Metal Halide Setup Q's

Discussion in 'Metal Halide Aquarium Lighting' started by Critifer, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. Critifer

    Critifer Plankton

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    18
    Hi fellow reefers!

    I have been struggling to find correct lighting setup for 135 gal tank.
    (The tank is 72" wide, and 24" deep) I wanted to see what input anyone had with the following setup.

    Two 250 watt mh, 6500k Iwakasi bulbs, PFO Dual Ballast with 4 55w PC actinics. I am fairly new to reef and will be starting with soft corals and anemones, but I want to be sure I can expand to the LPS & SPS in the future without radically changing the lighting. I know that I will be at 5.3 watts per gallon so I am close to high lighting requirement of 5-7 watts per gallon. The PAR values for the setup is 600 PAR per mh plus the PCs.

    I do have a chiller which I am sure I will need once I put the mh on so I am already thinking of that problem. Any input is greatly appreciated.
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  3. rickzter

    rickzter Torch Coral

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    1,197

    First, the temperature. I have read over and over and over again about the MH and temperature problems. MH does cause a lot of heat and the bulbs get really, really hot, but as long as you space your halide and your water surface, you should have zero, zero problems with heat. That's if it's pendant. Same applies with canopy housed halides but you must air it with fans to blow the heat out of the canopy housing.

    When I purchased my halide, I was fearing a temperature rise, but I followed advice and spaced my halide per requirement, 10"-12". My bulb is 11" exactly from my water surface. I still get very strong light and my water always stays cool. My halide did help heat my tank last weekend when we had 90 degree peaks here in Cali, so you will need help with cooling in the summer. But for normal room temperature, 70-80's you should be fine.

    Two 250w's are an excellent choice for such a big tank. 6500K Iwasaki's are very yellow and the halides might outpower the actinics, trust me I've seen this. I would bump it up to 2 250w with 10K's and 4 Actinic's. 10K tends to be ice white, and they are still bright, so you should get a nicely balanced ice blue. It's all up to you on what color you wanna shoot for. You might also consider bumping up the wattage on the PCL's so you can get a nice 6wpg, then you could keep a little of everything.

    Also, anemones are not easy. There are LPS that are hardier than anemones, so skip the anemones till later. Start off with a bubble coral or frogspawn coral. They are super hardy specimens. I also have to add that anemones sting really bad and will kill off any coral, so keep a small amount for you large tank to prevent them causing a rauckus.
  4. Critifer

    Critifer Plankton

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    18
    Thanks Rickzter!

    I appreciate the suggestions and I will implement the 10k MH bulbs and add another 96w PC to keep it balanced. The lights will be in canopy which I will keep spaced from the water and cooled with 3 Ice Cap 4" fans.
    I also have heard of the "stinging anenome" and will wait on them to avoid problems.