I'm kinda in limbo with lighting right now. The only thing for sure is I want the power compacts gone as soon as possible. My tanks that have T5HO or MH lighting just seem to have better more controlled growth at a lower wattage level.
Right now in my mind I'm toying with a few ideas that I've been having. I already have a 150W fishneedit fixture (electronic ballast, 8k bulb) running over my 29 gallon riparium. I'm considering bringing that tank down entirely or possibly switching it out with a 20 long. Either way I see myself as having a "spare" 150W MH right now. Easiest thing to do would just be to order a companion and hang them over the breeder. Too much light? Meh I'd like to hope with the height adjustment I could find a sweet spot. Besides the shimmer makes the ladies swoon.
I'm sure 2x70W would be a little better suited. It seems funny being cheap one post below forking out lots of loot for rocks. :P
If nothing else I know fishneedit is expecting delivery of their new model T5HO fixtures soon. I can always keep my fingers crossed on that. Who knows, I'm constantly crawling craigslist/ebay/etc for deals on Tek fixtures. I'm to the point now that I really just want to hang the fixtures on all my tanks. Makes maintenance faster, looks better, and the height adjustment is a huge selling point.
I with ya on the t5 or MH. The only reason I'd use anything else is if it what what was lying around. Given the choice I'd use t5 nearly every time, but I too swoon over the shimmer. Tough choice. You could always retro some t5's & use the 150 for a burst (& the shimmer
I have a 175w MH over my 40b. I used it for a reef before & it's what I have to use right now. It's got a decent spread getting a little darker at the edges (2-3" each end) It's hanging 12" mid-bulb from the water. It should be higher, but that's where my canopy is at right now.
My point is that hung higher you'd get a much better spread, which I'm sure you know. I hang my reflector with wings left-right, not front-back. (Dunno what kinda reflector you have) It leaves a thin dark line middle of tank front to back, but gives the bigger spread like I was saying.
Have you tried hanging the 150 by itself to see how it looks?