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Old 09-03-2009, 12:06 AM   #1
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MH Lighting

All, if I go with a 500 watt MH light and use 14,000K bulbs, do I need to supplement with any other bulbs, like the actinic for my LPS and SPS and in the future, clams.

My 115g tank is about 20" deep at the deepest point before sand.

thanks....
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:17 AM   #2
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TOO MUCH LIGHT! Are you trying to bake your fish? Just go with a 150w or a 250w and that should do it. Rarely do tanks need over 250w. Actinics are eyecandy and not required IMO. 150w should be fine though.
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Old 09-03-2009, 01:53 AM   #3
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Okay, but now I am confused. One 250w would be less than the 6X54 T5 I have now. The LFs said I could do many corals but that clams wouldn't do well. What am I missing here?

He said that a 2X250 MH would be nice and then proceeded to tell me to look online as his are too expensive. It's not like he was trying to sell me lights.
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:43 AM   #4
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I believe thominil thought you were talking about a single 500 watt lamp (if I go with a 500 watt MH light and use 14,000K bulbs) and your tank would require 2 lamps so that would be 1000 watts in a 20 inch deep tank, he's absolutely right if that were the case (115 gal of Fish Broth). 2 250's will give you a lot of light @ 20", I have a 120 60 x 18 x 26 with 2 250's & 4 T5HO's which is plenty of light. The actual tank dimensions would be a great help.
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:46 AM   #5
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20" is pretty shallow. You can definitely get by with 175w MH's. How long is the tank? Depending on the reflectors you use and the length of the tank, 2 x 175w should work fine.

On a side note, don't think just because a bulb is a 250w MH it's more powerful than a 175w MH. In metal halide lighting, the output of different manufacturers bulbs vary greatly. For example, a 175w Iwasaki 15k MH bulb puts out almost 2x the PAR as some 250w bulbs.
Here is the ultimate site for MH bulb comparisons.
Manhattan Reefs - Sanjay's Lighting Guide
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Old 09-03-2009, 10:17 AM   #6
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bhammer, I think everyone is poking at a single 500W bulb here. There's several factors to look at. Plus, I'm not even aware that there is a 500W system out there. I know about 400W, and I know about 1000W, but never heard of a 500, but that could be just me.

500W is probably a good choice for your tank, IMO. However, MH bulbs only put out so much of a footprint, so in order to cover your tank you'll probably want to split it between 2 bulbs, meaning you have 2 250W bulbs to create the 500W of total light you're after. Like Larry said, 175s could work as well depending on your bulb choice.

As for needing supplements, I think that's really personal preference. Bluer (higher K) MH bulbs have the blue color spectrums within them, so it's not necessary to have any supplementation, just many people prefer to have it as well so they can create a dusk-to-dawn effect by having the actinics on first for a little while, then the MH, then reverse the order when shutting down for the day.
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:12 PM   #7
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Sorry guys, I wasn't exactly clear. Yes, I am talking about a 2X250 and not a single 500w assembly. The tank is a flat hexagon and the internals, without sand is
Back - 50 1/2
Front - 41
Total width - 21.5
Flat side - 16
Slant side - 7
Depth - 25

I was looking hard at the Current USA SunPod PowerPaq HQI Lamp & Lunar Lights but really like the Outer Orbit Combo units.

becasue of the hexagon, it is difficult to put light fixtures up unless I hang them both. Don't know if the wife would go for hanging lights though.

What lights / setup / wattage would you go with? If not the ones I listed, what do you like?
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Old 09-03-2009, 11:04 PM   #8
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The HQI/T5/lunar unit is a nice fixture from what I have seen. I was planning on getting it for a 150 I was going to get before petsmart sold the 150....May just end up finding another 150 and getting that fixture. Just a little pricy lol. May sure you have the wattage to support that beast though, sucks up 6.2amps and don't forget about the other equipment that will be running too.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:35 AM   #9
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Darn, I am having a hard time finding the T5/MH combo unit online... I will have to continue looking. Most places show them as disconinued? Spoke to marinedepot and they said they were as well...

Yup, the draw on these things is a bunch. I'll have to double check but think I still have about 3.6 amps / 432 watts to spare. Have to make sure I plug any other outlets on that breaker.

I am also looking at doing two units as a backup:
48 inch Current USA SunPod 2x250W 14K HQI-MH w/ 18 Lunar Lights
48 inch Current USA Nova Extreme 4x54W T5HO

I may even go down to a 2 bulb fixture as this setup may be about 1/2 too big. I just can't make up my mind.


Same amount of light, but at a much cheaper price.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:53 AM   #10
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I had to add two additional dedicated lines for my reef setup. Better safe then sorry. I only needed one additional line but the same effort to run two. Now I wished I had run three.
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