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Aquarium lights and bulbs

Lighting is an integral part of an aquarium. Aquarium light is not just for aesthetic purposes; it is essential to the fish and the general health of the aquatic life. Different species of aquatic life require different intensities of light.

What are you supposed to consider when buying aquarium lighting?

Every species will need different intensities of light to thrive. Do your research before settling on a single type of aquarium lighting.

  • Fish: For fish, you can use incandescent. Ideally, you should get a lighting system of 1 or 2 watts per gallon. If you are only keeping fish, you will have more freedom to choose the spectrum of light since fish requirements are more lenient.
  • Plant: Plants rely on light to remain healthy and photosynthesize. Some plants require high intensities of light while others can work with lower intensities. You should research on the intensity of light the plants of your aquarium require.
  • Coral: Corals found in tropical places require highly intense light, such as LED lighting fixtures. These cannot be sustained by the incandescent lights, so you will need to get specialized lights that will favor their lives.
What are the different types of aquarium lighting?

Each type of light has its specific function, so it is very important for owners of the aquariums to do their research and find out which one is best for their purposes.

  • Metal halides: Metal halides are best suited for freshwater fish tanks and reefs which are more than 24 inches deep. They are known for providing high levels of heat and colors of a wide spectrum. This lighting will need a chiller to function at its optimum. The cooler will be used to balance the temperature of the room where the aquarium is placed.
  • Compact fluorescent light (CFL): These lighting fixtures are highly energy efficient and durable. They come in different shapes and sizes to fit a number of aquariums.
  • Fluorescent light bulbs: These come in different types. They emit light by passing an electric current through the mercury vapor that is within the tube. The bulbs can emit different spectrums of light depending on the element used. They are suitable for many different species in both freshwater and saltwater fish tanks.
  • Standard fluorescent: These are both energy-efficient and bright. They do not produce a lot of heat. For maximum performance, these bulbs should be changed every 14 months. They are also available in different styles.
  • T5 fluorescent lights: These consume a substantial amount of power and generate little heat. They emit wavelengths that are ideal for small and medium-sized fish tanks that have both plants and reefs. These lights should also be replaced after 14 months for optimum function.
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