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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the process of building my Marineland 300dd and am going to go with MH lighting which I am new too. I have t5 and will be taking the plunge to mh.

My question is what is the more reliable ballasts out there. I am going with 3 250 Moguls.... I was thinking Gallaxy ballasts there not that expensive -I just dont know if there reliable..

The lfs store with tell you anything to move the product.. I rather get advise from you guys :)
 

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Do your research on the ballasts. Some units push bulbs better than others. And you can get very different par readings from the exact same bulbs when pushed by different ballasts.

In my experience, magnetic ballasts aren't as efficient, but they throw out higher par. I've used everything from 30lb industrial shop ballasts to tiny little electronic ballasts. I personally haven't seen a big enough difference between the ballasts to warrant the huge price differences. Bulbs are far more important in my opinion. And reflectors are just behind the bulbs. (maybe even more important).

Also, buy a good used set if you can get them. Since the boom in LED, the price of MH fixtures has dropped like mad! I personally have about 10 of them sitting in my barn that I am afraid of listing because of the loss I will get :(

So in short my recommendation would be this; If you have room to hide a huge magnetic ballast, then buy one of those, you can buy one off craigslist, and two extra backups and still save $70 from what you would pay for a new electronic ballast...

If you don't have the room, and don't want to deal with heat (magnetic ballasts get hot) go with a electronic ballast. They still get warm, but they won't catch your house of fire... lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was checking these out Lumatek 400W 120/240V Dimmable / Multi-Wattage (250W, 400W) Ballast, ($154.00) along with the Gallaxy.. Not sure to go HQI or Mogul... You hear pros and cons on all of these. I was orignally going LED but hear of way to many people switching back to MH.
 

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Like Derek said I think the bulb you want to run is more important and probably what you need to figure out the ballast for, for instance I run all Icecap ballast and Radium bulbs were too blue for me and just not bright enough although the corals looked amazing under them and I'm sure they would have grown fine, but I switched to Phoneix 14k bulbs and they were the perfect balance for my eye's at least, and I even turned off my vho's and only use them before and after the halides.

I think if I had to pick again it would be the galaxy ballast but there's no reason the Lumantek's would not be really good as well.

If you go to Sanjay's lighting guide to can plug in different bulb/ballast combo's and look at par

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...3JDVCw&usg=AFQjCNEAEeukmz9ZaE1FwkD9YnzL9UXcsg

I don't know about singe end / double end it seems like sometimes I wished I went one way and other time's not when I'm researching bulbs...
 

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I'm looking at the Phoenix 14k myself but, also considering the Ushio 15k. I have only had an MH for about 4 months now, but I would have to agree that it is the bulb first, then or more so the reflector and ballast.
 

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IME the ushio's were always a bit "whiter" and had a nice crisp color, not the yellow of some similar K bulbs. They grow nice, but they're just too white for my taste. The Phoenix 14k definitely brought out the pigments of my coral better. Those paired with a set of VHO pure actinics... that was nice :eek:rder
 

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You have so many reefers around you I'd suggest going to other peoples homes and looking at their tanks. Find the "look" or color that you like best (take pictures and notes) and then replicate the system you find most appealing. Bulbs are funny. Different color on different ballasts.

Take the Radium. I like them best on an M80 ballast. Others swear they are better on an electronic. Some nut jobs like them on a m59. Dropped as children I believe.

My new favorite bulb is the Plusrite bulb through 1000bulbs. It looks good to me on an old style icecap. It looks a bit sharper/harsher on the new style.
 

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Man I remember getting flamed on forums for liking the plusrites... truth is, they are a great bulb for the price, and even if they shifted at 6 or 8 months, you could afford to order a new bulb! Now days they are even better, and cheaper than 10 yrs ago!!!

Every1 always got plusrites and pulserites confused. PLUSRITES are good quality bulbs with a good par and a great kelvin. Pulserites, are a cheap bulb good for growing algae and making your tank look like pee water....
 

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If your looking for someone to tell you what is a safe combination until you can figure what you like, here is my recommendation. Go with either a Galaxy or Coralvue electronic ballast with Lumenbrite Mini reflectors with a Current 14K bulb. Then if you want more blue you can go up in k-value to something like a 20k phoenix.

This is just my opinion of what works for me and what I'm setting up. I did my research based on what was going to be in my tank though. Good luck!
 
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