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chris
12-28-2005, 04:17 PM
Mike and I have been talking about switching to a different bulb (kelvin) when the XM 10k's we're running now are ready to be changed. What are you guys running for SE bulbs currently or in the past and what about those bulbs did you like/dislike? also, what might you recommend if you had to pick new SE bulbs in the near future?

I believe we're going to switch to something with more blue in it which opens the door to numerous SE bulbs. XM makes a 15k, Hamilton makes a 14k, both companies make 20k, and so on. We are not limited to those two manufacturers, I'm just using them as an example.

The bulbs will be powered by standard PFO ballasts, we'll need 4 of them (250w), and they'll be running inside our lumenarc mini's. We don't want anything that's going to make the entire tank look like it's only running actinics, and we of course want good color/growth from whatever we end up with.

I like the Aquaconnect 14k SE bulbs but there only seems to be two US retailers (both of which are sold out), and they want $115 each for them.

It's understandable that most SE bulbs in this category will have about 1/2 the PAR that the 10k XM's have, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Some people on RC seem to have issues with the XM 10k's actually burning corals if their lighting periods are more then about 6 hours.

Thanks for all input.

BoomerD
12-28-2005, 04:42 PM
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=254667&perpage=25&pagenumber=1

chris
12-28-2005, 04:43 PM
I've already seen that. I was hoping to bring the discussion here instead of just redirecting everyone to Reefcentral. Plus, a majority of the bulbs in that test are 10k, and we don't really want to stick with 10k unless there is no better option.

tacocat
12-28-2005, 05:06 PM
I really like Radiums and Helios 20K (appearance wise). They are too blue IMO, but most of the 14K type bulbs are so dim, you might as well get Radiums for good growth. I am a 10K/VHO actinic person myself, and I have yet to see a better combo personally.

chris
12-28-2005, 05:10 PM
I was just looking at Aquaconnect 14k bulbs on RC and though they seem to be good bulbs they do give the tank a very dark appearance. I like the 10k/VHO actinic combo too but the XM's seem to be way too overpowering. Algaeman has a 24" tall 300 gallon, and our 180 is 24" tall, and he said he was burning corals with his 10k XM's. I don't want to run into those same issues. I suppose we could cut our lighting cycle back to 6 hours or so. Right now we're just trying to gather info on various SE bulbs and see what we like.

tacocat
12-28-2005, 05:22 PM
If you think the XMs are overpowering, go with Ushios/BLV, or AB. They are more expensive, but worth it. When you guys stopped by, I was running 10K AB DE. They don't look very different from the SE jobbies.

When tank upgrade time comes around, I may go to lumies and 10K AB. BLV, Ushio. After we left slobound's place, my wife said his tank (20K radiums and Helios in lumies no actinic) had nice color, but it was too dark. IF she noticed that,right off the bat you definitely will.

It's definitely a trade off when you go to higher Kelvin bulbs.

chris
12-28-2005, 05:26 PM
Yeah. slobound has an awesome tank, I plan to contact him next time we head down to thousand oaks to see my sister.

I can't remember what kind of bulbs Dave was running on his 240. They were 400w's, but he got really good growth/color out of them. I wouldn't mind going with a bluer halide, but I don't think I could go all the way to a 20k, and 14k's seem to be a little on the dark side, so it's a tough choice.

Bigred
12-28-2005, 05:27 PM
I have used XM 10K, 15K, and 20K. I like the 15K the best. I have also seen the Hamilton 20K which seem tom about the same as the XM's. I'll be ordering new bulbs at the end of this week. I think I'm going to go with the XM 15K's or the Hamilton 14K's. I have also looked into getting the reeflux bulbs but don't know too much about them.

tacocat
12-28-2005, 05:29 PM
Dave ran 14K hammies.

chris
12-28-2005, 05:30 PM
Algaeman from RC uses 250w 10k Reeflux. He said he really likes them and the color/growth he's getting but that they give off a bit of pink to them that some people don't like/aren't used to seeing with a 10k bulb.

What are you using at the moment, the XM 15k's?? Also, are they 250's or 400's? you seem to be getting excellent growth on a lot of the pieces you've posted.


I have used XM 10K, 15K, and 20K. I like the 15K the best. I have also seen the Hamilton 20K which seem tom about the same as the XM's. I'll be ordering new bulbs at the end of this week. I think I'm going to go with the XM 15K's or the Hamilton 14K's. I have also looked into getting the reeflux bulbs but don't know too much about them.

Daveyboi
12-28-2005, 06:24 PM
I ran Hammie 14k's first, but really had nice growth and color when I changed to the EVC Tech 14k's. But this was on 400 watts. They were alittle bluer than the hammies but much brighter. My buddy that has my 240 now is running the EVC 250 de version and isn't too impressed with it though. Two bulbs has blown up on him. He got them replaced without questions though....

:D
Dave

achillesheel
12-28-2005, 06:24 PM
ive never used anything but the sunburst 12ks both 400w (currently) and 250w. ive always loved the appearance of my tank and as long as im not screwing something else up my growth is pretty good.

BoomerD
12-28-2005, 06:37 PM
Chris, I posted that link so everyone could see the appropriate numbers, especially since he tested bulb and ballast combinations. Those PAR numbers are quite important, but not necessarily the only reason to chose bulbs. Personally, I like a 10K halide supplemented with actinic VHO's, but also like the look of the 13K PFO bulb and the 14 hamiltons. I have a strong aversion to the chinese bulbs, like XM, Phoenix and some of the others. Just a personal preference I suppose. I do my best NOT to buy anything made in china.

chris
12-28-2005, 06:49 PM
Yeah, he did a really good job on that testing.


Chris, I posted that link so everyone could see the appropriate numbers, especially since he tested bulb and ballast combinations. Those PAR numbers are quite important, but not necessarily the only reason to chose bulbs. Personally, I like a 10K halide supplemented with actinic VHO's, but also like the look of the 13K PFO bulb and the 14 hamiltons. I have a strong aversion to the chinese bulbs, like XM, Phoenix and some of the others. Just a personal preference I suppose. I do my best NOT to buy anything made in china.

Bigred
12-28-2005, 06:57 PM
I'm running 2 15K and 3 20K 400's on my tank right know. I'm leaning more towards the 14k hamiltons. I need something that will give me more brightness to the tank. It seems dim to me but also my bulbs are 7 months old.

TimB
12-28-2005, 07:15 PM
I've ran 12k Sunburst and am now running 14k Hamiltons. I like the color better with the Hamiltons and get good growth. I am also supplementing with PC Actinic 03 for the extra lightness and the pop.

Stev-O
12-28-2005, 07:23 PM
my $0.02 mind you that I run SE 400W on a PFO HQI ballast
14K Hamilton is by far my favorite bulb so far. Nicest crisp color not yellow like the 10K XM I started with and not too blue like the radium 20K I also tried. I just changed from the XM 15K after a few months. Initially good growth still after changing out my spent 14K Hamilton to the XM 15K, but after a few omnths, definitely noticed the tank is darker and growth had slowed down considerably. Now after a month or so on the 14K Hamilton, growth is back, although some corals definitely suffered a burn after the switch.

masterkush
12-29-2005, 12:07 AM
I like the XM never had any burn.Their was two of them on my 58 with reef optix 1 and it was bright in the tank.the thing i dont like about them is it looks to bright.Oshios and ham 10k are a good pic.I would never use anyting above a 10K it would be a wast.The tips of my millis get crazy color with the 10k.I am going to try the reeflux 10k theis week.

chris
12-29-2005, 12:18 AM
I like the XM never had any burn.Their was two of them on my 58 with reef optix 1 and it was bright in the tank.the thing i dont like about them is it looks to bright.Oshios and ham 10k are a good pic.I would never use anyting above a 10K it would be a wast.The tips of my millis get crazy color with the 10k.I am going to try the reeflux 10k theis week.

I've been looking at the reeflux 10k on reefcentral. I know what you mean about the 10k XM's looking too bright, they are really powerful.

triggerman
12-29-2005, 12:42 AM
I have ran both coralvue 14k and now the xm 15k and like them both! I think the coralvie actually gave me a little faster growth and but then again I took better care of my tank then to!

tacocat
12-29-2005, 09:36 AM
Chris, I posted that link so everyone could see the appropriate numbers, especially since he tested bulb and ballast combinations. Those PAR numbers are quite important, but not necessarily the only reason to chose bulbs. Personally, I like a 10K halide supplemented with actinic VHO's, but also like the look of the 13K PFO bulb and the 14 hamiltons. I have a strong aversion to the chinese bulbs, like XM, Phoenix and some of the others. Just a personal preference I suppose. I do my best NOT to buy anything made in china.

I like Chinese food, but like you I try to not buy any products made in China. US and European products are much more reliable. BTW, Phoenix bulbs are made in Japan, so they are OK.

I have good things about EVC SE bulbs. Twins, if you are going to run actinics, just go the 10K route with one of the trinity bulb manufacturers (AB, BLV, Ushio).

plankton
12-30-2005, 04:37 PM
I'm running a bit of an experiment on my tank. All bulbs are double-ended 250W:

1-14K Phoenix
1-10K AB
1-10K Ushio.

And I like the growth and overall color of the Ushios better.

I'm not a big fan of 20K bulbs because unless you overdrive the heck out of them they are just soo dim in apperance. However, see latest tank shots by Tim in Sac (TFP on reefcentral) and you can see why folks like 20K bulbs.

PS Hecta - If you mean Twins in Stockton then yes they have really good prices on halide bulbs, LPS, fish and frozen food.

Scott

chris
12-30-2005, 05:18 PM
I'm running a bit of an experiment on my tank. All bulbs are double-ended 250W:

1-14K Phoenix
1-10K AB
1-10K Ushio.

And I like the growth and overall color of the Ushios better.

I'm not a big fan of 20K bulbs because unless you overdrive the heck out of them they are just soo dim in apperance. However, see latest tank shots by Tim in Sac (TFP on reefcentral) and you can see why folks like 20K bulbs.

PS Hecta - If you mean Twins in Stockton then yes they have really good prices on halide bulbs, LPS, fish and frozen food.

Scott

When I ran the DE 10k AB on my old 30 gallon it was really yellow. The actinics made it look really nice though.

As far as twins, he's referring to me and my brother :D

I think TFP was part of my Lumenarc group buy.

plankton
12-30-2005, 05:27 PM
Chris,

Most 10Ks look a little yellow when you fire them up for the first time, then will whiten up as they burn in - could take a week or so. But, I have to say the Ushio 10K looks better (more of a crisp white) then the AB. I'm using AB ballasts, not PFO.

You are not one of the 'twins' who bought that 240G tank from SaltyBob were you?

PS Any Luminarcs left over for sale? VBG

Scott

wonrib00
01-01-2006, 09:54 AM
I had Hamilton 20K on my tank, and it was very blue. I switched to aqualine 13K about a week ago, and I like the more white look. I know they will blue up a little bit, which is cool with me.

whodah
01-01-2006, 10:50 AM
throw your lps and softies on 1/2 of your tank running 14K or 20K and your sps on the other 1/2 of your tank running 10K...

;)