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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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Old 03-27-2010, 08:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
I have heard that the DE runs cooler than the SE, any truth to that?
No. There is no difference in heat output between same wattage bulbs. A 250w SE and 250w DE will put out the exact same amount of heat.
Quote:
I also read that the HQI ballasts use more energy.
Yes, a HQI ballast is magnetic and they overdrive the bulbs and use more power. The ballast in the package you linked to has electronic ballasts. They will fire the same bulbs as a HQI ballast, but not overdrive the bulbs and not use as much power.
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:02 PM   #12
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coralvue vs icecap

Thanks for all of your advice! I have decided to stay away from the cheaper units. I'm going to buy from a more reputable company. Deciding between coralvue and icecap retro fits. Coral vue is 30 bucks cheaper per set. Is icecap worth the extra $$(I need 2 sets)
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:49 PM   #13
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Do you have a retro kit in mind? For the most part, there is very little difference in performance among electronic ballasts. More important is a good, quality reflector. I suggest you look into Lumenarc Mini reflectors. They aren't cheap, but they are well worth the money.
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:09 PM   #14
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This is what I had in mind..
IceCap 250W Double EndedHQI Metal Halide Retro Kit - AquaCave

They come with a regular parabolic reflector. I really shouldnt upgrade to the LumenMax Elite..:| Already spending way too much money on skimmer and pump........Will those work "ok'
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Old 03-30-2010, 02:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgc0286 View Post
This is what I had in mind..
IceCap 250W Double EndedHQI Metal Halide Retro Kit - AquaCave

They come with a regular parabolic reflector. I really shouldnt upgrade to the LumenMax Elite..:| Already spending way too much money on skimmer and pump........Will those work "ok'
I think the setup on the link you put above will be fine for now. Then like ccCapt said, look into the reflectors because they help a bunch. But you can make due for awhile until you are ready to spend more money on reflectors. I have the reflectors which ccCapt mentioned above, Lumenarc mini, and I think I paid aroud $115 each. So they are pretty expensive.
What made you decide on DE? I went with SE because the bulbs are much easier to change out and they have their own UV protection. But you can't go wrong either way SE or DE are both good. Did you decide which bulb you are going with?
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:03 AM   #16
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Like Ryan said, that setup will work fine. The reflectors aren't the greatest, but they will work. I would also suggest the same setup, but the SE version. You have a little bigger choice of bulbs in SE when you need to replace them down the road. Besides the selection of bulbs, there isn't much diff between the 2 using their standard reflectors.
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:15 AM   #17
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Iam not dead set on the DE, the reason Iam leaning in that direction is because the DE parabolic reflectors are smaller and I have a limited amount of space in my canopy. If I get the DE I will go with the Pheonix 14k, SE maybe the CoralVue 14k.
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:21 AM   #18
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Well if you do go with the DE, you picked a good bulb.
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:24 AM   #19
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Like Ryan said, that setup will work fine. The reflectors aren't the greatest, but they will work. I would also suggest the same setup, but the SE version. You have a little bigger choice of bulbs in SE when you need to replace them down the road. Besides the selection of bulbs, there isn't much diff between the 2 using their standard reflectors.
I think this would be the SE version. Is the "Spider Reflector" that much bigger? I didn't read dimensions IceCap 250W Metal Halide Retro Kit with Electronic Ballast - AquaCave
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:31 AM   #20
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Those are 5 inches wider, which is where Iam hurtin on space. I would have a hard time fitting my super actinics with those...maybe do able though..

You dont like the coral vue lamps?
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