Too good to be true MH's ?


Premium Member
Is anyone familier with Aquatraders MH lights ? Seems to be a little too cheap be true. In the past when I purchased the cheapest equipment I ended up paying for it in the end. Anybody used these before?


There are many threads about this. Just do a search, but pretty much they are low quality (almost garbage) and to make them worth you would need to replace the ballasts and bulbs with good ones which will increase the final price between $200-400 depending on the length fixture.


Premium Member
Thanks ganjero. Thats what I was afraid of. I had searched this section prior to posting and could not find anything on them.


Ocean Lover
There was a thread on them a long time ago, but I don't have a link. I was interested in buying from them and there customer suport is really bad. If you are willing to go through getting one, and then upgrading it with better equipment than go head. But otherwise I would agree, avoid them.


Premium Member
You couldn't find anything because you weren't using the correct search criteria... try "house" and "fire". You will get aquatraders threads. (that is a joke, of course, but you get the idea...)


New member
yeah 2 things that I learned in this hobby is patience and buy the best that you can afford or something that you know is a good produc. It will cost you more in the end settling for something that you are going to need to replace in the near future.


New member
please dont listen to these people seriously, one thing i've noticed in this hobby is that people say oh its cheap it must be garbage... kia's are cheap but they will get you where u wanna go just as good as a mercedes will...

that being said im a strong believer of these lights they are cheap and you get what you can afford. thats the great thing about these lights i ran the 2x 250w mh 48" fixture for almost a full year on the stock bulbs/ballasts and i had insane growth in the tank.

when i came into some money i upgraded the bulbs to a XM 10k along with ice cap ballasts and then the coral really took off (lower kelvin rating on the bulb vs the stock 15k bulbs) but the great thing is i ran it for just about a year, and when i could afford the money thats when i upgraded....

and i wanna comment on ihooklow's comment boy your ignorant, that kind of attitude just p!sses me off. i had a friend that his ford taurus caught fire with your logic that means all 5 million of the ford taurus's out there will catch fire to..also there were a 1 occasion where that happened but that was with the magnetic ballasts, since then they have upgraded to electronic ballasts.also i would like to note that the house that did catch fire looked like it was atleast 50+years old who's to really comment on how good the wireing was in the house was it chewed by rats etc....sorry to be mean but damn please know your facts before you make slander comments.

there is a thread called like odyssea metal halide review its a really good read its about 90pages total soyou might wanna allocate a long time to it. i read through that before i decided to purchase my fixture and i've been quite happy with it...

but as far as price goes here's a round up
fixture 48" 350$ shipped
2 ice cap ballasts 70$ used (130$ new) <-- i like used because that gives me money to spend on other things... like booze & hookers ha
2 replacement bulbs 65$ each (XM 10k DE lamps)

total cost of fixture for me 350$ then 1 year later 270$
for a grand total of 620$us

price comparison from marine depot all 48" fixtures 2x 250w mh's
coralife pro 1180$
current usa 770$ <-- also not sure how good stock ballasts are

now granted the current USA one is fairly close in price but that is all up front that you have to pay as well, imo i rather spend 350$ then be able to pay the rest a year later or so.

also i will state something else something like this is good incase this is your first setup, and your not quite sure if you really wanna get into the 1k fixtures and what not, kinda like give you a taste.

shrug on a side note i wanna comment on the other comments i love this forum dont get me wrong, but you will find alot of bad information from people on here. i've read alot of bad comments about people that comment on something they either A do not have, or B have never used or even touched.

im not here to try to change your mind im trying to give you experiences from someone who has actually USED the fixture for a long amount of time.


Premium Member
As I noted in my post... it was a joke. A joke with some basis in fact, but a joke none the less. Lighten up a bit.


You are right Kia is the same as Odyssea. They both will work somehow, but you'll need to repair and/or replace parts. Plus your comparison is little off because the point of lighting a reef tank is not just to put a bulb on top of your tank and that's it. The reflectors on these fixtures are crappy and wont deliver as much PAR as a better fixture, retro fit, or pendant. The ballasts dont even drive the bulbs at the correct wattage (the 250w run at 160-175w).
Remember this a hobby not a necessity. If you talk to a person that collects car, or races they will tell you a Kia is garbage.
If you need a car for necessity then a Kia might be a good option.

BTW I have had owned oddyssea fixtures (PC and MH/PC fixtures) and I regret it. Im just trying to help people save money and time from my experience.


New member
Im going to have to agree with jubs. I have had the 72" fixture for over a year now. I ran it stock for the the first year and have now upgraded to icecapp ballast. I had tremendous growth with the stock ballast and bulb. The three stock ballast pulled between 217 and 227 on a killawatt. Underdriving the bulbs slightly. Par numbers did improve by roughly 10 percent over the stock ballast. The phoenix 14k does look a lot better on the icecapp. All in all not a bad fixture for the price. If you are just starting out this will work fine. Wait a year replace with better bulbs and ballast if u wish. By the way i got mine from Hommby on ebay.


moved slow
Re: Too good to be true MH's ?

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14216538#post14216538 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Wgluther
Is anyone familier with Aquatraders MH lights ? Seems to be a little too cheap be true. In the past when I purchased the cheapest equipment I ended up paying for it in the end. Anybody used these before?
I've had 2 48" odyssea MH/PC combo lights running for over a year now,I've not had a bit of problems with them yet,I will replace parts with brand name stuff when needed but they work great for me,my coral are growing great,
they are inexpensive lights both of mine cost less than 1 brand named light,I can't see how the reflector or the fixture in the brand named lights are any better than these,they are well constructed and the reflectors are polished to a mirror finish like the brand named,the legs that came with them are a joke,I built open top canopys for both of mine
I did compare these light to a corallife brand with 250w MH/192wPC bulbs and the fixture is almost identical odyssea has a bigger fan and more PC wattage than the corallife and less than half the cost,I don't know what kind of bulbs were in the corallife but looking at the tank It didn't look any brighter or better than mine
In my honest opinion you'd be foolish to buy the brand named stuff over these or just loaded with money


Premium Member
Hey guys I appreciate all the info. I think I am going to go ahead and get the 630 Watt 36 and upgrade to Icecap balasts and pheonix 14k bulbs. BTW where would be the most economical place to order the balast and bulbs?


New member
Dont think I can post links to ebay, but search for icecap 250. I just purchased a new 250w icecap, and a phoenix 14k for 190 shipped.This guy is located in Georgia. I received mine in three days.


New member
Wanted to see if anyone has tried the new 2009 Odyssea:

On a famous auction site:

-The older 48" 250MH are ~350 shipped
-The newer 48" 250MH are ~465 shipped

Now, has anyone tried out the new ones yet? Cant seem to find anyone who tried them out...

What I am thinking is the following:

If the new fixture is better (115 more) then maybe it is worth trying it out (better ballasts, lamps). If they are only marginally better or pretty much the same, maybe it is just worth getting the older type and running that for a while before upgrading.

Anyone have any input in this? Does not seem like I would be able to try them out before buying. At the same time, I am not experienced enough to be able to tell the difference.



New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14217186#post14217186 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ihooklow
You couldn't find anything because you weren't using the correct search criteria... try "house" and "fire". You will get aquatraders threads. (that is a joke, of course, but you get the idea...)

Although, I don't have any experience with the 2009 version you are talking about, I did have an unpleasant experience with an older one.

I bought one of them (24" I think with single hallide bulb). I used it on and off for a quarantine tank with the intent to use on a frag tank. I had it for maybe 1 1/2 years, again using it for maybe a total of 3 months.

Last summer, I have it over my quarantine tank and I hear crackling coming from the ballast and the fans on the ballast start blowing smoke out of the vents. By the time I figured out what was going on, my family room had a nice cloud of smoke hanging in the air. I quickly got the ballast outside and took it apart to see what happened.

I never saw any fire come out of it, but I'd hate to think what would have happened had I not been home to turn it off. Can you say, "homeowners claim?"

I am looking into finding an icecap ballast for the fixture and possibly another for the compacts (because I just don't trust the ballast at all). I love the light fixture though and it would make a great frag tank light if I wasn't concerned with burning my house down. :(


New member
i don't know if this thread is still active but i just bought the odesea 72" mh from eBay be here in about a week ...... if you guys want some pictures of it when it arrives im sure i could arrange something : )


New member
i have mine for 2 1/2 years .... works perfect. true - ballast are not the best (i have electr.) but for the price are quite not bad. I've checked Coralife - it looks like twin to this one - just different ballasts and bulbs.
The most important - I strongly believe that it's much better then most of those home made retrofits ---- choice is yours