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Re: Lighting large tank

Hi Dave,

I'm into coral reef tanks and I think that you may need 2 bulbs.  MH bulbs
are only useful for lighting 24X24 inch areas.  I suggest the Iwasaki 250
or 400 watt 6500 K MH bulbs.  These bulbs have a 2 year useful life for
coral reef tanks (before the K colour shifts down twords 5000 K) and they
should be useful until the bulb burns out.  Another benefit of these bulbs
is that they are quite cheap, $69 US at most of the marine online stores.

You can get more information about Iwasaki MH bulbs at:

I also suggest that you use a quality MH ballast.  Try the following links:

PFO lighting - Quality Core & Cap ballast in a nice ballast enclosure

IceCap Industries - they make the VHO electronic ballasts for Fluorecents &
they have a series of electronic MH ballasts (although they have been
having some trouble with the Iwasaki bulb & ballast combination)

Champion Lighting - they offer the 'Blueline' electronic ballasts (which is
becoming popular with Reef keepers).

Another interesting item that you may want to use (if you mount the bulbs
horizontally as opposed to vertically using pendents) is the Spider Light
MH reflector made by Digital Ocean (but recently sold to Marine Depot @
www.marinedepot.com).  Here is a product review of the Spider Light:

Here are some links to a series of 3 useful articles on MH bulbs:
400 watt MH bulbs

400 watt MH bulbs

250 watt MH bulbs

Also if your wallet can handle it Venture makes a 1000 watt 5500 K MH bulb.

I hope this helps.  Good Luck.

ps. as per usual, I am not affiliated with any of these companies.

Victor Eng					Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
engfam at axion_net