What do you think about 250 MH - can't afford Nova Pro

Discussion in 'Lighting, Filtration & Other Equipment' started by lightcs4, May 19, 2008.

  1. lightcs4

    lightcs4 Loving to learn

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    I am pretty well set on ordering a generic MH with 250 MH, T5 actinics, and moonlight LED's for $239, including shipping. My budget is $250 and I can't find the NEPs for less than $282, plus shipping. I thought the Nova Extremes would be OK until my wife liked an Acropora (spelling? - blame the wine!:Cheers:). Anything I can do to make my wife more interested in aquaria is a plus so I will purchase lighting that will allow the corals she likes ... plus the Acropora is really nice.

    Anyhow, is the MH with 250 MH is over kill for a 46 gal tank? I really want to keep a wide variety of coral, including rocardia, striped mushrooms, and birds nests.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
     
    lightcs4, May 19, 2008
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  2. lightcs4

    daugherty part time reefer

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    the 250w is not over kill i run almost 12w per gallon on my tank
     
    daugherty, May 19, 2008
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  3. lightcs4

    lightcs4 Loving to learn

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    I really hope the MH work well as they are generics. However, I was concerned that they might be too much for such a small tank.

    Thanks.
     
    lightcs4, May 19, 2008
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  4. lightcs4

    daugherty part time reefer

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    they will get hotter. do you have ac in you house
    my MH sits about 6-7 in off the water. and my tank stays at 80 but i keep my house at about 65 to 70
     
    daugherty, May 19, 2008
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  5. lightcs4

    lightcs4 Loving to learn

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    No, no AC in the house. I find the room it is in gets around lower 70's or upper 60's up here, I'll put on a fan if I need to.
     
    lightcs4, May 19, 2008
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  6. lightcs4

    daugherty part time reefer

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    just keep an eye on it.
     
    daugherty, May 19, 2008
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  7. lightcs4

    fatman

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    If your tank is around 23 inches tall then the 250 would be a good choice. If it is different in size from a standard 45 gallon ( 36" long x 12.5" wide x 23.75" tall) such as much shallower I would consider a 150 a halide instead, especially if you do not use a sump. You would definitely want to encourage water evaporation with 250 watts of halide, plus T-5's on a 46 gallon tank. Try to get at least a gallon a day of evaporation in order to keep the tank cool. That would mean a small fan pulling air across the waters surface. Pulling the air acroos the top of the water will work better than blowing the air across.
     
    fatman, May 19, 2008
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  8. lightcs4

    lightcs4 Loving to learn

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    The tank is a bow front that is 21" tall. I was originally looking at T5's (took your advice and talked to Reeffreak - He was great at providing recommendations on T5s) but the ones I wanted are simply out of my budget. My options appear to be a Nova Extreme at 156 watts, genreic brand MH w/ CF actinics, or generic brand 150 MH with CF actinics (all under $250). I thought picking out a tank was going to be the difficult part but lighting options are driving me crazy :frustrat:. There are too many choices.

    I want enough light to keep pretty much anything but no so much that mushrooms or other lower light corals don't do well. However, I definitely want a neon green closed brain coral and will probably want to get a couple acros (it is always good to add something the wife likes:D). I also hope to frag some corals down the road for the possibility of trading or selling some, but that is a very minor consideration.

    The light comes with a 5" stand so it will be approximately 6" off the water. It looks like Daugherty has similar weather as here, so I'll have to watch the temp. I'll be putting a fuge on the back (I'll make it The tank is a bow front that is 21" tall. I was originally looking at T5's (took your advice and talked to Reeffeak - He was great at providing recommendations) but the ones I wanted are simply out of my budget. My options appear to be a Nova Extreme at 156 watts, a 250 MH w/ CF actinics at 442 watts, or a 150 MH with CF actinics at 350 watts.

    I want enough light to keep pretty much anything but no so much that mushrooms or other lower light corals don't do well. I don't believe the Nova Extremes have enough light for what I want to do. The 250 watt light comes with a 5" stand so it will be approximately 6" off the water. It looks like Daugherty has similar weather as here, so I'll have to watch the temp. I'll be putting a fuge on the back (I'll make it myself), but that will only add around 10 gal. of water. The tank isn't near a window and the room stays fairly cool, even in the summer (70's in July/Aug).

    Thanks for the help in sorting this out.
     
    lightcs4, May 19, 2008
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  9. lightcs4

    fatman

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    :bounce: I would with the 250 watt halide recommend a small box fan (say 4") to encourage evaporation. I have to evaporate 3.5 gallons of water off a 120 gallon tank with two 250 watt halides wand two 96 watt PC's that are mounted 5" off the tanks top. I am in Alaska and I keep my apartment at 68 degrees 24 X 7. I use two 4" box fans that are plugged into the halide light timer circuit over the tanks sump. Plus there are two three inch fans in the lighting fixture. They are all just basic computer 12 volt fans. The heaters come on only at night and the only time the chiller comes on is if I open by door too much during the summer. I keep a windoe cracked about 10 foot from the tank all year round so as to maintain a low house CO2 level and therefore a low tank CO2 level. Without the fans I only evaporate about 1.5 gallons and the chiller runs about 10 minutes out of every hour the halides are on. The two little fans are definitely cheaper to run then the chiller. :^:
    Most Acros require 40 X to 60 X circulation, unless your talking monti's. They will like the intense light from a 250 watt halide though.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2008
    fatman, May 19, 2008
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  10. lightcs4

    lightcs4 Loving to learn

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    That pretty well settles it then. I'll use a fan with the 250 MH and keep up on the top-offs. It should be ordered tonight. I'll also be getting another Koralia #2 before I get any Acros, probably before I get any corals at all. The price on them seems so small after looking for lights:D.

    Thanks.
     
    lightcs4, May 19, 2008
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  11. lightcs4

    fatman

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    I have spent a fortune on lights over the years, so I definitely know what you mean.
     
    fatman, May 19, 2008
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  12. lightcs4

    reeffreak

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    I wholeheartly recommend MH if that's what you want to go with to save money....but.......

    Are you really going to save money in the long run with the added electricity consumption?You're already aware of possible heat issues but my real concern is buying MH or any aquarium light on Ebay.Do your research and be aware of quality issues,no nobody wants there house to go up in flames.Check the seller's feedback and warranty,many times lights will arrive broken,either broken bulbs or wiring problems.Another concern is having only one MH bulb shiining over the middle brace.It will leave a shadow,in this case really 2x150w version would be better than 1x250w one.I believe they recommend one MH for every 24'',you have 36'' so I think 2/150w would be better.
     
    reeffreak, May 19, 2008
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  13. lightcs4

    fatman

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    Sounds reasonable.
     
    fatman, May 19, 2008
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  14. lightcs4

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    The Nova T5s you talked about are sufficient for keeping acros and other SPS. I did it, and tons of other people do it. In fact, my SPS corals grew better under T5s than they do under halides. For a smaller tank like yours, I'd still say that T5s are the better option.

    But if you want halides, I don't think a 250 would be overkill. Like others have said, the only issue would be the heat.
     
    Bifferwine, May 19, 2008
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  15. lightcs4

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    PS -- look into the Nova Extremes. I used the 4-bulb Nova Extreme fixture over my 55 and successfully kept an anemone and SPS corals. They are much cheaper than the Pros because they don't have individual reflectors, but I think that the Nova Extremes would still be a better option for you than halides, and they are within your budget.
     
    Bifferwine, May 19, 2008
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  16. lightcs4

    lightcs4 Loving to learn

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    It's done.

    Reef,

    First, thanks for all the advice with the T5s. FInding affordable lights is kinda fustrating as I would really have liked the Nova Pro, but we all have to set our priorities.

    I researched the light extensively (my wife decided I was obessed). I found several posts on different forums where people were satisfied with them. Hopefully it will work out. The two 150 watt wasn't an option (around $350) ... I have to feed the kids and would have gone with the T5HOx6 at that point. I figure I can make improvements down the road such as a different balast if this one has issues. As far as the electric consumption, I can get away with a little more electrical usage easier than trying to get my wife to accept a $300+ light ... the dog house can get very cold :shock:. I also read the HQI MHs are better at consumption than the older style MHs.

    The support creating a shadow may be an issue. I was thinking I could replace it with a glass support, or use corner supports instead, leaving the center open. I also could put lower light items around the center support. I can position the light so it isn't directly over the support.
     
    lightcs4, May 19, 2008
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  17. lightcs4

    lightcs4 Loving to learn

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    Thanks, but I didn't feel as comfortable with the Nova Extremes lighting ability. They were on sale too, very tempting. I think I might have gone with them if I had previous experience with corals.
     
    lightcs4, May 19, 2008
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  18. lightcs4

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Don't doubt the Extremes lighting ability -- like I said, their 4 bulb fixture worked great for my 55. T5s don't follow the same wpg gallon 'rule of thumb' like other lights. You can get away with a lot less watts with T5s.
     
    Bifferwine, May 19, 2008
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  19. lightcs4

    lightcs4 Loving to learn

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    I had already ordered the 250 MH setup. Hopefully I wasn't too anxious and will be happy with them.

    Thanks.
     
    lightcs4, May 19, 2008
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  20. lightcs4

    fatman

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    I think you will like the 250 watt halide just fine. As far as the center brace, you can always cut it out and use european bracing. It is actually stronger bracing. It just amounts to a 3/4" to 1" wide piece of glass running horizontal along your top tank edges in front and back. In your case the only wall it would need to be run on is the longest wall. It would just be siliconed into place just under the cover glass lip of the top plastic trim. The glass strip would run with the width at a right angle to the glass wall forming a "L" shape. With this the center brace could be cut out and would not blockthe light. The bracing just like the cross brace is only to stop bowing and to provide a convient way to use shorter and therfore cheaper to ship glass covers. If you could talk to aquatic firm engineers you would find shipping and handling costs and therefore profits is mainly the factor for making small things for aquariums, such as refugiums, sumps, filters, skimmers and calc reactors. Retail advertsing just flaunts convenience of its fitting in a cabinet as a selling point. It is a fact that most things sold for reef tank use work better when not down sized to fit under the tank in a stand. Same goes for lghting and such. They make light housing smaller primarily because that is cheaper. I guarantee a long neck skimmer works better than a short neck skimmer. Ever wonder why Biffer likes her skimmer so much. Cut it in half and it definitely would not work so well.
     
    fatman, May 20, 2008
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