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Old 11-09-2005, 10:56 PM   #1
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Lighting Suggestions (Metal Halide?!?!)

I currently have a 120 gallon tank and I need to upgrade my lighting so that in the future lighting will not limit the reef inhabitants I can keep.

I would like to spend less than $200 if possible on a good setup. I hear Metal Halide is the way to go, but I have NO IDEA on how to set this up or what I would need.

Help?
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Old 11-09-2005, 11:11 PM   #2
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I dont think your going to get much for MH for $200 innless you get it used

Im not sure on the dimensions of you tank but three 250W mh should work great if your tank is 6 ft long. if its 4 ft you might be able to get away with two. and if its deeper than 24 In I would go with 400W.

you did not say what you plan on keeping but I assume that if your looking at MH that you want to keep Clams and Sps ect.

check out hellolights.com I buy all of my MH light from them I think A 250W retro kit runs $150 and includes the bulb
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Old 11-09-2005, 11:20 PM   #3
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For a 120 gal tank, you are going to need more than one MH fixture. 3 or 4 250w MH fixtures would yeild what your looking for.

I built my own 175w fixture for under 150 dollars.

200 bucks won't be enough to provide your tank with ample lighting. You should save up and spend the cash to do it right.

And trust me, you could have one of the most beautiful 120 gallon tanks around if you are willing to spend the money.
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37 gal all glass
50lb LR
3' fine sand bed 1x Orange Stripe Prawn shrimp goby, 1x sixline wrassemated pair of true percula clowns, 1x CBS shrimp, 2x peppermint shrimp, 1x pistol shrimp, 1x tiger tale cuke, ~20+ snails, ~10+ hermits, 1xserpent star.
green Bubble coral, hammer coral (8 heads!) ,various Zoos,green finger leather, green star polpys ,shrooms
175w 10k MH
28w actinic 03
2x maxi jett 1200
Prizm skimmer (modded)
Hagen powerfilter(for running carbon 24/7)
nano arctica chiller
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:18 AM   #4
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I agree $200 will not get you far unless you find something used then the replacement bulbs will cost you. Save up some more $ like dragonforce said and do it right.
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewInTown
I dont think your going to get much for MH for $200 innless you get it used

Im not sure on the dimensions of you tank but three 250W mh should work great if your tank is 6 ft long. if its 4 ft you might be able to get away with two. and if its deeper than 24 In I would go with 400W.

you did not say what you plan on keeping but I assume that if your looking at MH that you want to keep Clams and Sps ect.

check out hellolights.com I buy all of my MH light from them I think A 250W retro kit runs $150 and includes the bulb


My tank dimensions are 61 long x 18 wide x 24 deep. So based on your post, you're suggesting that 3 250 watt kits is what I should go for?

I went to hellolights.com and found the retrofit kits, it's asking here
http://www.hellolights.com/hidretrofitkit.html
if I want magnetic ballest or electronic ballest kits. What one do I want? And what is the difference from probe or pulse start?

Would you go to that site and post a link of what you suggest I get?

Thanks guys.
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Old 11-10-2005, 02:46 AM   #6
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Be prepared for a temp elevation with your new lights. If you don't have a chiller, you may wish to aquire one.. Pricey, but worth the price. Your corals will love you for it.
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Old 11-10-2005, 03:13 AM   #7
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Those MH retro kits look like good quality to me. I personally have a magnetic pulse start setup.

You can save a good chunk of cash using a magnetic ballast.

Electronic ballasts are more energy efficient(saving a dollar or 2 at best) and quieter(although you probably will not notice an audible difference between the 2)

The difference between pulse start and probes start, to my understanding, is that pulse start improves over lighting strength and longivity.

The last thing you need to do is decide on what bulbs. I personally bought a 10k 175w XM bulb.

I think they are a decent choice, I have been happy with mine so far.

If you don't plan on supplementing actinic lighting then you may consider 15k to give you water a bluer tint.

Here is the same bulb I bought, but in 15k
http://cgi.ebay.com/XM-250-Watt-15K-...QQcmdZViewItem

I hope this helps you out. Good luck!
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37 gal all glass
50lb LR
3' fine sand bed 1x Orange Stripe Prawn shrimp goby, 1x sixline wrassemated pair of true percula clowns, 1x CBS shrimp, 2x peppermint shrimp, 1x pistol shrimp, 1x tiger tale cuke, ~20+ snails, ~10+ hermits, 1xserpent star.
green Bubble coral, hammer coral (8 heads!) ,various Zoos,green finger leather, green star polpys ,shrooms
175w 10k MH
28w actinic 03
2x maxi jett 1200
Prizm skimmer (modded)
Hagen powerfilter(for running carbon 24/7)
nano arctica chiller
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Old 11-10-2005, 04:29 AM   #8
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So with your suggestions, the MH setup for my particular tank would run upwards of $650.

What would you suggest along the lines of flourescent lighting if I instead chose to go that route.
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Old 11-10-2005, 09:45 AM   #9
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power compacts are a great, more inexpensive alternative if you don't plan on sps. Plus, they are much cooler.
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maporsche
So with your suggestions, the MH setup for my particular tank would run upwards of $650.
Aquatraders has some of the best deals on lights I've seen.

You could do a 60" MH/PC for $349 plus about $50 for shipping giving you 785W
http://www.aquatraders.com/index.asp...ROD&ProdID=184

Quote:
Originally Posted by maporsche
What would you suggest along the lines of flourescent lighting if I instead chose to go that route.
Or a 60" PC for $129 plus about $50 for shipping giving you 322W
http://www.aquatraders.com/index.asp...PROD&ProdID=26

Really just depends what you want to keep down the road. Personally I'd save for the MH/PC combo.
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