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Trevor W
07-11-2014, 11:49 PM
I'm looking for advice and some direction on choosing a metal halide set-up for my tank.

I have only ever used t5's and I have seen my fair share of leds from Vertex to AI. I have obviously never used MH and I am really wanting to try them on my new tank. I just don't know what would be my best options with MH's.

First I'll give some specs on my tank that is being built.

36"L x 24"W x 18"H Rimless

I plan on hanging whatever fixture I go with. I also wouldn't be apposed to building a small floating canopy to hide the reflector and or t5's.

Maybe MH might not be the best option for this tank but I have no idea so I'm hoping that some of you guys might be able to either point me in the right direction or help me move on to other options if MH's just don't suit the tank.
Also as a side note I plan on hanging the lights around 12" from the top of the water if I do go with MH.

Some of my questions are:

* which is the better choice HQI or Mogul?

* what size bulb/ballast? 250W?

* would it be better to try and find a fixture that MH/T5 combo or go with a floating canopy with a single pendant and a couple retro fit T5's?

* besides the buy/sell section (which is mostly flooded with leds) what would be some good places to source all the components or possible fixture?

Lets party like it's 1999 :mullet:

reefwars
07-11-2014, 11:50 PM
reefbrite hybrids!!!

:mrgreen:

Trevor W
07-11-2014, 11:55 PM
Hey Denny,

Have you seen the reefbrite hybrids in person?

I have seen a couple pics online but couldn't find any Canadian sites with pricing or specs.

reefwars
07-11-2014, 11:59 PM
Hey Denny,

Have you seen the reefbrite hybrids in person?

I have seen a couple pics online but couldn't find any Canadian sites with pricing or specs.

no i havent but will shortly as i think dave is going to try a few out at the shop:mrgreen::mrgreen:

in theory you cant go wrong but i would like to see them in person , if dave grabs some ill let you know how they look.


if you need or want a hybrid let me know as dave can get them in easily enough and i can find a price for you as well:)



cheers

denny

Trevor W
07-12-2014, 12:09 AM
no i havent but will shortly as i think dave is going to try a few out at the shop:mrgreen::mrgreen:

in theory you cant go wrong but i would like to see them in person , if dave grabs some ill let you know how they look.


if you need or want a hybrid let me know as dave can get them in easily enough and i can find a price for you as well:)



cheers

denny

Very interested on seeing what you guys think of them. When you find out pm me the price please.

Aquattro
07-12-2014, 01:18 AM
For a 36" tank, a single MH is pushing it unless you get a great reflector and hang it higher. 12" would be good, but at that height, I'd go 400w (personal taste). I'm currently building a floating canopy/light box that houses my gear, using a flat panel mount to "float" it.
Adding supplemental T5 would also work well.

xenon
07-12-2014, 01:21 AM
We use ReefBrite Hybrids on our SPS coral bed and love them.

I would also recommend the 400w. Unfortunately, it won't spread the full 36". Even at 30" its pushing it.

apexifd
07-12-2014, 01:21 AM
For a 36" tank, a single MH is pushing it unless you get a great reflector and hang it higher. 12" would be good, but at that height, I'd go 400w (personal taste). I'm currently building a floating canopy/light box that houses my gear, using a flat panel mount to "float" it.
Adding supplemental T5 would also work well.

if there is 1200w radium… you will probably use that too

Trevor W
07-12-2014, 02:12 AM
For a 36" tank, a single MH is pushing it unless you get a great reflector and hang it higher. 12" would be good, but at that height, I'd go 400w (personal taste). I'm currently building a floating canopy/light box that houses my gear, using a flat panel mount to "float" it.
Adding supplemental T5 would also work well.

We use ReefBrite Hybrids on our SPS coral bed and love them.

I would also recommend the 400w. Unfortunately, it won't spread the full 36". Even at 30" its pushing it.

Thanks for the input guys!

So besides going with a 400W what else would you guys suggest?
I'm completely ignorant to Halides.

Would you guys suggest using 2 pendant reflectors @ 250W each or would you still go with 2 @ 400W each?

Also is there any reflectors that you would suggest for me to try and find?
Any places you suggest I try and source everything?

Or perhaps a better question is;

"If you were to start from scratch with halides with a tank of my dimensions what would you personally go with?"

reefwars
07-12-2014, 02:20 AM
At 18" 2 x 250w is more than enough :)

xenon
07-12-2014, 03:25 AM
We use six 400w fixtures over one of the 4'x8' coral beds and six 250w over the other 4'x8' bed.

You can barely notice the brightness difference but that may be because our tanks are only 13" tall. :lol:

davej
07-12-2014, 03:32 AM
Not sure if this fixture is what your looking for but I'll throw it out there.
I have a Current 24" 250 hqi fixture with 4 x t5 bulbs and led moonlights.
All the bulbs were replaced early this year and I also have a brand new Phoenix 14,000k bulb. Let me know if your interested

13022

Aquattro
07-12-2014, 04:08 AM
Not sure if this fixture is what your looking for but I'll throw it out there.
I have a Current 24" 250 hqi fixture with 4 x t5 bulbs and led moonlights.
All the bulbs were replaced early this year and I also have a brand new Phoenix 14,000k bulb. Let me know if your interested



Probably one of the better options, and a good bulb.

Trevor W
07-12-2014, 05:40 AM
Not sure if this fixture is what your looking for but I'll throw it out there.
I have a Current 24" 250 hqi fixture with 4 x t5 bulbs and led moonlights.
All the bulbs were replaced early this year and I also have a brand new Phoenix 14,000k bulb. Let me know if your interested


Thanks for the offer Dave!

I'm still researching and am a little ways away from pulling the trigger on anything, but I may just message you and see if you still have it when it comes time to commit to something.

kien
07-13-2014, 04:07 PM
I'm a huge fan of combo fixtures too and that one davej has looks AWSOME and is one I would use. In fact, when I started I had their 48" model and loved it! Now I have a 72" combo fixture :-)

Myka
07-14-2014, 02:33 AM
I like T5s on a 36" tank. That's what I have on my 50 (36x18x18") and it does quite well. It has everything from softies to SPS in it.

davej
07-14-2014, 08:35 PM
Not sure if this fixture is what your looking for but I'll throw it out there.
I have a Current 24" 250 hqi fixture with 4 x t5 bulbs and led moonlights.
All the bulbs were replaced early this year and I also have a brand new Phoenix 14,000k bulb. Let me know if your interested

13022
Just a heads up if you were leaning towards my light.
It has been sold.

pinkreef
07-14-2014, 11:46 PM
I have a fixture that has two 250w MH and 2 actinic t5s
my tank is 4 feet and i think 20 inches tall. I like the combination and wattage. MHs get hot and 2 400w on your tank will be more light than you need I think. :idea:

cblair
07-19-2014, 12:50 AM
I have a metal halide fixture and a t5 retro coming in as we speak. I plan to run a 250w radium on my pfo hqi ballast with two t5 and two 12" diy rapid led strips both with royal blue and 410nm uv. Should be a nice mix using all three light styles and my tank is 30x24x24

StirCrazy
07-19-2014, 01:12 AM
ok, I am going to go a bit different, by not recommending 250 or 400, but rather find a bulb you like the look of first.

with the reflectors now days both will give you almost the spread you need, but if you have nothing on the sides then you don't need 36" coverage.

but seriously at 18" tall you don't need 400watts, the only reason to go to a 400 watt fixture would be if you like the look of the radium bulb, and even then you can have a darker radium or a lighter radium depending on if you run it on a normal 400 watt MH ballast or a sun agro ballast which used to be incorrectly called a 400 watt HQI ballast

my personal favorite was the Aqualine Buschke 250 watt 10K , but it is a SE bulb. I think it could be got in DE but the SE had a higher output. combine this with two URI super actinic VHO bulbs and you had a beautiful ice white color with lots of pop. weather you not you can still get these bulbs in Canada or not I don't know.

Start by looking at pictures of MH lit tanks and see what there using for there lighting equipment, find a look you like and go that way for bulb and equipment.

Steve

Trevor W
07-19-2014, 03:28 AM
Wow, thanks for the feed back!!!
I really do appreciate all the help and advice. Still completely undecided on what route to go. I have been looking at so many different tanks with so many different lights my head is spinning hahaha.
although still not ever owning mh I really don't know just how much heat they throw or how much power they use. Changing bulbs is not something I have an issue with. However the heat and excessive power consumption are things that concern me. Especially the heat, and even more so that I have never been around a mh set-up so its kind of a gamble that I still don't know or have experienced these things.
Anyone in Sask specifically in the Moose Jaw/Regina area that are reading this and running halides that I could checkout their tank?

Aquattro
07-19-2014, 03:30 AM
that I could checkout their tank?

That's really the best thing to do. No matter how I adjust a photo, I could never show what my tank really looks like in person.

Trevor W
01-01-2015, 08:59 PM
Anyone have experience with either the Lumenmax 2 or the Lumenmax Elite reflector?
Just looking for opinions on either reflector.

I have a 36x24x20 tank and was thinking of using one 250W se halide over top of a centered shallow aquascape. Or possibly using 2 if it is just too shaded on the sides.

Aquattro
01-01-2015, 10:14 PM
I have a similar style reflector. Well, 2 of them. Over 40x30 foot print, well spread out across the area. If I had reduced the landscaping, I might have been able to use 1. Running 400w though.

Sebae again
01-01-2015, 11:22 PM
I would go with a single Lumen Bright reflector in the larger size with a 400 watt mogul. You can grow anything with that and even with a higher K bulb.

Myka
01-01-2015, 11:47 PM
Hey Trevor, you still don't have lights?

If you really want halide (over t5) my suggestions are, if you use one bulb is to go with a 400W mogul as you get better spread with a mogul and the 400W will allow you to hang higher for better spread too. If you go with two bulbs I would pick 250W mogul bulbs because you can mount the 250W lower to get the best PAR to the corals, but still get the spread for the 24" width. The LumenMax are about as good a reflector as you can get as far as spread goes, so that's a really good option for the single bulb setup.

As far as bulb choices go, I would go with a Radium for the 400W and Phoenix for 250W. You can tweak the color produced by careful choice of ballast. The Radium bulb is actually a 360W bulb, so you can pick a ballast that puts out this amount like a Blueline "400W" electronic and you will get a bluer look. If you like whiter, you can overdrive it with an HQI ballast that will power it around 440W. The PAR will be relative to the watts put into it, but with only 20" depth I don't think you will need to worry much. For the Phoenix the same applies, use a 250W electronic for a bluer look (almost like Windex lol) and a 250W HQI if you like a whiter look.

Trevor W
01-02-2015, 01:15 AM
No I don't have lights still piecing the last few things together.

After finally getting my house sorted out due to the long crappy story of why I had to shut my previous tank down which turned out to not be an issue with my tank but rather a issue with the plumbing in my home, I was then away alot for work this past summer and just put the tank on the back burner till now.

Thanks for all the info. I was planning to start with one reflector with a mogul base and get a 250W/400W multi setting ballast.

So I am guessing that regardless of if I go with the Lumenmax 2 or elite I should be getting close to the same coverage from each. I have also read that the elite can be bad for spotlighting when compared to other reflectors.

From what I can tell these are the only reflectors that I can find forsale online here in Canada jl was carrying the hamiltons but everything says backordered so i assume they just dont carry them anymore. So it looks like ill be going with goreef and one of the reflectors and ballast combos. Just not sure which one to get.

http://www.goreef.com/Metal-Halide-LumenMax-2-System-250W-400W-Mogul.html

OR

http://www.goreef.com/Metal-Halide-LumenMax-Elite-System-250W-400W-Mogul.html

H2o2
01-02-2015, 04:40 AM
JLs can still order u those Hamiltons as Jeff just brought the Bimini 150 w DE in for me for my nano that I am building . Its says backorder so they don't carry the inventory

whatcaneyedo
01-02-2015, 07:05 PM
If what they say is true about the phoenix bulbs I wouldn't be making any long term decisions based on them. I quite like my LumenMax 3s which I have been using for several years but lately I've been wishing I had 2s so that I could try out Radium bulbs.

TimT
01-02-2015, 08:47 PM
Here is an article on some reflectors.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2009/1/review

I use both the LumenArc 3 and the LumenBright 3 in 4' wide tanks. I prefer the LumenArc 3 as the spread is better. If I was doing a 3' x 2' tank I would do a 400 se in a LumenArc 3 with a couple of T5HO or LED strips at 24" above tank.

The ReefBrite Hybrid looks interesting as well but I don't think you would get enough spread for a 36" long tank with a single one. I think 2 x 250w would work well in that tank but it depends on your budget and monthly power bill etc.

Cheers,
Tim

Myka
01-03-2015, 01:08 AM
The LumenMax are about as good a reflector as you can get as far as spread goes, so that's a really good option for the single bulb setup.

I use both the LumenArc 3 and the LumenBright 3 in 4' wide tanks. I prefer the LumenArc 3 as the spread is better.

After reading Tim's reply, I realize I mentioned the wrong name. I must correct myself - I meant to refer to the LumenArc reflectors, not the LumenMax. LumenArc are about as good a reflector as you can get as far as spread goes, so that's a really good option for the single bulb setup. :redface:

Fwiw though, even without the best spread, you may still be happy as not even species needs really high light.

Aquattro
01-03-2015, 01:10 AM
My 180 had 2 lumenarc, 1 lumenmax, didn't notice any real difference.

Trevor W
01-03-2015, 03:38 AM
JLs can still order u those Hamiltons as Jeff just brought the Bimini 150 w DE in for me for my nano that I am building . Its says backorder so they don't carry the inventory

Thanks for the info!

If what they say is true about the phoenix bulbs I wouldn't be making any long term decisions based on them. I quite like my LumenMax 3s which I have been using for several years but lately I've been wishing I had 2s so that I could try out Radium bulbs.

Yea I was really leaning towards mogul based reflectors so that I could try a wider variety of bulbs.

Here is an article on some reflectors.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2009/1/review

I use both the LumenArc 3 and the LumenBright 3 in 4' wide tanks. I prefer the LumenArc 3 as the spread is better. If I was doing a 3' x 2' tank I would do a 400 se in a LumenArc 3 with a couple of T5HO or LED strips at 24" above tank.

The ReefBrite Hybrid looks interesting as well but I don't think you would get enough spread for a 36" long tank with a single one. I think 2 x 250w would work well in that tank but it depends on your budget and monthly power bill etc.

Cheers,
Tim

Thanks for the link. I have seen lots about the LumenArc and LumenBright reflectors but have yet to find somewhere that supplies them in Canada.

The Reefbrite hybrids are really nice fixtures!

Trevor W
01-03-2015, 03:45 AM
[/I]Fwiw though, even without the best spread, you may still be happy as not even species needs really high light.

Yea I have seen a few tanks where they only used one halide and although it wasn't extremely dark on the edges it gave the aquascape a really appealing look. So I had it in my head to try it out but I didn,t want it to be really dark and have a really harsh spotlight effect just a more subtle fade if that makes sense.

Trevor W
01-03-2015, 03:52 AM
Well this overdrawn thread can now be laid to rest!

I got a good deal on a used 36" Current USA Outer Orbit with 2x 250W DE Halides and 4x 39W T5. Fixture is still in great shape and was reasonably priced.

Aquattro
01-03-2015, 04:16 AM
Well this overdrawn thread can now be laid to rest!

I got a good deal on a used 36" Current USA Outer Orbit with 2x 250W DE Halides and 4x 39W T5. Fixture is still in great shape and was reasonably priced.

Find some Phoenix 14k bulbs and stock up!! :)