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Old 02-26-2006, 12:54 AM   #1
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MH or VHO

my tank size is 48 x 13 x 19. from what i know one MH bulb will spread up to 36" wide tank maybe even less. VHO lights are available in 48" witch would dispense light evenly through out the entire tank. should i go with one 250W MH or 3 VHO at 110w each? this will be a DIY project due to budget i cant get both... not now anyway.. im going for a soft coral tank.. so what do you think?
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Old 02-26-2006, 10:46 AM   #2
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I personally am in favor of the VHO, but many people will tell you that MH is "more penetrating". (I think that a good reflector behind VHO foccuses the light just as well.) If your tank has a center brace, you would need two MH fixtures, so the expense of the project really goes up there. If you're on a tight budget, look at bulb replacement costs as well as initial setup.
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Old 02-26-2006, 02:13 PM   #3
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Thanks dskidmore.. im leaning more for the VHO... from what i know they will penetrate 19" no problem and since i plane on soft coral only.. i dont think that will be an issue. Any suggestions as to what spectrums to use? will heat be less or more? thanks
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Old 02-27-2006, 09:58 AM   #4
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VHO produces less heat if you use an electronic ballast rather than a magnetic one. You do however need the higher grade end caps for VHO, as the bulbs are somewhat hotter than NO bulbs. You also have the option of mounting the ballasts somewhere besides the hood and running the wire harness up to the hood.

Many people are in favor of a split of half antinics, half sun/daylight bulbs.
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:12 PM   #5
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If you are only wanting softies, than VHO is really all that is needed for your tank.

I assume the 48" measurement is the length of your tank? If so than one MH bulb has about a 24" radius of even light output. So for a tank your length, two MH bulbs would be in order if you decided to go that route.
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