Reef Casa Nova Refugium Light Unboxing & Review
Is this the best refugium light available today? In this in depth review we are going to find out
As someone who has never had a tank with a refugium before I was intrigued to take a look at the new Reef Casa Nova refugium light. The light came well packed with styrofoam holding all of the components firmly in place. It came with the light, power adapter and velcro for attaching the light to the outside of the tank. For reefers who wish to mount the light to the edge of a tank or a sump, there is also a version available with a flexible gooseneck. The light is operated by a simple on/off switch and there were no complicated instructions to decipher or apps to download. It is clear that this light is designed to work right out of the box with a minimum of setup.
Let’s talk about the Nova light. This light would work well on both an All in One system such as the Reef Casa lineup of tanks but also on other models of aquariums with a sump. It has 9 watts of total power and can cover an area up to 10” x 6”, which is great for any small or medium sized refugium. Its color blend is specially designed to promote macroalgae growth and is weighted towards blue and violet. While there is no timer built in, it can easily be controlled with a simple household timer, wifi enabled power bar or connected to an aquarium monitoring system, such as an Apex. In terms of mounting options, because I am planning on mounting it to the outside of the large skimmer chamber in my Reef Casa Studio 12 aquarium I will be using the included velcro strips. For reefers considering using the light on a larger system with a sump, the version with a gooseneck mount may be a better choice. Just remember that the arm is not removable so it is important to carefully consider how you plan to use the Nova light before deciding on which version to purchase.
Setting up the Nova was very straightforward. Since I am not running a protein skimmer in this tank, I decided to set up the refugium in the large skimmer chamber. The only part that was somewhat tricky was removing the black wrapping from the back of the tank, since I have the tank fairly close to the wall. I was able to slide the stand and tank just far enough from the wall to get in behind it with a razor blade to cut away the wrap. It took a couple of test fits with the light to make sure the hole I was cutting was big enough but, all in all, it was quite smooth.
The light attached easily to the outside of the tank with the included velcro strips. I was fortunate enough to have an open outlet on my Apex power bar so setup was as simple as plugging the cord into the power bar and setting the light to turn on for an 8 hour cycle once the main tank lights have turned off. This should be a simple way of realizing the benefits of having a refugium while also maintaining the low profile looks of the Studio 12 tank. Of course, a simple household timer or smart plug could be used to accomplish the same goal. I plan to add chaetomorpha as my macro algae as soon as I am able to get my hands on some. I have been having some struggles with film algae in the tank recently so I am curious to see whether adding a refugium will help to reduce it.
One of the things that I was grateful for with this light was how simple it was. While many reefers want the ability to fine tune the lights in our display tank I appreciated the plug and play simplicity of the Reef Casa Nova light. Instead of having to adjust sliders I can be confident that the light will work right out of the box and will make setting up my first refugium as simple as possible. Thank you Reef Casa for taking the mystery out of refugium lighting!