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lights and ballast

Hello Folks:
     I just installed my new Bright kit from AH Supply into an old plastic
Perfecto hood just like the one they show on their web pages.  The hood goes
on a 2 foot long 20 gal tank.  I ordered the compact flourescent 55watt,
6400K bulb for it.  It is perfect and worth evey penny I paid for it.  It
turns out that this one CF is all I need for that tank.  
     I had a ballast fail on a light hood that is 36 inches long with 4
tubes.  So, I ordered a ballast from Ultralux which I found on line.  I
spoke to a tech and it sounds like a good purchase for someone who knows
very little about electricity.  It was spendy but I will see if it is worth
it when I get it.  They say it will give me 15% brighter illumination, and
because it is a soft start, it won't shorten the life of the tubes.  Does
anyone have any experience with this company's ballast?
     I am looking for a reliable and inexpensive source for metal halide
systems and parts.  I have the outer shade for MH lights.  What I need is a
kit or parts from a supplier that gives me the socket, wire harnasses and
electronic ballast that I can install into my lovely, hanging, bell shaped,
aluminum shades.  I'm looking at setting up 175 or 250 watt suspended lamps.
I prefer open top tanks because I like to see my floating plants from above
and don't want to mess with moving hoods and covers when I work with the
     Thanks, Diana

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