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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 190g reef, which is fairly empty, but will house primarily SPS, but others as well.

Ok, so Ive been debating this lately... Which would you choose?

1) A PFO Magnetic 2x250w ballast. Its been in use since around april, so its pretty dang new. The unfortunate thing about the ballast is it allagedly can not fire Giesemann, Ushio, or Reeflux bulbs. The positive thing is it overdrives the bulbs, so I get more than 250w out of my bulbs. The negative with that, is I have to replace bulbs more often. Positive is the magnetics are good ol reliable ballasts... but use more electricity.

2) (2) PFO electronic 250w ballasts. Theyre about a year old, with about 8 months of use on them. The good thing with them is I can use any bulb I want to use, no limitations. The negative is they dont overdrive the bulbs like the magnetic, so I dont get as much light on my 190g. The positive again, is that I dont have to replace bulbs as often. Also my XM10ks are whiter with the electronics. They run using less electricity, but people say electronics can be finnicky at times, though Ive never had any experience with electronic ballasts.

Kinda curious what you guys have chosen, or would choose. Id really like to hear from those experienced ones who have using both ballasts, and can tell me which you like better.
 

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Id go with th icecap E's. :)

But eriously...never used PFO's. So cant say, but just based on what you said its kind of a no brainer.

Id choose the less electricity, better color, longer life, more bulb options vs simply getting more output. do you really need any more light anyway??
 

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Id go with th icecap E's. :)

But eriously...never used PFO's. So cant say, but just based on what you said its kind of a no brainer.

Id choose the less electricity, better color, longer life, more bulb options vs simply getting more output. do you really need any more light anyway??
I agree,.. I would (And did) go with electronic ballasts :)

Whiskey
 

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Carpe Noctem
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The PFO HQI ballast driving the single ended aquaconnect 20k hqis are a great combo. Good par and great color;)
 

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just curoius.....

You are looking at 2 250w. What are the dimensions of the tank? If it's a deep tank you may need to consider 400w and if it's a long tank you may need 3 or 4 250w.

Just some food for thought....

Oh and Electronic all the way...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My 250w works well, its only 20" tall, goes back 36" deep. I have it set up so the front is going to be shrooms and zoas along with bunch of swimming room, so the two lights arent a concern.

I guess its common knowledge that the PFO electronics are actual ice cap ballasts ehhhh, I thought not many people knew that lol. I guess I dont need the extra 15 watts per bulb. I just really wanted to run some Reeflux 12ks, and get rid of one of my actinic VHOs for a 10k, that way the tank looks lit up more during the day, rather than just purple/blue.

The HQI 250w ballast is out of the question, since I dont have one of those lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
hm, according to sanjays site, the xm10k drops from 137 with my PFO magnetic to 115 with the icecap-e. That seems like a bit of a drop. Especially considering if I kept the electronic ballast, Id run a coralvue/reeflux 12k which is down to 51 PAR.

I wonder how much electricity you really do save using electronic, over magnetic?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Then my tank would pretty prety white/yellow, dont ya think? Or do you think the XMs are so bright that it doesnt really make too big of a difference anyhow?
 

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I have used IceCaps and really like them. I am currently using a 400W standard M59 purely because of price. I bought a bare ballast for $20 and have been very happy with it running an XM10k in a luminarc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I got rid of one of my lumenarcs. There were so many other things I have to fund for my tank, ahead of T5 or VHO actinics. So I got my fixture with MH and VHOs for $250, with the two electronic ballasts. I couldnt pass it up, though I do miss the coverage of those lumenarcs.
 

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Run the HQI ballasts with a single ended hqi bulb, then you won't be replacing it every six months. I love the color of my 400 watt Aquaconnect HQIs on the PFO magnetic hqi ballast;) Oh wait, I already posted that this morning:funny:

I really like the color over many of the other bulb/ballast combos I've seen and played with;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
yeah, HQI ballast isnt an option. I dont have the ballast. Its between the two ballasts I have now lol. I didnt know there was a real difference between the PFO magnetic and PFO HQI ballasts when I bought them. That was due to my ignorance. Looking back, I wish I bought the HQI ballast, but hindsight is 20/20 lol. I put my magnetic back on the tank today, and its so much brigher than the electronic. I think Im going to go with the Magnetic, after looking at Sanjays PAR numbers. A drop of 22 seems like quite a bit. I should consider myself lucky that Im only using (2) 250w halides and 2x110 VHOs over a 190g I guess lol.
 

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ahhhh. When you said "overdrive" the bulbs earlier, I assumed you were tanking about Hqis.... My bad... I'll quit assuming;)
 
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