMO looks great even without any Actinics-definitely no "headlight" effect to it. You've got to love the shimmer...As mentioned we need more info.
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Old 03-18-2005, 04:29 PM   #6
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I am using Blueline 250w 10k MH and it gives a beautiful blue color to my aquarium.
Try it out
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Old 03-19-2005, 03:24 AM   #7
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I have an Advance magnetic ballast with an FQ Plus 10000K bulb it sits over a 90gal tank with 110 pounds of live rock. No glass tops just eggcrate. It just doesn't seem as bright as my PCs. Maybe its just because I'm not used to the different light. I doesn't seem to fill my tank like the PClighting. Could it be just a more direct light than florescent?
BTW the PC lights were 2x10000k and 2xactinic at 65w each.
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Old 03-19-2005, 03:40 AM   #8
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A single 175 or 2x175w? Even still, either option won't make much of a dent in the depth of a 90 gal tank. You really should have gone with a 2x250w MH with optional 2x96w PC or 110 VHO actinic.

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Old 03-19-2005, 07:45 AM   #9
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Mh lighting is a single pointn light source and since this is the case the further you are from the source emitting the light the less light will hit your tank. 90gal tanks are 4' long and MH is normally described as best when lighting a single 2' square area so a 90gal tank would require 2 MH lamps. One about 1' in from the left and 1' in from the right. If your 90 gal tank has a center brace and the bulb is over the brace most of your intense light is going on that brace vs the tank and thus a horrific shadow is cast into the tank aswell. Having two bulbs on either side of the brace will cancel out the shadow cast by the brace.

Some 10K bulbs are more yellow than others so thats another potental for being visually different. Increasing the kelvin of the bulb will make the light output more white or blueish white.

As steve suggested the depth of a 90 is better suited for 250W but if your going to keep medium to low light corals at the bottom of your tank the 175's will work.

You felt the PC's lit the tank beter because they emit light over the entire lenght of their bulb and thus you have a more even light albeit less intense over all. If you put a second MH over the tank and position them as I suggest I suspect you will be much happyer. In addition you can swap out the bulb with a different brand 10K or even a higher K rated bulb to change the visual color of the light. Below is a link showing you a nice compairson between bulbs. The compairson was done with 250W MH but its still going to show how even bulbs in the same K range can look very different over the exact same tank.

http://www.cnidarianreef.com/lamps.cfm
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Old 03-19-2005, 01:26 PM   #10
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I agree 175 watt is not near enough for a 90. no wonder you notice not much of a difference. I have two 250w. 14k's on my 65 gallon tank. I will never go back to pc's EVER.
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