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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok

I pretty much decided to bite the bullet and get MH fixture. So now it's the matter of which one to buy for the least amount of $$$.

Now I have a standard 75G, but definately upgrade to 90+ (as long as it still 48" long). I plan to run the T5s all day and 4-5 hours of MH burst. Also turn on MH at night for my viewing pleasure when I get home from work, or when guests come over :).

I like this one:
48" 529w Current USA Outer Orbit Metal Halide T5 Strip

Or it bigger brother:
48" 716w Current USA Outer Orbit Metal Halide T5 Strip

So the question are:
1. 150W vs 250W? I think 150W is enough, but consider questions below...
2. Bulb selection? more 250W option then 150W?
3. Maintainabilty? 250W has external ballast, 150W is built-in. So naturally 250W ballast is easier to replace.
4. If not current, then what other brand? I know maristar is better, but too expensive for me.
5. Noise... the tank is going to be in the living room so I want it to be as quite as possible.
6. Maybe I should get pendent instead?, but I like to have T5 also? One thing with pendent that I'm afraid is it may fall into the tank while I'm not home, with bigger fixture it will just fall onto the middle braket and stay there.
7. Is there some sort of MH stand? My roof is pretty high and it's not my house I don't want to bother hanging the light that way.

Have anyone use either of these fixtures? care to share your experience?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think the 700W is maybe too much, but the 500 is about right. Ibn, in this forum uses 2x 500 in his 90.

attack, how tall is your 47G? What do you think of the current MH that you're using? I see from your album that it's a 150W version. Is it loud? blast make noise?

Thanks.
 

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The 500W is about right (BTW, it's actually 2x250 vs. 2x500W :) ), especially if you plan on upgrading later to a larger tank later on, with a few caveat.

1) Make sure you're on top of your dosing and co2
2) Stick with just 5 hours max during the peak hours
3) Have plenty of cooling in mind (beyond the fans that are in the hood)
4) Slowly ease the MH in (don't run it at peak immediately)

As for legs for the fixture, take note of one of the pics included in that listing as well as the description. They come with small legs that will allow you to place it on top of the tank w/out hanging kits. This is where adequate ventilation will come into play. Metal halides run extremely hot and w/out proper ventilation will crack both glass and acrylic.
 

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the ballasts are electronic and silent. you should either stick with just mh or just t5ho; there's really no point to both on a planted tank of that size. nothing needs that much light in freshwater.

you could also run into photo reduction problems. i have a gwa problem in my current 4' fw tank because i have too much light and laterite mixed in my substrate. i have to block par with glass lids or i can trigger gwa within a day.

i found 8000k plant bulbs had the best results thanks to abundant par the plants could use. i really liked the look of wgnlite bulbs, you can get em on ebay starting at $30 from the source.
 

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Not sure what you are planting, or how fast you want your plants to grow, or how much do you enjoy trimming etc, I used 2 x 175w MH for my 180g and I could grow more or less what I wanted to grow.

Try using Rex's to determine how much light that you need.

http://rexgrigg.com/mlt.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ibn: Thanks for the advice. Yeah I meant 2x 250W, I was thinking total wattage lol. As far as nutrient I plan to just automatic doser (Ehiem and automatic fish feeder combo), so I hope that'll give me more control. How far up did you mount your MH light? I plan to build a "stand" based on metal water pipe like the one I saw somewhere in this forum.

attack11: The reason I wanted T5 is because I like to better control the color, I'm not sure how much option interm of color bulb available in MH, but it seem to me there are more option for T5 than MH.

Just40Fun: What type of bulb do you use? the standard 10K?

So I guess no one have bad experience of the Current-USA brand? at least it safe to say this is a good and reliable brand to go with?
As far as light penetration, do you think 150 W is the same as 250W for 90G tank (24" height?)
 

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Quite a bit up. They're were about 16" above the top of the tank lip. The MH and T5s were run in tandem, where the MH would be on for 5 hours during the peak period of the day. Outside of it, the T5s are on instead.

I'd look at 175W for a tank that's 24" deep versus 150W or 250W. Iwasaki 6500k bulbs put out a lot of PAR and are comparable to some 250W bulbs.
 

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That is a nice fixture, one that I have eyed too. I bet the 2x150 watt version will do you well. I once emailed Current about that light and they promptly answered my question. I was wondering if the T5s could be controled in two banks. The answer was not yet. If you turn on the T5s, its all four at once... But they mentioned it was a good idea and he wanted to forward that to R&D, so they might change that in the future.

FWIW, I really like the 6700K Current USA T5 tubes.
 

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why not buy the fixture without the t5 bulbs?

one or the other is what you're after with plants, trust me. mh has the same color options as t5, more really if you customize with the ballast to get exactly what you want.
 

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I wonder if I can just remove the 2 T5 bulbs and use only two?
As high as you will probably need it, you may want all four anyways. But you could just run two. I run 4x54 8 inches high only 3-4 hours midday and just two for the other 5.5 hours.

Also, there has to be two ballasts, so there may be two on off switches. If one was determined, you could probably take it apart and add a second power cord to one of the T5 ballasts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok thanks guy, I think I've pretty much decided to get the 250W version, just to cover my future expansion to 90+G tank. For now I'll just mount the fixture at the same height as Ibn - 18" - and add some very low speed fan mounted to the back of the aquarium to blow across the 2 MH bulbs. I'm trying to get bigals to pricematch with coral inc of ebay, but they've declined to price match against ebay store... don't know why. Guess now I'll start searching for the cheapest I can find.

Oh, since I'm on the subject, which T5 bulb should I get?

Anyone got a picture of their tank with the following:
54W T5 Midday 6000K Giesemann PowerChrome Bulb 48inch
Current USA Slimpaq T5 6700k Daylight Plant Grow Bulbs
Coralife T5 6,700k Plant Grow Fluorescent Bulbs

I'm guessing the favor will go toward Giesemann and/or Current.

Thanks
 

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Ok thanks guy, I think I've pretty much decided to get the 250W version, just to cover my future expansion to 90+G tank. For now I'll just mount the fixture at the same height as Ibn - 18" - and add some very low speed fan mounted to the back of the aquarium to blow across the 2 MH bulbs. I'm trying to get bigals to pricematch with coral inc of ebay, but they've declined to price match against ebay store... don't know why. Guess now I'll start searching for the cheapest I can find.

Oh, since I'm on the subject, which T5 bulb should I get?

Anyone got a picture of their tank with the following:
54W T5 Midday 6000K Giesemann PowerChrome Bulb 48inch
Current USA Slimpaq T5 6700k Daylight Plant Grow Bulbs
Coralife T5 6,700k Plant Grow Fluorescent Bulbs

I'm guessing the favor will go toward Giesemann and/or Current.

Thanks
Both my tanks run Current-USA 6700 and 10000K. Maybe one has AM 10000K, but both are half of each. You can see them at the "view user tank" link by the avatar. This combo rocks best in my opinion. One of the mods once said the Giesemann were a bit dimmer, but someone on the forum said that was baloney, so who knows...
 
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