To create flow in your tank with minimal visual distraction, the VorTech pump is a very nice option. The pump has a wet side that fits inside the tank and a dry side that aligns on the outside, and using magnets it drives the impeller right through the wall of the tank. I've been using the VorTech since January 2006, and liked it enough to get two more to replace my other pumps. I'm a huge fan of these pumps, and here's why:
Lighting consists of three parts: ballast, bulb, and reflector. The combination of these three makes the difference between good lighting and great lighting. The following information should give you a better grasp of the choices involved.
Electronic ballasts are smaller, run quietly, and reportedly save money in electricity usage (~10%).
Magnetic ballasts are larger, have an audible hum to them, and get pretty hot.
After years of running Metal Halide (MH) lighting over my tanks, I really wanted to take some measurements to find out what type of intensity (PAR) the bulbs would give off. Dr. Sanjay Joshi recommends better reflectors, stating that they will increase lighting output by 300% compared to the standard 'spider' reflectors I've been using.
Much to my displeasure, my Sequence Dart started gushing water out of the area where the pump's drive shaft was located. After contacting Sequence Dart for assistance, they quickly shipped out replacement seals free of charge.http://www.reeflopumps.com/
Installing them wasn't as easy as I'd hoped, and thus I decided I might as well document the process for others that wish they had some pictures to go along with the instruction sheet provided.