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Old 08-18-2011, 02:39 AM   #1
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Who has MH light experience?

I have a "new" 150w HQI MH fixture that I got on ebay for $250 delivered. Looks like a decent fixture with the 150w 15000k MH, two 96w PC Actinic bulbs, 8 blue LEDs and a built in fan. Separate cords and switches for each light.

The MH bulb that came with it stopped working after about 10 days. It would light up for about 20min to two hours then shut off. The seller said it was a bad bulb and would send me a new one (still waiting three weeks later...). I went out and bought a made in japan Phoenix 14000k 150w DE MH bulb off Amazon for $45 and installed it. Worked fine for 10 days... today it will not light up. When I hit the switch on the ballast, about 3 seconds later the inner bulb glows for about 2 seconds and then goes out. I also tried the original bulb that came with it with the same results. WTF? Is this bulb bad too? Is the ballast making the bulbs go bad? Is the ballast bad (which is what I am thinking)?

Anyone with MH light experience that can give me advise?

Another issue is that two days ago one of the PC actinic bulbs stopped working after exactly 1 month of running the fixture. I had noticed that it was dimmer, but thought they might be a 420 and a 460 actinic. Nope, just crap bulbs. I switched the bulbs around so I know it isn't the ballast... Again the guy promised to send me a new bulb, but after the MH not working again today I think I am going to return the fixture... I only have until Aug 22 to file an ebay case and told him I had to have the new bulbs by this Saturday. But now I don't think just bulbs will fix it.

It's a shame as it was a nice fixture for the price. But if I have to add a MH bulb($45), two PC bulbs ($64) and a new MH ballast ($150) I probably could have got a "name brand" fixture for the same $500...

So should I keep it or send it back and buy something else?
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:32 AM   #2
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Also, if I get another fixture, should I go for a 4x39w T5 HO (I have a wavepoint 36" T5 4 bulb I can use) or a 6x39w T5 HO (Nova Extreme Pro T5) set up? What will keep my corals "happy"?

My tank is 33 long x 18" tall x 17" deep (front to back). ~47 gal + HOB fuge full of Chato, Remora skimmer, Magnum 350, and chiller. ~50lbs live rock and 20lbs crushed coral.

Corals:
Cauliflower coral (3 stalks)
Green Frogspawn (6 heads)
Pink Hammer (4 heads)
Green Torch (1 head)
Red Montipora (4" diameter)
brown/green button polyps (lots)
Devils hand leather (big)
4 colors of Zoas (5"x5" colony)
ricordia
red mushrooms (lots)
green spotted mushrooms (many)

Fish:
Atlantic blue tang
Lawn mower blenny
Percula clown
Engineer gobie
Neon blue cleaner gobie
Yellow clown gobie
Green clown gobie
Royal Gramma
Dottieback
Spotted hawkfish
(seems like a lot but I stick with smaller species)
+ snails, hermits, 2 emerald crabs, a large brittle star, a pepermint shrimp and some asterina stars.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:26 PM   #3
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Sounds like a bad MH ballast. I would send it back and get a refund if you can.

With the corals you have, a 6 bulb T5 fixture should be fine.

The Atlantic blue tang is not a good choice for your tank. It will get way to big for it.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:53 PM   #4
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Sounds like a bad ballast.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccCapt View Post
Sounds like a bad MH ballast. I would send it back and get a refund if you can.

With the corals you have, a 6 bulb T5 fixture should be fine.

The Atlantic blue tang is not a good choice for your tank. It will get way to big for it.

Thanks. I'll see if they will send me a new ballast. I like the fixture but it has to be reliable...

As for the Tang, I didn't know Tangs needed so much room until I started reading on the BBS. He was in my 38 gal for about 6 months before I upgraded. Now he swims laps around in the new tank. I will probably get rid of him for a dwarf angel like a Potters or a Flame angel. I want something with good colors and that will swim around. Most of my fish sit on the corals/rocks and don't move around much (the clown stays on one end of the tank).
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:03 PM   #6
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So much great information that I never would have found on my own. Thanks!
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