Metal Halide Lighting

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Mar 17, 2004
Columbus, OH
I'm also new to the hobby and hopefully will be starting up a 72 gallon bowfront reef. I've been told that Halides are the way to go if I want to have hard corals etc... I know very little about MH lighting. What brands are good? What does it involve? I'd appreciate info on the subject. Thanks! Oh and for a skimmer.... What are people's opinions about Euro Reef skimmers???


Est. April 2nd, 2005
Mar 2, 2004
Granite Falls, Wa
Me too!

My questions are:

1) I’ve got a 60” tank. I know the rule of the thumb one halide per two feet, but what do you do if you’re dealing with a 5 foot tank?

2) I’ve heard/read that you should lean towards the blue spectrum. Mr. Delbeek said that he uses 10K. What about you guys? What spectrum do you use? 6,500? 20K?

3) Some one ed-u-ma-cate me on ballasts please! Are Icecaps really all that and a bag of chips? And what the heck is a ‘pulse start’ and how does it help my SPS’s?

I think that should cover it for now! Thanks again guys!

Trevor :cool:


Sep 1, 2003
West Seattle
1) I think you could get away with 2. You may have some darker areas on the ends but you could put low light corals there.

2) Generally speaking... the lower the Kelvin the better the growth. You will get excellent growth under 6500k but it may not be that great to look at. Alot of people, myself included, go with a combination of 10k and some actinic supplementation.

3) Ballast... oy!!! Where to start. IceCap's are great ballasts, no doubt. Pulse start is a term used with magnetic ballasts. Basically it's just how the ballast fires your bulb and will have nothing to do with your SPS.

Hope some of this helps.


Well-known member
Sep 22, 2003
marion in
ok heres what im running, i have a 120 gal reef tank 48x24x24 and i'm running 2 xm 10k metal halides/ plus 4 03 actinc power compacts to supplement the blue spectrum and really like the look myself, some may not but thats all personal prefference in my opinion. metal halide bulbs dont just come on they come on slow and then get to their brightest output in a few minutes. do some reshearch on metal halides and look at what others are running on a tank simalur to yours and decide whats best for eye appeal. hope i helped some and good luck to you both:)
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