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Help with MH light selection for 29 gallon tank


Nicholas

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I'm wanting a lighting upgrade and due to LEDs being relatively new and so expensive (I'm not going to attempt a DIY), I'm fixated on upgrading to a MH light and I need some input. I grow a mixture of basic softies, LPS, and SPS but my overall tastes lean towards colorful zoas and LPS.

 

I've got a 5.5g with an 18" Nova Extreme fixture and a 12g NC DX with stock PC lighting that I'm contemplating combining into a single 20 long or 29 gallon tank. Being as both have the same exact width and one is really shallow and the other just shallow, my thinking has been that whatever MH light I get for one decision would work for the other as well. (If I change my mind on tank size.)

 

From what I can tell a single 150w MH bulb should work with either tank size. What I've seen from looking around at MH fixtures my choices seem to be:

 

a) 30" width fixture with mounting legs (30" width being a much harder size to find) These types of fixtures always seem to include some supplemental T5/PC lighting and/or low light LEDs to create sunrise/sunset/moon cycles which I don't believe are necessary. In addition add-ons seems to make these fixtures run in the $500 to $800 range.

 

B) Hang on back clamp fixtures which don't have as sturdy a mount (or look as clean either) tend to run in the $200 to $300 range

 

c) Pendant fixtures which have to be hung from the ceiling or some other DIY bracketing system

 

In addition I've read discussions about magnetic vs electronic ballasts but nobody seems to include that in their marketing.

 

So due to cost I seem to be focusing on the hang on back clamp fixtures such as Hamilton 12" 150w HQI Tank Mount, Coralife Aqualight Advanced Hang on Tank, and JBJ Viper 150W Clamp On lights.

 

Am I making the correct choice for the size of tank I'm contemplating?

Am I missing some choices for fixtures with mounting legs that don't have extra supplemental lighting?

Are there some MH choices that are better than others?

What am I not noting that would important in a decision?

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I'm wanting a lighting upgrade and due to LEDs being relatively new and so expensive (I'm not going to attempt a DIY), I'm fixated on upgrading to a MH light and I need some input. I grow a mixture of basic softies, LPS, and SPS but my overall tastes lean towards colorful zoas and LPS.

 

I've got a 5.5g with an 18" Nova Extreme fixture and a 12g NC DX with stock PC lighting that I'm contemplating combining into a single 20 long or 29 gallon tank. Being as both have the same exact width and one is really shallow and the other just shallow, my thinking has been that whatever MH light I get for one decision would work for the other as well. (If I change my mind on tank size.)

 

From what I can tell a single 150w MH bulb should work with either tank size. What I've seen from looking around at MH fixtures my choices seem to be:

 

a) 30" width fixture with mounting legs (30" width being a much harder size to find) These types of fixtures always seem to include some supplemental T5/PC lighting and/or low light LEDs to create sunrise/sunset/moon cycles which I don't believe are necessary. In addition add-ons seems to make these fixtures run in the $500 to $800 range.

 

B) Hang on back clamp fixtures which don't have as sturdy a mount (or look as clean either) tend to run in the $200 to $300 range

 

c) Pendant fixtures which have to be hung from the ceiling or some other DIY bracketing system

 

In addition I've read discussions about magnetic vs electronic ballasts but nobody seems to include that in their marketing.

 

So due to cost I seem to be focusing on the hang on back clamp fixtures such as Hamilton 12" 150w HQI Tank Mount, Coralife Aqualight Advanced Hang on Tank, and JBJ Viper 150W Clamp On lights.

 

Am I making the correct choice for the size of tank I'm contemplating?

Am I missing some choices for fixtures with mounting legs that don't have extra supplemental lighting?

Are there some MH choices that are better than others?

What am I not noting that would important in a decision?

 

I have the coralife clamp on fixture which comes with the HQI version. Added a couple stunner strips and a phoenix 14K and its working great.Like the look and things are growing well.

 

 

IMG_1116.jpg

 

 

An overall view.....looks pretty clean IMO:

 

 

IMG_1125.jpg

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reefcreature84 and bioload - Thanks for the input. It seems I'm understanding my needs and options properly.

 

bioload - Thanks for the FTS. I'm assuming that is a 29 gallon tank. Is that a skimmer on the left? (A whole other piece of equipment I haven't even begun researching.) What is a stunner strip? I don't know that lingo yet.

 

Mini-Dude - Thanks for making me aware of another piece of equipment. What is the URL of the thread you are referring to? The price here - http://www.fishneedit.com/150w-metal-halide-pendant-lig.html - for something new is cheaper than the price here - http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=261838 - for a used competitor.

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The used one comes with a new Phoenix bulb which is arguably the best bulb available and much better than a stock FNI bulb.

 

 

The FNI does have a lighter, electronic ballast though. I don't particularly like the clamp on light fixtures so I ended up hanging mine instead.

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The FNI does have a lighter, electronic ballast though.

 

Does that mean Coralife has magnetic ballast or just that the FNI ballast is not as heavy as Coralife ballast? I can find marketing saying FNI has electronic ballast but I can find nothing with regard to Coralife ballast.

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reefcreature84 and bioload - Thanks for the input. It seems I'm understanding my needs and options properly.

 

bioload - Thanks for the FTS. I'm assuming that is a 29 gallon tank. Is that a skimmer on the left? (A whole other piece of equipment I haven't even begun researching.) What is a stunner strip? I don't know that lingo yet.

 

Yes it is a 29g Biocube tank but its the HQI version which comes with the clamp on MH.I'm assuming you have the standard 29 biocube? And yes thats the Tunze 9002 in chamber3. Heres the link to the stunner LED strips:

 

http://www.marinedepot.com/stunner+led+strip-si.html

 

What lighting system you pick will determine your options for the rear chamber set up. If you use the clamp on it takes up space on the inside of chamber 2.

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Yes it is a 29g Biocube tank but its the HQI version which comes with the clamp on MH. I'm assuming you have the standard 29 biocube?

 

What lighting system you pick will determine your options for the rear chamber set up. If you use the clamp on it takes up space on the inside of chamber 2.

 

 

I apologize I must not have been clear. I'm going to be moving my stuff into an AGA 20 gallon long or an AGA 29 gallon, not an AIO cube.

 

Tank Size Dimensions (inches) (L x W x H)

20 Long 30 1/4 x 12 1/2 x 12 3/4

29 Gallon 30 1/4 x 12 1/2 x 18 3/4

 

The footprint is the same, they are only different by height. I could also choose a 37 gallon tank if I found one.

 

37 Gallon 30 1/4 x 12 1/2 x 22 3/4

 

But I think that depth would require more wattage in the light.

 

Does the advice given that 150w should be fine for those two sizes (and probably 250w for a 37 gallon) still hold true being that I'm talking about an AGA tank and not an AIO tank?

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I apologize I must not have been clear. I'm going to be moving my stuff into an AGA 20 gallon long or an AGA 29 gallon, not an AIO cube.

 

Tank Size Dimensions (inches) (L x W x H)

20 Long 30 1/4 x 12 1/2 x 12 3/4

29 Gallon 30 1/4 x 12 1/2 x 18 3/4

 

The footprint is the same, they are only different by height. I could also choose a 37 gallon tank if I found one.

 

37 Gallon 30 1/4 x 12 1/2 x 22 3/4

 

But I think that depth would require more wattage in the light.

 

Does the advice given that 150w should be fine for those two sizes (and probably 250w for a 37 gallon) still hold true being that I'm talking about an AGA tank and not an AIO tank?

 

N.P I probably just missed that its a 29aga.

Yes, should be able to keep anything with good placement with the 150w, and yeah probably the 250 for the 37. Keeps your options open as to what corals you can keep.

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