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10g - PCs or Halides?


erikg

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After buying a NanoCube and having it leak within 10 minutes, I have decided to make my own 10gallon. My plan is to have either 8 or 8.5 gallons in the main section and the rest in the "fuge" section.

 

I am having a conflict deciding to use PCs or Halides. I was thinking about having around 70 to 100 watts for the tank. And I want to be able to grow softies, zoos, mushrooms, sps, lps, and rics.

 

My two major concerns are heat issues and electric costs. I've heard halides really run up your electric bill.

 

Let me know if you've got any suggestions or comments, thanks!

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neanderthalman

A 70W halide uses 70W of electricity. So does 70W of PC. The difference is that a 70W halide outputs more light, while using the same amount of electricity.

 

There are some losses in the ballast for each, so that cancels out. A 70W PC or Halide might chew up 10W in the ballast. I think my 150W ballast takes up 18W or so.

 

So, basically, It does not cost any more money to run MH. In fact, for the same amount of light, it is cheaper, electricity wise, to run MH. This is the reason most modern factories use MH lighting (400 or 1000W typically). They don't do it do grow corals, they do it because it is cheaper to run.

 

A MH pendant won't have heat issues, and if you use a canopy, ventilate it and you'll be fine. My vote is for a 70W MH with a 20K bulb. I went with 150W over my 10, and it's probably not necessary. Damn my Tim Taylor genes. The 150W is more useful if you think you might upgrade in the future, so keep that in mind.

 

All things considered equal, a tank lit with MH will look better than one lit with PC, IMO, because of the shadows and shimmerlines.

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I'm not planning on using a canopy. But you bring up another question....what is the main difference between a 14k and 20k MH bulb? Does the 14k have a blue look, like the actinics? or not at all?

 

And what would you recommend for a 70w and/or 150w ? I keep hearing the JBJ K2 Viper is a piece of junk, but I want something versitle and somewhat inexpensive. I know what you're thinking.....Inexpensive in this hobby?, lol. But i'm looking to spend between $150 and $200 if possible.

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