Thanks for the compliments.
So, last night after the pics I decided to start installing the reflectors/lighting in the canopy. I knew that I was going to struggle with room to do it how I wanted to, but I gave it a shot anyway. I had bought 2 of the 12" spider reflectors from hellolights, and was hopeful I'd be able to find a way to make those and the 2 TEK T5s all fit above the tank, but the fact is the tank is only 12 or 13" wide and it just wasn't going to happen. But, like I said I tried anyway, unsuccessfully.
So, tonight I'll pull out the spider reflectors and install the 2 little reflectors that I got with the ballasts and get the T5s mounted after I figure out a bracket method (prob something similiar to Ziggy's, just mount a piece of wood to allow the end caps to mount to). I know I'll lose a lot of efficiency from the MHs in doing this, but I think for this tank it will be okay. I don't think I'll ever buy a tank that is less than 18" deep again - ever - lol.
Then, yes, I have to drill. The biggest thing I'm struggling with right now is where to drill the 2 returns for the CL
. With having the overflow box going on the one side, it's kinda right in the way of where I would ideally put them. I want to run an SCWD and mix up the flow, so I want to be able to direct it to come down over the "reef" once the rockwork is all in. But that overflow box is basically right where I'd want to put it, and with the center brace on the tank it isn't leaving me a ton of options. Just have to figure it out and get to drilling I guess.
Once that's done, I'll get it plumbed up loosely and let it run for a week with everything running and the tank full of water. I want to do this in the garage for literally at least a week before I start moving everything inside and make sure everything is good to go. I think Ziggy would understand why I'm doing this.