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View Full Version : 250W SE vs. 400W SE



Gomojoe
06-25-2010, 12:29 PM
So I have Galaxy adjustable ballasts! I'm looking to get my bulbs and I'm undecided as to whether I should do the 250W or just go right for the 400W. My initial thoughts were to go with the 250W, since I'll also be running 4 overdriven T5s with it as well and if I don't like it I'm only out the bulbs! But now I'm wondering if it is even worth the experiment or if I should just go right for the 400s and call it a day!

Murfman
06-25-2010, 12:30 PM
How deep is the tank?

Gomojoe
06-25-2010, 12:37 PM
Just 24" which is why I'd think the 250s would work, but I know alot of people with the 24"d tanks that are running 400s too!

Murfman
06-25-2010, 12:37 PM
I'd go 250s

ritmar
06-25-2010, 01:44 PM
I run 250's on the 180 24" deep.

Reefkoi
06-25-2010, 01:48 PM
I used to be a big high wattage halide promoter.....now I've changed my mind after seeing the results of lower PAR over all the corals and better colors.

I always read that they only needed 200 par but fought it and gave em 700+ par and now after seeing them thrive under 100-200 par I am convinced all these experts were right!

My vote is go 250

Gomojoe
06-25-2010, 02:00 PM
Alright, I think I am convinced to go with 250s! I'm going to go with Radiums, although I have seen similar color with the phoenix 14s!

RoushRacer
06-25-2010, 02:05 PM
Alright, I think I am convinced to go with 250s! I'm going to go with Radiums, although I have seen similar color with the phoenix 14s!

Radiums all the way :thumbsup:

I used to run nothing but Phoenix, and they are a decent bulb, but the Radiums are sooo much better! Tiny bit less blue, but more crisp and more "pop" to my eyes. I run them on the Galaxy select-a-watt ballasts @ 250w.

Gomojoe
06-25-2010, 02:10 PM
How you liking the select-a-watts? That's what I've got! You running them at the straight 250 mode or OD them with the HQI?

RoushRacer
06-25-2010, 02:20 PM
How you liking the select-a-watts? That's what I've got! You running them at the straight 250 mode or OD them with the HQI?

I like them a lot! Much better than those crappy CoralVue ballasts I was using, lol. Haven't tried on HQI, I was told the 250w setting runs them best so that's what I've been using.

Gomojoe
06-25-2010, 02:55 PM
What light cycle are you running?

RoushRacer
06-25-2010, 03:47 PM
What light cycle are you running?

10 hour for halides, 12 for T5's and R2 Extreme LED's always on

The Solana just has the 250w halide and it's only softies so I run it 8 hours.

SpaceOps
06-25-2010, 06:17 PM
2 VHO actinics for 4 hours, then 2 400W XM 20,000K for 4 hours, then 4 hours with the VHOs again. Getting great growth and color results already.

barryfish
06-27-2010, 08:14 PM
i had the same question. I'm looking to install MH on my 80 gal when i get it up in running when i come back from training in california. should 2 250w's be enough light for a reef setup? sorry didnt mean to thread jack. and how many hrs should i run it a day

Murfman
06-27-2010, 08:21 PM
Barry, how deep is the tank? How wide is it? what reflectors do you plan on using?

Sneezy
06-27-2010, 08:29 PM
i read this somewhere but i cant readily call to mind where!

a 400watt ballast that is dimmed to 250w will still consume that same amount of power as at full throttle it will just distribute out that power at the lower wattage (dimmer switch is just a variable resistor of sorts), and if this is the case and i remember correctly it would make no sense using this for anything less then suggested max wattage bulb.

but again i might be remembering wrong as that has happened from time to time!

barryfish
06-27-2010, 08:59 PM
the reflectors are 4 reflecting chrome looking ones. im in the army and im a structual repairer on helicopters so i would have to make my own hoods which is no problem since i specialize in sheet metal. the tank is 21 inches deep and the width is about 18 inches here is the item on ebay i found. its m59 MH and electronic ballast http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260611715960&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT only thing is this is 400w but its like this and that blue film will be removed and i will replace the bulbs asap when i get it. i have found alot of MH setups on ebay for cheap

Jiggyfly
06-27-2010, 10:47 PM
I rock 400's , anybody with any questions needs to see grasshoppas tank

barryfish
06-28-2010, 12:29 AM
I think I'm gonna get the MH I found on ebay it seems like a good deal and just put pheonix bulbs 14k 250w on it and call it good since my tank isn't too deep if I have problems I'll move my coral up higher. I kinda wanna build a wall going up anyways lol

Murfman
06-28-2010, 08:57 AM
A lot of lower light SPS and LPS get too much light from 400s. I run 400s on my 300 and it is 30" deep. I have some SPS browning out because of too much light and have to move them down or back. Be careful of some of the Ebay stuff, they use cheap ballasts and you end up replacing them.


BTW, I was a 67y.

Gomojoe
06-28-2010, 09:18 AM
i read this somewhere but i cant readily call to mind where!

a 400watt ballast that is dimmed to 250w will still consume that same amount of power as at full throttle it will just distribute out that power at the lower wattage (dimmer switch is just a variable resistor of sorts), and if this is the case and i remember correctly it would make no sense using this for anything less then suggested max wattage bulb.

but again i might be remembering wrong as that has happened from time to time!

I've seen people say this, but I haven't seen anything other than opinion to support it! I also disagree, with most of the opinion because it is based on the concept that you are just adding resistance! Adding resistance doesn't just lower power! It would also have to affect either the current or voltage which would prevent it from working right unless they some how made up for it! Anyway, I think I'll run a test on both into a kill-a-watt and see if there is a difference! If there isn't I'll prob run 400s at less time on!

Sneezy
06-28-2010, 11:29 AM
i found this on a similar ballast


NEW - A dimming knob has been added which will allow them to be set at 50/75/100% (only reduce the amount of light not the power usage).

source - http://www.horticulturesource.com/product_info.php?products_id=5792

unless the galaxy is light years ahead it would seem that they offer very similar technology, but i would love to see what an actual test shows.

barryfish
06-28-2010, 11:34 AM
are all ballasts interchangeable?

Gomojoe
06-28-2010, 12:18 PM
i found this on a similar ballast



source - http://www.horticulturesource.com/product_info.php?products_id=5792

unless the galaxy is light years ahead it would seem that they offer very similar technology, but i would love to see what an actual test shows.

Dimmable means that it uses the same wattage, but lowers the voltage to the light thus dimming it! This is the same principle as an incandesent dimming switch on your wall! The select a watt does not work this way! It actually changes the power provided to the socket thus allowing you to run different bulbs! It is totally different technology!

Gomojoe
06-28-2010, 12:20 PM
are all ballasts interchangeable?

What do you mean interchangeable?

barryfish
06-28-2010, 12:32 PM
meaning can I just buy different ballasts for a mh setup if I burn mine out? Like I have heard becareful buying MH on ebay cuz some of them they don't make bulbs to fit them anymore

Sneezy
06-28-2010, 12:33 PM
Dimmable means that it uses the same wattage, but lowers the voltage to the light thus dimming it! This is the same principle as an incandesent dimming switch on your wall! The select a watt does not work this way! It actually changes the power provided to the socket thus allowing you to run different bulbs! It is totally different technology!

ah then they are using different tech :) thanks for clearing that up, I am still seeing the results from your test :)

barryfish
06-28-2010, 12:35 PM
I mean I understand you get what you pay for in lights but I'm also on the side of the street were some of us don't have a income of 6000 a week or month so I can't afford 700 bux worth of MH lol

Murfman
06-28-2010, 12:37 PM
Barry, get with Racer69. He is a distributor for Lumenarc and he can get you the best price around on ballasts and reflectors.

Here is a steal of a light;
http://www.thescmas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7315

barryfish
06-28-2010, 12:38 PM
I'm military if that gives a example of income lol can't wait to finish my contract then start my own business lol

barryfish
06-28-2010, 12:39 PM
awesome thanks murf... Do you think he can hang with some ebay prices? I like the lights on ur tank. That's what I have found on ebay just like urs

Gomojoe
06-28-2010, 12:43 PM
I mean I understand you get what you pay for in lights but I'm also on the side of the street were some of us don't have a income of 6000 a week or month so I can't afford 700 bux worth of MH lol

I would agree with you on most things thats true! On your lighting though I am a believer in buy quality and you cry only once! If you spend $300 on lighting and it ends up being crap and then spend more once you realize you need the more expensive set up, you're doubly screwed! I'd just wait a while and keep an eye out on craigslist and the forums for a good deal on a quality set. I think that will work out better for you than to buy that ebay stuff(if were talking about the same ebay ballast I'm thinking of)!

barryfish
06-28-2010, 12:47 PM
so lumantek or however you spell it is good brand then?

Gomojoe
06-28-2010, 01:16 PM
Lumenarc is the brand that Todd was selling! It is a good brand, supposedly it is the same ballast as the galaxy's. But, I am pretty sure that Todd(Racer69)only deals in LED now! If I were you I would sweep up the ballast and fixture that Reefkoi has up right now! Those Icecaps are top notch and that is an insane price! Then you just need to wait and find another deal on an icecap 250W.

barryfish
06-28-2010, 02:01 PM
ok I'll look into that and ask him thanks

Sneezy
06-28-2010, 07:27 PM
Dimmable means that it uses the same wattage, but lowers the voltage to the light thus dimming it! This is the same principle as an incandesent dimming switch on your wall! The select a watt does not work this way! It actually changes the power provided to the socket thus allowing you to run different bulbs! It is totally different technology!



i am fairly sure that the the lumateks work on the same principle as the galaxy, the galaxy will fire anything lower then the rated wattage on the bulb (a selectable 1000w ballast will fire a 1000w bulb in any of the lower settings (with exception of the 750 hps setting if you are using it solely for MH lighting), but lumatek also allows you to use different wattage bulbs like the galaxy (just seems that they use the word dimmable instead of select a watt)

with out having to change the bulbs same as the lumateks, so i am not sure how this all works but i guess we need to put the ballasts heads up and see what is what.

I am willing to test my lumatek ballasts if you are willing to do the same with the galaxy, so that way we can see the difference.

for now i can only do a amp draw test as i dont have a kill a watt to test with right now but i can at least post up some amperage draw results

Gomojoe
06-28-2010, 07:43 PM
What kinda amp-meter you using?

Sneezy
06-28-2010, 07:48 PM
snap on :) i have an amp clamp to test its amp draw while i play with the settings

Sneezy
07-22-2010, 09:28 AM
while i havent had time to do my testing i have found this and it is interesting

http://www.bghydro.com/BGH/static/articles/0506_digiballasts.asp