I had done some internet-research on hang-over lights and the lights from Aquatic Nature seemed to be well-fit for the job. I was positively surprised by the price level of these lights and as I also found out, there was hardly a lower price to be found on the internet than what you pay in the typical brick-and-mortar petstore. And then the brick-and-mortar pet store gives you better service and warranty conditions over the online RMA procedures that -- even in the best circumstances -- are usually a headache.
Here is a quick review of my experience with the Aquatic Nature Solar Duo Boy.
I would recommend this piece of lighting to any nano-aquarium enthusiast in both the 13 and 26 watt version, depending on the size of the tank and the plants' needs for light! It is not the cheapest of solutions, but there are certainly much more expensive lights out there. This probably gets the prize for being best value for money. It is a decently built light, with plenty of options to vary color and light-color, without a hassle.
- Steady and intense lighting, much better than the LED
- My plants clearly love it!
- It comes with an adapter to fit it to a range of glass thicknesses
- The fit is good, the light is really steady!
- No external power adapter
- Night-time lighting through 2 LEDs
- It comes in multiple colors to choose from
- I picked the silver one
- There are multiple PL lights and color spectra that can be bought and fit into the lighting
- I only used the default supplied light thus far
- There is a 13 and a 26 watt version
- I bought the 26 watt version, as that is more intense than the AquaLED 28
- Switching between daytime and night-time lighting is done manually.
- This gives little added value in night-time lighting as you will either have to manually switch every night and morning, or have it stuck on daytime lighting with a timer to use the convenience of automation. I chose the latter
- It has a much higher power consumption over the Aqualed 28
- It has no option for dimming the intensity. It is either ON or OFF.
There is the option to buy the Solar Vision. Do note that it is the exact same light, but with the option to change the color of the cover through LED lights that are embedded in the cover. I leave it to your own judgement if you see the added value in that feature. I certainly do not.
* See my other review for the Aqualed. It is not a bad light, but it doesn't fit the needs for this tank.
With limited knowledge of electronics, but with a brother that has good knowledge, we are both convinced we can easily change the electronics scheme of the light, such that daytime and night-time lights can run on separate timers. If I decide to void my warranty, I will let you know. Encouragements are welcome in the comments below :)
I had the luck of buying a 'tank only' version of the Aquatic Nature Cocoon series. It usually comes with a hang-on filter AND the Aquatic Nature Solar Duo Boy. That basically means you get the filter for free! So if you like the Cocoon series and you like the Aquatic Nature Solar Duo Boy, buy it in a set! I have missed out on a free filter by being stubborn.
As you can see in particularly the last set of pictures, a much larger part of the gravel is lit even at a daytime picture as compared to a nighttime picture of the Aqualed.
|After: Solar Duo Boy (in daytime!)|
|Before: AquaLED (in nighttime!)|
|After: Solar Duo Boy|
|After: Solar Boy Duo|