View Full Version : Question about Metal Halides

J. Wright
07-27-2008, 01:38 PM
Is there a better type of ballast such as Ice Cap, Galaxy, Aqua medic, CoralVue etc...
And what about better types of bulbs ex. Hamilton, Aqua Vue, XM etc..

Im a new to halides so any advice would be welcome

07-27-2008, 01:46 PM
It really depends on what type of MH you are looking at... SE, DE, 150, 175, 400's, 600, 1K's.

And this is also an arena that is full of opinions.

J. Wright
07-27-2008, 01:55 PM
I was looking at 250 DE Ice Cap with a 12K or 14K bulb. But are all of the ballasts that i mentioned worthy of using and lasting awhile?

07-27-2008, 03:00 PM
My Icecap 250 ballast is doing good, the 14k Icecap bulb did good for only 6 months then died.
I have had bad luck with aquamedic ballasts, they burn the bulb great but I had a few die pretty early.
My Galaxy seems ok but the bulb kind of flickers slightly, I think the PFO ballast is worth the extra money IMHO

07-27-2008, 06:42 PM
There are 2 types of MH ballast. Electronic and magnetic. Electronic ballast are prefered by most hobbiest since they are energy efficient, runs cooler and light. Icecap, Coralvue, Galaxy are some of the electronic brand. The pros of electronic ballast is you can run pretty much any lamp of the same wattage but tends to underdrive some lamps to its required specification such as HQI lamps. Magnetic ballast are prefered by hobbiest who likes that extra umphh. Ther are different types of magnetic ballast too. Probe start, pulse start and HQI ballast. Probe start ballast is pretty much an American ballast that will fire lamps such as XM and Hamilton in a single ended from. Probe start is the most commonly used magnetic ballast. Pulse start is a European spec ballast and will only fire a few lamps available for this trade. HQI ballast will fire up DE lamps to its true specification and other HQI SE lamps such as Radiums and Aquaconnects. Magnetic ballast are big, heavy and runs a bit warm but the best ballast to use if you run a full blown sps tank. Not saying you can not run an sps tank with electronic since I run electronic on my tank with good results. PFO makes good magnetic ballast.

07-27-2008, 11:28 PM
Mag ballasts last longer than electronic ones do. Bulbs last longer with the electronic than with magnetic. It all washes out in the long run.

07-28-2008, 06:03 AM
Good info...

J. Wright
07-28-2008, 06:18 PM
Thanks for all the info. I think im going to go with a IceCap 250 watt double ended HQI kit for now.