I'm in the process of building a new hood for my 35g freshwater and I was wondering if they is any risk of having my lights directly above the water, without any type of glass/plastic/eggcrate in between. My consern is that water may splash up onto the lights.
You will find that quite a few people do exactly what you are doing. In fact, that is what I do. As long as the lights are mounted at least 6"-7" above the water's surface, splashing and condensation will never be a problem. I have my 250w MH
and 2X55w PC
's about 9" above my water line. Never had a problem.
I was also thinking of mounting the balasts on the outside of the hood, somewhere near the back out of view, as those things can get pretty hot. Is this advisable?
Shouldn't be a problem.
I understand Gregg's position about open top tanks, but if the lights are mounted high enough, there should never be a problem with them.