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Old 01-28-2006, 12:30 PM   #1
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Metal Halide 2 or 3 lamps?

Metal Halide 2 or 3 400 watts on a 6' 180 gal? Or 3 250 watt lamps?

Last fall I answered a add for a reef tank and was just thinking about buying the lighting. The add stated 2 250 MH mogul base and 3 VHO T12 Actinic. After a few moments on the phone I found out the whole system was $300.00. When I arrived it turned out that MH lights were 400 watts way too much for my 55 gal. So as I get ready to pull my 180 gal fresh water from the wall to install my 180 reef I'm thinking about the lighting. Would 3 250 watt lamps be better or would 2 400 watt be ok? I will scrap the VHO for 4 65 watt Actinic PCs.

As Metal Halide lighting is new to me and the tank will be under a stair case. What would be the best distance from lamp to water for a 24" deep tank? Has anyone used E-Bay to buy lamps with any luck?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-29-2006, 10:38 AM   #2
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General rule is one MH lamp per two feet of lenght you would want to light. Ideally, 3 x 400watt MH in a 180 would be great, due to the depth of the tank. Depending on what you plan to keep, 3 x 250 would be better then 2 x 400, IMO. It will give you more even, consistant light across the lenght of the tank.

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Old 01-29-2006, 02:36 PM   #3
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I run 2x250 over my 4'x2'x2' deep 120. I would get 3 of whatever you get for your tank. You can't beat the color of the 400s though. If you want SPS I'd go 400s. If you are going to keep LPS/softies/etc. I'd do 250s otherwise you'll have tremendous bleaching problems even at the lowest levels.

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halide, metal, metal halide

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