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View Full Version : The Right Metal Halide for Me



keyozoxmfc
01-28-2007, 05:39 AM
hello all!
well i have been thinking about upgrading to metal halides....maybe when i can get a job:fingers: and i was just wondering if there is kinda something general for me?
i have a 50 gallon tank that is 36 wide,15 deep, 20 tall. i would probably go for 10000k halide and PC or VHO actinics. how many bulbs do i need? wattage? retro? hood? pendant? is it hard to make canopies for a retro? basically anyhting about halides for my tank would be great! sorry if these answers are have been told manytimes, and i by all means please give me links to wherever these answers are!

gwen_o_lyn
01-28-2007, 06:23 AM
Hi Mark,

What kind of corals are you planning to keep? If you want mostly SPS then you may want at least 2 250's. My concern is for the electric bill- are the 'rents ok with an increase?

Does your tank already have a canopy?

keyozoxmfc
01-28-2007, 06:33 PM
well i probably wouldnt get anymore corals. so it would be LPS and zoos and mushrooms. ehh i wouldnt want too much of an electric bill increase. so far my parents havent mentioned it being too high. i was thinking maybe one of those coralife retro kits that use 280 watts. and i dont currently have a canopy and iwould probably end up building one

graveyardworm
01-28-2007, 09:03 PM
There's no real need for halides for what you want to keep, If its your desire to upgrade then T5's would do the trick, unless your dead set on the MH shimmer. Dont forget also that halides come with issues like heat and perhaps higher energy bills depending on wattage.

Also in your case where your using tapwater Halides tend to intensify issues related to tap use like nuisance algae growth. The best investment you could make at this point is is a quality filtration unit for your tap.

keyozoxmfc
01-29-2007, 12:36 AM
hahah okay. i know just for reference for me though

graveyardworm
01-29-2007, 12:22 PM
Just for reference I would think 175 watts would be sufficient for what you intend to keep. Looking at your tank dimensions a single bulb might do it but would likely fall short at the ends with alot of shadow. 2 would light things more effectively. 250 watts would be alittle on the high side but would still work fine. Again a single bulb would likely fall short on the ends, but with the extra wattage you could possibly raise the bulb up a bit for a little better coverage, still there would be shadow.

Rob
01-29-2007, 12:53 PM
i agree MH lights aren't "required" but it woudl be my choice to use them

as for the size, sicne the tank is rather shallow being only 15" deep, you would probably be fine with 2 250 or 175 watt bulbs.

i have 2 250w bulbs over my frag tank, and have found it to be a tad much, but thats just my experience

lReef lKeeper
01-29-2007, 06:15 PM
i would personally go with 2 175w halides on a tank that shallow. that way you would have a more lit tank AND a little bit of a smaller electric bill. you could keep anything in a tank that shallow with 2 175w halides. this is my opinion and just for a tank the size of yours.

keyozoxmfc
01-29-2007, 07:31 PM
well i am thinking of maybe doing clams in the future. my LFS has small maximas for 25 which seems reasonable to me. now i hope you guys didnt get confused..its 15 front to back and 20 TALL. just to make sure. cause i had read that 18inches then you need halides or something along those lines. is the coralife 36 in retro kit with the 1 150 watt hqi and the 2 65 watt actinics any good? but yeah i will definitely get the RO thing first

graveyardworm
01-29-2007, 07:49 PM
I dont believe the single 150 watt would be enough for a clam on the sand at 20 inches deep. If the clam could be placed higher up on the rockwork then it would possibly be okay. For a clam on the sand in 20 inches of water you'd be best to go for the 250watt.

The rule of thumb as I understand it up to 18 inches 175 is okay, up to 24 inches 250 is okay, and over 24 inches then 400 is okay. Thats just a basic rule and doesnt take into account for particular livestock and placement.

keyozoxmfc
01-29-2007, 07:51 PM
so does 150 watt hqi any stronger than a 150 single ended? is it safe to put a clam higher up like that? cause i do see many in the sand. and would i have to move my other corals down if i were to upgrade the lighting?

lReef lKeeper
01-29-2007, 07:54 PM
i agree with David, i dont think that 1 150w would do the trick for the clam. 2 150w MAYBE. 2 175w definately.
if you only go with 1 halide, you will probably have a dark side on each end of the tank, that is why i would recommend 2 halides.

lReef lKeeper
01-29-2007, 07:56 PM
a 150 DE is a little stronger, but not strong enough for a clam IMHO.

what corals do you have right now ??

the LPS's that i think you have will be ok, if you acclimate them right.

keyozoxmfc
01-29-2007, 07:57 PM
so i am guessing it would be better to build the system from scratch then? because most that are made for 36 in tanks on have 1 halide. and also is there a certain amount of actinic lighting i need? hhahah sorry im really gettting into this for someone who cant now, but i just like to plan ahead a lot =) thanks for your time!

graveyardworm
01-29-2007, 07:57 PM
Its gonna depend on the clam some prefer to be on the rocks, and will develop holdfasts to secure themselves there. I dont think your gonna find a huge difference between a 150 DE and a 150 SE, but I cant say for sure.

You would definately need to acclimate the corals to the new lighting. This is pretty easy to do. What I did was place a piece off eggcrate (light diffuser panel) over the tank, then on top of that I laid several layers of fiberglass screening every few days I removed a layer of screen until it was all gone.

keyozoxmfc
01-29-2007, 07:59 PM
ohh that sounds like a good idea. where do i get fiberglass anyway? is it expensive?

lReef lKeeper
01-29-2007, 08:05 PM
screen is fairly cheap at any hardware store.
as for actinics, you should do those to what you prefer to look at. most of the time they are not nessecary, but done for "looks" of the tank.

CarmieJo
01-29-2007, 08:53 PM
I only have PC's on my tank but I thought those lights like Mark is talking about had the MH in the middle and the PC's were 36" long. If so and all he wanted that was high light was a clam wouldn't it be OK to put the clam under the MH and his other corals under the PC's? And would that setup prevent shadows on the ends?

keyozoxmfc
01-29-2007, 10:11 PM
lol wow that sounds like a complicated hood set up

graveyardworm
01-30-2007, 12:54 PM
lol wow that sounds like a complicated hood set up

Actually many of the preassembled type hoods for MH contain some sort of actinic lighting as well. Whether its PC, VHO, or T5 doesnt really matter for actinics, but you could always switch out the actinic bulbs for something in more of a daylight spectrum. This could atleast help reduce the shadow from poor MH covereage. My 90g reef has dual 250 watt MH and 2 110 watt VHO's and I still have noticeably lower lit areas where the MH doesnt quite get to.

Reefbaby
01-30-2007, 01:11 PM
I would suggest mixing the MHs with T5 actinics. You'll get more bang for the buck - the T5s are much more energy efficient.

And I agree with the others - with a 20" depth, I would opt for 250W of MH.

NeO
01-30-2007, 03:34 PM
Do you have any plans to upgrade the tank in the future ?

I would go for 2 250MH single pendents and couple of actinics if you decide to go with VHO or even T5 you can get a Icecap electronic ballast that way you can upgrade your tank lets say to a 4' tank without buying any new lights for the new tank.

Gustavo

keyozoxmfc
01-30-2007, 05:08 PM
ohh yeah will most likely upgrade sometime in the future. so i understand now about the MH lighting on only certain spots. seems to me as if VHOs or T5s are more expensive than PCs?

iglowce
01-30-2007, 05:34 PM
are u thinking of adding actinics too? or just MH?

keyozoxmfc
01-30-2007, 05:37 PM
probably a combo of both

NeO
01-30-2007, 06:02 PM
ohh yeah will most likely upgrade sometime in the future. so i understand now about the MH lighting on only certain spots. seems to me as if VHOs or T5s are more expensive than PCs?

Yes and No, for a VHO and T5 you are looking some ware around $220 and $150 for PCs (Remember that I'm talking about retrofit kits here, and not full assembled fixtures.)
You make up the difference in couple light bulb changes, VHO and T5 last longer then PC. Up to 1 year for VHO, up to 18 months for T5 and maybe 6 months for PC. and the prices are pretty similar.

Gustavo

keyozoxmfc
01-30-2007, 06:19 PM
ohh okay thanks for clearing that one up ! and VHOS take up less space maybe?

NeO
01-30-2007, 06:32 PM
No, VHOs are T12 with is 1.5" dia. T5 are 0.75" dia if I'm not mistaken. so you will have more space if you use T5.

keyozoxmfc
01-30-2007, 06:57 PM
ohh i meant in compared the PCs, but yeah okay

graveyardworm
01-30-2007, 07:32 PM
No, VHOs are T12 with is 1.5" dia. T5 are 0.75" dia if I'm not mistaken. so you will have more space if you use T5.


The digits behind the T represent how many 1/8's diameter the bulb is. So a T12 is 12/8's or 1 1/2". Likewise T5's are 5/8's

keyozoxmfc
01-30-2007, 08:25 PM
ohhh thanks! i never knew what that meant.

does anyone know what the difference between the magnetic and electronic ballasts are? and then the difference of pulse probe etc start?

graveyardworm
01-30-2007, 08:41 PM
Electronic ballasts run cooler, are more energy efficient, are newer technology, and probably last longer.

The pulse or probe start has something to do with the way the ballast fires the bulb. Not eactly sure myself though.

keyozoxmfc
01-30-2007, 08:50 PM
so electronic ballast is the way to go i am assuming

Rob
01-30-2007, 09:45 PM
all on ballasts
http://www.talkingreef.com/forums/podcast-episodes/2786-lighting-part-4-reflectors-ballasts-podcast-episode-80-a.html

NeO
01-30-2007, 10:43 PM
The digits behind the T represent how many 1/8's diameter the bulb is. So a T12 is 12/8's or 1 1/2". Likewise T5's are 5/8's

There you go!!!
Thanks, we learn new things every day.


Gustavo

keyozoxmfc
02-23-2007, 03:07 AM
alright after some dicussion with rob...looks like t5 ho actinic and one 10000k and then either 2 150watt hqis or 1 250 watt hqi? any suggestions?