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MH Bulbs: Single-Ended or Double-Ended
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CCS
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Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Location: SLO County, CA, USA

PostPosted: 2006.10.01(Sun)12:07    Post subject: MH Bulbs: Single-Ended or Double-Ended Reply with quote

Hey, I was wondering if it's worth the money to buy double-ended MH bulbs instead of single-ended bulbs.
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MattTVI
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Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Location: Woodstock, GA

PostPosted: 2006.10.02(Mon)12:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

hello my friend, imo, the answer is no, but you can investigate for yourself here.

my reasoning is that any combination of ballast, bulb, temperature, and reflector (including UV shield thickness) can greatly change the PPFD or PAR rating given by the same wattage bulb, even of the same color.

for example, a SE 250w 10k Ushio bulb fired by an IceCap ballast gives you a PPFD rating of 85, while a 10k DE Ushio of the same wattage and ballast gives you a PPFD rating of 65 because a DE bulb requires a seperate UV shield (SE bulbs have a "built-in" UV shield) that can greatly reduce the amount of light that gets into the tank (when you test the same DE 10k bulb w/out a shield it is still lower than the SE bulb at 78 PPFD). When you do see high PPFD ratings on DE bulbs, they are usually being fired by M80 or M81 ansi ballasts that are magnetic, run very hot and not as efficient as electronic ballasts.

So I do not think the PAR/ppfd difference warrants the increased cost, but there are some advantages to DE bulbs... namely, some of the bulb manufactorers don't provide the same K ratings for SE and DE, so you can't (as far as I know) get those lovely 14k pheonix or 50k Iwasaki's in SE versions.

hth,

Matt
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CCS
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PostPosted: 2006.10.02(Mon)21:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

What MH fixtures would you recommend for a 48" long tank that will use 250W, 20,000K bulbs?
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MattTVI
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PostPosted: 2006.10.03(Tue)7:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you intend to keep?

I'm a big fan of the IceCap ballasts. I've used the 250w and 175w, and you can hold them in your hand when they're firing (warm, but not too hot) unlike magnetic ballasts which would burn your hand.

If you can afford it, a setup of 2x 250w IceCap ballasts w/ 2x 20k Radium bulbs would be very nice. A nice blue light with decent PAR ratings (for that color temp). A great light for a monti tank.
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CCS
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PostPosted: 2006.10.03(Tue)10:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where did you order your ballasts? Marine Depot only has DE 250W Icecap balasts. http://www.marinedepot.com/aquarium_lighting_metal_halide__subindex.asp?CartId=

I want to use XM bulbs. They look nicer, IMO, and they are less expensive. Thanks for the info.
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sirreal63
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Joined: 21 Feb 2004
Location: Meadowlakes, TX

PostPosted: 2006.10.03(Tue)11:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing to note about DE bulbs and electronic ballasts...these ballasts will underfire the bulb which lowers par, prevents the bulb from reaching optimal temperature and lessens the light as well as changing the color rendering of the bulb. The good side of this is it lengthens bulb life but at the cost of output and color. A properly matched HQI setup will operate DE bulbs correctly.

I have a Hamilton 250 watt DE setup with a Phoenix 14k bulb in it and the same phoenix bulb being fired by an ARO electronic ballast...the light is more blue and less intense with the ARO ballast than it is with the HQI ballast and the light is more pleasing to the eye with the magnetic ballast. My Acros grow better under thre Hamilton than they do under the ARO...I don't think it is a coincidence.

You won't achieve the real potential of a DE bulb with an electronic ballast, if that isn't important then use the electronic ballast.
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CCS
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Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Location: SLO County, CA, USA

PostPosted: 2006.10.04(Wed)11:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll be keeping everything from Acro's to softies in my tank. Anyone know any good single-ended bulb ballasts that can use 250W and can be used on a 48" tank?
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MattTVI
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PostPosted: 2006.10.04(Wed)12:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

IceCap. Smile

they've got great product support and you can switch to 250w DE later on as an electronic ballast (like the icecap) will fire either an SE or DE bulb. you will just have to switch your sockets from mogul to DE.
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sirreal63
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Joined: 21 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: 2006.10.04(Wed)12:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

SE works great in a custom hood, if I remember correctly you do not want to do a custom hood to house the lights but were looking for a pre-made fixture to suspend over the tank. Is that still correct?
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CCS
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PostPosted: 2006.10.04(Wed)13:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. I'm actually now wondering if I want 20,000K bulbs or 10,000K bulbs. I think the 20K's look too much like night, but the corals are nicely colored in 20K reefs. Can you please post some pics of your reefs so I have more to go by, besides http://www.marinedepot.com/aquarium_lighting_metal_halide_bulbs_information.asp?CartId= ? Also, my tank is 26" tall and I want to use a bunch of LPS/SPS corals, so should I actually get 400W bulbs?
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