Aquarium Lighting: Everything You Need to Know

Key factors will depend on the type of aquarium you have, as well as the basic needs of the fish and plants that make up the ecosystem.

Light distribution in aquariums is a fundamental element in their preparation, since not only create an atmosphere at home, but the entire ecosystem that makes up the space requires this lighting to survive. We’re not just talking about your pets, be they fish or aquatic turtles, because we also have to take into account the plants that will become part of said ecosystem and which They need light to perform their vital functions.. In this way, we explain the keys to properly lighting your aquarium, as well as the most suitable lamps for each case.

Lighting according to the living creatures that will live in your aquarium.

As you understand, aquarium lamps cannot be the usual ones that we use for home lighting. Near special points of light that emit radiation similar to the sun, so that living beings in this space can take advantage of its characteristics. However, you should pay attention to the type of ecosystem you will have, since not all of them need the same type of lighting:

Fish from the deep ocean will need less lightFish from the deep ocean will need less light
  • For fish or plants originating from rivers located between forests or oceans, but at great depthobviously they will require less light since their natural habitat receives sunlight for less time.
  • For people who are used to crystal clear or shallow waterthe most normal thing is that you use more direct light and perhaps more hours per day.

Choose the ideal color temperature for your aquarium

When talking about lighting, it’s important to know that there are different types of light sources and therefore different types of color temperature, which is measured in Kelvin. This color temperature actually measures Which color from the entire spectrum that makes up the rainbow predominates in the indicated light?. This is important information because you need to take it into account depending on the type of creatures that will live in your aquarium. In the following list, we will explain what the ideal temperature is for the needs of the ecosystem you want to create:

Fish that live far from the surface will need blue light.Fish that live far from the surface will need blue light.
  • Lamps 20,000 Kelvin : These are very powerful blue lamps, which are usually used in large aquariums, at great depths and with fish that live at a great distance from the surface.
  • 10,000 Kelvin lamps : These are intense white lights with blue streaks, meaning they are still powerful. Therefore, it is ideal to use it for aquariums intended for fish, whose habitat is also somewhat deep, where the sun’s rays barely reach.
  • Light with a temperature of 5500 to 6500 degrees Kelvin. : This is the type of lighting that is commonly used for aquariums that are usually kept in homes. This is the ideal temperature for freshwater fish and plants that need good light for photosynthesis.

Daily lighting of the aquarium

Artificial lighting is required for aquariums, since natural light is not enough to satisfy the vital needs of the living creatures inhabiting it. Experts recommend first alternating 8-10 hours of light and darkness to allow the ecosystem to adapt to its new home. However, after about three months you can increase the amount of daylight while 10 to 12 hours of illumination. It is worth noting that fish sleep, and especially aquarium fish look for quiet and less bright places to rest, between rocks or plants. This is why it is very important to maintain the light and dark cycles in the aquarium, since the plants also need to carry out photosynthesis.

At first, 8-10 hours of light and darkness is recommended.At first, 8-10 hours of light and darkness is recommended.

Types of aquarium lamps

One of the characteristics to consider when lighting an aquarium is undoubtedly the plants that make up the ecosystem. These plants can be very different, with different characteristics, and will likely need a specific color temperature. That’s why it’s always recommended Do not buy lamps that emit only white light., given that within the light spectrum they have a large amount of light. They specifically blue and orange-red wavelengths in the spectrum that best help plants perform photosynthesis and are why you should place them in your aquarium.

Currently Led lights They are the most profitable not only because they have the longest useful life, but also because they are the most efficient. LEDs are replacing fluorescent lamps precisely because its energy efficiency and quality of light, despite the fact that they are somewhat more expensive. However, they do not produce heat, which can affect the water temperature and the growth of algae that clogs the space. In addition, they can be used LED screens, whose function is to distribute light throughout the aquarium without generating too much energy. Another advantage is that They are adjustable. Of course, if you’re thinking about using an LED screen, it should include a similar combination of colors within the spectrum, mixing blue, violet, red and bluish-white LEDs, for example.

LED lamps are the most economical alternative to fluorescent lamps.LED lamps are the most economical alternative to fluorescent lamps.

If you choose fluorescent, they must have been created specifically for aquariums. They also come in a variety of colors and one of their characteristics is that they do not reach very high temperatures. However, they are less effective. Regarding halogen lamps, are very powerful and reproduce color very well, but they are a large source of heat which can harm water temperature, and they are also the least economically and energy efficient. They are widely used for reef planted aquariums because the light imitates the reflection of sunlight in the water very well. However, it is cheaper to buy incandescent lamps, which typically maintain a low color temperature, less than 3000 degrees Kelvin. This means that the light is yellow and therefore generates a lot of heat, causing a negative impact on the ecosystem. For these reasons They are not highly recommended For aquariums, not for small aquariums.

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