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Old 03-24-2010, 04:58 PM   #1
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Which Metal Halide?

Im thinking about doing a MH retro setup. Just wondering if anyone has a preference on which lamps to use. (150W, 175W, or 250W)
Thanks.
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Old 03-24-2010, 05:11 PM   #2
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Depends on what size tank you want to use. I'm a big fan of retrofit kits, but sizing how much light you need is specific for your setup.

What size tank do you have and what kinds of things are you keeping under the lighting. i.e. is this a FW planted tank, a SW fish only or a full blown reef, what kind of corals? etc.... This info will help us make recommendations for you.
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Old 03-24-2010, 07:47 PM   #3
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+1 for Neilan's comments. How deep is the tank and what do you want to keep? A single MH will cover about a 2x2 area so you would want 2 for a 48" tank, etc.
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:18 PM   #4
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Well its a 130 gallon corner tank, 30 inches deep. Ive started a build thread on it...It came with a retro VHO setup but it isnt going to be enough because of how deep it is. So my plan was to get 2 MH's and keep my 2 super actinic VHO's, just dont know which wattage to get. I want to be able to keep LPS at least, I "could" do without SPS if I have to. Hope I answered all of your questions. Thanks.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:23 PM   #5
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What do you guys think about the light in this link.. 175W Metal Halide Retrofit Kit - Probe Start M57 - eBay (item 270490370480 end time Apr-23-10 10:34:04 PDT)

Could I hook this up to an IceCap ballast?
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:59 PM   #6
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Based on the depth you should be looking at 250w or 400w in MH if you plan on anything near the bottom. 175 should be fine for mid-tank and up.

Believe, me you will want sps in short order. Best to get the best light now instead of an upgrade a year from now.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:09 AM   #7
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Ok, thanks. Will continue to shop.
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Old 03-25-2010, 06:20 PM   #8
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What do you guys think about the ones in this link.
2X250W HQI Metal Halide Aquarium Retrofit Kit E ballast - eBay (item 350332974080 end time Apr-24-10 10:58:36 PDT)

Seems like a pretty good price. You think its a deal or garbage? Also what spectrum of bulb would be good? I like more of a blue look,14k?
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:22 PM   #9
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What scares me the most with that setup is the reflectors and uv shield. DE reflectors are usually closed on the ends so the light is forced down and thru the uv shield. Those look to be open ended and that leads to the possibility of uv radiation shooting out the sides. That may or may not be a problem, but it's something to consider.
The ballasts look like decent electronic ballasts. The bulbs are typical Ebay "cheapies"....not the best, but they should work.
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:00 PM   #10
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Ive been doing some research trying to decide between DE and SE. I have heard that the DE runs cooler than the SE, any truth to that? I also read that the HQI ballasts use more energy. I like the DE because the relfectors are smaller and I dont have much room in my canopy, but dont want to get them if its the wrong move....
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