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RE: metal H's and PC's

>I have been considering various lighting options lately, such as T8 and
>compact fluorescent from A.H.S, to upgrade the lighting on my 20 gallon
>long aquarium. Lately I have been trying to find out more about metal
>halide, as this would allow for an open aquarium, where the plants could
>grow out. (Open top aquaria are also much easier to get into, and
>therefore encourage regular, frequent maintenance). I have found much
>information on the Krib and on various reef aquarium sites about
>building metal halide fixtures, but no information at all about finding
>the light bulbs themselves or about the prices of them. So the question
>is: where do you find 175 watt m.h. bulbs that are suitable for planted
>aquariums and what is a reasonable price for them? TIA.

Hamilton has the cheapest pretty much that's all built. I think Aquatic
Lighting Systems(check the FAMA/archives etc for Ads) has a kit for about
75$ or so. You'd have to build some sort pendant yourself though. Another
idea that is sort of a hybrid open top tank is the light bar. Sort of a U
shaped light holder that suspends the light above the tank. A box with legs
that extend down to the sides of your tank sort of. Azoo has a good
example(PC's) and ALS does have a adjustable metal pipe set up that looks
good. I used a MV,MH, PC's and Quartz track lights all with good results
using this method. That being said..............I found it cheaper in the
long run and better looking to suck up and pay the big$ for the pendants
from Hamilton. You can always get a bigger tank and add to it later on too.
A 175 watt MH on a 20 gallon is fun though! 

Tom Barr