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(possible resend) tank setup questions

Hi all,

   (pardon me if this is a resend; I didn't see my original query
(send yesterday) in the nightly digest, and I suspect that's because
I submitted it from an e-mail address other than the one under which
I am subscribed to the list).

   Two distinctly unrelated questions (both arising from the fact
that I am de-mothballing a 55 with the intention of running it as a
plant/rainbow tank).

   First, I am building a custom hood. While I don't yet own the
ballast for the fluorescent bulbs, I have noticed on several ballasts
a warning to the effect that the bulbs should be mounted within some
distance of a grounded reflector. This is a problem, since I don't
intend to use a metal reflector at all (the hood is wooden, and (if I
can find some) I will use mylar for a reflector, otherwise just white
paint). So, the questions: is this true of all ballasts? What happens
if I don't provide a grounded reflector? And should I worry about
grounding various metal bits (like screws) that are in close proximity
to the bulbs?

   Second, the dread question of filters (I'm sorry, I know this is a
religious topic here, but that won't stop me...). I want to use a
cannister filter to minimize surface disturbance and to reclaim the
space behind the tank previously taken up by a hang-on filter. My
choices have come down to the Magnum external or the Fluval 4
internal. The Magnum looks more solid, and has more local presence (I
can find filter media easily, which isn't true of the Fluval); the
Fluval is cheaper and requires zero plumbing. So: anybody have any
data which might make this choice clearer?