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Can I "retrofit" my 150w halide fixture for a 250w halide?


timdanger

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Forgive this stupid question, but I guess I don't really know how this works.

 

I have the stock lighting fixture that comes with the Cadlights 39g Pro, which has a 150w halide + 2x24w T5HO + 2x 2w moonlight LEDs (which I do not use now and do not plan to use in the future). I'm running a 150w 20k radium (HQI ballast) + 2 ATI Blue+ actinics. I've been getting the feeling lately that this light isn't enough to color up my SPS the way I want, especially given that several of the corals are pretty far below the surface (tank is 20" deep, some SPS are as deep as 18"). So, I've been thinking of upping the lighting to 250w (or switching to LED, but that's a different conversation).

 

Cost is a big issue for me. I see that there are retrofit kits available (e.g. this one from Hellolights or this one from BRS). I don't have a canopy.

 

My fixture says that it's rated up to 250w (but of course that would include the 48w from the T5s, so i'd be putting 300w into it). I assume that's not a problem, since I'd be replacing the socket? And, I'm undecided on whether I'd go to SE or DE, but my current fixture is DE -- I'm again assuming that this doesn't matter since I'd be replacing the whole thing, but is that right?

 

Obviously I'd need to make sure the retrofit pieces would actually fit into the fixture. But, assuming it would, can I pretty much just buy the retrofit kit, stick it in the fixture, plug it into a new ballast, and start it up? I'm not afraid of a little DIY.

 

Thanks for any help...!

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You shouldn't need to change the reflector. Just change the socket and the ballast. Stick with DE bulbs, as they will fit in your fixture with minimal modifications.

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You shouldn't need to change the reflector. Just change the socket and the ballast. Stick with DE bulbs, as they will fit in your fixture with minimal modifications.

 

interesting -- would heat be a big issue (the fan on the stock cad fixture isn't exactly a world-beater) in just replacing the socket?

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A fan upgrade wouldn't hurt. The only thing the additional heat is going to affect is the T5 supplimental lights. The increased heat could reduce their output if it gets high enough.

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these are good ideas you have, here.

 

do you have a recommendation for a fan upgrade?

 

the only thing i have cooling my tank is one of those 6" Air King fans (like you can buy from BRS or MD). It works very well for the 150w, but I wonder if it wouldn't work as well for a 250w.

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gulfsurfer101

Single end bulbs get way hotter than single end ime. That and minimal modifaction is enough for me to stick with hqi's. I run a fan over the back of my tank to blow across the top of the water on the same timer as my halides to keep my temps below 78* during the hot summer months and this works pretty well. Good luck, hope you get it to work for you.

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these are good ideas you have, here.

 

do you have a recommendation for a fan upgrade?

 

the only thing i have cooling my tank is one of those 6" Air King fans (like you can buy from BRS or MD). It works very well for the 150w, but I wonder if it wouldn't work as well for a 250w.

 

Don't know. I don't know what size that fan is. In addition to getting a better fan (easily found at computer stores), minimizing airflow restriction is a good idea. Many of these fixtures have very restrictive fan grills that lower flow rates, as well as make a lot of noise. The Current USA was a great example of that. If the grill is restrictive, cut it out and replace it with a chrome wire grill. Much less restrictive, and adds a little bling, if that's what you like ;)

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Single end bulbs get way hotter than single end ime.

 

heat is definitely a concern for me -- but, did you mean that the SE or the DE are hotter?

 

I am only using a single Air King fan blowing across the water surface for cooling as well -- that's been great for keeping temperatures stable between 77.5-78.5.

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Don't know. I don't know what size that fan is. In addition to getting a better fan (easily found at computer stores), minimizing airflow restriction is a good idea. Many of these fixtures have very restrictive fan grills that lower flow rates, as well as make a lot of noise. The Current USA was a great example of that. If the grill is restrictive, cut it out and replace it with a chrome wire grill. Much less restrictive, and adds a little bling, if that's what you like ;)

 

it wouldn't surprise me if this fixture was killing the fan's efficiency -- it's interesting, there are 3 grills on the top of the fixture, but only 1 fan.

 

so, I was originally thinking I'd need the whole reflector assembly, but you're saying all I'd need would be the 2x DE 250w socket posts (i'm assuming i can re-use the existing bracket since the bulbs are the same size) and the new ballast, and a fan/ventilation upgrade? And, I just splice the new socket in using something like a high-temperature wire nut like this one? They also have these. I've (obviously) never done this before, so I appreciate the help!

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Off topic:

 

Are you coming to the meet at Pearson's this weekend? There should be a ton of frags, some giveaways and vendors there. You out to come out and it's in the westend so not far.

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Off topic:

 

Are you coming to the meet at Pearson's this weekend? There should be a ton of frags, some giveaways and vendors there. You out to come out and it's in the westend so not far.

 

ya know, i'd like to come, but I really hadn't considered it because I don't have frags to swap (growing stuff hasn't exactly been my strong suit). Does everyone bring stuff?

 

vendors?

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You don't have to bring anything. Aquaholics and vaquatics are bringing frags as well as other reefers. Plenty of people coming at all levels of experience. Some bring stuff, some buy stuff some just hang out. Beers to drink and raffles for items that sponsors of the richmondreefers website offered up. You should come out, should be fun.

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You don't have to bring anything. Aquaholics and vaquatics are bringing frags as well as other reefers. Plenty of people coming at all levels of experience. Some bring stuff, some buy stuff some just hang out. Beers to drink and raffles for items that sponsors of the richmondreefers website offered up. You should come out, should be fun.

 

sounds reasonable -- i emailed pearson yesterday afternoon, and I'm going to try to make it.

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Sounds good. It's worth checking out even if it's for just a bit.

 

i'm especially interested in what Aquaholics shows up with. They have just unbelievable pictures on their website (but I've been taken by that kind of thing before).

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Tom who runs that site showed up last time with stuff and most people spoke highly of the frags they got from him. He has a list of stuff on the frags for Feb meet thread on Richmond reefers. Most stuff for $20-30 a frag. I plan on checking his stuff out when I pick up my tank (bought it from him). He does have the best prices on equipment for locals.

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