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Re: VHO setup

I have a 90 gallon with an Icecap 660 and 3 110 watt bulbs for a total of
330 watts.

I really like the Icecap and have had no problems in over three years of
continuos use.  The ballast runs cool to the touch and the bulbs are about
as warm as regular output bulbs. They are also much, much cooler than MH
and you can easily make a hood for the bulbs.  Also I use just regular
endcaps and they are still going fine.

Most every place has the same price for the Icecap 660 about $180-$200 for
the ballast and wiring harness.  As you stated you can also mix and match
regular and VHO bulbs on the same ballast.  Most of the VHO bulbs are
about $30 for a bulb, so they are not much more than Tritons.

Overall it is a good buy and cheaper in the long run if you factor in
fewer bulbs to replace over the coming years.  VHOs also punch deeper into
the water and you will get better light at the bottom of the tank.  

Supposedly the electronic ballasts use less electricity than the regular
ballasts, so you can save on your electric bill :). 

The dimmers are expensive $50-$100 and probably not really worth it, but I
have no experience with them.

h                                                                        o   
o    Mike Nielsen                                                        u 
m    Department of Geography         THE OPTIMIST BELIEVES WE LIVE IN    ? 
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e    mnielsen at u_arizona.edu                                              o  
y                                                                        m