Advice on MH brand needed!


New member
I'm buying new halides this weekend and need advice on which brand to go with. I have a 55gal now but will be up grading to a 75 or 125 in the next couple months.

I kinda had my heart set on 2 250w PFO mini pendents with a PFO HQI ballast and phoenix 14k's. I have seen this setup on someone else's tank and liked the colors they were getting.


In the effort to save a few bucks I looked around more and saw the Hamilton 250w 14K Reefstar System for around $60 cheaper each light. It is my understanding I will get more PAR from the PFO setup. Is that extra PAR going to be needed for an SPS dominant reef? Or will the Hamilton's provide the punch needed? Any other suggestions are welcome.



New member
I would assume the PFO reflectors are better and giving better PAR.

BUt in my opinion and what i have seen the Hamilton will work just fine


New member
The PFO minis are small and not all that great because of it.
Honestly, you can do better than either. Do you have any space limitations, were you looking at doing flourescent supplements as well as the halides and what is your budget or how much are the PFO's and the Hamiltons?


New member
I would like to stay away from supplements and go with just the halides. But I am open to suggestions. I have no space limitations. I'm really just looking for something reliable that will give decent colors and growth. I could spend up to $400 per light(I figure I'll probably need two). I was thinking a fixture but that limits expandability in the future (i.e. longer tank).

If their are better solutions out there let me hear them as these are going to be my first halides.

BTW... I'm upgrading from PC's.
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New member
Skip the PFO minis or the Hamiltons. Go with the Lumenarc or Lumenmax pendant/fixtures. The smaller DE pendants of either brand would work great for your future upgrade as well as now. The Lumenarcs are about 14" X 14" , the Lumenmax 11" X 11.5". Lumenmax can be found in the 135 dollar range, 15 or 20 less for the Lumenarc. Both excellent and both will come in under your 400 dollar per light budget. You can run electronic ballasts of you want, magnetic HQI is the spec ballast for DE lamps and will burn them brighter but use more power. Anyway, a dual magnetic HQI ballast is in the 250 - 400 dollar range for a PFO (I think). You can get good electronics for as little as 100 bucks each ... ARO from Hello Lights. Good ballasts and the 250 watt are 99 each when they are on sale, which is often.

Two Lumenarc pendants plus two ARO ballasts would set you back about 450 for BOTH. Add the bulbs and you are still well under your 800 dollar budget for both.

Reefgeek has good package deals on some halide stuff.
Reef exotics has package deals on Lumenarc pendants with ballasts.

Toughest thing is finding a bulb that you are happy with.

You can also check into the Lumenbrite reflectors. Same price range. Dont know enough about them to give any details.

But ... Lumenarc or Lumenmax are no brainers over the PFO or Hamiltons.