OK, it has fans plus it sits on legs, so heat build up should not be a problem. Problem with most online or even retail stores is they usually only carry fixtures with the bulbs for salt water because that is the biggest market for these fixtures. You definetly should replace the actinic bulb for a 6500 kelvin, or some number close to that, and I think you would prefer a metal halide of the same kelvin instead of 10,000 kelvin
Thanks for the input. The fixture should be here on Tuesday, I think I will try a local shop for the 6500K compact light for starters. I will check out the metal halide that it comes with before replacing that too. I was looking to get out of this reasonably, guess that idea went out the window!
I've been doing research into getting a 48" Aqualight HQI, after using retro compact fluorescent fixture on my canopy. I got tired of lifting the thing off, to work in the the tank and lifting it open evertime I just want to adjust something and then searing the back of my arm on the hot edge of the reflector. For all these reasons and to get more light down to the plants, I am changing to 2 HQI pendants. I know you've already gotten your new system by now, but in case anyone else is looking to make the jump to MH, I found buying from Coralife itself is the cheapest
I really liked the built in lunar lights and CFs but I didn't want to deal with another fixture, inches above where I want to work and I like the fact that the pendants are retractable and usable on any size tank by just adding or subtracting a pendant. I'll still use my portable lunar lights, which I believe are just as much for the fishes as they are for us, as they don't knock themselves silly when they lights go out. It benefits them more, IMO.
I am happy with the 24" Aqualight HQI Pro. I have a place where I can put it nearby when I need to work in the tank. The lunar lights are so neat in the evening.
I have 2 other tanks, both odd shaped. A 44 gallon pentagon and a 15 acrylic hex. I found some 175W metal halide pendants on ebay. They look like they are cheaper made than the Coralife ones, but they do the trick. They were $149 each. Maybe someday I will upgrade to the Coralife. On those two tanks I got portable Coralife lunar lights. It is great fun watching the fish when they are on.