Interesting lighting choice. I don't know much about HQI lights, so I am not sure if that is going to be too much. But the actinics would need to be replaced with something between 6000K and 10000K. Are you going to have pressurized co2 and ferts?
Definitly worth it for $150. As mentioned before you will need to change out the actinics. Keep in mind you will have to suspend the light in order to be able to moderate the intensity of the 150 watt HQI...that's alot of light. Ideally MH lamps illuminate a 2' X 2' square, so you may bet shadows on either end of the tank. Obviously the greater the distance between the light and the bottom of the tank, the better the coverage from that single light. You could easily start with that lamp two feet above the waters surface, maybe more. There are also many options out there for 150 watt MH HQI lamps, much more so than 70 watt HQI's. Resist the temptation to let this lamp run 8+ hours a day full blast. Start out slow, and as you plant biomass increases you can slowly moderate the duration of light. Believe me, it looks great for the first few days until you're plagued with algae. It's much easier to prevent then eliminate. It goes without saying that this tank will require injected CO2 of some sort. Also, it will be important to have good circulation in this tank in order to minimize dead spots where CO2 my be limited focally, even though a drop checker may indicate 30 ppm in another area of the tank.
yikesjason, Yes I will be using pressurized CO2....I need to contact Orlando and ask him to set me up with a good CO2 system. I've been using DIY CO2 and i'm actually nervous/excited to use a pressurized system. I haven't yet decided if i'll be using any ferts..
Stasiu,This is my first time using MH...On my other two tanks I have Current and Coralife PC lights on. When I switch out the two actinics bulbs, can I replace them with two 96 watts PC??? That will give me ~5wpg...I was planning on turning on the MH for a noon burst of about 2 hours. I had no intentions of hanging the light fixture above the tank. How much damage will the lights give me if they are only on the mounting legs???
CL, I actually picked up the light from a friend of mine. He was using it for his 72 gallon bowfront saltwater. He is now in the process of building a 300+ gallon saltwater so he decided to break his tank down...It was used for about 3-4 months
Do not bother with this light if you aren't going to be using pressurized CO2 with some type of fertilizer dosing. I'm saying this because with that much light, and no fertz, you will be starving your plants and only providing light for the inevitable algae explosion. It sounds like you're getting in a little deep and need to do some more homework on planted tanks first. I don't want to discourage you from this, I just want to make sure you educate yourself before you run into problems....and you can very easily get huge algae issues with this light. Even with perfect CO2 and ferts...you will have to limit the amount of time the metal halide lamp is on. I'd recommend using the MH lamp for an hour of two max with a total photo period of 6 hours until your plant biomass is high. When everthing is nice and healthy and under ideal conditions, the max you will likely be able to run this lamp without issues is 8 hours total with a 3 to 4 hour burst from the MH lamp.
No you cannot use 96 watt bulbs in this fixture. The ballast are designed for two 55 or 65 watt PC lamps. And with this fixture the last thing you will need is more light. They only make the GE bulbs in a 96 watt version anyway.
The problem with that lamp mounted just a few inches off of the water will be two fold. One, you will not get a nice even light across your 36" tank. Second, and more important, it will be very difficult to keep algae under control because of the massive intensity comming off that lamp. Most people that use 150 watt HQI bulbs for freshwater plants have them hanging 20 to 30 inches off of the waters surface. I'm not saying it will be impossible to use this lamp with just standoffs, but it will pose a challenge.
Stasiu is giving you good advice. If you aren't absolutely sure of what you are doing you will have more problems than success. I really think this is way more light than you need. If you get this fixture hanging it is a necessity as is a solid fertilization routine, stable adequate pressurized CO2 levels and excellent circulation. None of those things should be considered optional.
Stasiu, I'll order some fertz next week to help counter the strong light. I will replace the two actinics with two 65 watts PC....I won't use the 150 MH until I'm able to hang the fixture from the ceiling, but that won't be for a few months. Do you think the two 65 watt PC will be enough light for the 40 breeder at the moment??? I'll have pressurized CO2, fertz, will get a Koralia 1, and Eheim 2217.
The Korlia is an excellent idea, I'm going to be running two nanos in a 38 gallon tank. Eheims are great filters though I've never used them. As i recommended before, I think you would like the GE lights better than any other PC light out there, it's a 55 watt lamp. Yes, just the PC lamps alone will grow your plants very well.