Metal Halide Lighting

Scott S

New member
I have a 150 gallon 24" x 24" x 60" that I would like some lighting advise for. I want to go with the Halides, but I am not sure what I need or how much it will cost me. I am looking for some type of retrofit kit as I will be building my own hood. I already have some PC atinics that I am planning on using for supplement for 10K bulbs as well.

Thanks in advance.
Hi Scott,

Thanks for your inquiry. The lighting needed will depend on the type coral that you plan to keep. If you are planning to keep corals that require low to moderate lighting, three 175W lamps (or two 250W lamps) should do the job nicely. This lighting setup would work great for leathers corals, LPS coral, polyps and maybe even a few SPS corals and anemones near the top of the tank.

If you are looking to keep corals that need more intense lighting, either three 250W lamps or two 400W lamps would be your best choice. This lighting setup would be great for SPS coral, clam, anemones. Soft coral and LPS corals should be placed on the low half of the tank with this lighting.

For an all-out SPS tank where color and growth is most important, three 400W metal halides would be the ideal setup.

With the retrofit kits, I would recommend either the PFO magnetic retrofit kits ( or the IceCap electronic retrofit kit ( Light output between the two would be about the same. The IceCap, although more expensive, will be more energy efficient and allow the bulb to last longer as it features a high-frequency start instead of a high-voltage start.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

Marine Depot Customer Service
I was leaning toward the 2 400w electronic option because my tank has a center cut overflow that would block any light placed directly over it, but I did not see that on you website. Do they make this type? Also what is the difference in the 10K bulbs between the manufacturers. I am looking for a crisp, white color with some blue to it.

I plan on some SPS with a little bit of everything eventually.
Hi Chris,

Unfortunately, IceCap does not have a 400W ballast available at this time. It is currently under development and is expected to be available sometime in 2004.

For a dual 400W setup, the PFO's should work out very nicely.

Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Marine Depot Customer Service