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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning a new planted tank. It will be the tall ADA (approximately 48 x 18 x 24 tall). I have a 250 watt MH pendent I was planning to use over a corner saltwater tank. Will this work for me over the planetd tank or should I be looking at getting a T5 fixture? If I go with the T5 will 4 bulbs be enough or should I get the 6 bulb configuration? Thanks all for the help.
 

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I had a 250 watt hqi over a 36x18x? oceanic show tank. The metal halide had questionable coverage on the sides, and really needed some florescent fill lighting.

I just put in a 2x96 ahsupply on the same tank. The difference is hard to explain. On average the tank is brighter due to less shadows and more even coverage, the small percentage of the tank that was getting the noonday light from the hqi and was not shaded by other plants is not nearly as bright.

I think a single 250 hqi over a 48" tank is a bad idea - but with different reflectors, ymmv.
 

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I have the same tank size, a bowfront 80 gal that 48"x18"x24" high. I have the TEK T5 4 bulbs light on it and it gives out 216 watts which is plenty for this size tank. You have to remember that the reflector on the TEK is one of the best.

Here are some older pics of this tank w/ the TEK T5.




BTW if you're looking for a TEK T5 48" 4 bulbs light at a good price PM me.
 

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I think 250w MHs are a little overkill on a freshwater planted tank.

Some cons are:
1. More Heat, will raise temps anywhere from 2-5 degrees
2. More Electricity usage(expect your electric bill to go up)
3. Bulbs are Expensive(6500k bulbs which are the cheapest still run 65 bux!)

My Suggestion would be to go with the T5 setup flounder suggests. I have one on my 46g bowfront. It doesnt generate near the heat that MHs will, is easier on the electric bill, and bulbs are 12-18 bux to replace. They will grow plants just fine.
 

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You can get 250W Iwasakis under $50, but you didnt say SE or DE, that will change the selection obviously. The only way I'd do a single 250W over a 4' tank would be to also combine it with atleast 1 high output fluorescent bulb in front and in rear, and plant high light plants under the MH and not so demanding plants on the ends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Plans have changed :) She who must be obeyed now wants a 6 foot tank. Who am I to argue.

So, I am seriously considering a combination of low watt MH (3 x 150 watts probably) and 2 to 4 of the new 6 foot 80 watt T5s. The tank will be between 150 gallons and 170 depending on its footprint, bow or standard rectangle, so this would be a lot of light if everything were running.

If I go this way I will wire everything to a controller so the T5s come on first, followed by the MHs for the middle part of the day, the the T5s on their own again. I may try both running for an hour or two mid day. We will see. If I build it myself it won't be so expensive to get started and I will have the control I'm looking for.
 

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James,
Sounds like a great plan. However, the 80w T5s are 5' (60") not 6' long.

Sunlight Supply used to make a 6' Maristar fixture that had 3x150w MH and 4x 39w HO T5. This would have been my ideal light for my 125g tank. However, they've since discontinued this model and now only sell it with 3x250w MH. Way too much light for me. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I didn't know that the 80 watt light are 5 feet long. The are used in the 72 inch fixtures so I guess I assumed they would be close to that length. Thanks for the info.

3x250 is definitely too much light. That's why I would build the thing from retro parts. That and my wife wants the light fixture to match the cabinet.
 

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I believe Current makes some nice combo 150 watt HQI/T5 that might fit the bill. Unfortunately all the T5s come on at the same time, but Current may change that in the future. Alot of light all at once, but if put on different timers it would cover the dawn to dusk timelines for "she who must be obeyed". :icon_wink Of course you'd have to ditch the actinics.
Aquarium Lighting for Reef Aquariums: Outer Orbit Pro Series HQI/T-5/LED Lights
 

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Plans have changed :) She who must be obeyed now wants a 6 foot tank. Who am I to argue.
Wish that happened to me! lol. I had to con my wife into it saying I'd take her on a cruise or vacation somewhere this year. It was still like pulling teeth though. I never did tell her how much the 240g actually cost... or that its going to take over $500 of just 'gravel' lol.
 

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That's funny! My son asked me today how late "Clark's" was open, our LFS. Then he said something about liking Discus. He's ten and I knew something was up. My wife was going to surprise me with one "Discus" for my birthday, I found out.:icon_lol: I had to explain to her the tank is at 75 degrees and I don't keep Discus, YET. Love her for wanting to please me, just the same.
 

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I use 3x150W MH and 4x39W T-5's over my 6' tank. I've been quite happy with the setup. The T-5's are on for 10-11 hrs/day with the MH's also on for 5 hours in the middle.

You can check out my setup journal at APC to see who I used for suppliers.
 
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