advice on lights

Discussion in 'Filtration, & Other Equipment' started by Anonymous, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. does anyone have any advice on lights. i have t-5, one white 10K and one actinic. but everyone says HALIDE. what success have each of you had with your lights without going full on 600-1000 dollar lights. like diy, less watts etc. i have a 75 gallon 48"X18"X20", by the way. thanks for the advice. i know the metal halides are beautiful but what's necessary? if i want corals. :roll:
     
  2. Iwan's tank is lit only with T5s and his tank is amazing.

    Look!
     
  3. lights

    well i have a corallife t-5 but it only has 1-26w 10k and 1 26w 10k actinic. i mean how many bulbs and wattage and is it on a diy ballast? thanks
     
  4. Kirk_M

    Kirk_M Chevron Tang LARC Supporter

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    double post
     
  5. Kirk_M

    Kirk_M Chevron Tang LARC Supporter

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    Those are T5 normal output fixtures. You won't be able to keep much under them. What you are looking for are T5 High Output (HO) fixtures if you plan on keeping corals. You can do a lot of DIY with a retrofit. Get a T5 HO compatible ballast, then some endcaps, and MOST IMPORTANTLY the ICECAP SLR reflectors (T5s are useless without their reflectors) -- one per bulb -- and build yourself a canopy.
     
  6. lights

    so the bulbs are the same, bu the fixture makes it HO? or are they totally different bulbs? that confuses me they have t-12's but sometimes they are catorgorized differently than vho and sometimes put together as if they are the same. like vho t-12 or it'll say takes vho and t-12's.
     
  7. Jcraft Harlequin Tusk

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    from my understanding, vho's, no's and t-5's are all the same technology, meaning the gas inside is the same.

    the difference is the sizes. T-12's for example are larger than T-8's and so forth. So while they get smaller, you can put more bulbs within a given space which means more intense lighting. T-5's are all the rave right now for the light intensity they give and the fact that they are relatively small- you can fit 6 or 8 bulbs in a space that would normally fit only 2-3 VHO's

    difference between VHO'S AND NO flourescents are that the VHO's are overdriven by the ballast.

    this is all my understanding of lights, so i might be wrong in some areas, but hope it helps anyway!

    BTW, you can get a MH fixture and ballast for right at $250 or so . . . not too bad
     
  8. lights

    so vho come in different sizes such as t-5, t-8 or t-12's. so there are regular t-12 and vho that comes in size t-12 for example
     
  9. lights

    can you give me the website/name of the ballast where the mh are? you can have mh by themselves without flourescents? or are they a supplement?
     
  10. Kirk_M

    Kirk_M Chevron Tang LARC Supporter

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    Re: lights

    No, VHO bulbs only are made as T-12s. The gases and phosphours may be the same, but, the difference is the amount of wattage driven through each.

    Normal Output 4' bulbs are capable of putting out 40 W of power.
    Can be T5, T12, T8 diameters.

    VHO Bulbs (very high output) are capable of 110 W of power at 4' length.
    Only in T12 diameters.

    HO bulbs (High Output) - T5s - 54W of power at 4'.

    Differences: T5s have far more PAR than any of the other flourescents. That's the actual amount of light they put out. WATTAGE has nothing to do with it. They are just plain brighter than the other options. They have a smaller footprint, and supposedly because of their smaller diameter, the electricity is able to excite the gases in the bulb to emit more light more effectively. They use about 1/2 the electricity too. You can put more of them in the same amount of space that fewer VHOs would fit in. BUT, you MUST have an individual reflector for EACH bulb, or you don't get any of the increased PAR.
     
  11. Kirk_M

    Kirk_M Chevron Tang LARC Supporter

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    Re: lights

    Check out HELLOLIGHTS.com ... they have inexpensive ballasts/retrofit systems. Very reputable company to deal with.

    You can have MH by themselves. It depends on what kind of "look" you are going for. If you like a deeper, bluer look, choose a MH bulb of the higher Kelvin ratings (14,000+ K). You may not need actinic supplementation at all if it looks blue enough to you and your corals fluoresce the way you want them to. If you go with a lower Kelvin rating, like 6500K Iwasakis, you tank will look more yellow, and to balance it out and get the fluorescence, you'll probably want to add VHO supplementation. Same for 10000K bulbs. The higher you go in KELVIN ratings, the less bright you tank will appear, as well.
     

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