I am potentially looking to upgade from PC's. Does anyone have a good suggestion on where to find inexpesive metal halide balasts and bulbs? I have looked on ebay but don't know if what is being offered is quality. Any suggestions?
I currently have a clam, acropora, hydnophora, and other SPS and various LPS. The LPS flourish. The acro is growing but hasn't maintained it's intense color. I would say the hydnophora does extremly well and my clam has grown some. This tank is a 75 gallon. The exact dimensions escape me. But it is a standard size. I want to find an outlet for inexpensive lighting because I may increase the size of my tank to a 120 and I am currently cycling a 90 gallon for a buddy of mine. In addition I am exploring the possiblity of setting up tanks for folks. I have 3 others interested in having me setup tanks for them. Any suggestions on lighting?
I did a do it yourself type thing by buying parts from hellolights.com. I think I ended spending about $250 or 260 for two-250w lights, sufficient for a 75g tank. You could go to 175's if you want and save a little money there. I know it can be done more cheaply, by ordering ballasts from Graybar or some similar company. They tend to not ask the higher prices for ballasts that aquarium based stores do.
Seriously folks I am in the same boat with Toadfish and I have 520W PCs over my 90 Gallon tank and everything is doing great but everything is bland in the color. I fragged out some zoos at TDWyatt's and under his 250 MH's they are now emerald green and they were brown in my tank. They are healthy and spreading like wildfire just not coloring up like the ones under MH. I know what ballasts I am going with which are two of the New IceCap 250MH HQi'S. I am trying to figure out what are really good reflectors for these lights. I have heard that the spider light reflectors are the best but are not cheap. Anyone have any thoughts on what would would be good reflectors and for a 90 Gallon AGA RR Tank what would be a good MH Level 2 250W or 2 400W. I want a good balance. I want to keep LPS and some SPS. Any thoughts. Thank you.
An observation I made between high kelvin and low kelvin rating seems to connect color of coral pigments and growth.
I notice at very low kelvin (6500K and below) corals grow but in higher kelvin (20K MH) they literally burst out into a multitude of colors.
But. Some ricordea I saw from pics posted were exhibiting abnormal color (that which is not in the wild). For me it does not matter but some purist find it unnatural. (analogy:a woman is beautiful when she wears make up. But wipe it off only the REALLY pretty ones remain beautiful)
As aquarist we prefer the beauty and colors. This i concur. Natural or not. So go with MH with high kelvin rating (10K or even higher).
I agree Casey. But observe users of higher kelvin MH. The corals are "abnormally" beautiful! I have kept mine in color spectrum below 6700K and they remain brown. That is their natural color in the wild.
I have a nice acro frag I picked up in Feb this year and under 150W 6700K Osram HQIs it has developed very brilliant purple tips and the growth has been great compared to what it was under 175W 10K Custom Sealife halides. I like a bluer bulb but my little Avro doesn't seem to care.