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so there is a 70w metal halide porch light at ollies. and its $15. im wondering if i would be able to use it for a tank or anything. it looks kinda like this.http://www.google.com/imgres?q=70+w...106&ndsp=36&ved=1t:429,r:12,s:106&tx=47&ty=64 but im sure i could replace the cover with something flat.

what do you think? it doesnt say anywhere what the kelvin is or anything. so idk if it would be useful. what are your thoughts?
 

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When you buy something like this, there are 3 major components, the ballast, the bulb and the socket. Chances are you'd have to replace the bulb right off, just to get a color of light you like in the tank. That's going to cost you about $50 right there. Also 70w bulb selection is limited.

Also the fixture you show is seems to be a porch light, which means that it's designed to throw light in all direction, rather than down into the tank. This can be a problem inside.

IMO, you'd be much better off getting a fixture or retrofit designed for aquarium use. That way you can configure it to exactly what you need.

Also, consider that very few FW planted systems need MH lighting, and you may be much better served with T5 or similar fluorescent lighting.
 

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i see. how powerful are MH lights?
With standard reflectors they are pretty strong depending on the wattage. Conventional wisdom has 70W good for 12", 150/175W for 18", 250W for 24", 400W to 36" and 1000W for around 48". These references are for salt water lighting so they may penetrate a few inches more in fresh water.
 

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the penetration isn't what is important between the two, saltwater coral need much higher par than fresh water plants =p a metal halide like that should be more than fine for your tank, and a bulb for the 70 watts arent hard to find or near 50 dollars
http://fishneedit.com/70w-metal-halide-bu70.html
this person has a nice selection and a great kelvin is 8000k very soothing color and the inside of the tank looks great, however I think it would be better to just buy the 70watt from him, they work well and the reflector is as nice as the outside of the fixture, not to mention its a steal for the price
 

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While it is not MH I have a 2 bulb T5HO unit from fishneedit using 6500K bulbs over my reef's refugium and it is doing great. It runs 16 hours a day and everything works the same as when I got it over 8 months ago. The fixture definitely looks cheap but seems to be rock solid. The bulbs appear to rock solid also. For $15 bucks it might be worth a shot.
 
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