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I bought a couple ballasts on e bay and am trying to work out the hook up. It came with a mongol base but i prefer hqi, is there any reason i couldn't change it? what is every ones opinion on changing it? I have noticed that the cost of hqi is less and they take up less space in the hood? My next question is can you have too much light in a tank? I have 4 96 watt vho's now and i am going to add 2 250 watt halides. That will be almost 10 watts per gallon, is that too much?
 

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It will only be too much light, generally, if you have heat issues or use a color spectrum that soft corals do not light (ie, many soft corals will "shrivel" under 10,000K or 6500K lighting).


I ran a 250w halide over a 25g, quite successfully.


If your ballasts are electronic, then you can change the mogul sockets out and use double-ended bulbs/reflectors.

Otherwise it will be hit-miss, I believe, on what will drive the bulbs. Most double ended bulbs I think will fire on a magnetic ballast, especially an M80 ballast. You need to double check with the supplier about ballast/bulb compatibility.
 

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Never heard of venture ballasts. Generally speaking Ebay is a bad place to buy any lighting unless you know exactly what you are buying. There is tons of completely worthless "Aquarium" halide lighting equipment on ebay. Icecap or a similar known brand is really the only way to go (or LED DIY if you know how). This is one area that you definitely get what you pay for
The 3 most important places to spend your money in Reef keeping is 1)Lighting 2)Skimmer and 3)Flow. Get these 3 down and then all that is left is good Husbandry practices and adding Calcium,Alkalinity,and Magnesium as needed.
Without the first 3 being optimal it will be an uphill battle all the way.
By the way if you are able to switch over to Double ended bulbs you will have to change your reflectors to ones made for HQI bulbs these are usually about 100-150 dollars each the bulbs run about 60-100 each for any that are worth a crap. The 20 dollar ones on ebay are not worth wasting your money on they last about 6 months tops and they dont hold their spectrum so if you buy them you are asking for an algae patch where your reef used to be
 

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Read the lighting sticky on the top of this category should tell you all you need to know
 
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