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Old 02-15-2007, 2:55 PM   #1
Tsunami Tsunami is offline
 
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Metal Halide Lights

I have 3 400 watt MH lights and I was wondering how often I should change them (every 6 months, once a year, etc.)? I keep mostly soft corals and a few anenomes. Thanks.

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Old 02-15-2007, 3:03 PM   #2
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they say around 9-12 months. I usually change mine around 11 or 12, then again it all depends if I can see a noticeable difference in how the corals look as well as the color of the light.

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Old 02-15-2007, 3:10 PM   #3
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12 months seems to be the norm, but studies (ok study) shows that you can run them for 18 months before a significant drop in PAR.

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Old 02-15-2007, 3:12 PM   #4
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I like that 12 month idea. Easy to remember!

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Old 02-15-2007, 5:13 PM   #5
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I wouldn't go anymore than 12 months.

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Old 02-15-2007, 5:18 PM   #6
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Not all metal halides are created equal... :-)

Bulb life varies depending on brand, the particular bulb you get, your photo period.

I thought the ARC had a PAR meter they rented out. That is the best way to tell when the bulbs need replacing, imo.

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Old 02-15-2007, 5:21 PM   #7
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I think we do but I saw it at the last meeting and I think it is being passed around right now.

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Old 02-15-2007, 5:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTVI
Not all metal halides are created equal... :-)

Bulb life varies depending on brand, the particular bulb you get, your photo period.

I thought the ARC had a PAR meter they rented out. That is the best way to tell when the bulbs need replacing, imo.
I approve! +1

The life of the bulb is dependent on the brand/style/color/etc. The only real accurate meausre is PAR output (as far as the corals care). If you keep a photo log of your tanks (with the same camera settings every time) then you will be able to have a visual reference to color shift.

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Old 02-15-2007, 5:27 PM   #9
tsciarini tsciarini is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTVI
I thought the ARC had a PAR meter they rented out.
Yup, we sure do! Its a $10 rental fee (with credit card number on file, or deposit).
It is currently rented out but should have it back within the next few days.

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Old 02-15-2007, 5:45 PM   #10
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yeah, i need to rent that thing sometime..!

One other thing, w/ the PAR meter, if your water is yellow, that can effect your par readings, so keep that water clean!

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Old 02-15-2007, 7:09 PM   #11
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If we are getting out of generalities and into specifics read this series of articles:

http://www.personal.psu.edu/sbj4/aqu...lideLamps3.htm

I would also add the ballast you use should be considered as well. A spectrum shift does not necessarily mean you should change the bulb either.

I would say 12 months is a fair number, but you can change more often if you like. It is a hot topic to be sure, but ultimately it seems the adaptive nature of corals allows them to do fine for quite a while under MHs especially since the spectrum shift is slow.

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Old 02-15-2007, 8:03 PM   #12
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Ballast will play a huge role. Electronic, Magnetic, or HQI. Bulbs will run longer on some with less color shift and loss in PAR and get "used up" faster on some other types of ballasts. HQI runs the bulbs "hotter" and typically you get more light/PAR out of this ballast-bulb combo but you have to replace the bulbs more frequently. It depends on what you are looking for: Max output or longer bulb life or maybe a compromise of some of each...

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Old 02-15-2007, 8:21 PM   #13
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Man don't go more than 9 months...I pushed the envelope and I can really see I should have replaced them at least 2 months prior....I am going to go to 6 month schedule now.

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Old 02-15-2007, 8:22 PM   #14
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yes, I have that cool lil par thingy thing thing.....man my HQI went down in PAR. Time to replace, and its only been about 8 or 9 months.

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Old 02-15-2007, 10:19 PM   #15
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If I have to move to 6 month MH changes, I will switch to T5s in a heartbeat.

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Old 02-16-2007, 7:01 AM   #16
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I agree with Cameron that would be rediculous unless you have a lot of couch change.

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Old 02-16-2007, 9:27 AM   #17
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wow you have to pay to rent the par meter? My Chatt club lets us use it free...

/d

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Old 02-16-2007, 9:45 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnyholland
wow you have to pay to rent the par meter? My Chatt club lets us use it free...
I don't think anyone is making any money on the deal so I don't have a problem paying to use expensive equipment.

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Old 02-16-2007, 10:41 AM   #19
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For how much this club does for us I don't mind paying for things like that at all.

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Old 02-16-2007, 10:46 AM   #20
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I didn't say anything about you guys minding or you guys gettin ripped off... Don't be so touchy. I just said we are able to use it free, then again we only have like 24 active members heheh... I think it would be pretty tough to do that with 400 members more than half of which you prob don't hardly know.

/d

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