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RE: Aquatic Plants Digest V6 #270

My original idea was to go with 2 MH bulbs of about 5500k (this will be
around a 4 foot tank, I will go 3 bulbs if I can go with a 6 foot tank).
And I was going to use CF lights on a separate timer for additional lighting
because I already have a hood with 2 55watt units I can disassemble and use
as I please.  But I would really like to know where you are getting the 175w
MH ballasts for $25 bucks.  I'll take 2 please.  :)  Finding a place to buy
cases for them in the Tampa area shouldn't be hard.  Where did you find the
bulb sockets and wiring that goes from the socket to the ballast?  Is the
ballast already wired for 110v?  I've got lots of things I can use to make
the reflectors.  Thanks for the message.

To dig a little deeper in this, what type of MH bulb is recommended by you
guru's out there.  I was assuming a 5500k would be best.  What type of CF
bulbs would be best to go along with the MH.  If I have the two types of
lighting it seems like I could cover come gaps that any one type of bulb may


Chad Sutton
chadsutton at tampabay_rr.com

You'd probably be better off with a 175w metal halide fixture which will
also allow you to use a wider selection of bulbs.

If you're looking for cheap and effective lighting, power compacts of the
DIY variety are probably your best bet. Many list members, including me,
have had very good success with the kits from AH Supply
(http://www.ahsupply.com). They are inexpensive, potent, and there are a
lot of bulb choices you can use. DIY MH lighting is also an option if you
want a point-source type of light. You can save a lot of money with MH
lighting by building the ballast assembly with parts from an electrical
supply house and then buying only the reflectors that will fit an aquarium.
I can get 175w MH ballasts locally for around $25-30 an a surplus
ventilated aluminum enclosure via mail order for about $20 and save over
$100 on the assembly as a result.