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I feel like I've seen a few questions about this line of hoods, so I thought I'd throw in my thoughts since I installed it a few days ago. I say this is a high level review because I will admit that I am far from an expert on lighting and planted aquariums like a lot of the people on this forum.

I have an Aqueon 36 gallon bowfront. It came with the Aqueon hood and I tried to get by with that by replacing the bulb with a Zoo Med Flora Sun which was only 17 watts. It was keeping the plants alive for the most part but I was getting little to no growth. So after asking questions on here and asking questions at my LFS, I went with the Nova Extreme T5HO 30 inch Freshwater hood.

I was wondering about the fact that the bulbs only went 24", but I think it looks great. I don't notice dark areas on the ides of the tank, so the light seems to disperse fine and that's with the Aqueon hood which only has the window in the plastic of the hood for the light to shine through. Since I have the hood raised with the included legs, the plastic on the hood is probably not letting as much light shine to the tank. (I'm still considering getting the glass top that matches my tank, but I'm going to see how this works for now.) The bulbs are 2 24W T5's which is only 48W for 36 gallons, but I don't do CO2 so I'm hoping that's an OK amount for a low tech setup. It hasn't been setup long enough for me to speak to any potential algae problems (aka so far so good, but we'll see!). I have already noticed the plants perking up and some new growth in only a few days. I dose every other day with Flourish Excel as well.

Overall, I think this is a great hood so far. It's sleek looking and the T5's really light up the tank compared to the Flora Sun bulb.
 
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