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Aquarium lighting – how to choose the best light

One of the integral parts of every aquarium is the lighting. People who want to keep fish as pets have to know that it is important for them, as it is for humans to have it day and night.

Unlike before, nowadays aquaristics lovers have a wide range of aquarium lighting.

Aquarists used neon lighting before but lately led lighting is more popular. There are tank owners who opt for neon lighting but that is a lot less common than 10-20 years ago. The data show that the use of neon lighting in aquarists has dropped by 60 percent. Led lighting is more economical, flexible, and diverse than the neon lighting

Led light bulbs consume less energy and have stronger lighting. Apart from that, led lighting can be regulated with remote control and can be used for different lighting effects like sun rays. Furthermore, it is more practical than the neon tubes. First of all, it is flexible. When you install the neon tube, you can move it. It has its own diameter and requires a bigger space. Led lighting, especially the neon strip, is extremely thin – only 4-5 millimeters. It doesn’t require a big hood. Led lighting looks nicer and you can move it. So, the aquarium owners can choose to light up only the front, the back, or the middle of the tank.

aquarium lightning

It is really important to know what kind of lighting to use for every type of tank. We are using solid color lighting for freshwater tanks. Warm or cold white is the most common.

On the other hand, sea aquaristics requires lamps with a wide range of colors. That is because of the organisms found in the water and certain types of live algae which settle and grow on the rocks. Due to the fact that there is a large selection of led lighting on the market, the light can have even three of four colors. They manufacture a combination of red, green, blue and white color. In fact, this is the so-called RGB lighting which uses a remote control to turn the light on and off and change the colors. Aquarists more often pick this type of lighting because it is really easy to point the remote at the aquarium and turn the light on, choose the color and the intensity of the lighting, or turn it off.

LED spot aquarium lighting

Recently, a powerful type of LED lighting appeared on the market in the shape of a plate. The plate has a diode that casts the light directly to one spot. It is called LED spotlighting. It is usually used for deeper aquariums because the light penetrates the water and it can illuminate even the bottom of the tank. In that way, the ground cover plants get more light to carry out photosynthesis.

When choosing the lighting, it is important to keep in mind what plants are in the tank and whether it contains plants at all. Ground cover plants require stronger lighting so the light could penetrate to the bottom of the tank. For higher plants, the lighting doesn’t have to be very strong. If there is a combination of the two, it is important to put the ground cover plants to the front and then the higher ones go behind them. If you don’t have plants in the aquarium you should consider adding them. Read more about aquarium plants and why you should have them in your tank. The price of neon and LED lighting is similar and it is not the main reason people choose one or the other.

aquarium lightning

The aquarist should opt for certain fish families

As we said in the beginning, it is important for fish to have day and night. The best way to do this is to simulate the same length of day and night found in the place the fish originate from. For example, if in Africa it starts dawning at seven o’clock and gets dark at eight or nine o’clock, then the fish from Africa should have 10-11 or maximum 12 hours of daylight. Not more. More could lead to algae formation and algae is the enemy of the aquarium. This means that the aquarists should choose only certain fish families. However, that is not the case because many like to have a variety of fish in the tank. When they go to a shop, they buy fish from Lake Malawi in Africa, Amazon, even Columbia… All from extremely different time zones.

Many aquarium owners make the mistake to turn the lighting on when they get up and turn it off at 22 or 23 o’clock when they go to bed. But this is not a big mistake like not turning off the lighting at all. That is even more catastrophic. If the light isn’t turned off for 3 or 4 days, the fish can’t rest or sleep and they are awake all the time. Also, the plants don’t have night, just day. All this disrupts the balance and biotope in the tank.

The good thing is there are timers for the lighting. They can be digital or mechanical. The advantage of digital timers is that they have a battery memory which saves program about lighting. However, mechanical ones work automatically when they are plugged into an electrical socket. If there isn’t any power the timer settings will be reset. If you like our 3D backgrounds for aquariums visit our shop.

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