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[APD] Re: MH lighting for 35 gallon tank

I'm seriously considering taking the top off altogether and hanging a MH
pendant over the tank. I figure a single pendant will work will well if I
center it over the hex, which is roughly two feet from side to side. I'm
thinking of something that looks like this:

You could do that, although I think it's probably overkill for a tank of that size.

The problem is that I've having a hard time finding a pendant with an
appropriate wattage. The one at the link above is 175W, which seems awfully
excessive for a non-CO2 35 gallon tank. Something in the 70-100W range
seems about right, but I'm having a hard time finding anything in that

Is there a good supplier for the lower-wattage stuff? Or would I have to
resort to expensive DIY to get something appropriate?

First, DIY is usually used because it is CHEAPER than store-bought stuff. What DIY uses more of is your time, since you will have to find and assemble all the parts yourself.

There is lower-wattage MH stuff. I have seen bulbs of 70 watts (try http://www.grainger.com). I have never seen a commercial fixture for those intended for aquarium use though, so I think you'll have to DIY this. I don't think you'll be able to find any high color temperature bulbs either in this size, so you'll be stuck with the 4200K commercial stuff.

You might try the HQI type MH lights -- there is a slightly smaller HQI bulb of 150 watts. If you hang it high above the tank you would get decent light levels in the tank, but with non CO2 you'll most likely have problems with that light level. I would suggest you look at some of the PCF setups out there before taking the plunge and using MH. And remember, this is coming from a very, very pro-MH person :-) MH is best suited for larger tanks that are better matched to the spread of the bulb and can make use of the high light levels available from MH fixtures. A 175 watt might be a nice fit for a 60 gallon hex, but with only a 35 gallon tank -- especially one without CO2 injection -- I think you will find MH to be too powerful for your needs.


Waveform Technology
UNIX Systems Administrator

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