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mouscacha
08/14/2007, 08:24 PM
I'm upgrading my tank to a 90 and need new lights for the new investment. I've been doing a lot of research on lighting and it's driving me insane. There are so many different brands/types of ballasts, bulbs, reflectors, kits, and etc.

I'm looking into 2X 250W MH and 2X 48" VHOs. What brand of ballast and bulb make a good combo. As far as price, I'd like to stay below $1,000 for the whole setup. Not sure if that's even possible. Yikes!

--matt

Entropy
08/14/2007, 08:33 PM
Do you want to retrofit or are you looking for plug and play? Either way you can do it for well under $1000, but retrofitting into an existing canopy will be the cheapest (assuming you have a canopy?).

mouscacha
08/15/2007, 02:14 AM
I am trying to retrofit into a wood overhang. The overhang has not been built or designed yet since I don't know dimensions of the equipment.

Anyone have suggestions for a ballast/mh light combo?

--matt

Entropy
08/15/2007, 07:59 AM
I would go with 2x175w metal halides. IceCap ballasts, Iwasaki 15k bulbs, and spider reflectors (or lumenarcs if you can fit them). And then I would add 2x110w VHO actinics. IceCap 660 ballast or a Fulham Workhorse 7 ballast (less expensive) and URI (UVI?) bulbs.

mouscacha
08/15/2007, 02:25 PM
This looks great. I actually saw a kit for icecap ballasts online. I think I'll purchase it that way. Thanks Rich!

DarG
08/15/2007, 03:40 PM
And I would go to 250 watt DE :) The Iwasaki 15000K 175 watt is a great bulb. But, outside of that, the 175 watt bulb selection is nowhere near what is available in 250 watt category. That Iwasaki has tremendous par for it's wattage but that cant be said of all or even most of the 175 watt bulbs. 250 watt offers you more lamp choices for both color and output. The cost is about 150 more watts but worth it in my opinion.

You can do the same thing ... IceCap ballasts as part of a retro in 250 watt versions or buy the components individually.

I have a 90 myself. Going with VHO's as your flourescent lamps you have the space to use good reflectors for your halides so dont skimp there. With a budget of 1000 bucks, you can buy the better components and still have money left over.
I am using 2 x 250 watt DE halides in Lumenmax 3 reflectors on Blue Wave 7 Magnetic HQI ballasts and 2 X T5 (48") with SLR reflectors on IceCap 660 ballast. Installed on an all aluminum, hanging light rack.

RichConley
08/15/2007, 03:43 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10557166#post10557166 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Entropy
I would go with 2x175w metal halides. IceCap ballasts, Iwasaki 15k bulbs, and spider reflectors (or lumenarcs if you can fit them). And then I would add 2x110w VHO actinics. IceCap 660 ballast or a Fulham Workhorse 7 ballast (less expensive) and URI (UVI?) bulbs.

I do not believe that there is a single reflector that I would reccomend AFTER the spiders. Theyre junk.


Run lumenarcs or lumenarc minis.

FWIW, we were doing some testing with the PAR meter in my club, and someone switched from spiders to lumenarcs, and literally had 3 times the PAR. PAR at sand bed jumped from like 93 to 270.

As to VHOs, I dont feel theyre needed.

If you run a bulb like an Iwasaki 15k (and I wouldnt reccomend anything else), that has a legitimate purple spike, you'd be better off with Blue+ T5 bulbs.

The only bulb I reccomend running VHO actinics with is the 250w Phoenix 14k. Its just got such a ridiculous amount of blue, and no violet that you really need them.

DarG
08/15/2007, 04:49 PM
The problem with the Lumenarc mini is at 14.5" square you arent going to have the room to run two T5's with reflectors over a 90 gallon. You've only got about 16.5" internal with the top trim of the tank. With the Lumenmax at 11 or 11.5" you can just get two rows of T5's in to serve as supplemental lighting. Or, two VHO's.

The Lumenarc DE Stealth is 12" x 13" and could work if you cheat a little but even then it really is just too wide. Might just work with VHO's but without reflectors like T5's, pushing them to the edges just makes them less effective.