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Old 09-27-2004, 02:04 AM   #1
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Will a 3' light fixture work ok above a 4' tank?

My 4' inwall tank is under a staircase, which makes it very difficult to mount a light fixture that is as wide as the tank - unless it's literally sitting on top of the tank.

Here's a quick and dirty photoshop "picture" showing what it looks like from the back of the tank:

The top left corner of the tank is obviously the problem.

I'm looking at several mega expensive 4' low profile fixtures such as the aqua sunlight classic that is only 3.2" tall, the maristar that is only 4" tall, etc. but even then it will be tricky to mount it a decent height above the tank.

So now I'm thinking of just using a 3' fixture which really opens up lots more options. I'm just concerned about the left and right sides of the tank not getting enough light. With a 3' fixture I would be able to mount it plenty high, say 8" above the water, so would that work ok? I guess if necessary I can always move my mushrooms etc to the edges.

Oh, it would be a 3' fixture with 2 x 250w MHs plus either VHOs, PCs, T5s, etc.

Ah, as I wrote this I just had another idea. I guess if it wasn't quite enough I could always move it all the way to the right and just hang a little MH spotlight pendant all the way on the left or something. Hmm...

I guess the final question is, does anyone know of any good combo fixtures that can be made to a custom size? Ideally I'd want something that was about 42" inches wide.

What do you guys/gals think?

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Old 09-30-2004, 01:44 AM   #2
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Seems to me that you can mount the fixture anywhere. Lighting is a huge opportunity to get creative. Just be sure the mh is not too close to the water, you dont wanna go cooking all the nice critters. If the tank is new, consider a lower stand. If its established or has water in it, maybe you could build a custom top. Tons of articles on the net. Again, a real opportunity to get creative. Hard to tell from the pic and you don't mention how much hieght you have to play with, but maybe a 'shelf' like design to hold the light fixture. If you have a little less light on the sides, should not pose a problem. There are some corals that appreciate light, but not the blaring direct mh that a lot of folks shoot for.


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Old 09-30-2004, 08:57 AM   #3
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Why not build something custom. If its in the wall then you could go with two MH pendants and then have VHO supplental actinic lighting if you wanted that or just go with 20K MH bulbs. The MH bulbs could be mounted so they hang approx 1' in from either side. This would provide even light coverage over the entire tank. What I would preceve to be the problem is with a 3' prebuilt fixture is that you may end up with the left edge of the tank being shaded as compaired to th erest of the tank.
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Old 09-30-2004, 10:44 PM   #4
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u could just put your corals that need less entense light on that left side of the tank if u went with the 3' light....haveany pics of your inwall?
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Old 10-05-2004, 05:09 PM   #5
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I would have fun with it ... there are many ways to mount it maximisizing the light output to your tank. you should be okay provided the installation. Make it custon as previously mentioned.
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Old 10-05-2004, 09:36 PM   #6
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My suggestion, Just move it.

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