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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2006, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Metal Halide

I have a 30 gallon tall. I am wanting to do a planted aquarium, i have had plenty of planted tanks in the pass with pretty good success. But now i am wanting to try it with a metal halide. I have a 175w 10,000K Mounted inside of a canopy around 12 inches off the water Is this to much or what? Please help me.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2006, 08:40 PM
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Hmm, that'll put you almost at 6WPG. You could always pick out a few large plants that love bright lighting and use those to shade smaller plants that might be harmed by so much light. You could also use rocks, driftwood, and floating plants to give some shade. Just curious but, how much did that metal halide setup cost you?


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2006, 08:47 PM
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firefighter: If it's inside a canopy, your water temperature is going to shoot way up. It might not be that significant if the bulb is 12" off the water, though. Is the canopy vented? I know that for reef tanks, if the MH are mounted close, then you'd need a chiller to prevent the temperature from going up too much.

Another problem with going with one MH bulb versus two sets of T5s or whatnot is the lack of control of your photoperiod. I have 4 T5 bulbs, 2 are on for 10-12 hours a day, 2 are on for a midday burst of 3 hours to give 216 watts for just that 3-4 hours. With your 175w, you're going to have a constant ~6WPG the entire time the lights are on. Without CO2 injection and a religious fertilizing schedule, you're going to be fighting algae much more than you're going to be enjoying your tank. If possible, go for two 70 watt MH setups for better control of the lighting schedule, but since you already have the 175w, then I doubt it...

HybridS130: You can find used MH setups, 175w with XM 10,000 bulbs, IC ballast, and 18" spider reflectors for ~$175-200 shipped.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2006, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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I Got the MH set up for free from a buddy of mine Yes the canopy is vented it has only one fan but i will be cutting another hole so it has as much ventalation as it can. Yeah I would rather have two 70w as you said but this is what i am stuck with for now. as far as tall plants or floating plants that seems like the best way for now to cut down the wattage. If you have any other advice you can give me i would surely appreiceate it.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 01:36 AM
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I dont think its gonna harm plants the sun is much brighter and it dont harm plants I used a 96 watt aqualight on a ten gallon no problem , you may have a problem with heat but you said its in a canopy 12 inches above the water so if you have a fan in there it should be ok . 10000k has a softer blue appearance i prefer 65000 k it gives off a crisp white light. I do like the ripple effect you will get with a MH light . You will need co2 and keep a eye on your nutrients with that amount of light.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 03:38 AM
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Heeeeeeeeey, what if you mounted two 24'' florescent tubes in there for morning and evening. Then you could have the MH light set to run for 6 hours instead of 12. You could pick up two complete 24'' fixtures with plant grow bulbs from wal-mart for $10 each, they're very skinny and would screw right into the canopy.


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by dschmeh View Post
I dont think its gonna harm plants the sun is much brighter and it dont harm plants I used a 96 watt aqualight on a ten gallon no problem , you may have a problem with heat but you said its in a canopy 12 inches above the water so if you have a fan in there it should be ok . 10000k has a softer blue appearance i prefer 65000 k it gives off a crisp white light. I do like the ripple effect you will get with a MH light . You will need co2 and keep a eye on your nutrients with that amount of light.

Er? People have always described 10000K bulbs as crisp bright white/blue light and 6700K as softer, yellow light. Or maybe I have.

12 inches in a canopy with two vent holes...I'm still not very convinced the temperature will be OK. MH can burn your fingers if you touch them. My T5s, after being on for 10 hours, are hot to the touch. But not scorcing.

With MH, you get a great ripple effect....but the main reason I didn't go with them was because of the heat.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 03:09 PM
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I found a bunch of my fish also looked a lot cooler under the MH lighting vrs CF lighting even though they were the same color bulb
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 03:27 PM
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You also have to keep in mind that 175 watts over a 30g is a pretty paltry everday thing in the reefer world, and they have ways of dealing with temp that do not involve chilling. If you can get really good air movement underneath the bulbs in the canopy, you might have more success. My roomate had 175w metal halide with 72 w of pc on a 12 gallon nano and we were able to keep the temps under 80 with good high airflow fans going in and out.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 04:25 PM
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I'd not only be worried about tank temp but, the room temp too. With just my regular T12s going I can tell a noticable temperature change in the room. That's only 80 watts so I can only imagine how warm a room with 175 would get, unless it's of decent size with the a/c cranked and maybe a ceiling fan.


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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks

Hey i appreciate all of yalls advice, its really helping me out. Should i go with a pressurized co2 system or DIY
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 06:35 PM
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the light penetration is what is important, not the WPG. A 30 tall is a "tall" tank. The light penetration to the bottom is what is key, 30 gallon tank or a 50 gallon cube,its the same light at the substrate.

Go pressurized, diy is a hassle. pressurized co2 is set it and forget it like ron popeil.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 07:45 PM
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Yeah you can pick up the tanks and various stuff on ebay for super cheap.


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 08:35 PM
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go with the 175w, throw a fan or two in the canopy to move the hot air out (don't blow air directly on the bulbs!!), go to your local soda/beer distributor and get your co2 tank cheap (my 20# cost me a $20 deposit and is only $8/exchange).

if you exchange your tank you don't have to worry about getting your tank certified every so often.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 10:30 PM
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I got a 15# tank on eBay for $67. Since it sits next to my tanks, esthetics is important. It's hydro'd until 2011. So no problems there. =)

Regulator, I got with a bunch of stuff for $125 since it was a package deal. I've sold $74 worth of stuff already, so the JB regulator and 50' python has only cost me $51. =)
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