vho lights in new tank

Im picking up my new tank next weekend and it has vho bullbs but no ballast with them they are 6’ and they used to have 430 powering them . since its going to be a FO tank should i change them out or can i use different ballast to power them?

If it is going to be FO then just swap them out for a normal output T12 flourecent fixture. No need for powerful lights unless you’re growing coral.

thats what i was thinking but if i ever do want to do some corals i guess i would at least have the bulbs. boy so m any choices and options its tough to figure it out. should i at least opt for t5 bulbs?

T5 would be either 4 or 3"

Its always good to plan for the future. The first thing you have to do is figure out what kind of tank you want to keep. If your not a 100% sure you want to keep corals, it probably isnt worth investing in better lights. Also, do you have a canopy? If you have a canopy you can do retros, if not you will need to build a canopy or purchase a fixture. T12’s will work for a FO, very cheap, i get 2 48" 6500K for $8 at Lowes for my turtle tank. You can buy a two bulb fixture for $9 with starter. Im not sure what kind of luck you will have finding actnics though. T5’s are good and will allow you to keep just about anything and will provide probably the best options for customizing the color of your light. The retros are reasonable affordable. The problem i find with T5’s that people dont mention is you really need a lot of bulbs with high quality reflectors to grow some of the higher light-demanding corals and it can be costly to replace that many bulbs regularly. Metal halides are probably the most expensive but you can keep anything under MH and if you go with a 14K or higher bulb you wont need any actinic supplementation. You could probably get away with 2X250 over a 6’ tank using either retros or pendants.

Check this out: http://cgi.ebay.com/72-Metal-Halide-1142w-Saltwater-Reef-Aquarium-Lighting_W0QQitemZ330285551621QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item330285551621&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2%7C65%3A15%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318

Its Odyessa which use to be Jebo. The brand has had a bad rep in the past, but its changed quite a bit. The fixture is very solid, the bulbs and ballasts are adequate. After 9 months, replace the bulbs with better bulbs and if you have the desire you can upgrade the ballasts in the future. In the meantime, you have an affordable plug and play fixture that will allow you to keep anything. This can sit on your tank or hang from the ceiling. I have my suspended from the ceiling. I upgraded mine to icecap ballasts and ushio bulbs and still spent about $500 less than a better brand fixture. I love it.

thanks for all the input. saturday i’m making my trip to pick up my tank. driving to long island … i must be nuts but hey what beter things do i have to do then drive 3.5 hours each way… get road rage … pay tolls. gas… etc. maybe get lost… i thought this was a hobby to relax us. but i have the wife getting hooked now she just setup a 28 nano… little did she know it was my master plan… evil laugh…

guess i got off subject. so i will go cheaper now and keep the vho’s until i need them and look for ballasts they are 430’s i think

Nothing wrong with keeping them and using them later. You can always use the lights laying around as an excuse to setup another tank!

Are you kidding i had to buy the wife a new table … if i setup a new tank after the one i get this weekend lord know what the wife would want in return. lol
yeah i will keep them though… maybe try some corals later…since the 135 wil be FO i will go cheap for now.