Greetings. I realized the other day that I need to increase my lighting... The catalyst of this urge to increase my lighting came when I purchased a really cool chunk of LR last week that had lots of really cool things growing on it... What I thought to be coralline algae actually turned out to be evergreen star polyps... and beside that there's some other purple/green zoanthus-looking corals starting to grow... Under my currently whimpy lights they seem to be doing surprisingly good... the star polyps have grown slightly, and everything else seems stable since the new rock is about 6" from the light source. This whole experience makes me want to grow some simple corals (for now) and my ultimate goal would be to be able to support all different kinds. I am on a tight budget (which I'm sure nobody here can relate to, right?), so that means my options are limited and probably involve a lot of DIY. Here's what i'm thinking...
We've all seen the posts about these $70 MH lights, right? (How-to: Make your own 70w MH Pendant - Nano-Reef.com Forums
just in case)
My question is this: If I build this DIY 70 watt MH, will it be sufficient when combined with my current lighting?
Also, if (when) I decide that this new light isn't enough, what are the effects of just building a second (opr third) one rather than buying a single 150+W fixture? What I'm trying to get at is this: Which is better, 1 big one, or 2 smaller ones? With powerheads it seems the latter is better for creating more natural currents, so would it follow that 2 lower wattage bulbs would create a more natural light with less shadows?
I do have some concerns though:
I'm not sure what the lighting footprint of this new light would be... or if it would even be enough to provide even light for the whole tank being 6" or so from the water surface.
Also, does anyone have any clever mounting options for this sort of fixture? I'd put my tank out in-front of my garage, but I don't have one, and if I did the tank would probably get stolen...
So I would love to hear what everyone thinks about this idea... I hope to learn a lot.