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lighting for SPS and clam tank

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Johnny

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Joined
Jan 26, 2004
Messages
51
Location
Meridian Mississippi
I am having a tank built, the size is 60 long 19 wide 20 high.

I am not sure what I want but I do know I want some SPS and a couple types of light demanding clams. My question is should I buy 540 watts of VHO for the tank of should I buy 2 175 watt MH and use the 2 55 watt PC I already have? I so not want to go higher than 175 watt because of heat and power consumption.

I plan to buy Ice Cap ballists to reduce power consumption if I do go with MH. Are there worth the extra money?(will it save on the power bill)
 

MtnDewMan

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Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
2,290
Location
Mukilteo, WA
If it were me, on a tank that size, I would go with 250W MH bulbs instead of 175W bulbs. I never have liked the 175 for some reason, I think the SPS would appreciate the 250s much better. I would definately supplement with some actinics, I prefer the VHO variety.

Just my opinion
 

reedman

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Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
3,255
Location
Mukilteo, WA
I think most people are 12 - 18" off the water surface. It all depends on how lucky you feel and if you have fish that splash. a splash of water will shatter the bulb (ask Mojo :)). The other factor is the heat. If you are using fans to cool you may need to be a little higher off the surface than if you are using a chiller.
 

Mushroom Boy

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Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
251
Hi Johnny.

I have a tank that's basically the exact same dimensions you're looking at (mine's 60x18x20). I'm running 2x250w 10k AB and 2x140w actinic VHO's. All on IceCap ballasts. I have a variety of SPS, LPS, softies, rose BTA's and 3 clams (2 maximas and one squamosa - all on the sandbed). I've been very happy with this setup (as have all of my animals...).

Having said that, I used to run this tank exclusively with VHO's (5x140w 3 50/50 and 2 actinics). This was a great setup for LPS, softies and highly placed clams, but I didn't get much SPS growth at all until I made the switch.

Personally, I really like the 10k AB 250's driven by the IceCap. I'm really pleased with the color and would recommend this setup.

FWIW, HTH, YRMV :D
 

jazznreef

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Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
219
Location
Seattle/Magnolia
I have 1 250 watt 10 k japanese single ended and 1 250 watt 10 k HQI double ended AB. both are driven by Ice caps. I really prefer the single ended and will get rid of the HQI. the bulbs lose it earlier, are more expensive and have more yellow IMO. i recommend going single ended and get the japanese bulbs.
 

Johnny

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 26, 2004
Messages
51
Location
Meridian Mississippi
Thanks for the great replies. Since you have been there are the Ice Caps worth the money and would you do anything different as far as ballast if you could do over?
 

jazznreef

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Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
219
Location
Seattle/Magnolia
I like the new IceCap MH ballasts. They are versatile, compact, low heat producing, quiet, etc. they do cost a bit more but i think that's outweighted by a strong brand that holds its value well and has excellent repair service. every dealing i've had with ice cap has been very good. they really stand behind their products. i;'ve never done a direct comparison with other ballasts on power consumption or impacts on corals but you should be happy with the ice caps never the less.
 

Johnny

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 26, 2004
Messages
51
Location
Meridian Mississippi
Since I already have the 2 55 watt PC what color temp MH bulbs should I run or do I just bite the bullet and buy VHO to supliment.

I cannot tell you how much it helps hearing from someone with a similar situation.
 

Mushroom Boy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
251
Hey Johnny.

I personally have never had PC's on my reef. I don't like the color. If I were allowed to spend your money :), I'd go with the VHO's. IMO, it's hard to beat the 10K AB/VHO actinic combo...
 

frag hoochy

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
9
lighting

Johnny,
I also am not a fan of the pc color, I think Saltwater citys display has 3 vho act and 1 250 10k mh. I am going to go that way on my 75 gallon the vho alone is ok but the sps are struggling plus the you can't beat that cool shimmer of the halide. I think you would be happy with the 10k, the 65k tends to be fairly yellow.
 

Johnny

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 26, 2004
Messages
51
Location
Meridian Mississippi
Cool, thanks for the help, its hard choosing the right temp bulbs because there are not many people around here have tanks set up that use MH, so I have nothing to compare.

The plan right now is 2 250 watt 10k bulbs and the actintic VHO over the main tank and the 2 55 watt PC over the sump.
Now save money!!
 

Ed Hahn

Life is A Highway...
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
3,955
Location
Kennewick, Wa
I run two 250 Watt MH bulbs only on my Tank. I have other lights but do not use them. I run a Hamilton 14k and a Coralvue 15K. I like the mix of Blue. I have a T maxima that is growing quite well, and my coral is doing pretty good too( acros, montipora digita, and capricornius, poclapora,stylophora, hypnophora, zoos, Zenia, two type of hammers, etc). I hope this helps?;)
 

frag hoochy

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
9
where to buy

what exactly are you looking for most of the places have ballasts and bulbs. I bet some of the sponsors do. And I know of a couple other places to.
 

reedman

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
3,255
Location
Mukilteo, WA
Johnny,

I got one of my 250W setups from www.oceanencounter.com

here's what they have going now...

250 Watt 10K Combo
IceCap 250 watt Metal Halide Ballast
(New style Electronic Ballast Will run any 250watt bulb) + Aqualine "AB" 250 watt 10,000K Metal Halide Bulb $179

You will still need a reflector and socket. I got these from www.hellolights.com

hope it helps
-Reed
 
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