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Old 11/18/2019, 05:32 PM   #1
JennyFlow
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Like the look of MHs but...

1. Can metal halides be dimmed for like a ramp up and down? I thought they are either full on or off but just want to confirm this.

2. I really like the look of tanks with MHs, is there a way to replicate that look with LEDs if you play with the sprectum settings, I know you can adjust the colors. Or do I need to go old school and buy MHs?

Thanks!


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Old 11/18/2019, 07:53 PM   #2
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Pretty well no. You can schedule violet-toned actinics to come on first, and stay on while the MH is on, and likewise a violet twilight, but that is by having multiple lights. Also your bulbs have to be replaced at 50. a swat, every year.


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Old 11/18/2019, 11:19 PM   #3
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MH is pretty much dead and the last light option I would go with. It's just a matter of time until they stop making bulbs, at least those that are suitable for reef tanks.
Then there is the heat production.
As for dimming: in the past there were electronic ballasts that allowed some degree of dimming, but I don't know if they are still in production after everyone is switching to LEDs.
Even ln streetlights and industrial lightning where MH was once dominant LEDs are now the preferred choice.

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Old 11/19/2019, 08:43 AM   #4
Dmorty217
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I run two MH fixtures along with led fixtures to light my tank. I use MH because of the spread it covers in my tank and the fact that it only uses 1 outlet per fixture instead of 2. I would need at least 12 led fixtures and at Orphek or Ecotech prices thats a lot of cash, MH is the cheaper option for me.


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Old 11/19/2019, 11:30 AM   #5
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The biggest aesthetic feature of metal halide fixtures missing from leds is the massive green and yellow spikes from the mercury vapor. Even in 20,000k bulbs it is still there. There’s just such a tremendous amount of blue/violet/and uv as well as enough IR produced to balance the visual hue to make it bright and pleasant with lots of shimmer, and the corals be more tolerant of the higher par levels you typically see as a result.

You can mimic this to a point with leds but it is helpful to use something like a reef fi duo extreme, or a Philips coral care (soon to come to the US) which include broad spectrum green based white diodes. If you just crank the whites on a black box or even many other higher end fixtures, you may burn your corals as a lot of people complain of doing. Cranking your greens will help some of you have discrete channel control. That will mimic your mercury vapor spike a lot more than increasing white and red diodes.

But to answer the question, no, you can not automatically ramp up a metal halide bulb. There is a natural ramp up as the bulb heats up. But it only takes about 3 minutes. I suspect you were more interested in a several hour ramp up.

For what it is worth. I could not possibly care less about what direction the commercial street lamp industry is going. I use metal halides and will continue to do so until I can’t. Only thing I can control is my choice. I’ve got enough of a cache of bulbs to last me 4-5 years of production ceased right now.


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Old 11/19/2019, 11:34 AM   #6
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what kind of a timer or controller do you use to control the MHs? And do you have a UPC for power blips?


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Old 11/19/2019, 11:51 AM   #7
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Apex controller. No UPC or anything like that. Never been necessary.


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Old 11/19/2019, 02:57 PM   #8
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I went from MH, to LED's, and back to MH as my main light source. I do have LED's and T5's as supplements. I use a standard digital timer like this to control my MH https://www.amazon.com/Titan-Control.../dp/B004LP1FKY. I control my supplements with a reefkeeper lite. No UPS.

For me MH is just easier, more set it and forget it. When I ran LED's there were so many variables it was hard to keep it consistent.


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Old 11/19/2019, 03:35 PM   #9
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The only tank I still use my MH fixtures on is my Anemone tank. My gigs and mags just seem to do better under the MHs. Just my opinion / experience. I use LEDs on all of my other tanks and a t5 fixture on my QT / hospital tank.


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Old 11/19/2019, 05:18 PM   #10
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For me MH is just easier, more set it and forget it. When I ran LED's there were so many variables it was hard to keep it consistent.

Same. If I had to use leds I would want someone to program the software to be “blues” and “daylight” and nothing else. Don’t want any ramping or individual channel controls. Too much temptation. I’d screw something up. I want my lights to turn on and look good. All that extra nonsense is of absolutely zero interest to me


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Old 11/19/2019, 05:39 PM   #11
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There are fewer MH fixtures available these days, what would you guys say the Cadillac of of fixtures available today is with nice reflectors, and bulbs :-)


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Old 11/19/2019, 05:45 PM   #12
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What size is the tank? Length of fixture needed?


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Old 11/19/2019, 06:14 PM   #13
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There are fewer MH fixtures available these days, what would you guys say the Cadillac of of fixtures available today is with nice reflectors, and bulbs :-)


Giesemann spectra. They’re NOT discontinued. You just have to contact Giesemann directly and have one sent to you. They’re not cheap


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Old 11/19/2019, 06:29 PM   #14
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Giesemann spectra. They’re NOT discontinued. You just have to contact Giesemann directly and have one sent to you. They’re not cheap


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Yep +1. I'm running a Giesemann spectra 24". If you look, you can find a good price on a used one. I just saw one sold on here not too long ago for a fraction of what I paid for mine new. You can get similar performance from other fixtures, but I love the sleek appearance of the Spectra. With everyone switching to LED's you're bound to find a deal on a MH setup.



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Old 11/19/2019, 06:51 PM   #15
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Like the look of MHs but...

The Hamilton Cebu Sun isn’t as pretty as the giesemann but equally as effective.

While it’s not gold standard level, if you possess a canopy to hide/shield the light, I honestly like the use of multiple large modular pendants, over a fixture. For spread, intensity, and cost reasons. Look in the right place and people are practically GIVING them away.

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Old 11/19/2019, 07:55 PM   #16
JennyFlow
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Next noob question you've surely answer 100 times before but confuses me...

When people talk about LEDs I usually see wavelength but when talking about MHs I see K. These are all just colors right?

MORE IMPORTANTLY WHICH ONE DO I GET LOL... 14k or 20k and why are there 2 20ks and one is called 250 watt radium 20k


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Old 11/19/2019, 08:08 PM   #17
JennyFlow
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and theres 4oo watt 20k... damn


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Old 11/19/2019, 09:29 PM   #18
Bpb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyFlow View Post
Next noob question you've surely answer 100 times before but confuses me...

When people talk about LEDs I usually see wavelength but when talking about MHs I see K. These are all just colors right?

MORE IMPORTANTLY WHICH ONE DO I GET LOL... 14k or 20k and why are there 2 20ks and one is called 250 watt radium 20k


I’m sure someone will dig up a big wordy article written by Dr Sanjay Joshi 15 years ago. But I’ll sum it up.

Common reef hobby wattages for metal halides are:
150 watt (smaller tanks under 18” deep)
250 watt (most common for tanks 18-30” deep
400 watt (usually reserved for large footprints and 30”+ depth tanks yet)
1000 watt (mega tank size/commercial applications of 48” or more depth)

“K” rating is a fairly loosely used measurement of how “blue” a bulb is. The higher the number, the bluer the bulb.

6500K is common for horticulture and general commercial lighting (parking lots, shopping centers)
10,000K (or 10K) is going to still be very white, but not quite as yellow as mid day sunlight. Will look like water at a depth of 5 feet or so
14,000k (or 14K) is still white but a little cooler in appearance. Similar to water between 5-15 feet or so.
20,000K (or 20K) is STILL white but with strong blue overtones. Like ocean water 15+ feet deep before the blue takes over entirely

Radium is a “Brand” of bulb created by the German lighting company Osram. There are LOT of different “Radium” bulbs for many applications from photography, film sets, general public commercial lighting, and yes aquariums. It is a fairly pleasing blue/white bulb known for its high PAR value, (photosynthetically active radiation, Or...how much quantifiable visible light the source produces), long life, and stable color output.

How many and what type will depend entirely on what area you need covered and what you are going to keep.

There’s more to it also, but before overwhelming you, if you actually decide to move forward, we will need to discuss bulb and ballast matching. It’s not like screwing bulbs into a bathroom fixture. There are different types of bulbs and ballasts that need to be matched to work.

For instance you cannot run a Radium using a standard magnetic ballast, it requires either an electronic ballast or an HQI ballast. Conversely you should avoid using a mogul based Hamilton 14K bulb on an HQI ballast as you will be heavily overdriving it and run the risk of it exploding. But if you decide to go with MH wecan help there. If not, we’ll....the more you know. Never bad to be informed.


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Old 11/20/2019, 03:10 PM   #19
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MH is pretty much dead
I don't agree. Having been through all the available lighting sources/types (Power Compacts, MH, LED, T5 and now T5+MH) MH provides the, IMHO, absolute best visual for tanks. Other typse become the fad but MH just plugs along like the turtle.

I the summer I will go all t5 because of the heat from MH


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Old 11/20/2019, 08:23 PM   #20
JennyFlow
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OK, based on what you awesome reefers have told me I think the following would be good. Tank is 29.5 inches deep....

Definite: Giesemann fixture, 400 watts
Debating: 14k or 20k, or could I do one of both if on one end of the tank I put corals that demand less light? Will that visually look weird or will the eye be unable to tell. If I do go with 2 of the same, 14 or 20? I saw a dude w a 28 inch deep go 20k and corals looked great but I dunno.

Lastly, do they have different ballast options or is there only one for giesemann. Do I need to replace the ballasts like I do the bulbs. How often do I replace ballast and how often bulb.


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Old 11/21/2019, 06:32 AM   #21
Dmorty217
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Quote:
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OK, based on what you awesome reefers have told me I think the following would be good. Tank is 29.5 inches deep....

Definite: Giesemann fixture, 400 watts
Debating: 14k or 20k, or could I do one of both if on one end of the tank I put corals that demand less light? Will that visually look weird or will the eye be unable to tell. If I do go with 2 of the same, 14 or 20? I saw a dude w a 28 inch deep go 20k and corals looked great but I dunno.

Lastly, do they have different ballast options or is there only one for giesemann. Do I need to replace the ballasts like I do the bulbs. How often do I replace ballast and how often bulb.
Bulbs are once a year and ballasts will last many years before failure.


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Current Tank Info: 625g, 220g sump, RD3 230w, Vectra L1 on a closed loop, 3 MP60s, MP40. Several QTs
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Old 11/21/2019, 06:51 AM   #22
Bpb
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Originally Posted by JennyFlow View Post
OK, based on what you awesome reefers have told me I think the following would be good. Tank is 29.5 inches deep....

Definite: Giesemann fixture, 400 watts
Debating: 14k or 20k, or could I do one of both if on one end of the tank I put corals that demand less light? Will that visually look weird or will the eye be unable to tell. If I do go with 2 of the same, 14 or 20? I saw a dude w a 28 inch deep go 20k and corals looked great but I dunno.

Lastly, do they have different ballast options or is there only one for giesemann. Do I need to replace the ballasts like I do the bulbs. How often do I replace ballast and how often bulb.


I’ve had ballasts keep trucking for 10
Years. That’s no guarantee though. The bad part about giesemann is they don’t sell ballasts with their fixtures. You’ll have to get with someone on here who runs a spectra and find out what type of ballast is compatible with that fixture. I like electronic ballasts as they can run many different types of bulbs. Not all have compatible cable connections to the fixture though. I don’t run a giesemann so I couldn’t tell you which one you need


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Old 11/21/2019, 01:41 PM   #23
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I’ve had ballasts keep trucking for 10
Years. That’s no guarantee though. The bad part about giesemann is they don’t sell ballasts with their fixtures. You’ll have to get with someone on here who runs a spectra and find out what type of ballast is compatible with that fixture. I like electronic ballasts as they can run many different types of bulbs. Not all have compatible cable connections to the fixture though. I don’t run a giesemann so I couldn’t tell you which one you need


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I'm running a Giesemann off of a Luxcore selectable ballast. It has an overdrive/HQI setting that you can use if you are using a Radium bulb. If you are using a different bulb, you can use the standard 250W or 400W setting with no overdrive. When I purchased my Giesmann new, it came with the correct plug so you can wire the ballast cord to mate with the fixture.



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Old 11/21/2019, 01:52 PM   #24
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Since I have 30 and 36 inch tanks I just bought a MH and t5 all in one fixture off of eBay. I swapped out the bulbs and all is good.


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Old 11/21/2019, 04:45 PM   #25
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Since I have 30 and 36 inch tanks I just bought a MH and t5 all in one fixture off of eBay. I swapped out the bulbs and all is good.


I’ve actually known some people to get very admirable results from those to be honest


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