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Time to revamp the lights and I need some advice

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Joined
Jun 8, 2004
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South Florida
This is my current setup over my 180 g:

3 x 175W pulse start MH, two long and one bubble shaped on a 3 in one ballast

2 x 48" Coralife 40W 03 actinics

I have had the tank since April 1st and have no history on the bulbs, so I assume it's time to change.

I would like to increase the light without having to change the existing ballast, so I am thinking of adding two VHO's or alternatively replacing the the Coralifes aswell thus adding 4 VHO's.

I currently do not have any SPS and I am not planning of concentrating on them either, maybe a few of the hardier species in the future.

What are the suggestions to do this without spending an arm and a leg??? I do not like the yellowish tint my bulbs have at this time, I'd rather have crisp white and blue. Also, is there an advantage having the bubble shaped buld versus the skinny ones?

I found these http://www.insidesun.com/index.php?...=14&prevstart=0 $ 30.00 and free shipping, anyone has any experience with them?

Thank you for any help and suggestions.
 

mojoreef

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Hiya Speckled. with the bubble shaped bulb I would imagine that would be a 55K so I can understand the yellow.
I would suggest going with some iwasaki's for replacement bulbs. Thye give you the most intencity for your dollar in the 175 watt zone.
For adding lights I would go with a ice cap 660 ballast but I would run the T5 lights on them, I have found them to be alot brighter hen the equivilant vho style bulbs.


Mike
 

mojoreef

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Speckled you can go 10k if you wish but I think the 65K will give you more intencity for the tank. I know the iwasakis are fairly cheap to

Mike
 

Rob Schwartz

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Hi Speckled,

I agree with mojo, the 6500k will give you better coral growth and intensity. However if the yellow does bother you, then these might not be for you without increased actinic supplementation (Which you already have so maybe that's moot). the downside with the whole "K" rating is that it's truly a personal preference! I'm not sure who makes the bulb that you have posted, but the price is certainly nice!

Like you when I first got into halide lighting, the pricing really threw me for a loop, and when starting from scratch it makes it all the harder. In my case I use the 10k Venture bulbs which as a beginner suit me fine. I might try to experiment this next go around with the iwaki's or Ushio's.

Good luck!

Rob
 

Katchupoy

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Is that right? CRI=65? Are we suppose to look for higher CRI's?

What about those XM bulbs from hellolights? does anybody know theCRI's of those bulbs? or even the ushios?
 

Rob Schwartz

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Sorry Cesar, I'll defer on that one...I've not gotten that technical (yet)!

But my understanding is the lower the "K" rating, the better the growth (and yellow colour), to a point anyway. the higher the "K" rating, the bluer/whiter the light but that it can impede growth as compared to the lower ratings. I have read and reviewed a variety of lighting charts that seem to explain this far better than I can, but apparently that's the long and the short of it!

Perhaps someone else can offer a better explanation.

Best,

Rob
 
Joined
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For that $ 30.00 price and free shipping, I think I will try one and see if I like it. I want a bit more light for the tank but throwing out the whole set up is not in the budget right now, since I also have a Berlin skimmer to replace in the near future......sigh...
But what about the supplemental lighting, I looked at T5's and a setup with ballast and 4 bulbs seems to be in the 400 dollar range. Any less expensive suggestions on that? May be 4 VHO's?
 

Katchupoy

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Hi Rob, Sorry to confuse you. I was referring to speckedgrouper link. And on that link, it has the specs of the $30.00 MH bulb. And it has 65 CRI.

Rob, you are right about the K. And adding CRI data on the same K bulbs when comparing is another step towards knowing which is more efficient. From what I've gathered that 100 is the sun's perfect CRI, bulb manufacturers are trying to mimic this CRI data.

Hi speckled. I know that 30 dollar is really hard to beat. But a little bit more for the XM10K 175 bulb maybe a good thing. From the data that was gathered from other forum, XM bulbs are comparable to expensive bulbs like USHIOs and ABs.

About supplemental lighting. I added Workhorse ballast and 3-24" VHO bulbs for under 100 dollars. Thats 225 watt additional lighting. I think thats the best suggestion I can give you.

35 dollars for the ballast.
20 dollars for the VHO bulbs.

You can even go 2X96 watt for one workhorse 7 ballast. Thats 75 dollars per set. And 150 dollars for 4 bulb setup. I dont think thats a bad deal. What do you think?
 

Rob Schwartz

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Hi Cesar,

Thanks for the clarification and content, that makes a lot more sense to me and helps with my own plans!

Great ideas on the supplemental lighting as well, I might have to also try that.

Best,

Rob
 

Jeff

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Covington, WA
On a 180 I would strongly consider getting a T5 set up with the sunlight supply reflector. I've got an IceCap 660 with 3 5' T-5s and reflectors and it is pretty bright. Running 250 AB10ks and the T-5 actinics I am able to grow SPS on the sandbed of a 28" tall tank. I know that you are not doing SPS, but you get so much more flourecing with actincs. On the IceCap 660 you are getting around 300+ watts of actincs lighting vs. your 80w of NO actinics. I think that this will make a huge difference in whatever halide bulb you chose, but almost necessicary if you go with the Iwasaki(the brightest). This will cost about 300-400 depending on where you buy it.

If you just want to increase intensity without added cost then Iwasakis are the way to go. But, they do have a yellow cast.
 

kylem

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Mar 22, 2004
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You should try the 14k bulb....they give the same light spectrum as a 10k but give a high peak in the blue spectrum...not as high as the 20k but very sufficient. The end result is a white light that is a little bit blue but no where like the 20k blue. The growth rate for corals I think is optimum at 14k and is pleasant to look at.

Check them out it may be worth your time. In my opinion I think they are going to be popular and replace the 10k. I don't know how long they last comparatively speaking because they are new.

I think Hamilton is making them.
 
Joined
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Hi Cesar,
I think that is a perfect scenario, $ 150.00 for a 4 bulb setup sounds great. So that would be two workhorse 7 ballasts and 4 bulbs, right? You wouldn't happen to know of a online vendor that has this configuration at a decent price?
 

Katchupoy

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I bought my workhorse7 from wannareef (hes a regular here, from oregon). You can also buy this one which similar... http://www.hellolights.com/22elarovhoba.html

I bough mine individual parts then install it myself on a DIY hood.

I dont know if this will interest you. Since you are already in the vicinity of $150.00.

Why not sell your 175 then buy this one... http://diyreef.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=39&products_id=176...

Or sell the three then buy two of these... 250WATT HQI for $225.00
http://oceanencounter.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc


These are the best prices so far I see out there... Guys, if you see a better deal than this one.... let me know.
 
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BCT182

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mojoreef said:
Hiya Speckled. with the bubble shaped bulb I would imagine that would be a 55K so I can understand the yellow.
I would suggest going with some iwasaki's for replacement bulbs. Thye give you the most intencity for your dollar in the 175 watt zone.
For adding lights I would go with a ice cap 660 ballast but I would run the T5 lights on them, I have found them to be alot brighter hen the equivilant vho style bulbs.


Mike

I would agree with Mike.
I have two iwasaki 65k 175 watts on my 50g. I had one in one socket and one 10k ushio in the other, the 65k has a slightly less blue tint, BUT still no yellow cast. I added 2 55watt actinic's as it brings out the purple and greens better, but those bulbs are well worth the money all the same. I would recommend them over the ones you had a hyper link to. I got them at blue sierra, I think they are $79each
Good luck
Brett
 
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Messages
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South Florida
Well, this is what I think I'll do:
Custom Aquatics has the Icecap 660 ballast with 3 x 60" bulbs complete kit for $ 286.90 and Hamilton 14k's for $ 59.99 ea, that would give me a total of 985 Watts for round about $ 450.00
Hellolights has the ARO Ballast with 3 x 60" bulbs etc for $ 250.00 and 175K Ushios for $ 65.00 ea, so the whole thing is about 5 bucks less.

Katchupboy, the link you gave me to hellolights, the kit came to $ 93.00 each, I would need two and they only take 48" bulbs.

Ice Cap seems to have the best reputation, I think I might just go for that and be done. What do you guys think??????
 
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