I currently have a 45G breeder tank, which is 36"Lx12"Wx 24"D. it's fully established for a year with low/medium stock of fish including 10 cardinal tetras, 8 rasboras, 3 cory cats, 2 albino plecos and 2 bolivian rams.
I currently have poolfilter sand substrate with some anubias, marimo moss ball, java fern and a moneywort, with the stock AGA T8/12 hood with a 24" Aqueon bulb giving off 20 watts.
i've been reading alot and understand that 24" depth is pretty difficult for light penetration. I haven't ever dosed any ferts or anything either. I understand now that my 20 watt T8 lighbulb is insufficient even for "lowlight" plants, but this is what my tank came with!
over the past year my anubias and marimo are doing fine but my java fern and moneyworts are gradually in decline. I think it's time for me to upgrade to a T5 lighting setup and i'm torn between the following units:
Aqueon Coralife 05619 Aqualight T5 or Odyssea 36" 78W T5 HO Light Fixture Extendable Series
a third but more expensive choice at $75would be the Zoo Med aquasun with independent switches
Hopefully some of you guys may have had experience with either of these models and can chime in.
as you noticed, I want to keep my budget around $50-$75. My goal is just to have low maintenance live plants in the tank with my fish to make things look nice. I most certainly do not want to be in the "high light" category where i would have to constantly inject co2, prune and manage algae problems.
For 24" of depth, which one would you guys recommend?
i forgot to add: I prefer my light to be hanging on the rim of the tank, similar to what the two models i linked would be capable of doing. I have a wooden canopy that i enclose on top of the light, because i have two cats that would probably take a swim in the fish tank if i didn't have that there
thanks for your help!