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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I've read these thread a few times and I'm very interested in it.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/diy/39586-70-diy-70w-hqi-metal-halide-3.html#post358631
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/diy/39629-100-diy-150w-hqi-metal-halide.html?highlight=diy+150w

I just got a 40 gallon breeder tank with a 2x96w Custom Sea Life fixture. It also came with a canopy that the person didn't use.

2x96w would give me ~5 WPG, which is definately high light. When I setup the fixture the other day, one of the bulbs started flickering and buzzing. I'm thinking I have to replace it soon. :(

OK, so I'm thinking I have a few options. For sure, this will be a high light/high tech tank.

1) Just replace the ballast on the fixture. This gives me ~2.5WPG with one bulb on, and 5WPG with both bulbs. ~$45 for the ballast? Haven't checked yet, but have read that it's somewhere around there.

2) Go with 2 x 70w. This will cost ~$140 to build. The canopy I have is about 6" off of the top of the tank with an open back. I have no wood-working skills so installing fans on the sides of the canopy would be out of the question. Can I still mount fans inside the canopy and have the air circulate and blow out the back of it? Or would 2 x 70w MH be too hot? The problem with this is that right off the bat, I'll have to be working with ~3.5WPG of MH. I like flexibility in my lighting options. Of course there'll be two ballasts, but since I plan to have the reflectors next to each other, I'll need both on at once to have even lighting.

3) Go with 1 x 70w plus 2x36w PCs. This will give versatile lighting options. I can have the 2x36w on for 8 hours for 1.8WPG and the MHs on for 5-6 hours for high lighting during those periods. The AHSupply kits are $58 for each 1x36w setup, for $116 total. That's the price of a DIY 150w MH! I can't get the 2x36w kit because that only comes with one wide reflector whereas I'll be needing two of them. This setup will cost close to ~$190.

This is the proposed staggered plan:

xxxxxx ==== 36 w ====
xxxxxxx 70 w MH xxxxxxx
==== 36 w ==== xxxxxx

Another question is...is the spread of the 70W or 150W MH enough for a 36" long tank? The 150W reflector is from: 150W HQI (Double Ended) MH Reflector and the 70W reflector is a Halogen floodlight reflector (pics in the first thread I posted).

4) If so, my last option would be a DIY 150W MH setup mounted right in the middle of the canopy. This will be about ~$100 from co2's thread and give me 3.8WPG. The cheapest option yet. =)...would heat also be an issue?

I think the shimmering effect of the MHs would definately be a plus in this tank.

Thanks for all your opinions!
 

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I have 2x96 watt on my 40 and love it!
 

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Given what you have to work with already... I would use one of you 96W CF's and just put one 70W MH in the center. You will have the best of both worlds, even lighting from the CF, and the point source light of the MH for the shimmering effect. It also gives you flexibility since you don't have to have both bulbs on at the same time, one can just be on for a couple hours in the middle of the day. Another bonus is that it would be easy on your wallet. I considered this same setup when I was going to set a 90cm ADA tank up.

If you do that I would try to get an 8800k 96W bulb, there was a guy selling them on Ebay but his ad is hard to find. That color looks really good, and when both bulbs were on, it would look like an 8000k ADA 150W bulb, which is good.
 

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Champion Lighting has them on clearance at $17.90 a pop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The 96w CF I have is in a fixture, not a retrofit. The canopy isn't being used right now. So I'd still have to go out and buy a retrofit if I wanted the 96w CF in the canopy.
 

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The 96w CF I have is in a fixture, not a retrofit. The canopy isn't being used right now. So I'd still have to go out and buy a retrofit if I wanted the 96w CF in the canopy.
Oh, I see. Can you just take the fixture apart and turn it into a retrofit? Just use the reflector, socket, bulb holder, and ballast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The reflector is designed for 2x96w bulbs, but I guess if I put the one bulb right in the center, it'd work. If I had two separate reflectors, I'd mount both in the canopy and have the 70W in the middle of both for some awesome lighting. ;) Overkill, but I think it'd be amazing.

Do you recommend the PC bulb in front or behind of the 70w MH since I only have one reflector?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
CLEARANCE: 96w CSL 8800k PC Lamp
Learn More!
Click Here! CLEARANCE: 96w CSL 8800k PC Lamp
34" Square four pin configuration

An additional shipping charge of $12.00 (UPS Ground – 48 states) for 96w lamps will be added to your order. A box will hold up to 12 lamps.

Holy crap. $12? =P
 

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CLEARANCE: 96w CSL 8800k PC Lamp
Learn More!
Click Here! CLEARANCE: 96w CSL 8800k PC Lamp
34" Square four pin configuration

An additional shipping charge of $12.00 (UPS Ground – 48 states) for 96w lamps will be added to your order. A box will hold up to 12 lamps.

Holy crap. $12? =P
Yeah, that's normal. They charge that because they have to wrap it up real good for shipping. You're getting a real deal on the bulbs so that makes up for it. I would buy two to have a spare. CSL went out of business a couple years ago I think, so these bulbs are getting harder to find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Contemplating just gutting my fixture. And getting AHS 34.5" reflectors for PC bulbs.

===== 96 W =====
==== 70w MH ====
===== 96 W =====

Is the shimmer effect worth gutting the fixture and then spending $70 for the DIY MH + $20 for the AHS reflector? Plus ~$20 shipped for everything. So an extra $110.
 

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I know this might not be the best plan and you may not have the room under there, but I cheated when I couldn't find 5 ft lamps for my canopy and I didn't know about retrofits then either, so I just screwed the 3-4 ft fixtures to the roof of the canopy. They came complete with fans so I didn't have to do a thing about rewiring.
 

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i got HQI on my 40 breeder too and its a 150w ADA with 2x24w CF it gives good light and not too much. I think 70w is kind of weak and you cant use ADA bulbs and strong PC with weak MH kind of beats the purpose of getting MH in the first place.
 

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You can grow enough algae to spill out and fill the room with that much light. I think you're going to have issues with so much light, but it could work.

Adam
 
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