View Full Version : icecap/metal halide help please

08/19/2013, 07:58 PM
in an effort to start my very first saltwater tank i have purchased a 75 gallon aquarium with all pluming/equipment needed to get set up off of craigslist.

after i got it all home and took a better look i ran into a problem immediately :sad2:

it came with 2 250w metal halide fixtures (not sure what brand) with 2 250w icecap ballasts..... now, being new to saltwater i have never dealt with metal halides or ballasts and i have absolutely no clue how to wire the ballast to the lights. i have never done any kind of wiring.

i have tried researching it but have not found much useful information. can someone with a little experience here please help? i need detailed instruction on how to connect the ballasts to the fixtures and a power cord, and what kind of wire will i need?

08/20/2013, 07:36 AM
I would suggest consulting an electrician, though it is not a difficult job, if all of the parts are there, it is one that has the potential to be a problem if you do not know what you are doing. If you can post pics of what you have, I will be able to at least tell you if you have everything you need, and possibly help in setting it up.

08/20/2013, 06:27 PM
here are some pictures, i seem to have all the necessary cords but the power cord is a tad bit torn up and i would like to replace it somehow. the other wires appear to be in decent condition. but if i were to replace them what kind of wire would i need to purchase?

here is one of the lights... no idea what kind, no brand name on them or anything.

and heres the mess of wires


08/20/2013, 06:46 PM
Your reflectors are not aquarium related items, they are outdoor flood lights, while they will light up, they are not exactly a proper reflector though people have used them in the past. The wiring for power is cut off extension cords which will work. The rest of the wiring is easy, the other two leads coming from the ballasts go to the lights, there is no wrong way to wire them.

If it were me, I would replace all of the wiring as well as the reflectors. I tend to not trust other people's wiring and the reflectors are a poor substitute for a good reflector.

Edit, I do not see glass on the reflectors and with DE bulbs it is a requirement. I would replace the reflectors and have the wiring re-done.

08/20/2013, 07:27 PM
thanks for the quick reply!

the reflectors did come with glass on them i just removed it to take a look at what i had.

i will replace the reflectors and all the wiring then. just a few more questions.

1. what kind of wire do i need to purchase and where can i get it?
2. how would i go about wiring a new power cord to the ballasts?
3. any suggestions on a decent affordable reflector?

thanks a ton for all the help, sorry for so many questions :beer:

08/20/2013, 07:44 PM
I would suggest having someone do the wiring if this is something you have not done before. If there is a local reef club near you, that is usually a great place to get hands on help with this stuff until you are comfortable in it. Improperly sealed wiring connections and saltwater are not a good mix.

As far as the reflector, if you can find ReefOptics reflectors, they are a great fit for a 75 gallon tank but the LumenBtite Mini's are also a decent option. If you go to a few on,one places like Premium Aquatics, AquaCave, Marine Depot and such you can often fine a good deal. Also if you do have a local reef club, people are always selling their used equipment when they upgrade. If you do find something don't hesitate to inquire here about it, the chances are extremely good that someone has experience with it.

Never be sorry for asking questions, often you will be sorry if you do not. This forum is here to help people.

08/21/2013, 07:04 PM
Just buy two new reflectors with lamp cords, then you are in business. Most single halide lamp cords have one black, one white, one green. The green is the ground. You should be able to hardwire right into it. Best though is to consult the manufacturer of the reflectors you buy or check with an electrician.