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  1. #1
    Senior Member Nighty's Avatar
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    Power Compact or Metal Halide?

    I have been hearing quite a bit about power compacts. Is there a huge difference between them and metal halides? Which is better?

    Regards,

    Nighty

  2. #2
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    What drives lighting to a large degree is personal taste? Some people, myself included like the shimmering effect given off by MH lights. I would rather go with VHO then PC's. I Think they are a better value. I had PC's and switched to VHO. One 55 watt PC bulb costs me $50.00+, a 110 watt URI bulbs costs me approx. $45.00
    Daniel
    M.A.S.K.
    Marine Aquarium Society of Kitchener
    www.maskcanada.org

  3. #3
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    i would also love to have MH, but they are a lot more expensive, and dont really come in a strip like i wanted for my tank. i wasnt about to start hanging things from the ceiling or whatever. they also get very hot. from what i understood, PC are fine for most corals and you really dont need more light than that unless you are really looking for corals with very high lighting needs. I am using the CustomSeaLife PC system, and i LOVE it. i am very happy with my choice.
    Albert
    My Photos

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    When selecting a lighting the most important factor is to make sure you get the right light for the species you want to keep in the tank.

    I bought my 4 65 watt PC (50/50) plus 2 electronic ballast for 140$. My choices as to what I can keep in the tank is limited, but for a 37 gallon tank I wasn't going to invest on any other lighting, with this setup I am able to run them without additional cooling and the evaporation is minimum.

    VHO are a good choice too, as some come with an internal reflector.

    May be in few years PCs will rule but for now there is nothing better than Metal Halides currently gives you unlimited choice as to what species you an keep under them.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nighty's Avatar
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    MH vs PC | So what I've gathered so far is that forgoing MH lighting will limit my species selection. How limited will I be? I'm a rank amateur, so I don't think I'll be venturing into exotic coral land anytime soon, but I would like to keep a good selection of corals. And I must admit, I do like that nice rippling light effect.

    How hot does MH get anyway? Is it a fire hazard? Could my apartment burn down to blackened rubble?

    Naively,

    Nighty

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Most softies and LPS corals will do ok (some may do better under metal halides) under PC/VHO lights. The SPS is totally ruled out under these lights. So if you want to keep any SPS you need metal halides.

  7. #7
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Nighty, It all depends on how much intensity/watts you have and even the depth of the tank comes into question.

    I know many people that keep SPS with VHO, or even PC lighting. Those with the latter don't have deep tanks mind you. The rippling light effect is hard to get without MH's.

    As for heat... Yes. MH's get HOT. The bulbs and enclosure need adequate ventilation, and space ABOVE the bulbs to get rid of the heat. To give you an idea, I purposely built my canopy 18" tall to make sure that I had proper space within it for the bulbs and ventilation. I have 2 4" fans blowing into the canopy... and the above 4 inches of the canopy's back is open for exhaust.

    As for fire hazards... Let me tell you that fires can start with any lighting provided that the proper precautions aren't met.

    Here's a picture of a poor guy that had VHO's with Icecap endcaps that failed... No fault of his own...


    You can see the Icecap ballast in this picture:


    Not trying to scare you....
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  8. #8
    ijo
    ijo is offline
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    OMG!!! thats crazy... if you didn't scare him... you got me going..(maybe not.. lol) if my g/f ever see's these pics.. my tank days are over. hehe

    IJO

  9. #9
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    lol... tell me about it... These are some pics that remain hidden with the porn... I mean pics of Johnny and his pink lights from way back... (j/k)
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Nighty's Avatar
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    Oh ... oh my. I feel very faint right now ... where's a Victorian fainting couch when you need one?

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