This might come as a surprise to some of you, but the lighting systems used for aquariums play an essential role in the health and liveliness of the ecosystem. Choosing the appropriate lighting for your fish tank is a challenging task since you need to take many factors into consideration. If you are having trouble with this, then you have arrived at the right website. Today we are going to show you everything that you need to know about setting up the perfect lighting for your aquarium.
The Perfect Lighting
First of all, we want to make it clear that there isn’t such a thing as universal lighting that works well with all aquariums. The reason behind this is that each specimen requires different light intensity and brightness to thrive, but not just that. If you are looking to use tropical plants in your aquarium to make it look more amazing, then you need to find the ideal level of light that the plants need for photosynthesis. Here is where our expertise comes in.
Follow the steps below, and you will be able to set up the perfect lighting for your aquarium.
- The Species of Fish
As previously noted, each species of fish has different requirements. This is why it’s highly advisable to research the requirements for the specific species that you want to add to your aquarium. Using the wrong type of lighting will do severe damage to your aquarium’s ecosystem, and plants will never grow.
The most popular fish specimens that are used in aquariums come from clear lakes, streams, and rivers. This type of fish is used to bright sunlight, and you can use high-level lighting without a problem. Another great idea here is to use decorative items to simulate nature for these fish and give them a place to hide from the light as they would typically do in the bottom of murky waters. You can find many aquarium kits that will help you out with this problem.
- Size of the Aquarium
One of the first things that you need to decide about before purchasing lights is the size of the aquarium. For example, regular LEDs will not be able to provide enough light for a big 75-gallon aquarium. Fortunately, LED manufacturers are rating their products on what type of aquariums they are effective. Therefore, make sure to purchase a lighting system that is powerful enough for your aquarium without losing their intensity.
Fluorescent vs. Incandescent – What is the Best Option?
Now that you know what are the factors that you need to take into consideration when purchasing the right lighting for your aquarium, the question that remains is what type of lighting you should choose? The most popular options for aquariums are fluorescent and incandescent lights. Let’s go ahead and check out what are their pros and cons.
- Fluorescent Lighting
Fluorescent lighting systems are very popular, and there is a good reason for that. This type of lighting is highly versatile. Therefore, you can use fluorescent lighting in almost all types of aquariums, and you will never have to worry about causing damage to the ecosystem. Another reason behind the popularity of fluorescent lighting is the fact that it is affordable and simple to fix. On the downside of things, this type of illumination breaks down quite fast, and you will need to either repair the tub-like bulb or replace the system.
- Incandescent Lighting
This type of bulbs is mainly used for lighting households. The system is made from a bulb with a glowing filament. What makes incandescent lighting great for aquariums is the fact that the bulbs do not produce much heat. This is why incandescent lighting is best used for small fish tanks, such as 40-gallon aquariums. We also want to note that incandescent bulbs come in many colors that will help you create a fantastic décor.
Day and Night Cycles
Even though leaving the lights on for hours on end might seem like a good idea because you get to admire the beauty of the aquarium at all times, this is not a wise decision. You need to simulate a day and night cycle if you want your fish to be healthy. Tropical fish, for example, need to receive around 12 hours a day of light throughout the year. Therefore, you need to research your specimens and find out exactly how much light they need in order to have the perfect lighting.
Luckily, there are specialized timers that you can purchase to help you simulate the day and night cycle. Setting them up is quite simple, and they work with almost all types of lighting. The tricky part is that you still need to do the research and find out what your specimens require in order to thrive.
We also want to mention that if you are using lights only for your viewing pleasure during the evening, then you should make sure not to place the aquarium near sunlight. The reason why you need to do this is that the fish need to stay in the dark for approximately 12 hours per day.
How to Bring Out the Best Color of the Fish
If your goal is to make your aquarium look beautiful and to bring out the best color of the fish, then you should be pleased to know that this is relatively simple to do. Bright lights are your best friend in this situation because they do a fantastic job of helping to darken the pigments of fish, thus making their color stand out more than usual. Watching the glimmer of the dark colors is truly amazing.
Since we are talking about bright lights, we need to mention that despite myths started by hobbyists, fish have no problem with brightly lit aquariums. The fish might need a couple of days before getting used to the brighter lights, especially if the lights were dim before. After this period passes, the fish will act normal.