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MHs are great lights, go look in the lighting section of thekrib.com. I have 3x250W and 6x150W MHs (I gotta lotta tanks) they provide a really nice light and last a long time. Unfortunately the reason more people don't use them is the cost of the fixtures. Most shops will sell you the ballast and housing for around the $100 mark. If you research it you might get that cost down to $80  but unless you build it yourself you won't get cheaper. I found a source of ballasts (the expensive bit) at 15Euros (same as dollars) but I then had to build all the rest of the lamp, that's quite a bit of work to save maybe 40% on the original price.
I think that you'll find the sodium lights VERY yellow (I think they come in at 1500ēK or thereabouts), your plants'll grow really well but will look horrible with all that yellow. These lights are used by commercial growers here in Spain, but then the plants don't have to look good until they're in the shops! Very efficient lights. I've been told that Philips (?) Osram(?) or one of the other European manufacturers has been working on much whiter sodium lights (I've heard stories of 3500ēK) but I've not seen anything that comes close to the colours available with MH (5500ēK to 10000ēK)


A guy here at work just gave me a High Pressure Sodium light, 250watts. Is
this any good for growing aquarium plants? I'm setting up a mangrove tank,
would it be good for that? He's also giving me a metal halide bulb (I guess
he was really into growing some sort of plant in his basement when he was
younger. Go figure!) Any source known for an inexpensive metal halide
housing/ ballast? I don't know too much about these sorts of lights. I've
also been tinkering with halogen and xenon bulbs. Neither seem to work that

- -Travis

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