Why you choose Nova Extreme T5 Lights for your aquarium ?
About 2 months ago I upgraded my lighting on the 55 gallon reef tank to the Nova Extreme T5 lights. I got the 48 inch fixture that comes with 8 T5 bulbs, each rated at 54 watts for about $400. This should give me a total of 432 watts over the tank. This aquarium is about 24 inches deep with about a 2 inch sand bed. I researched the T5 for many days before buying them and from what I was reading these lights should allow me to keep SPS (Small Polyped Stony) corals.
Layout of the lights, 4 bulbs are 10,000k and 4 bulbs are Slimpaq 460nm Actinic
I must say that I was very impressed when I pulled the fixture out of the box. Its a nice looking black fixture that came with two mounting brackets. The mounting brackets are placed in grooves and will slide to accomodate the size of your aquarium. Installing the Nova Extreme T5 Lights was a breeze and I was amazed at the thinness of the bulbs! They are super skinny and they feel very fragile, so handle with care.
This Nova extreme T5 light fixture also comes with an acrylic cover that protects the lights from salt splash / salt creep. I was debating if I should run these lights with the cover on or off. I decided to start with the light cover on and if I don’t get decent results with the acropora corals in my tank Ill remove it.It has two fans that remove the heat generated by the T5 lights and I’ve only noticed about a 1 degree increase in the tank temperature since installing these lights.
There are many discussions in the forums about how this fixture is not as good as some of the others that come with individual reflectors for each of the T5 bulbs. Those individual reflectors can be fairly expensive and time will tell, but I certainly like the output from this fixture and apparently the corals in this tank do to. I’ve placed two of the acropora frags at about the mid-point in the tank and one lower in the tank, just to see what would happen. One frag was very brown (full of zooxantellae) when I first got it, but now seems to be turning a purplish pink color. Very cool. Its interesting that the lower placed green acropora coral seems to be growing the fastest, shooting out several new branches.
I supplement with kalkwasser, slow dripped when the lights are off as well and try to keep my calcium levels in the 380-400 range, alkalinity is around 2.5 meq/L. The pH fluctuates from around 8.5 daytime to 8.2 when the lights are off. Nitrates are nil.
So far I’ve been very pleased with this lighting upgrade and the corals seem to be doing well. If you’re running Nova Extreme T5 lights, let me know what you think about them.