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Quick lighting question


CA2OR
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Mh's have the shimmer, T5's have the even spread. Hard choice. I just took down my 150w HQI and replaced it with a Sunlight 4 bulb T5 fixture that is 96w's. The tank looks brighter for some reason.

 

I think two MH's would do better so you could have a more even spread, but the shadow drop off from MH's bugs my eyes. Then the crossing of multiple MH's does the same. I tend to like the more even distributed look myself.

 

Then again, I love watching the shimmer.

 

How's that for decisive?

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To answer you original question you will get more spread with the 2x 150w. The light will be more evenly distributed from one side to the other.

 

1x 250w has more penetration power and more PAR. This means that it will have more usable light everywhere in your tank, and much more than the 150 at the bottom of your tank.

 

I agree that overdriving is a bad idea. This is using a M80 or magnetic type ballast and then driving a bulb not rated for it. It has tons of PAR, but kills the life of the bulb. It also takes whatever "K" value bulb you have, and makes it whiter. IMO a good electronic ballast and quality bulb is the best route.

 

I must ask, why do you want more light? Any reason in particular? If I were you I would keep the 150 for a frag tank or something, and get yourself a 250w bulb and ballast. This will save you money in the long run; bulbs, reflectors, electricity, ect.

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Downhill you are like a profit. I am actually considering either getting a 175MH with 96w VHO combo thanks to this thread, or a double ended 250 clip on MH to replace the 150. I plan on using 150 over my 10g for quarentine\frag if needed. Thank you all for advice and input.

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I will start off with saying I dont know enough about anything reef related. The reason I found this thread is I am looking into lighting for myself. But as I understood it the choices of bulbs for the 175w isnt as good as the 150w or 250w.

 

Is there any truth to this or it just hogwash?

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I have experienced many combinations from 150w to 1000w MH lighting. The easiest bulbs to find as far as both local availability and kelvin ranges are going to be either the 250w or the 400w. If it were me, I would completely get rid of the 150-175w MH idea and stick with the 250w MH. I always noticed a much brighter, better colored result going this route. This includes tanks with only 10 inches of depth(I used 400w MH over 12 inch deep tanks and had amazing color and growth of sps and no, not overkill). There defiantely are exceptions to the rule, but in general, corals are used to so much light in the wild, that not even our 1000w MH's can get there. It all depends on what you want to keep, but if I were ever going to keep clams, sps, or even zoanthids, I would go with the higher wattage setup.

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