Slowly coming back to the hobby

Welcome back I love how we're all still using RC to communicate especially the OG hobbyists that's been around for a while. I got out of the hobby for a quick minute last year after I got laid off and kid going to daycare, but will be coming back this summer. I am already putting my new tank together and some new learnings I can share with you:

1. Lighting-what's the latest/greatest these days I love MH and was using it on my last tank, but like a lot of the folks here electricity goes through the roof and I'm planning to slowly pick up the Kessil AP9X LEDs. I saw it at the LFS and love the color and shimmer, as well as it's ability to maintain healthy SPS.
2. Sump-does anyone still use a refugium or is it all setup with dosers now. I just picked up a 150g used container for super cheap, and two other smaller 37g tanks so I have three tanks totaling 224g as my sump in a waterfall style. There are a lot of great deals on Craigslist and FB. I'm going to have a dsb and one of the sump tanks with all macroalgae.
3. Automation-any decent products out there that are mac friendly? Going to try to automate everything including having video cameras when I'm on vacation or business trip.
4. Overflow- I use to rock the durso but when I was leaving the hobby there was a whole other setup that came out with 3 pipes...forgot what it was called..something with someone's name it in...herbie or something..LOL. I picked up a modular marine external overflow that has the three pipe setup (two for sump one for emergency). They make overflows for larger tanks that has 1 inch thick panels which is awsome.
5. Basically, what's the latest gear that won't break the bank. I just want something that works and not so much concerned about how blingie my gear looks, especially when it's behind a cabinet door. I built my own tank and stand which saves me thousands, but for equipment I'm going to buy new because I don't trust used equipment.
 
Unfortunately, a lot of the big reef names got out of the MH game. You can still find some metal halide bulbs. They were getting really difficult to find but it appears that some Chinese manufacturers are picking up where companies like Ushio, Iwasaki, etc have discontinued. Here's some places selling them that members here have found recently:

You can still buy from Ushio direct even though they've stopped manufacturing them:

Here's some places selling them that members here have found recently:


150 Watt Double Ended MH Bulbs (this one was recently discovered by @oreo57 that is rumored to be a former Hamilton person)




Also, several discount bulb e-stores are selling Plusrite bulbs. I've found their websites a bit cumbersome to navigate but you can find those bulbs at a decent price. I'm running a 175w SE 10K Plusrite now and it's a bright crisp white color. Only been using it for a month but, I've got no complaints so far.
 
Welcome back I love how we're all still using RC to communicate especially the OG hobbyists that's been around for a while. I got out of the hobby for a quick minute last year after I got laid off and kid going to daycare, but will be coming back this summer. I am already putting my new tank together and some new learnings I can share with you:

1. Lighting-what's the latest/greatest these days I love MH and was using it on my last tank, but like a lot of the folks here electricity goes through the roof and I'm planning to slowly pick up the Kessil AP9X LEDs. I saw it at the LFS and love the color and shimmer, as well as it's ability to maintain healthy SPS.
2. Sump-does anyone still use a refugium or is it all setup with dosers now. I just picked up a 150g used container for super cheap, and two other smaller 37g tanks so I have three tanks totaling 224g as my sump in a waterfall style. There are a lot of great deals on Craigslist and FB. I'm going to have a dsb and one of the sump tanks with all macroalgae.
3. Automation-any decent products out there that are mac friendly? Going to try to automate everything including having video cameras when I'm on vacation or business trip.
4. Overflow- I use to rock the durso but when I was leaving the hobby there was a whole other setup that came out with 3 pipes...forgot what it was called..something with someone's name it in...herbie or something..LOL. I picked up a modular marine external overflow that has the three pipe setup (two for sump one for emergency). They make overflows for larger tanks that has 1 inch thick panels which is awsome.
5. Basically, what's the latest gear that won't break the bank. I just want something that works and not so much concerned about how blingie my gear looks, especially when it's behind a cabinet door. I built my own tank and stand which saves me thousands, but for equipment I'm going to buy new because I don't trust used equipment.
Hi Issey. I'm old school. As I mentioned above, I'm still using MH lighting, I run a refugium and dose, use an Apex with some modules, straight up eShopps Eclipse overflow (Bean Animal, Durso and Herbie are still being used). HTH
 
The issue is LEDs are becoming less and less “energy saving” as far as reef lights is concerned. I mean a Reefi uno 2 is 270watts, 215 watts, orphek Atlantic 235watts. I would need two of either of these fixtures for my tank. Granted we don’t run LED at 100% typically so there’s some savings plus AC cost savings, however, I don’t know about the ones mentioned but some LED systems put off a ton of heat.

I’m not saying don’t go LED but the cost difference for me isn’t what it needs to be currently to go with new LED fixtures over my current halides.
I’m not saying to not go LED either but IMO Halide is still king of the hill with growth and natural look.

I actually run 160” of reefbrights because even radium’s won’t get the “PoP” you can get from the better LEDs and LEDs do bring out many colors that the halide wont.

In my tank, I have an Oregon tort about 10” from a Walt Disney. With the just the halides on, the WD looks like a nice but pedestrian tenuis and the O tort is stunning. With just the reefbrights on the WD is stunning and you don’t even notice the O tort.

Also, Radiums have surpassed the price of silver per ounce and are closing in on gold if you can find them. They have been out of production for years.
 
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As old marine aquaristic experience MHI pendant lights ficture was perfect from Arcadia in UK
and choice was perfect. My first one 1995 if I remember well there is some photos taken fromTV
playing Sony Hi8 cassette video and grow was fantastic after only Sera Neon.

Now I purchased and raccomending Giesemann Germany producer high top quality MHI and T5mix.
Also they produce many other ficture but Im against LED no matter price of electricity or heat ect.
As you can read LED also produce a lot of heat and difference to electricity bill is not so high if you
have big aquarium ect... Anyway here is link check Giesemann Aquaristic

This is mine new. Spectra Spectra - Giesemann Aquaristic I paid around 700 and something small + Euro.
With delivery to US + custom but its top quality for sure. Im sure there is shop in US that represent Giesemann.

There is also bulbs to buy different Wats and Kelvins.Lightbulbs - Giesemann Aquaristic
HQI Brenner - Giesemann Aquaristic

Also for US market delivery.
 
it's all a matter of preference. Im part of the old geezer club but have also embraced technology. I got back in a few years ago and started geeking out on all the new gear. I used to run a 1000w of MH plus T5s and as others have mentioned my electricity during the summer months was north of 800. I had to run a chiller to cool the water and extra home AC because the heat the chiller and lights generated. Now i run 7X Kessil A360's and don't need a chiller. I've run just about all types of light and from what i recall i actually got the best growth from an 8X80 ATI t5 fixture from way back. But I just didn't like the "flat" lighting. Others prefer that...i like the shimmer. I also run an open top so prefer the "cleaner" lower profile of the LED lights. I just can't do the stadium sized reflectors anymore.

one other piece of equipment that's awesome besides all the great DC pumps are roller mats, and the one i recommend is the RS ReefMat. They did it right. NO MORE cleaning filter socks!!!
 
I probably still have your number. Mine is still the same. I appreciate the offer. I just may hit you up when I’m ready. Cryptic refugium? I didn’t realize that came back…I remember Steven Tyree marketing his magical sponges many many years ago but it didn’t take off as much…guess it came back. How’s your tank doing? Got any shots? I remember coming over when you were just setting it up

tank is finally running great again... I tend to get bored of the tank and want to try new things... so since this is a big tank, I went through coral tank > FOWLR > sharks and puffer > coral tank again.. the last transition from shark to coral tank was a PITA.. the water quality was so bad and PO4 absorbed in all the rocks.. took me over a year to control PO4

here's some pictures. from left to right. mostly SPS on the rocks. some hammers, torch and random LPS on the sandbed. lot of clams and lot of sponge. recently I got into some dendros and sun corals. put them on the arc in the shade. worked out pretty well. frags everywhere.. I need another year or two before I start posting nice tank shots
 

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Unfortunately, a lot of the big reef names got out of the MH game. You can still find some metal halide bulbs. They were getting really difficult to find but it appears that some Chinese manufacturers are picking up where companies like Ushio, Iwasaki, etc have discontinued. Here's some places selling them that members here have found recently:

You can still buy from Ushio direct even though they've stopped manufacturing them:

Here's some places selling them that members here have found recently:


150 Watt Double Ended MH Bulbs (this one was recently discovered by @oreo57 that is rumored to be a former Hamilton person)




Also, several discount bulb e-stores are selling Plusrite bulbs. I've found their websites a bit cumbersome to navigate but you can find those bulbs at a decent price. I'm running a 175w SE 10K Plusrite now and it's a bright crisp white color. Only been using it for a month but, I've got no complaints so far.
Thank you for this info!! There’s just something about a 20k bulb that I’ll forever stick with. 18 years off and on in the hobby and nothing beats a MH with T5s… the look, the shimmer, the aesthetics and growth. 👌🏼
 
Thank you for this info!! There’s just something about a 20k bulb that I’ll forever stick with. 18 years off and on in the hobby and nothing beats a MH with T5s… the look, the shimmer, the aesthetics and growth. 👌🏼
I slightly agree. My best SPS tank was an Oceanic 200 that I ran (3) 250 watt 6500k Iwasakis and (2) 400 watt Radiums. Man, the growth and color my Acros had in that tank was insane. Then again, it was really old school with a Bob Goemens’ NNR/Jaubert/Plenum system.
 
Yeah, I gotta say halides are a lot more natural looking than LED’s. Although with LED’s you can dial in the coral colors at night if you wanted that effect.
 
Sourcing MH parts and bulbs is like an episode of American Pickers. You will be scouring the sheds of old reefers for parts like it was some classic car, and you know some dude is hording the last of the radiums bulbs in their garage. LOL.

MH is the best looking light though.
 
True reef fixtures are harder to come by. However I know many also run grow light fixtures. Hardest part seems to be ballasts
 
Dont worry Giesemann Germany have big stock of MH bulbs, Philips, Osram ect... in Europe
Whoever need spare I can help and send properly
packed that can go to Moon. Thinking of Moon not Arizona desert from Nasa :)
 
Unfortunately, a lot of the big reef names got out of the MH game. You can still find some metal halide bulbs. They were getting really difficult to find but it appears that some Chinese manufacturers are picking up where companies like Ushio, Iwasaki, etc have discontinued. Here's some places selling them that members here have found recently:

You can still buy from Ushio direct even though they've stopped manufacturing them:

Here's some places selling them that members here have found recently:


150 Watt Double Ended MH Bulbs (this one was recently discovered by @oreo57 that is rumored to be a former Hamilton person)




Also, several discount bulb e-stores are selling Plusrite bulbs. I've found their websites a bit cumbersome to navigate but you can find those bulbs at a decent price. I'm running a 175w SE 10K Plusrite now and it's a bright crisp white color. Only been using it for a month but, I've got no complaints so far.
Got pics?
 
There's some pics in this thread without my actinics on. These are the Plusrite 10K bulbs without actinic supplement. Now, to the naked eye they're more white than the pictures show.
 
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last few years I thought about taking the whole thing down and just enjoy some long vacations. specially when corals are not growing well or you lose a couple nice fish..

just gotta double down and buy some more frags to keep going 😂

another good thing about getting a large sized tank. the labor of taking it down and selling it is much harder than just keep it running
 
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