View Full Version : Lighting 65: 2x250w MH + Actinics too much?

08/13/2007, 08:34 PM
I'm in the midst of purchasing and planning for a new 65g saltwater reef. I'm currently hoping to get some feedback on lighting for the tank. I'm looking to, in the end, house a community reef with anemones, LPS, SPS, and soft corals; some of everything. I've decided that I want Metal Halide (14K or 20K) for the look and power and that I'll supplement the MH with actinic T-5s.

Here's my story. I came across a used PFO HQI 250w pendant with electronic ballast that was in pretty good condition for a good price. I thought "this would be great over the tank with a T5 actinic on either side". Now comes the embarrassing part. I forgot that my tank will have a center brace and I don't want to mod it with acrylic or remove it entirely. So, I guess I need another MH. (darn, right. :) But my wallet shook in fear)

My question is then, if I want to stick with MH and actinic T5s, do I get a second 250w MH pendant and ballast? Do I sell the 250 and get two 150s? Do I get a 150 and run the 250 + 150 + actinics? I want to make sure that I don't have too much light and I'm a little concerned about heat. Any other options or ideas you have are greatly appreciated!

Thanks for reading and responding!

(P.S. - Hi! This is my first post after months of lurking and reading these forums. I've enjoyed every bit so far and you all have no small part in my current 65 endeavor.)

08/13/2007, 09:20 PM
Since it's your first post...

<img src="/images/welcome.gif" width="500" height="62"><br><b><i><big><big>To Reef Central</b></i></big></big>

As for the 250w halides, you'll get a lot of opinions but I personally think they're overkill. Sure, you can run them but how high will they have to be to overcome possible heat issues? The higher up they are the less PAR in the tank.

So, you're other option, 150w is fine but I think you're limiting yourself in blub selection that way. 175w SE will give you a lot of options, won't waste unnecessary energy, and hopefully won't cause a heat issue. Use a good reflector (Lumenmax 2 for your tank would be a good choice) and an electronic ballast and you'll be all set.

That just my opinion of course. :) Good luck!

08/13/2007, 09:55 PM
i run 2x250w over my 50g sumpless chillerless tank,,, my tank has not gone over 82all summer.

08/13/2007, 10:25 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10547806#post10547806 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by GSMguy
i run 2x250w over my 50g sumpless chillerless tank,,, my tank has not gone over 82all summer.

WOW! How cold do you keep your room? You have fans I assume? Pics?

Anyway, barring heat issues I think adding a second halide would be the way to go. If you are going to sell the 250w and go for something else, I would suggest 2x175w SE with Iwasaki 15k bulbs. Nice color, excellent growth. And then add your choice of actinics (I suggest URI super actnics).

08/14/2007, 08:35 AM
I have basically the same setup on my 76.
I started with a single 250 pendant then added a second to give me coverage on the other side of the braces.

I needed to go with a chiller once the second light was added. even keeping the house at 73 degrees I would hit 82 to 85 in the tank.

I'm much happier now that I hooked up the chiller. I removed all of my fans and get a lot less evaporation.

Also I can let my house get hotter when I'm not home without any worries of boiling my tank.

08/14/2007, 08:39 AM
I had a 2 x 250 watt hqi setup over my old 65 gallon. Keeping the room at 70 and having fans blowing over the top should control the temp. I eventually switched over to two 150 wat hqi's and thought it was a better set up in general. I think 250's are overkill for such a small footprint.

08/14/2007, 06:50 PM
I've got 2 175 watt halides, and a 96 watt actinic on my 46 gallon with 2 pumps and a 2 powerheads in he water with an average temperture of 78 and a hight of about 81. The room temperture is 78F.


08/14/2007, 09:03 PM
Thank you! Great feedback. I'll be replacing the 250 with a pair of 150 pendants. I'm going for low(er) heat but lots of light. I think given the rest of my setup that this will be the right combination.

And thanks for the welcome!

08/15/2007, 12:59 PM
I have a 2x150w Sunpod on my 65 and have great growth with my SPS.
I had read that with a 24" deep tank you need at least 250w, but I think my tank is proof. I dont keep any high light corals at the bottom, so its not a problem.
Heat is an issue with even the 2x150w, so I have my lights on at night, and still need a fan. Plus, I keep my AC at around 72.
Good luck!