I'd say that you need to take 2 things into consideration:
- the HQI fixtures get very, very hot
- How are you usually going to look at the tank? Sitting? If so the bright light that may seep from the side of the reflector may bother you.
Other than that you will probably find the appearance of the HQI light amazing.
Three, one for every 2' section. MH is good for an area about 2x2 feet. You'll need to experiment with how far above the water they need to be, I started mine at 12" and have moved down to 8". Be wary about placing them directly over any supports as the heat will melt plastic. Double ended bulbs require a UV shield as well, not familiar with that pendant but it probably has a sheet of UV blocking glass between the bulb and the water. The only other thing I would caution is to be sure you keep a spare bulb on hand as many places do not stock 6500K HQI bulbs.
The tank will be in my living/dining room that has a vaulted (14') ceiling. The only seating in there is at the dinner table, so I think the viewing angle should be okay with the pendants around 12" over the tank.
I need to find out if the pendants come with a bulb or not. Even if it doesn't it still comes out to only $168 per pendant when you add the 150W IceCap HQI bulb.
Now the next question is whether there are HQI bulbs in anything other than 10000K or 20000K ratings. That's all I've seen so far online. Does anyone know if there are 6500K HQI bulbs?
You do realize that is only the pendant listed for that price, does not include the ballast or bulb. A ballast to fire a single bulb is 130 and to fire 2 is 210. So now add 330 more on top of the pendant price. Now you need bulbs. Your bulb choice is rather limited too. AquaMedic has a 5500k double ended that looks great. I use them and the tank does not have a green or orange cast. Take a look at some of the pics I've posted in the aquascaping thread. Those bulbs retail for about 80 bucks a pop too, another 240. So all told you have 3x110(330) for pendants + 330 for ballasts + 240 for bulbs = 900. Not as inexpensive as you thought. For the same $$ you can pick up an Aquamedic Aqua Spacelight 72" 3x150 with electronic ballasts and bulbs.
Thanks for the heads up on it not having a ballast. Since it's listed under "Fixtures" I assumed that it was a complete, operational fixture...not a part...but then again, I'm a total newbie when it comes to MH so what do I know?
This just might make me reconsider the 135 for a 110 instead. Going from 6' to 5' I could use just two pendants and let the tank ends (or maybe just one end) be low light. Or even go for a 6x54W T-5 fixture instead of the MH.
Time for more research. Good thing I haven't bought any of this stuff yet. :lol: