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Metal Halides on a 125 gallon planted tank

Posted by Dustin Wunderlich on

Metal Halides produce an awesome affect on any aquarium, fresh of salt. I personally have them on my reef as well as my 125. I have to say that I love them on my 125. This tank is the first planted tank that I have ever ran metal halides on. All other successful planted tanks had florescent bulbs, and lots of them. I have had great success with Florescent and use them on 80% of my tanks.

But the Halides are when to be on my main tank in the living room of my house. I hate to say it, but I think that Halides make any tank look better.

Here’s why, Point source lighting. That is to say that all of the light is being shot down from a single concentrated force into the water. This is unlike a florescent bulb which spreads the light out more evenly.

But what are the benefits of this. I’d like for you to think about it like a magnified glass and the sun. That power is enough to light something on fire. Obviously we are under water here, but something happens with the water that makes the this affective. That is the water has a magnifying affect on the light coming in. This give the plants a serious kick of light with the halides on. (even a greater impact or a coral)

You can see by this video what I am talking about with my plants. They are obviously growing fine.

What is interesting about this tank is that I used to hate it. I was my first tank and went past its prime. It had developed a slime algae and had lots of java moss running wild. To me, it was not nearly what I wanted it to be. The reason was simple though, During this time I was running Florescent bulbs that were way past their prime. (your bulbs should be replaced every year)

Also too I was convinced that the soil was depleted of any and all nutrients. While I know it isn’t as nourishing as it had been 4 years ago, the metal halide lights have overcome it. They have compensated for the lack of light and the missing spectrum of the past due florescent.

The halides BEAT on my plants in the 125 Gallon planted tank. They are so powerful that I even keep the middle on off as the fan is kinda noisy,

That noisy fan is actually my only complaint about the halides. They rock…


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