Sorry folks. I have to vent.
I have to say in that spending all of last weekend, free time this past week, Christmas Eve and today, Christmas day reading about lighting, I conclude that it's all a bunch of crap and lighting manufacturers are part of the problem in "trend setting".
Much like Harley Davidson became the 'in" thing of motorcycling. White shirt yuppies growing in a 5 o'clock shadow, donning leathers, and hopping on their $30,000 bike pretending to be a biker for the weekend. This has happened to aquariums as well. Advances in lighting have led to these super high output bulbs, highly polished German reflectors, sizzling un-Godly amounts to the substrate where you have to use co2 injection or you're just not cool. Like the dude on a Yamaha isn't cool to the Harley crowd.
Sure we can find cheap looking plastic squared off hoods that take the good ol' T8 or T12 bulbs. Ain't that simulated oak trim nice? Yeah, just peachy. Or you go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy a shop light. No offense but the name shop light has shop in it. SHOP meaning the shop. Work, dirty, nothing fancy just need light. Shop lights look like **** hanging over your aquarium. Especially in your living room. Why would I spend so much money and time on trying to make something look and work so nicely yet hang a stinking shop light over it? Add a canopy some might say. Yeah sure. Let's add more weight and a big monstrosity of wood on top of the dang thing.
I want what I want. And I can't find it. The current "rage" and hype of this hobby have taken away a section the leaves some of us in the open just hanging here. Can I get a nice fancy looking fixture like one of those Nova Extreme T5 HO lights but uses normal output T5? NO! I did find what I thought I wanted but does what I thought I wanted have, which was a 2 bulb normal output T5 fixtures, 2 switches to control 1 lamp or both? NO! Can I find one with 4 n.o. T5 that have the double switch/cord feature? NO! It's... Here have this crappy looking crappy featured light OR do what all the cool kids do and inject co2, get mini sun blasting light fixtures and go with all the other sheep.
I know a lot of you have beautiful, successful aquariums with low light, bought here or there, diy, etc... But there is something I am willing to pay money to buy and it's not available. Period! Sure I could get T5 HO fixture, hang it higher than normal to reduce intensity and only use 2 of the 4 bulbs in it just in case someday I want to inject co2. Again, hang it higher so when I am watching tv in my living room with the tank lights on they are 3 feet above it blasting my eyes out because it's higher than I am sitting on the couch. And I really don't want to be a sheep either. Everywhere I read a vast majority as shooting co2. Can I do a 2 bulb T5 HO fixture right over the aquarium on its legs with glass canopy without co2? NO!!!
Like I said... T5 normal output in a simple, cheap, basic fixtures for $60 but it doesn't have any features. NONE! So I may as well build my own custom fixture. And install it in? A big clunky wooden canopy? Sure, I'll get right on that.
Lighting companies. I call you out for being sheep. SHEEP you are. BAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!