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I think that would work - I have a similar setup for a SW reef and I'm able to keep SPS with decent colors at the bottom. Get a decent set of reflectors and if you can go with the magnetic ballast HQI versus the electronic ballast. I'm using Reef Optix III pendants with the dual SLS Bluewave ballast and they throw a good light pattern.
 

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I'm not the MH expert but that price doesnt sound all that great to me. If its a fancy pendant with good reflector and glass, and a good electronic ballast, with a good bulb that might be a good price, hard to tell w/o more info. The only thing to worry about would be using MH on that tall tank would be if you have lots of tall plants that might overshadow lower ones, MH has less 'fill' and casts more shadows. Might not be a problem for you. As far as magnetic vs electronic, well the only advantage magnetic has IMO is that it does put out slightly more power at the cost of worse effeciency. Electronic has many other advantages though. Just something to keep in mind.
 

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I've asked the same sort of questions....and gotten the response that 1 MG fixture can sufficiently light 2 feet of tank. Looks like you would have 4 feet of LOW light and 4 feet of HIGH light. Also having that much light concentrated in a 24"x18" area is a recipe for algae.
 

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I've asked the same sort of questions....and gotten the response that 1 MG fixture can sufficiently light 2 feet of tank. Looks like you would have 4 feet of LOW light and 4 feet of HIGH light. Also having that much light concentrated in a 24"x18" area is a recipe for algae.
I believe the OP is asking if two 150W HQI pendants/fixtures can be spread across the tank for sufficient coverage. I don't think he plans to have two MHs over one end of the tank and none over the other.
 

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From my experience with MH ballasts and bulbs and reflectors, you can get a decent spread on a 30" deep tank using either the Reef Optix II or if you are willing to spend a little more the Lumenmax are even better. On the subject of electronic versus magnetic. Probably not important for planted tanks but HQI bulbs used in reef's look different under electronic versus magnetic ballast. Since the bulbs are typically developed for a true HQI spec (magnetic) they tend to be underdriven on electronics so you get a slightly different color. I run both (electronic / magnetic) so I'm speaking from direct experience with bulbs like the Iwasaki 50k or even something like a Reeflux 10k bulb.
 

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With 3-4" of substrate, T5s would work, but MHs would definately be better. :)

Carpets might take a bit longer to grow.
 
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