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Old 07-06-2009, 11:21 AM   #1
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MH Questions

Hey folks! We're going to be going the MH route for both our 125 tall (retro) and 100 frag (pendant) and to be frank, I'm clueless. The tank setups on these are a ways off, but there is a group buy in my local club with Ice Cap coming up and I'm trying to figure out if it would benefit me to go ahead and bite the bullet now. Now for the barrage of questions...

Pros & cons of magnetic vs. electronic ballasts? I've read that the mags drive the light harder producing more PAR, but the effect (if any) on bulb longevity seems to be debated.

The Ice Cap ballasts are priced similar to the Blue Waves on www.bulkreefsupply.com. I can't seem to find where I can compare specs though.

Is there anything else that I should be looking at or aware of? Feel free to dumb it down. I am like I said clueless and now scrambling to do the research that I thought I had months to do. I've only dealt with T5 and PC before.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:56 AM   #2
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Electronic ballasts are better IMO for several reasons. 1) they run more efficiently, i.e. lesser operating costs 2) they can work with a wider array of bulbs 3) the ballast runs cooler

Among other things. Both are used heavily in the industry, mag and elec, so really it's just personal choice, either way will work well for you.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:59 PM   #3
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Thanks Neilan! I appreciate the input and your opinion is just about enough to completely sell me. Any experience with Ice caps? I don't even know if they are mag or electronic...
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:03 PM   #4
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Im currently using Icecap 175 electronics on my tank.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:09 PM   #5
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No problems? Happy with them? I kinda need to commit in the next day or two if I go that way. Sorry to put you on the spot, but I trust your opinion. No pressure though. lol
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:49 PM   #6
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I don't think you'll find anyone with bad things to say about IceCap quality.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:54 PM   #7
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Cool. Thanks a ton!
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Old 07-07-2009, 06:16 AM   #8
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Remember the watts thread? LOL. I bought 2 250 w MH electronic ballasts from Ballastwise.com and they ran me $70 a piece the other components i got from Aquacave, I should be getting the delivery within the next couple of days, if you would like i can make a quick mock-up, fire them up and take a few pics and post them for you. I went with the following bulbs Phoenix 250W 14,000K they are said to be the only lamps i would need having a nice blue hue to the light. This lighting thing is a nightmare.
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:52 AM   #9
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It depends on which bulb you plan on using. Some bulbs work better with magnetic ballasts, while some work better with electronic. Some bulbs will only fire using a magnetic probe-start ballast or electronic ballast and not with a standard pulse-start magnetic ballast....so it's usually a good idea to know what kind of bulb you will use. For the most part, an electronic ballast will fire any bulb.

There is very little difference between any of the electronic ballasts. The IceCap ballast is very good, but for $130 (250w) you will not see any noticable difference between that or a $80 (250w) electronic ballast from BallastWise. Check out Sanjay's Lighting site for bulb/ballast performance.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:53 AM   #10
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I am currently running both on my system now. I have two VHO bulbs on a magnetic ballast and two on an electronic ballast. Preformance wise they work the same that I can see.
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