I need your help with lighting question. ASAP!


New member
I need help.

I got my new tank today. YEAH!!

The inside of the canopy is lined in Mylar.

When I go to mount my lights in the hood...
I can get the MH's in...but I don't have room for the actinics.

Take a look.



I really like the the actinics...I want them in there, somewhere...

Any Ideas?


New member
I thought you couldn't have them that close due to the heat.
I have the waterproof endcaps, and was afraid of them melting...


New member
maybe if you flatten the reflector and mount it towards the edge, can you fit one up against the side on the back part of the hood?


Premium Member
It does not appear that those VHOs are going to work in any fashion. IT really does not appear that you have much room for anything. You may want to consider running 14K or 20K bubls :) That would depend on the size tank you have and how much PAR you need to get out of your two fixtures.


New member
These bulbs are 20k's, But I wanted the actinic for dawn and dusk,
not to mention the screaming colors.

Is there another reflector that would be smaller that would allow me room for the actinics?


In Memoriam
Not in SE bulbs... there are a few DE bulbs that could do it... but Mogul base bulbs are fatter, and so they need fatter reflectors. FWIW, I would just skip the VHOs. they will end up blocking as much light as they are adding because of where you will have to mount them. The additional heat they will encounter being so close to the halides will degrade them faster as well.


New member
What do you think of just using the Mylar and doing away with the spider
reflectors altogether? This is 98% reflective, where as the reflectors are
advertised as 95%. I know that the shape of the spider is more efficient,
but what I lose in MH I could add back in VHO.

Poses a couple of questions.

Would I lose that much light?
Would it produce undesirable shadows?


In Memoriam
The amount you lose by getting rid of the spider reflectors will not be made up by the mylar even with the addition of the VHOs. Not worth it man... not worth it!


New member
Well, I took the canopy off and laid it on the floor facing up.
I measured and set both MH's in their positions. Then looked up.

The pattern on the ceiling had several dark bands running through
the middle. If I flexed the reflector out a little more, (flatter) the
dark lines were minimal.

I put a board over the reflector and covered up one side. The only
difference was a slight decrease in intensity on what will be the front
of the tank. (sand)

Would that be a bad thing?

this would leave a little more than half of the reflector, reflecting BACK
toward the rocks. My thought here is that it would solve two problems.

1. I would have room to mount the VHO's on the top next to the MH's
and far enough away from the center brace.
2. It would keep light from spilling through the front glass.

Does this sound logical? How much would I lose if this light is being
reflected forward out of the tank anyway?


Premier World Traveler
Looking at your canopy you're going to have a tough time using your access door with those reflectors unmodified in any event. I'll probably draw some fire on this but I have seen reflectors with facets trimmed or bent to be able to facilitate installation or convenience. If it were me and I absolutely had to have the actinics I'd probably trim the first facet off and bend the second to give the extra room I needed. I'd also round the sharp corners so I didn't slice myself reaching in through the door. These mods will reduce the efficiency of the reflectors but as I see it, to accomodate your requirements, there isn't much choice.
This obviously isn't the best of all worlds but a compromise so you can sqeeze everything in. I think you're on the right track placing the lights and looking at the patterns just do that before you do any cutting, and hey what's the worst thing that can happen? They make more of those reflectors every day if you decide you don't like your mod job...

Good luck,



New member
Thanks for the input everyone.

It was pointed out to me that the canopy was made wrong. Not only is
the canopy too short for MH's but the only access is through the front
door. This is a Visio tank, it comes with about a 12" center brace...
Right under the door. This would make any access all but impossible.

I contacted the guy that made the stand and canopy, and he is willing
to make another for the cost of materials.

The new one will be 6" taller, and with a flip front. This allows me to
access the entire tank, and leaves room for the MH's AND VHO's.

I didn't really want to cut anything, but I would have...:eek2:

Thanks again for the input.