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Well, I figure the time has come to upgrade the 220w of PC lighting on my 55g tall tank (36" wide) to something more robust. This was mostly necessitated by a new addition to the tank that we just couldn't pass up.

One LFS we frequent has a 76g Bowfront tank in one corner of their store... to say this tank is amazing would be an understatement. Rumour has it that the owner stocked the tank with over $8K worth of corals alone... I wish I had a picture.
Anyway, to make a short story long, the LFS is moving in August so they're beginning to tear down the reef and sell off bits and pieces of it. We were taking in our Queen Conch for credit (the little bugger's just too big now at about 3-1/2") when we noticed they had removed a few of the pink-tip BTA's from the corner reef and they were up for sale...
We had been admiring them since we first got into reefing, and couldn't pass up the buy... the other BTA's they had removed the night before had already sold, and they were keeping the rest.

So, if you've made it this far, you'll know that my PC's just won't cut it with this anemone... it's a great excuse to upgrade.
I let my browser do the walking over to hellolights, and this is what I ordered:

1 M58 250w Magnetic ballast
1 Parabolic reflector with mogul socket
1 10K Ushio 250w bulb
4 moisture-resistant PC endcaps (my original ones were the cheap plastic ones)
2 21" 55w Actinic 03 PC bulbs

I'm going to DIY the ballast... probably going to make a custom little cabinet that it fits in with fan cooling.
I'll have the 250w Ushio with 220w of Actinic 03 PC lighting. My current 55w 10K PC bulbs will be relegated to refugium duty once I get it constructed and can get a ballast to drive them.
Hopefully the stuff will be here within the week so I can get going on it... I can't wait.
I'm definitely going to have to keep a closer eye on the temperature in the tank now, but my canopy is well ventilated (with a 105cfm fan throttled down to about 80cfm) so hopefully the extra 250w won't stew the tank. :)
Here's a picture of the new addition... I had just fed it some silversides so it was pretty happy... it's just a beautiful anemone... the picture doesn't do it justice. It still hasn't fully inflated its bubble tips, but it's only been in the tank 2 days and probably still needs time to adjust.


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