Hi folks, I've been using a 400W metal halide on the large intermediate Nepenthes grow chamber (slightly cooler by about 10*F day and night than my lowland tank). All the plants are growing very well but several of them have started to produce pitchers smaller than expected (condsidering growth of several months ago and also my current feeding schedule of every 7 days or so). I am simply equating it to fading lighting and figure it is likely due to be replaced.
How long should Metal Halide bulbs last? It has been over a year since I've begun using this bulb. I don't know how long the guy I bought the setup from had used it before I got it. I replace my fluorescent tubes every 8 -12 months but I thought MH were supposed to last longer, but how long I've no idea.
Can I use any MH tubes apropriate for plant growth or must it be something special dependent upon the ballast? Mine is a Hamilton PFO, dual control 400W remote ballast made for reef aquariums. I am using one 400W on this chamber and one over the new highland chamber - when it gets built. At the moment I am using Ushio 6500K long tube type MH but they have a nice looking 400W MH bulb at the garden center that is rounded with a warmer color temp (5500K) and is cheaper than a bulb made for growing corals (which I'm not doing anyway). My ballast is by Hamilton but is supposedly not one of those "PFO EYE" ballasts that will only use the Ushio 400W bulbs.
Thanks for any thoughts from the indoor halide growers! *[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]