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Thread: Mh lighting for 130gal tank

  1. #1
    nursing eel
    darklcd's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
    Thunder Bay
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    Mh lighting for 130gal tank

    Good day all

    I need a little help here with my lighting. I am an “old school” kind of person and I am wondering what I should do for lighting over my 130gal. It’s 72” long by 18” wide by 24” deep and I am wondering if I can get away with 2 250 watt metal halide bulbs or if I should go with 3.

    I am looking at either 2 36” fixtures with 1 250 watt mh or 1 72” fixture with 3 250 watt bulbs. Both have t5s and night lighting as well.

    I am trying to keep the cost down where I can and I know that with lighting more is usually better but I am wondering if 2 bulbs would work as the cost difference is a good size.

    Any info anyone has would be appreciated

    Thanks again
    Reef tanks are like a fine wine....time is everything

  2. #2
    Owner / Administrator
    Scooterman's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
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    I had two 250w Mh on my 5ft tank, it left shadows in areas when the light did cover. I guess it depends on how high you mount them and what type of reflectors you use. Now cost wise, I'm not sure If you could get LEDs and be as good on price or not, these days the cost should be about the same if not better.

  3. #3
    RF Staff
    spieszak's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
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    Leds more efficient, produce less heat, and the boxes now cost less than replacing bulbs.
    I've got nothing against old school, but at some point, it costs more and introduces more problems to be on the trailing edge

    Two 32 inch basic lights would cover your tank, and the sb lights are backed for 2 years. The lights tend to last longer, but....

    549.90 2 32 in sbreeflights
    -389.94 3 250 watt Ushio replaced yearly for two years not even considering ballasts and reflectors
    159.96 (which is less than the 194.97 replacement cost for year 3)

    No worries about power outage restarts, or tank heat.. no white gloves for handling bulbs, less money dished out monthly on the power bill.

    Halides are great, and if you have the ballasts and reflectors already, I'd go with 3 250's, but man, its really hard to make an argument for them other wise.
    30 gallon nem tank /60 gallon softie tank/75 mixed reef /5 gallon pico (work tank)
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