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Thinking of adding 70w HQI..

1509 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  forddna
I'm thinking of putting my 54g corner tank back together. I've kind of just let it go after some fish I bought ate my plants. :icon_mad: But I want it to be right this time. I had three PC retros from AH Supply - 1 55w and 2 36w. I can add a 70w HQI to the center.

The tank is 22" tall. Is 70w even going to be noticeable? I would just like to be able to keep "moderate light" plants and not worry about my PCs penetrating enough. I already have everything to add the light. Just need to know if it's worth the effort.

That would give me 127w PC and 70w metal halide. The PCs are in a triangle shape, and the HQI would go in the center, with a good reflector.

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Good to see you around again! :)

It sounds good to me. I'm about to put a pair of 70 watters over my 24" tall tank very soon, and I think they are the best choice for tall tanks. The addition will definitely be noticeable... you didn't mention if it'll have CO2, but I think it would be required.

I like the MH shimmer!
That would be allot of light. But I think it would be worth trying. Are you not getting the growth you want at the substrate with your current setup? I also believe you will need to raise the MH higher then the PC's to give you an even spread, unless you want a burst in the middle like that.
I really can't mount it any higher. Now, what I *could* do is eliminate the PCs altogether, but is just 70w over a 22" tall tank, 54g enough?

I had a hard time closer to the substrate, yes, and a hard time with anything that grew low, like foreground plants, which tend to be more light needy anyway.

I don't want to run CO2. I want to keep it as basic as possible. I just happen to have everything to be able to add this light, so I thought I'd ask and see what you guys think.

The MH would definitely help a great deal otherwise you are limiting what you can grow. Remember also that the MH will spread a little bit as it penetrates almost 2 feet to the bottom. I love the way tanks under MHs look.
Yes, if you turn the PCs off and just use the MH I think that would work just fine on a tank that size.
Don't underestimate the wattage of MH lamps. I have a 24X2 T5 HO fixture with SLR reflectors and geissman mid day bulbs over a 38 gallon tank. They put out a good amount of light...but it's nothing to compare when the two 70 watt MH lamps turn on. I honestly believe you could get good thick carpet growth with these lamps even if the tank was 30" deep. I don't think there's a reason to go to 150 watt MH lamps for fresh water plants. I'll post some pictures.
This tank is being run immersed at the moment.




If you compare the shadows from the driftwood you get an estimate of the difference. It's hard to catch it with the camera, but in person the difference is substancial. I only plan on running the MH's about two hours a day.
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What kevin rating do you suggest? I don't even know what's available for HQI bulbs. I assume as low as 10,000k, but are there any that are lower?
They make 70w HQI's all the way down to 6500k.
I'm really about to do this...finally...

I'm having some moisture issues inside the canopy, so I am going to cut more out of the back sides to ventilate more. I may go ahead and install one or two computer fans as well before I do the 70w.

I'm debating the placement of the 70w. I was thinking of leaving the other three strips where they are and mounting the HQI in the center. Or I thought about rearranging them so that I could put the HQI nearest the back corner since that's the trouble spot, and just plan on putting a bit higher lighting needing plants there. OR..haha..putting the hqi nearer the front for a higher light foreground. Decisions, decisions!

Here is the way it is set up right now. The cords were not routed yet, but I drilled a hole right in the center of the canopy, and that's where I fed the cords out. So I'll have to redo the cords somehow. No biggie.

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