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Old 11-22-2003, 01:36 AM   #1
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VHO or MH

I have a 105 gallon tank and I am turning my tank into a reef. The Corals are all by the top of the tank and I was wondering should I get VHOs or MH. I mean I have noticed a VHO hood w/bulbs is alot cheeper then a MH hood w/bulbs. Do you think I should just get a MH hood or do you think I will be fine with VHOs. And whats the difference between them?? Please write back with some info. and opinions
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Old 11-22-2003, 05:59 AM   #2
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What kind of corals do you want to keep? Are you planning to try anemones and/or clams? VHO's will be plenty for soft corals and most LPS corals. You could probably keep some of the less demanding SPS in there as long as they weren't too deep although you'd probably be supplying them with barely enough light. What are the measurements on your tank?
Also, buying a hood with bulbs is the most expensive way to light a tank. You can probably DIY a MH setup for less than you can buy a VHO hood.
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Old 11-22-2003, 11:02 AM   #3
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How do I do a DIY MH hood ?? And how much would that cost ? The dimentions of my 105 gall. is 48 1/2 (lenth) 18 1/2 ( Width ) 28 1/2 (hight)

I am looking only into solf corals and Polyps. So if you could. I would appreciate if you wrote back on how to do a DIY MH hood. and the approx. costs. Thanks
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Old 11-22-2003, 08:02 PM   #4
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Well, I don't really have a set of plans. Probably the easiest way would be to build a canopy for the tank and get some MH retro kits. They come with instructions and all the parts you need. Beware that many of them come with 5500k bulbs though...you'll probably want to use at least a 6500k if not a 10,000k bulb.
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Old 11-22-2003, 09:44 PM   #5
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A MH retro DIY will not be as cheap as a VHO retrofit kit already assembled and wired. One bulb of a MH will be more than ALL the bulbs for the VHO kit. IF you want to save $$$ and cant afford a good MH setup i would just go with the VHO's. You would have to run 3-4 MH fixtures or bulbs on that big of a tank, im taking into assumption that is a standard sized glass tank of course. A MH will cover a 2ft x 2ft square about for lighting so you figure the costs out just in bulbs... 8O Thats going to hurt the wallet or purse big time! 8O HTH P.S. you may be limited on corals but the $$ difference is what i take into consideration. Good Luck!
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Old 11-22-2003, 10:25 PM   #6
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We're back to what do you want to keep. If soft corals, shrooms, and maybe some zoos are all you want, then the VHO's are fine. If you decide later that you want to keep inverts with high light requirements, you'll have to redo the whole thing. You can, depending on how much DIY you're willing to do, set up a MH system for a reasonable amount. The only reason I brought this up is I'd hate to see you spend $$$ for a lighting system and then find that it won't do what you want later.
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Old 11-23-2003, 11:09 AM   #7
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Well, I want almost any soft coral. Xenias, Mushrooms, colts, leathers, anemones, feather dusters, polyps, gorgonians, and i like some of the hard corals as well. I dont want to buy a VHO and then find out thats not good enough and then have to buy a MH system. I want to do it right the fist time. I am looking to spend about 400.00 on the lighting if I did a DIY MH. ( this is excluding the price of the canapy). At Aquariam Technology ( a reef store by me ) (2)250 watt MH bulbs is 130.00 . they are 6500 K and then the ballast is 150.00 and the alluminum is 30.00 . What else do I need. Please write back soon. The Tank I have is 4 1/2 ft. long so I figured 2 bulbs would be good . Write back with any additional comments and help me out. Thanks again
-Justin
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Old 11-23-2003, 11:15 AM   #8
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P.S
I hurd that the higher K's you go the more blue they are. I dont want it blue I want it bright.
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Old 11-23-2003, 11:31 PM   #9
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What kind of bulbs are they? (brand name?) 2 MH would be fine for that you will also need a attinic supplement. You wont be able to get a retro for $400 i dont resonably think, maybe 500-600. A 10k bulb will give you a little more of a blue hue which is good! It will blend the lighting in better, and the 6500k will give you a more yellowish look. The bulbs will be the same brightness just spectrum is different.
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Old 11-24-2003, 12:40 AM   #10
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I'm thinking, with the depth of your tank, you'll want to go with 400w MH's. If you want 6500k bulbs, you might look into Iwasaki bulbs and run them on the Advance MV (mercury vapor) ballasts. You'll want to use some parabolic type...also called spider...reflectors instead of flat aluminum. You can add some actinics later to give a more balanced look to the lighting if you want to. I'm thinking you can put a pair of 400w Iwasakis on there and stay very close to if not within your budget. You can also get them in 250w if you decide to go with that wattage.
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