VHO Bulb Choices


New member
I was seeking out the expert advise out there as far as what color temperature bulbs to get for my lighting setup. I have three 48" 40 watt bulbs and two 48" VHO bulbs for a total of 340 watts. What combination of bulbs should I use for my tank? I plan on having mainly soft corals (zoas, mushrooms, polyps) until I upgrade lighting. I was thinking of getting actinics for two of the NO lights, and then 10,000k for the rest of the bulbs? Let me know. Thanks in advance!


New member
Thats probably about what I would do if I were not getting halides. VHO are okay but really nice for color. What about using the VHO ballasts with actinic and upgrading to T-5 or halide?


New member
For output the T5s don't seem to be worth the money, a 48" T5 bulb is only 54 watts. The same but VHO T12 is 110 watts and both are pretty much the same for price. Granted I could fit more T5s than VHO, but I don't really consider getting T5s a lighting upgrade since I would have to get more bulbs to get the same output.


Seasoned reefer
T5 give more light thn VHO, watts means nothing.
4x54w would be enought for sps with reflectors.


New member
If I'm going to buy new ballasts, etc. I'd rather buy MH, I have the VHO ballast, therefore its easier and less costly to buy some bulbs for it. MH will be my next upgrade.


Active member
I would probably use the URI bulbs since they have built in reflectors, 2 whites, and then 3 actinic NO bulbs. But hey that is just me.

How soon are you going to get halides?

Get 2 actinics VHOs and then 3 NO whites. That way when you get your halides you have actinic supplements to your 10000k. Or you can get 2 white VHOs and 3 actinic NOs and then you can get 20000k halides.

But I would base my decision on when I am getting my halide upgrade.