Facebook
Twitter

Utah Reefs Homepage
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Getting ready to buy
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Getting ready to buy

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
Angel View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
Avatar

Joined: February 02 2006
Location: Neutral Zone
Status: Offline
Points: 695
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Getting ready to buy
    Posted: March 09 2006 at 10:25am

I am getting ready to buy the lights for my new 90 (48"x18x24).  As you know the lights are a big investment and one I want to do right the first time. 

I am thinking of 2 t5s http://store.yahoo.com/lamps-now/48aqt5dolist.html and one 250 watt PFO MH balast with aluminum casing http://www.hellolights.com/pfo25mhba.html

I plan on having a rocks on either side (one nearly to the water level) of the tank with a channel in the middle.  I'd put the MH over the tallest rock pile and grow high lights there and on the other side grow LPS and softies.

So, before I sink in the $$, I'd like some opinions.  You all have been so very much help in getting me set up in this reef- generous in giving me starts and patient in advace.  I do not think I would have been successful (or at least would have been much poorer) without this group!

Connie
Tooele
Back to Top
pmpt View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
Avatar

Joined: May 12 2004
Location: Saratoga Spring
Status: Offline
Points: 1319
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pmpt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2006 at 10:28am
I know its more expensive, but I'd do two MH light's. Especially on a 4' long tank. I think you'd be happier in the long run.
Back to Top
Rocky View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
Avatar

Joined: November 12 2005
Location: Russian Federation
Status: Offline
Points: 420
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rocky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2006 at 11:19am
I would also go 2 MH, I am planning on puting dual 400W MH and 2 ea 110V Super Atintic VHOs on my 90 for a total of 1020W(11.3W/Gal)...hope I don't get sun burned
Rocky Phillips
Hill AFB, Utah

Currently Tankless :(

Back to Top
sshm View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
Avatar

Joined: November 11 2005
Status: Offline
Points: 771
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sshm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2006 at 11:48am
Angel,
I would reconsider your decision. Those t5s are not HO T5s, I am of the opinion that the T5HO justify the expense, if they are ordinary T5s then all you get is about an inch width of space per T5 bulb.. The PFO ballast is great, since you are getting only the ballast, I assume you already have the cords, bulb and housing for the bulb? If so, then your plan is good in getting that ballast.
Also, are you going to build a canopy and house everything in it? If yes, then I'd just get 2 250w ballasts, 2 250w bulbs and sockets from hellolights or some other parts place and rig up the canopy. You'd save a lot of money that way and you can customise your lighting as well, as in you can go with different color bulbs and tweak the placement of the bulbs as well. Then you can either get the actinic from the MH or just get a actinic VHO setup.
If you are thinking of getting a complete hood plug and play fixture, without any diy'ing necessary and if you want it cheap then I'd suggest to buy used. I think, as someone already pointed out, its better to spend some time and money before buying something to save money, because in the end you might end up having to let go of what you bought for a lot cheaper and then buying something you really need, you end up spending more that way.
If you could just detail once again what your plans are, we could come up with more definite answers. For example, are you looking for a plug and play fixture? Are you going to build a canopy? Do you have a lighting preferance (I prefer T5HOs over MH)? How much are you willing to spend?
Back to Top
ryanj View Drop Down
Guest
Guest


Joined: January 22 2005
Status: Offline
Points: 333
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ryanj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2006 at 12:43pm

Connie,

I have that exact size tank.  I have two t5 bulbs as supplemental lighting (sunlight supply tek t5's) and two 250W HQI pendants (aquamedic oceanlights with 14K bulbs)  The supplemental lighting is a must because it just adds to the light and brightness of the tank.  I wouldn't get just one MH though.  I had a bulb burn out and for a week I only had one MH on the tank, it was way too dark on the other side.  It was like light and day, and not very pretty.  It would look really wierd if you had one MH on one side and none on the other.  And if you put a MH right in the middle of the tank, then the brace would cast a huge shadow. 

I have heard good things about PFO, just keep in mind that you have to buy that ballast, the bulb, a reflector, and a socket for the bulb.  you are probably going to spend as much money on all that as you would just buying a ballast and a pendant together.  the MH I have comes with ballast, pendant, and bulb for $279.  They aren't cheap.  If you are ever down here in Utah County feel free to come see my tank.

Ryan

and eveything sshm asked would be nice to know. 

Back to Top
Angel View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
Avatar

Joined: February 02 2006
Location: Neutral Zone
Status: Offline
Points: 695
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2006 at 5:35pm

Well information and imput is what I want - even if it puts me back to the drawing board.  I knew I'd have to buy the bulb and the reflector for the PFO but I hadn't taken into consideration a socket. 

For a while I was looking at the plug and play coralife with the VHO's and the MH's but after consideration I thought I could DIY it cheaper and leave more room for options as I went along. 

I can see what you mean that the tank might be lopsided or shadowed by just having one light.  I guess I'll control lighting with depth. I don't feel like I have to have SPS - I do love the LPS and softies.   

I'd buy used if I can find just the right lighting for my needs.  Is there another place to look besides here?  (I'm never sure what I'm getting into with ebay because i don't know manufacturer names very well. 

I have decided to have an open top - no canopy - so a pendant would work for me.  In the plan above, I had been going to put the tubes and MH's and on a top plank with front flashing so that the lights aren't beaning the viewer in the eyes.  (then I thought I could do something decorative so it didn't look rough)

I don't have a lighting preference because I lack the experience.  sshm what do you like about the T5HO over the MH?  I do know that the bulbs are cheaper!

Amount to spend.... well the plug and play coralife is about $850 for 175 watts and much more for 250s (and it seems that the price has just increased by $100 while I've been considering it).  While plug and play is an attractive itea, that price really gives me pause - I'm thinking that is more than I can spend.  So, the more affordable it is, the better (got to feed the fish after all) but yet I don't want to go so cheap that it isn't adequate either. 

Other questions?  Ideas? 

Connie
Tooele
Back to Top
Rocky View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
Avatar

Joined: November 12 2005
Location: Russian Federation
Status: Offline
Points: 420
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rocky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2006 at 5:39pm

Connie,

You might PM NITRO, I know he has dual 250W MH that he isn't using, maybe he'll want to part with the.

Rocky

Rocky Phillips
Hill AFB, Utah

Currently Tankless :(

Back to Top
Angel View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
Avatar

Joined: February 02 2006
Location: Neutral Zone
Status: Offline
Points: 695
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2006 at 5:41pm

Sure, I'll ask!

Connie
Tooele
Back to Top
ryanj View Drop Down
Guest
Guest


Joined: January 22 2005
Status: Offline
Points: 333
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ryanj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2006 at 5:51pm
You can get two Aqua medic Oceanlight pendants with 20K bulbs for around $500 to $600.  Talk to steve Burton too, he can get good deals.  (Burton Marine)
Back to Top
Angel View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
Avatar

Joined: February 02 2006
Location: Neutral Zone
Status: Offline
Points: 695
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2006 at 5:54pm
I'll look at that.  The Hello lights site has a DIY retrofit kit that will get 2 long VHO and 2 250 watt MH in a reflector with cords for $545.
Connie
Tooele
Back to Top
sshm View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
Avatar

Joined: November 11 2005
Status: Offline
Points: 771
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sshm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2006 at 7:47pm
Originally posted by Angel Angel wrote:

  sshm
what do you like about the T5HO over the MH?  I do know that the bulbs
are cheaper!




Angel,
First of all let me just say that you are already doing things right, it is
important to research before buying and I am happy to give my opinion
on the T5HO. There are many who still swear by MH and it has been tried
and tested as far as intensity levels go and their ability to grow polyps
that were unthinkable a few years back. The downsides to the MH bulbs
that I consider are that they are almost a focussed source of light, they
produce a lot of heat and their efficiency is low compared to T5HO bulbs.
I wont comment on the downsides of MH but I'd rather comment on the
+s of using a T5HO fixture. First, they produce a lot less heat, if the
ballast is remote from the hood even more so. That means less heat you
need to take out of your tank, so a chiller need not be necessary. With a
tank length as yours, the T5HO bulb will be 54w, if you can cram even 6
of them, thats more than 300watts. This may seem to be about 200w
short of 2x250w MH fixture however, the penetration of the T5HO is
comparable to the MH if the T5HO comes with a decent reflector. If
your goal is not to keep some crazy signature series SPS which will RTN if
a snail sneezes in the sump then you are good to go with 6x54w T5HOs.
Moreover, if you go with 6 Giessemann aquablue lamps, then you can
probably even keep some really cool SPS as well, and you will get a crisp
bluish-white color. The best actinic you can get will be from a VHO bulb,
nothing comes close. However, if you go wiith the aquablue which is 40%
actinic and puts out light which has an additional peak at the 420nm
range, you wont need actinic supplementation. Moroever, the phosphors
used are stable in these bulbs so you will only need to change bulbs at
about 2 years of use.
To summarize, the T5HOs cost less to run, offer almost the same PAR
(photosynthetically active/available radiation) as MHs, give out less heat
and last longer.
Here a few good options if you go T5HO:
DIY project:
link
This is an awesome deal, because for 150bucks, you get 2 54w T5HO
lamps (choose giessemann aquablue), a ballast, all wiring and most
important the Tek individual reflectors (these can really concentrate and
punch the light down). You can easily put in 6 bulbs so thats 3 sets of
everything you need and free shipping - $465 shipped, for 324w total of
T5HO.
If you dont want to DIY and want a cool looking fixture:
link
This has a single reflector, I dont know how good that is, but I assume
there will be some restrike from the adjacent bulbs which may increase
the heat somewhat. If you go for this I'd reccomend the 3-3 option of
midday-aquablue, the middayy is 6500k which is about what corals at the
top of the reef get (i.e. most shallow SPSs), but the 6 aquablues is always
a good option.
If you really want to keep SPS:
link
thats an 8 light fixture. Its about 19" wide so it will overshoot your tank
by 1".
A cheaper (though not as good looking) option than the above would be
this:
link
Go with the no bulb option, so it would cost 260 and still be free
shipping. Then choose 8 aquablues at almost 27 each, thats 216 and also
free shipping. so thats less than $500 in total. This fixture will be 21"
wide, and not as cool looking as the tek.
I hope that others will advise you on the merits of MH (never used them)
over T5HO so you can make a decision that suits you best. I have gone
with T5HOs over my 20gH tank and all the SPS I have have kept their
color, except a monti cap that bleached from the light.


Edited by sshm
Back to Top
dadofrad View Drop Down
Guest
Guest


Joined: December 21 2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 179
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dadofrad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2006 at 8:44pm

You are more than welcome to come see my aquarium if you would like. I am running my t5's on an IceCap which overdrives the lights and makes them even brighter. I am running 2 aquablue and 2 10k. I love the set up and will be running t5's on my new aquarium.

My current light fixture is extremely rough. I had someone offer to buy my aquarium 1 week after getting the t5's, and haven't finished a hood.

Back to Top
Angel View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
Avatar

Joined: February 02 2006
Location: Neutral Zone
Status: Offline
Points: 695
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2006 at 8:56pm
Wow!  Thank you for the valuabel and well thought out imput!  I am going to seriously consider the T5HOs. 
Connie
Tooele
Back to Top
Mark Peterson View Drop Down
Paid Member
Paid Member
Avatar

Joined: June 19 2002
Location: Murray
Status: Offline
Points: 21431
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2006 at 9:22pm

Lighting is not just about keeping and growing coral. In many cases it's not about saving $$ either.  Some people like the look and shimmer of MH. Others like the look and color of VHO. Both lighting types grow the most difficult coral, SPS. I've seen some T5HO setups. They are bright and economical and certainly an option that is worth checking out. I have no doubt that they are more light for the dollar, but still, there is one light way cheaper than that. Nothing compares to the color, shimmer and economy of using the actual sun.

Call around and check out the lighting options of people that have posted here and I'm sure that, in the end, if you are human, you will have something you like for about a year.  

Reefkeeping Tips, & quick, easy setup tricks:
www.utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9244
Pay it forward - become a paid WMAS member
Back to Top
Mark Peterson View Drop Down
Paid Member
Paid Member
Avatar

Joined: June 19 2002
Location: Murray
Status: Offline
Points: 21431
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2006 at 9:26pm

What if those T5HO lights were called HOTS.

Get it? The 5 could be drawn like an S.

Reefkeeping Tips, & quick, easy setup tricks:
www.utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9244
Pay it forward - become a paid WMAS member
Back to Top
Mike Savage View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
Avatar

Joined: July 15 2005
Location: Murray
Status: Offline
Points: 19165
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Savage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2006 at 10:20pm

Originally posted by Angel Angel wrote:

I'll look at that.  The Hello lights site has a DIY retrofit kit that will get 2 long VHO and 2 250 watt MH in a reflector with cords for $545.

And the BIY (build it youself) kits are 10% off for the month of March.



Back to Top
ryanj View Drop Down
Guest
Guest


Joined: January 22 2005
Status: Offline
Points: 333
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ryanj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2006 at 2:04am
Back to Top
Angel View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
Avatar

Joined: February 02 2006
Location: Neutral Zone
Status: Offline
Points: 695
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2006 at 9:02am

Ryan,

It took me a minute to realize that article was current with this discussion!  That is very informative and right on the money here.  That certainly seems to again point this lighting away from MH's!  I will have to look more carefully at what kinds of lighting that the LPS and softies like and will keep in mind to stay away from the more aggressive corals.  Maybe I'll make a list of the more aggressive corals to consult when my eye gets caught by that pretty frag in the window!

Mark, you may be right about changing in a year (I'm already on my third round of different lights and my third tank if we consider the FW planted).  I'd hope I could find something that will last longer than that!  The tank I put the PCs on is in a west facing bay window.  I will have to control heat vs lighting with the individual louvers. 

 

Connie
Tooele
Back to Top
xokay View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
Avatar

Joined: January 05 2006
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 100
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xokay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2006 at 10:26am
Originally posted by ryanj ryanj wrote:

You should read this:

http://www.marinedepot.com/FORUMS/Topic28421-14-1.aspx

"Right now, I am looking into utilizing several plasma cutting torches mounted above my aquarium.  They give off a nice bluish flame and such intense light"

: )

W Jordan
55g
3-5" DSB: Fiji Pink, Reef grade, oolitic, crushed coral
80# LR/LBTR
4x65W pc /LunarTracker
w/ window light
30g Sump/2xRefug RD vho
CPR skimmer Mag 3 return
undersand SCWD w/ Mag 7
Back to Top
Angel View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
Avatar

Joined: February 02 2006
Location: Neutral Zone
Status: Offline
Points: 695
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2006 at 4:49pm
Yup, that was the way I was going to go too.  After all it was reccomended by the experts.
Connie
Tooele
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.125 seconds.