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269 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some help with MH lighting.
I am in the process of upgrading my VHO/ PC Lighting system to a MH/VHO system.
I've visited my local elec supply and have come up with several options in ballasts for MH.
MY plan is to go with 2-175 W 10K MH lights with supplemental 2-110 VHO Actinics.

My question.....
What is the best ballast to use.
The options seem to be a 1)std. core & coil, 2)F-Can(sealed like a flour. ballast), 3)electronic ballast.

The price of each is significantly more expensive from core & coil to electronic.

What are the advantages of each setup??
Are the double costs for a electronic worth the money?
Do F-Can ballast "hum" loudly??

Any help or experience would be appreciated!
Thanks in advance.

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1,511 Posts

Best prices on MH anywhere. Even the places that say they match prices won't match these guys (Marine Depot in particular).

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3,513 Posts
The advantages of electronic are they

1. Use less current to run the lamps
2. Do not run as hot as other ballasts
3. Are VERY light. Mine hang in my canopy.
4. Bulbs, in theory, last longer.

I'm not sure what PFOs are, but I have started just buying those. 2 of my 250W MHs are IceCaps and work very nicely.

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3,126 Posts
INREEF has really good prices on there electronic retro fits. So far that is the best price I have ever seen and you get a choice of 10k or 20k bulbs. And the reveiws i've seen are really good on coralvue systems. Hope this helps.


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806 Posts
I have PFO ballasts and noise is not an issue. They do heat up a bit, but nothing overwhelming. Are you set on going with 175 watts? How deep is your tank? Are you planning on growing any SPS?


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269 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have purchased from ebay the following ballasts

Advance 17500W Metal Halide Lamp Ballast 120/277 Volt
Catalog No. 72C5581-NP
For use with (1) 175W M57 Metal Halide Lamp
or (1)H39 Mercury Lamp or (1)150W M107 Metal Halide Lamp
High Power Factor Type 1 CW Auto - Transformer

These are the F-Can (tar) style ballast.
They will fire all ANSI M-57 bulbs.
I plan on using XM 175W 10000K Bulbs
I'm gonna buy some spider reflectors & mogul sockets from Hellolights.

I wasn't set of 175w until I got a great deal on these ballasts.

My tank is 24" dp.

Yes, I plan on having a few SPS in my tank.
I have a Monti in there now that is doing ok under the current VHO/PC lighting setup.
Figure it will only get better with new lighting.

Soooo...My final plan is as follows.

2 x 175W 10000K Halides
2 x 110W Actinic 03 VHO Flourescent

Any comments???????
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