Halide Bulbs


New member
Surprised I didn't come up with anything when I searched this topic, but -

How do you know what spectrum of light you want for your tank?? With the dozens of bulb manufactures, how do you know which will fit your tank??

Do you order a bunch of different bulbs and go with the one you like the best - sell the rest?

I picked up a pfo m58 ballast (250w SE) and am now searching for bulbs. It has been so long since I have run Halides that the only thing I remember from a previous tank is that it was a 175w 10k bulb and it was too yellow for my taste. Now with that being said, I have heard about some nice white 10k bulbs, but don't recall the brand.

I guess what I am eluding to is, does in the surround Loveland area have SE 250w bulbs that I am able to put an hour of test time on?

I am running mainly a softie tank, so the PAR value isn't as vaulable to me as the color of the tank.

Suggestions?? Input?


New member
I think mostly it's going to be a word-of-mouth type of thing. Generally the higher K you go the bluer it will get, but some brands are a little different.

I had an XM 10k bulb and combined with actinics it was fairly white, but kind of yellow on it's own. good luck.


New member
IMO, everyone has a different perspective on their tank. Some think that 20k is perfect, whereas I have only seen one tank that I like the look of 20k.


Premium Member
Ballast will also play a big role in what the color looks like too. The same bulb can have different appearances on different ballasts.

I like the look of my Hamilton 14K on my ARO ballast. I wish is was a little bit bluer though. Runningstix is running IceCap 14K bulbs and IceCap ballasts(correct me if I am wrong Steve), and I love the color of his tank.

The M58 is a magnetic ballast, and if I remember correctly, will make some bulbs run a little bluer(because of lower current I believe, or something like that), so keep that in mind when researching a bulb.

I would trip through the lighting forum and see what you can find for recommendations.




New member
I also run the Reeflux 12k's seem the perfect balance between blue and white. I also run VHO super actinics to give the dusk and dawn look.

Best advice is to look at as many tanks in person, then copy or combine what you like.


New member
I run the m58 also with the Hamilton 14k.Love the color and the colors it brings out in my corals. It has a tint of blue in it without being too blue.