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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am at a cross road with lighting. First my tank size 72”L X 24”H X 18”w
Occupants mostly fish, anemones, will be getting low maintenance corals.

Heat is very important, -Question: I’m wondering what puts off less heat 8, 3’ 96w VHO with ballast out of room or two 250w MH also with remote ballasts?
Remember I’m asking about heat. I’ll adjust color after….

Thanks for your help…
:cool:
 

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I have very little experience with VHO bulbs but I do know that with two metal halide bulbs, your heat will be concentrated around the two bulbs only, which would make it easier to transfer that heat away from the tank. It would also expand the corals that you could keep. I have two 55 watt pc lights that I believe puts off just as much heat as my 175 metal halide bulb. I was having an issue with heat until I installed two Orion fans in my hood. One fan blowing in and one fan blowing out. Now my temp remains constant all day. I do have more evaporation but that is fine. Good luck.
 

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I have 2 48" vho tubes 110W. They do get warm but not as hot as halides. Mine are 8" above the water on an open system and I see no temp change in my water, unless my house gets over 80 degrees (I am bad about letting that happen). Personally if you are going low light corals (like my self) I believe vho to be your best bet. You only need Halides with stony corals and clams. Your only problem will be anemones. In my 55 gallon I have zoo's, mushrooms, a mushroom anemone and plenty of xenia. I have had bad luck with star polyps but I don't know what was going on with that, it wasn't my lighting though. As far as evaporation rate, I have an open tank so I loose about 1 quart a day I think. I do agree with Braincoral39 Power compacts do get pretty warm. But I can actually touch my vhos right now and they have been on for about 8 hours........

Hope that helps
Hesstondc
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
hesstondc said:
I have 2 48" vho tubes 110W. They do get warm but not as hot as halides. Mine are 8" above the water on an open system and I see no temp change in my water, unless my house gets over 80 degrees (I am bad about letting that happen). Personally if you are going low light corals (like my self) I believe vho to be your best bet. You only need Halides with stony corals and clams. Your only problem will be anemones. In my 55 gallon I have zoo's, mushrooms, a mushroom anemone and plenty of xenia. I have had bad luck with star polyps but I don't know what was going on with that, it wasn't my lighting though. As far as evaporation rate, I have an open tank so I loose about 1 quart a day I think. I do agree with Braincoral39 Power compacts do get pretty warm. But I can actually touch my vhos right now and they have been on for about 8 hours........

Hope that helps
Hesstondc
Now that is exactly what I wanted to learn, Out in the world I've had limited exposer to MH lamps and you can touch them also but you'd be leaving skin behind.:funny:
Thank you Hesstondc:beer:
 

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Actually the reason you can touch your VHO's is because the heat produced by them in spread out over a larger area than the heat produced by a MH bulb (4' versus 4"). 500 Watts of light bulbs is going to produce the same amount of heat no matter what type of bulbs they are. The only difference will be if the heat is spread out over a large area or over a small area. One of the reasons a MH bulb gets hotter to the touch is the decreased amount of surface area to the actual bulb itself. If a metal halide bulb were 4' long and the element were spread out over that 4' length, it would not get any hotter than the equivalent in a VHO (you would have to have a 150W VHO bulb and a 150W MH bulb).
 

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I'm not sure how hot MH is but I can tell you that VHO can get hot. I have 6 - 4' tubes over my 90 (4' by 18") and when all tubes are lit, the outside of the wooden hood gets warm if the fan isn't on. With the hood fan running (a single 3"), the tubes are warm, but not "burn you" hot.

I will say that my VHO ballasts run cool to the touch, I can barely tell they are on. I've heard that MH ballasts can get quite warm.

I think cyberchef has a point in that they both get hot. It's a matter of how well you can keep the heat away from the water. With VHO, you are usually forced into an enclosed hood. most of the heat is kept close to the water. MH pendants are in open air space. I would think going the pendant route would make it easier to keep the heat out of the water.

I've had VHO since I started my 90 over 10 years ago. It was the best way to go at the time and it provided the best spectrum IMO. With the advent of the bluer MH bulds, I am now thinking that MH may be the more flexible choice in that it allows for brighter (right under the bulb) and darker spaces (between the bulbs) for variety of animals. There are no dark spots in my 90 for low-light animals.
 

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Schwaggs said:

I will say that my VHO ballasts run cool to the touch, I can barely tell they are on. I've heard that MH ballasts can get quite warm.
That also depends on the type of MH ballast or the type of VHO ballast.

Some will get hot and some will not.

I have an electronic MH ballast that gets warm to the touch but NOT hot. And that is a raw ballast w/out a heat sink.

I have also touched a few MH and VHO ballasts that left some skin behind.

Either way it probably doesn't matter. Most people don't mount their ballast where it will heat the tank. My bigger concern would be weather the ballast (where mounted) will burn the house down or not.
 

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my hqi ballast box with heatsink will almost leave skin behind if you touch it after its been on a while. Are electronic ballasts available for hqis?
 

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I belive so. Arent the Icecap ballasts electronic. I have an electronic ballast for the 70 watt MH DE I am going to put over my nano.
 

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Yes there are several electronic metal halide ballast available. I have an Icecap 175 electronic ballast and it is always cool to the touch. Try Ocean Encounter and Champion Lighting, they carry the electronic ballasts.
 

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Yes there are several electronic metal halide ballast available
Are there electronic ballasts available for Double-ended halides (hqi). I know they are available for regular halides .
 

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Joel, my understanding is that IceCap has E ballasts for double ended. You might want to check their webpage. I know when I got mine, Andrew (Andy) Howard of IceCap told me that the new 250 MH ballasts would run all types including the doubles.
 

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Icecaps "new" electronic ballasts for the 250W and the 175W will fire any bulb, including the DE bulbs and Iwasaki. It is my understanding that Icecap no longer offers the old style of electronic ballasts that had to be tuned to the bulb you were going to use. You may still be able to find them, NOS, but I don't believe they are making them anymore.
 

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HQI double ended bulbs

I have the BlueLine E-ballast from Champion and HQI 250W bulbs. The ballast is elctronic and cool to the touch. It is also much, much smaller than traditional ballasts. Electronic is 25% more efficient [more light, less heat]. HQI bulbs are the most efficient lighting source available. Read the Atlanta Reef Club web page for the presentation on lighting by Doug McIntyre of AquaticCo. If you air-condition your home heat from this setup will not be an issue.
 

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Re: HQI double ended bulbs

wildemon said:
Electronic is 25% more efficient [more light, less heat].
I would say UP TO 25% more efficient in MOST configurations. I saw an artical on one of the reef magazine sites where Sanjay performed a comparison of various bulbs with various electronic and a magnetic ballast. In one configuration, the magnetic was more efficient (lumens/watt) than a couple electronic ballasts. Every other configutration, the electronic was more efficient than magnetic but typically by 8-15%. One config was 25% more efficient with the electronic ballast. Of course, this this is the number the manufacturers will quote... Also, this does not take into consideration the heat generated by the magnetic ballast.

Most people in this hobby look strictly at the INITAL cost of things ($45 for a magnetic ballast vs $130 for electronic) when they should also consider the long term cost. For example they could save $45 per year in electricity using an electronic ballast and make the difference back in a couple years. I see this all the time in water pump purchases. People buy huge pumps (to big and the wrong pump for the purpose) only to throttle them back and almost seem to brag that "it kicks butt, I had to close it off by half"... :rolleyes: but I digress.
 
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