Zoo med vs Nova Extreme T5HO
I want to upgrade my lighting fixture and would appreciate any recommendations. I have a 55g with a 24" Aquasun T5HO currently mounted on one side. The other side has a Marineland top (basic LED hood, very low intensity). The original plan was a light gradient with plastic plants on the "dim" side. I since found the plants as addictive as the fish! The plants on the side with the Aquasun fixture are doing well a month into the process (microsword, rosette sword, ozelot sword, Americal Val, cokscrew val, cabomba, rotalia, myro). I'm dosing with Flourish Excel and Flourish Comprehensive with ecocomplete substrate. Light is currently on 10 hours total (two-hour break from 12-2) which seems to minimize algae in the tank.
Due to a canopy design I am building, the interior of the canopy will be 48" max so the 48" fixtures won't fit well. I'm going with an offset 36" T5HO (dual) fixture, which still provides some of the lighting gradient I orginally planned. Any recommendations of Nova Extreme vs the Aquasun T5HO? I prefer the lower $$ fixtures. This is really an equipment question, but since it is for my plants, I thought this is the best place to post!
Why not just buy Daylight (6500k) bulbs? They've been proven to be superior if you can find them in T5, and are MUCH cheaper.
Also, not sure about the Excel- If you go with T5 NO, you can likely drop the Excel altogether.
Thanks for the reply, the daylight bulbs are a good idea. Part of the issue is I'm doing this in phases. The canopy is an "idea in progress" and won't get done for a month or two. Locally, I have had a hard time finding the T5 tubes, but I'll give it another shot. I'm wanting a fixture I can mount over the tank temporarily that looks ok since the tank already is up and running with plants. I will vary the Excel and see if it actually makes an impact, it could have been the addition of the Flourish comprehensive. I did notice a distinct change in the plant growth when I started dosing, but the plants could have just been recovering from their shipping and transplantation at that point.
I have a 24" Nova extreme HOT5 on one of my tanks and love it. My plants are always green and grow pretty quickly. I like the look and the price was definitely right for me.
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