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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, I went out and payed $30 for a new bulb to replace the one that blew the second I hooked it up. Put it in, and nothing. So I switched my good working bulb for the new one, and light. Evidently, when the bulb blew, there was more to it then just a weak bulb. It was my ballast, or whatever it is on metal halide fixtures I ended up disconnecting it and put in a temporary CFL, until I go back to Lowes. Probably be tomorrow, so if anyone can give me any suggestions on what I should buy it would be greatly appreciated. Keep in mind I still have 1- 175w x 10,000k halide, and the 2 blue actinics. I still have plenty of room to do something on the other side with, just dont know what yet. I have some Microsword on the way for that side of the tank, so I will definitely need a light over there soon. I am just not going to spend the $ to fix the metal halide fixture, especially seeing that I have been told they were too much light for my tank. BTW, my lights sit around 31" off my substrate.

My flora is: Salvinia auriculata 'Eared Watermoss', Tons of java moss, 1 apogonten bulb from Wally World, Italian Vals, Vals Gigantae, rotala rotundifolia, rotala colorata, rotala nanjenshan, ludwigia glandulosa, Hygrophila polysperma var. Rosanervig, cryptocoryne walkeri 'lutea', heteranthera zosterifolia (Stargrass) and Limnophila Sessiliflora. These lights hang around 1' from the waterline or a little more(see pic) Not too worried about algae as I have a HUGE Pleco, TONS of snails, and some shrimps to take care of that. I would like to know if I need to move the lights to avoid excessive growth resulting in the plants eating all the nutrients? I may dose some kind of fertz, but NOT going to do any Co2 or any root tabs or anything. I generally rely on my self-made compost for nutrients and Co2 and want to keep it like that.

Thanks for any advice I can get, it is appreciated and will be taken into consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You may want to raise the lights another foot if you don't want to do pressurized CO2.
Any suggestions on what else I can do? Maybe switch bulbs or something? These lights are built into the canopy and, short of adding a foot to the top of this already 6 foot tall tank, I am kinda lost. Could I not just do some fert dosing or anything else? Thanks for the info.
 

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You could use floaters as part of your scape which could be really nicely done and further shade the tank with window screen but is it really worth using these lights with expensive replacement bulbs and high running cost if you don't want that much light? I replaced my 175 watt MH because the ballasts were super noisy as well. Unless you pay the big bucks for bulbs the color rendition is nasty. Ballast replacement is even dicey, 2x70 watts could still be far more light than you want to use and then you would be out that money.

If you don't want to run CO2 or fertilize then consider saving up to buy a double bulb T5HO or even T5NO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all. I don't really have that problem now as 1 of the bulbs blew right off the bat when I hooked it up:( Now there isn't enough light, IMO. When they were both working it looked just as good as my 2 13watt CFL's with the stock light. I think I will replace the bulb tomorrow, not really worried about algae. I think my 8" Pleco, 3 Apple snails, 3 varieties of Ramshorns, and the MTS will take care of that.

It's not that I don't want to dose fertz. I have Italian Vals and Vals Gigantae in there and have read that they annihilate them. I think I'll just try it out for awhile and see where it gets me. Thanks for the info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
So, I went out and payed $30 for a new bulb to replace the one that blew the second I hooked it up. Put it in, and nothing. So I switched my good working bulb for the new one, and light. Evidently, when the bulb blew, there was more to it then just a weak bulb. It was my ballast, or whatever it is on metal halide fixtures I ended up disconnecting it and put in a temporary CFL, until I go back to Lowes. Probably be tomorrow, so if anyone can give me any suggestions on what I should buy it would be greatly appreciated. Keep in mind I still have 1- 175w x 10,000k halide, and the 2 blue actinics. I still have plenty of room to do something on the other side with, just dont know what yet. I have some Microsword on the way for that side of the tank, so I will definitely need a light over there soon. I am just not going to spend the $ to fix the metal halide fixture, especially seeing that I have been told they were too much light for my tank. BTW, my lights sit about 31" above my substrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You will need the CO2 to help the plants grow faster than algae. You will want to fert well with the light too.

No way to use lower watt bulbs unless you change ballasts. You could go to 70W bulbs if you change out to ballasts that run 70W bulbs.
Could I split the one remaining transformer/ballast and just use 2 smaller bulbs or something along those lines? If so, use two of the same sized bulbs as was originally there (175w), or get 2 smaller bulbs to equal slightly less?/more? than the 175w?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I ended up putting a 23watt 6500K CFL on the side where the halide blew. Then I replaced one of the actinics with a 46" T5 3500K 28watt flourescent. I think I'm gonna keep the lights up for 12hrs on and 12hrs off, but will probably set the actinic and the T5 to come on in the middle of the day as an extra burst of light. Not sure when to do it and for how long though, any suggestions or experiences? They would be greatly appreciated.
 
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