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Old 05-21-2008, 05:08 PM   #1
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MH on 30?

do you think if i put a 175 MH bulb with my 4 39w t5s it would be like major overkill or not?

i want to have some dead serious lighting in this 30 gallon and make it a true beast eventually.. i am guessing if i did the MH bulb, i would build a DIY enclosure and take apart the T5 fixture and like fit the bulbs together with the MH, and replace bulbs with 2 420actinic and 2 460 actinic.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:01 PM   #2
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If it were me, I would just retro 2 more T-5's. Since you already have a fixture, economically, I think it would make sense to use what you have without destroying it, then add a retro kit.
How deep, front to back is the tank and how tall?
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:07 PM   #3
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standard 30 long, 16 tall and 36 wide, 12 F to B

anything ive ever seen under MH bulbs looks 5x as anything under t5s or any other flourescent. just my opinion i guess, but ive seen the best tanks with the best growth rates all are MH. i bought a cheap t5 fixture for 100 bucks.
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:50 PM   #4
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I agree on the MH looks and growth.

The things is, IMO it would be tuff to DIY a canopy for a MH retro for a tank that small. The biggest issue with an enclosed canopy is heat. You can possibly just build a 4 sided box to fit over the frame of the tank with no top. Then you could mount a reflector with a MH bulb centered over the tank. If you wanted to rip your old fixture apart, you can use at least the ballasts and buy IceCap retro T5 reflectors and mount 2 towards the front and 2 towards the back. Mount a computer fan on each side and you would probably be good to go.
You would definitely have to light acclimate everything you put in there with that much light over a shallow tank. That would probably be too much light for some coral too.
If you really want MH, you best bet just may be a new fixture, similar to this one.
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:05 PM   #5
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i agree with the open top enclosure. That would be the design i would go for.

That looks like a great setup that fixture, but the 500 bucks is like WAY out of my price range, thats why I wanted to DIMyself. That looks like a good design to base it off of though not for nothing.
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