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Old 06-24-2009, 02:19 PM   #1
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metal hallide light

I'm setting up a new 65 gallon tank, still trying to find the right lights/good price before I get it up and running. It'll be a reef tank.
I found this website and was a little surprised by the price because most MH systems you see out there for aquariums are really pricey

Sylvania 250 Watt MH Aquarium System - Inside Sun

Is there anything wrong with this? Just need to hang it from the ceiling/make a hood or am I missing something?

To go with this, is the 250w MH alone fine or would I need 2 of them or some PCs in addition?

John
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Old 06-24-2009, 03:09 PM   #2
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I could be wrong, but I think in aquariums you are paying more for the reflector. It is set up so it directs the highest amout of light into your tank.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:37 PM   #3
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what I've noticed looking at this more, is the double ends (compact design) MH bulbs are more expensive I'm assuming because of the smaller design. The single ended ones are cheaper but I can't seem to find anywhere that you can get the whole thing with a 14K bulb, a ballast, reflector...for anywhere near that cheap.

some more reading seems to indicate a better ballast will actually help make a brighter light, some say up to 27% brighter, so that would have some sort of impact.

so, for those who understand the lighting requirements and how it all plays its role with a reef tank, is the above setup a good buy or a waste of money?
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:48 PM   #4
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That will work fine. The reflector is decent, but not the best. I didn't see if it listed the brand ballast or if it's magnetic or electronic. I don't know where you heard a ballast can make a bulb 27% brighter. Some bulbs run better on electronic ballasts while some work better on electronic, but 27% is a little far fetched. You can check Sanjay's Lighting site and compare bulb/ballast combinations. I also didn't see if it mentioned the brand bulb. That is extremely important. You can have 1 250w MH bulb put out 35 PPFD while another can put out 120 PPFD on the same ballast.

There is no real difference between a DE (double ended) bulb or a SE (single ended) bulb except you need a reflector with a UV shield with a DE bulb while a SE bulb has the UV shield built in. They are very similar in price. You can buy good name brand bulbs or cheap Ebay bulbs in SE and DE. You will pretty much get what you pay for. FWIW, I buy the best 175w bulbs available and they cost me $70 each.

If your tank is 4", you need 2 bulbs/setups.
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:24 PM   #5
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I would consider complementing the MH bulbs with two actinic tubes as well.
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:27 AM   #6
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I asked and finally got a reply, the guy doesn't know what the PPFD is on the bulbs but the ballasts are magnetic, encapsulated and very quiet. The bulbs are made by Plus Lighting.

Couldn't find anything relevant when trying to search for Plus Lighting on Google.
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:56 PM   #7
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PPFD (Photosynthetic Photo Flux Density) is not something bulb manufacturers test for or at least make available to the public. You need a somehwhat expensive piece of equipment to test the bulb and get the PPFD.

Magnetic ballasts aren't real loud, but they do buzzzzzzzzz. I could hear mine, so they are in the basement along with my sump. (I like a quiet tank)

Check the link I posted above. You can check the results for many bulbs, but the only Plus bulb that were tested are 175w and they look like they are middle of the road. Not the best and not the worse.
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