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I already own a 250w Metal Halide pendulum light that I was using for another project (non aquatic). Will that give me the right light spectrum for a planted tank without causing algae blooms? If not what would you suggest for a 3-4 watt per gallon setup? Thank you for any help you can offer.
 

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Don't even think about using 3-4 watts per gallon of T5HO or MH lights, unless you plan to hang the light high above the tank. And, doing that is a very good idea, because it makes the light much more uniform in the tank, both side to side and top to bottom. Look at http://www.barrreport.com/general-p...lon-cube-crystal-red-shrimp-brass-tetras.html and note that the light intensity doesn't vary greatly from top to bottom, as a result of raising the light fixture. That helps a lot more for preventing algae attacks than the light spectrum ever will.
 
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