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MH lighting

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  1. #1
    igot2gats - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Grand Rapids
    First Name

    Default MH lighting

    I'm thinking about setting up a sw tank.

    I've always been a fan of the 'shimmer" look, so I would love to have metal halides. However, I'm not a fan of the rimless look, so I'd want a canopy to match the stand.

    Is it possible to have MH attached to the inside of the canopy of a tank, so that you don't have to hang the lights from a ceilling?

    I understand MH get really hot, so you need to have them x amount away from the water, but are there tanks out ther that have the MH in the canopy? Is it reasonable to do this?

    It would be an SPS / acro dominated tank.

  2. #2
    CalmSeasQuest - Reefkeeper
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Brighton, MI
    First Name
    Awards Nano Contest Winner - Winner of 2012 Nano Contest


    As an aside, LEDs also create shimmer (more than MH) and have a heat profile far more conducive for canopy mounting.

    There are lots of tanks with MHs in canopies but It's been so long since I've used MH, I'm sure I've forgotten more than I ever knew
    The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. - George Bernard Shaw

  3. #3


    I had MH pendants in a canopy. I used eye screws to hang them inside the canopy. I'd go with led, you will still get a shimmer.

  4. #4
    Dan_cochran - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    St louis, MI
    First Name
    Awards Monthly Giveaway Winner


    I just did away with my 400w MH a month ago. I had it in my oak canopy, But I never knew if my heater in my sump worked or not, I had Six 80mm Fans running all the time in the winter. Summer is what about destroyed my tank from over heat. I give my MH system to a LFS for $25.

    It will be well worth your time to lean about the 3w led.

    I went over kill, I bought 36 Cree 3w led " 24 royal blue, 12 8500k white" with the 3 meanwell 48p drivers, Then I built a Arduino controller to Ram them up, and Down. All for just under $350
    Granted my arduino now even controls my Hydor koralia pumps

    But ya, I was a DIE HARD MH guy, But Back then Led's were Way out there on price, Now you can get into Leds that I think look better the what my MH did and lower cost. Just My MH bulb that I changed about every 10 months was $80 + $15 a month on electric.

    But Learn what your looking for led's, there are alot of fixtures out there that Claim to be a high output but only have 1w 6500k leds installed for $299. In witch yes they work fine, not as blue as I like, but one called UFO is about the same price and 1w leds Has been on a buddy's tank and coral is growing like Mad in that 125g. Just seeing that is what made me pull the trigger and go led.

    I really hope you knowing my experience can help yours be better. And ya as far as shimmer, hehehe, I have more now then before, and Lovin it !
    Any questions feel free to ask

    Oh ps, if you are set on MH for now, yes a small 75w - 150 or so MH with T5 HO can be done in a 4ft long canopy with fans about 12 inch off water, I have seen it done, but they also had there house set for cooling at about 78 in the Hot summer days. So Summer time and Room Temp makes a Big difference.

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