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70 watt MHs for a 180?

1218 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  fritz
So I'm planning a low tech 180 for mostly tanganyikan cichlids. Java Fern, Java Moss, some val perhaps if I can keep it from melting and the usual suspects for a tank like this. My last twenty years of fish keeping was reefs and I just can't do a tank without shimmer lines. Yes I know lots of people do and they love and that's great. Don't think I haven't thought about grabbing two shoplights from Hope Depot and calling it a day.

That being said, as of now I'm thinking of doing three DIY 70 watt halides over the tank. A 180 is roughly three 2 foot cubes together so each 70 watt halide will have to light a two foot cube. My hope is that that is considered low light. If I'm going to need CO2 and ferts than I'll be going the shoplight route or messing around with halogens (I know its a bad idea).

Hopefully someone has some experience with 70 watt bulbs and how they'd light a two foot cube. FWIW I plan on lightly stocking, I'm not a heavy feeder and there will be an automatic water change feature that'll do about 4 gallons a day.
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You might think about LEDs... They can give you shimmer, and if you want to go low-light route you won't need many. My guess is 3x70w halide will give you more light than you want.
Interesting. He certainly has a lot of light but its only 12" or so of water. Its my understanding that MH doesn't loose much traveling through air (relatively speaking) but does once it hits water. Also vipers have a far better reflector than I'll be using.

That being said I guess the top 12" of my tank will be blasted with light which is where my issue is going to be. Damn.

Anyone run 70s on a deep tank?
I'll be watching closely if you do this as I was thinking about 2x70 for my 90 (also a reefer who has no desire to lose the shimmer).
I think I'm just going to do it. Really its just 70 watts. If you think about it, half of that is going to be going up into a crappy $10 reflector and getting lost. So really we're talking about 35watts and then maybe another 5-10watts bouncing back off the reflector. Going into a tank this size I'm thinking its not going to be that bad and maybe not even that bright.
I built a 70W HQI for my 20H reef tank and it has a 20K+ ushio bulb in it, my 56 gallon (30x18x24 column) *looks* brighter with 2xF17T8s, probably due to the spectrum and reduced light output in higher kelvin bulbs. I'm probably upgrading the reef to 150 and putting this 70 and another one on my 90 and calling it a darn day myself. If its too much and I get too much algae I'll get some ABNs and get CO2 when I can afford it :)
Nice! Did you use the $10 halogen reflector I've seen people use on the net or something else? I saw some at the Lowes by me but the reflector was about three inches wide and like six inches long! If you did go that route did you swap out the terminals for true hqi leads or leave the stock ones in?
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