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Electrical G "EE" k
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of building a new tank. I love my 75gal, but want a new tank focusing on SPS. I have a 250W Mogul Halide with 2x48W T-5 supplement. When I build my new tank I would like to get rid of the T5's and perhaps upgrade to a 400W ballast/ bulb.

My question is this...are actinic supplements still necessary if I upgrade to a higher wattage, and higher K halide bulb to achieve an overall bluer spectrum?
 

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Forever Reef
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actinic lights are mainly for looks not growth
 

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Premium Member
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No you wont need them if you run anything like 13k or higher,400 is kinda overkill on a 75 though,why not consider lots of T5s in the hood?
 

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spaceman spiff
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I would agree that 400 watt bulbs are really intense for a 75 gallon, but if that's what youd like then go for it. Actinics, as mentioned, are merely for preference and not required if you don't want them.
 

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Saltwater Mom
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5,869 Posts
yeah, stick with the 250. That is plenty of light and easier on the power bill. I would keep the t5's and use the 10000k xm, but that's just me:p
 

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Premium Member
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yeah, stick with the 250. That is plenty of light and easier on the power bill. I would keep the t5's and use the 10000k xm, but that's just me:p
Yup.
 

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Premium Member
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5,051 Posts
400 watt halides in a 75 will fry all but the very highest light demanding corals. Jena's got the suggestion I would follow - 250 watt XM 10K with T5 actinics.
 

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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
Well a good 250 watt can blow away a bad 400 watt and vise-versa. Just because it's a 400 watt, doesn't mean it's much:)

I also beleive that supplementation is fine, especially for extending the vieweing times. You may only need 6 hours of MH, so the supp lighting can extend the viewing out to what evey you like.
 

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Premium Member
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Well a good 250 watt can blow away a bad 400 watt and vise-versa. Just because it's a 400 watt, doesn't mean it's much:)
Well, that's true, but we are talking about using a system at it's optimum performance. So, in that regard, a 400 watt halide is most likely too much light for a 75 gallon tank.
 

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Electrical G "EE" k
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456 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No you wont need them if you run anything like 13k or higher,400 is kinda overkill on a 75 though,why not consider lots of T5s in the hood?
I like the light ripples created by halides...IMHO no flourescent can compare to the beauty of a halide.
 

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Carpe Noctem
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Huh? What is optimal performance? Boils down to a lot of factors. If we are shooting for a certain par at a certain color spectrum, we could look at several options. One of which would be the implementation of 400 watt lights, rather than over driven 250s that need to be replaced more frequently. To not bring up the issue IMO does not raise all the optimal performance considerations:D Any one of us can set up a system that growths corals, but to look into the tank through the owners eyes we cannot do. Case in point is that there seems to be a lot people here that like XM 10ks. I never liked them. My favorite bulb/ballast combo is Pheonix 14ks on PFO HQI ballasts. Quite a difference in opinion on what each person likes and how to acheive the symbiance between tank owner and happy tank:)
 

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Electrical G "EE" k
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456 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am gonna stay with the 250W Halide / 96W T5 setup for sure. I believe with this setup I am already on the verge of over-illuminating a couple of corals. I have very little corraline, and it is all real light pink - white. I have a 250W electronic Icecap pushing a 10k XM, which, according to articles from Sanjay's webpage, puts out quite a powerful bit o light. Plus, i already have everything i need for the new tank :). I think I may try the XM 15k just to see what it looks like. Anybody out there use it?

BTW, I am going to be using this on a new tank. I am in the process of designing a 30"x30"x24" square tank that can be viewed from four sides and all the equipment in the stand underneath. My 75Gal was great, but has several flaws. I am going BB this time.
 

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Electrical G "EE" k
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456 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Huh? What is optimal performance? Boils down to a lot of factors. If we are shooting for a certain par at a certain color spectrum, we could look at several options. One of which would be the implementation of 400 watt lights, rather than over driven 250s that need to be replaced more frequently. To not bring up the issue IMO does not raise all the optimal performance considerations:D Any one of us can set up a system that growths corals, but to look into the tank through the owners eyes we cannot do. Case in point is that there seems to be a lot people here that like XM 10ks. I never liked them. My favorite bulb/ballast combo is Pheonix 14ks on PFO HQI ballasts. Quite a difference in opinion on what each person likes and how to acheive the symbiance between tank owner and happy tank:)
I think hng is referring to optimal performance as in most bang for the buck. Why use a 400W halide when a properly setup (optimal) 250W halide can grow the same coral setup great? That is a lot of extra electricity over the life of a tank. Correct me if I am wrong also, but I believe 400W bulbs need to be replaced more frequently than 250W bulbs. Just as 14k need to be replaced more frequently than 10K. I thought the general rule was, and general I say, higher wattage and higher Kelvin need more frequent replacing.
Jeff
 

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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
Nope. If you overdrive the bulbs you need to replace them more frequantly. Also new tests show that lowering the bulbs(if an option) can extend the time between bulb changes.

And what I was refering to was what if you wanted to run 20K with a certain par in order to facilitate the maximum coral growth. Then 400 may be exactly what was needed.

Lighting, skimmers and RO/DI systems are always such a huge debate:D I hate argueing, lol, but sometimes additional info has to be put out there in order to cover all aspects of the possabilities. There is so much misinformation out there that a lot of people are one post reverends. meaning they read one thing and take it as the holy reefing word:) There are a lot of "if then" commands in the reefing world:D
 

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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
And I was not saying anyone in this thread was giving bad info, it was just a blanket statement of a trend I see in the hobby:D
 

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Electrical G "EE" k
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456 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Nope. If you overdrive the bulbs you need to replace them more frequantly. Also new tests show that lowering the bulbs(if an option) can extend the time between bulb changes.
I was not referring to overdriving...simply a 400W bulb on a 400W ballast Vs. a 250W bulb on a 250W ballast. Also, I just looked at some spectral analysis of the XM 15K and there is no way I am switching from my 10K XM.
 

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Carpe Noctem
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Yeah the 15ks should have had some more R&D before they released them They had so much hype, but fell way short of being a good bulb.

And I knew what you ment, I was just saying that the bulbs life is comparible between the 400 and 250. Where things come into play is when you look at SE vs. DE and whether you are overdriving SE bulbs... Generally the overdriven SE bulbs on a HQI ballast only make it about 6 months.

the rest are good for about 9-12 months and then you can lower the bulbs or replace them:)
 

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Premium Member
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I like the ripple of the Mhs also:) 250 MH with t5s would be awesome:thumbup:
 

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Premium Member
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I'm not sure where overdriving got into the conversation. When I posted about "optimum performance", I was talking about comparing two similarly set up systems - one 250 watt and one 400 watt, using the same type of ballast, reflector, and bulb. I don't want to get into comparing a bunch of different systems because, like Hop said, it just becomes a big mess. So, in a similar 10 K halide setup (which is probably one of the most commonly found), a 400 watt system would produce more light than a 250, and that would probably be too much light for a 75 gallon tank. Yes, you could alter the 400 watt system to make the light acceptable - higher kelvin bulb, raising the bulbs, remove reflector, etc - but, then that would not be using the system to it's "optimum performance" and would defeat the purpose of having a more powerful bulb.
 
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