Soil for the aquarium, which one is better to choose?
Soil for the aquarium, which is better?
Let’s discuss with you such an important issue. arrangement of the aquarium bottom and selection of soil.
The question arises at the initial stage of arranging the aquarium world. But later, with the advent of time, mistakes made at the very beginning make themselves felt, as a result of which they have to be corrected.
The choice of aquarium soil
Both the foundation for the home and the aquarium substrate play a vital role in the life of the aquarium.!
Novice aquarists very often pay attention only to the decorative properties of the soil and miss its most important function. Aquarium soil is a unique biological filter, powerful and irreplaceable by anything else.
The fact is that after starting the aquarium, colonies of beneficial bacteria settle in the ground, which process waste products (hereinafter PJ) of aquatic organisms (aquatic organisms. marine and freshwater organisms that constantly inhabit the aquatic environment) into harmless substances. I call this process the nitrogen cycle in the aquarium. the cycle of the transition of PJ into ammonia and then into the products of its decay. nitrites, nitrates.
Also, the soil. it is a substrate for rooting and plant nutrition through the root system, a habitat for many microorganisms and some fish. The soil is even capable of changing the parameters of the water in one direction or another. That is why the choice of aquarium soil is of paramount importance! High-quality, correctly selected soil is the key to a long and successful life of the aquarium.!
Now imagine this situation. The novice aquarist, following the stereotypes, takes white, painted, coarse-grained soil and puts it in an aquarium a couple of centimeters thick. Scatters seashells from above for beauty. Yes, everyone has their own tastes and preferences. We in no way impose our position, but here are just some of the disadvantages:
Painted soil is not a porous material, that is, it has a minimum amount of usable area for colonies of beneficial bacteria. Consequently. minimization of biological filtration in soil and accumulation of PJ in water.
The soil is laid in a thin layer, which also reduces its effectiveness.
Everyone knows that white is very easily soiled. Over time, the soil will become light coffee, and if there is an outbreak of algae in the aquarium, then green shades are not excluded. In addition, many fish treatments are synthetic dyes. methylene blue, malachite green. After their application, many white soils are painted in the corresponding color.
In most cases, the white, painted soil is neutral, which cannot be said about the shells laid for beauty. They increase the hardness of the water, and this quality is bad for the life of aquarium plants and soft-water aquarium fish.
If the white soil is of natural origin, then, as a rule, it is marble, and the marble comes from limestone, which dissolves perfectly with organic acids, thereby increasing the hardness of the aquarium water. Therefore, this soil can only be used for hard water fish, for example, most African cichlids.
So, from the above, the novice aquarist needs to draw the following conclusions:
And only after that, proceed to the selection and purchase of soil. Fortunately, the aquarium market now offers a wide range of.
The key to a successful choice of aquarium soil and arrangement of the aquarium bottom is a clear understanding of the goals, objectives of the aquarium.
In order to find your way around, answer your questions:
It should be understood that aquarium soil for fish and for living plants are two different things. But, since most aquariums are set up specifically for fish, let’s start with them.
When choosing an aquarium soil for fish, you must take into account their characteristics and habits. In general, it can be said that fine-grained soil can be laid for small fish, and large or mixed for large ones. But there are exceptions. For example, goldfish, even when they are small, dig very hard and dig at the bottom. And if small pebbles are laid on them, then the fish will swallow such soil, from which they can die. As an example, we can also cite the feature of loach fish, for example, acanthophthalmus. These fish are bottom inhabitants of the aquarium and love to bury themselves in the ground. If you put coarse-grained soil in the aquarium, then acanthophthalmos will not be able to dig in, which will cause discomfort and stress.
Bottom colors for fish. Analyzing the data of the Internet, I would like to say that many recommend taking dark soil, the fish are better visible on it.
As a general rule, the soil for aquarium plants should be fine-grained or medium-grained (up to 5mm). In this matter, you should start from the power of the root system of the aquarium plants that will be in the aquarium. An underdeveloped root system requires a fine-grained soil for a strong root system. you can use medium and even coarse grain. The most important thing for plants. the ground should be light and sloping.
The colors of the soil for aquarium plants. They say that for aquarium plants, the soil should be dark, supposedly the plants love warm soil, and the dark color of the bottom helps warm it up. It seems to us that this factor is so chukhanto that it is not worth paying attention to it. The color of the soil for plants can be any.
The thickness of the aquarium soil for plants. It should be from 5 to 7 cm, as much as possible. Again, proceed from the size of the plant’s root system.
Laying aquarium soil
As a rule, the soil in the aquarium is distributed evenly. But you can distribute it so that it rises from the front to the back. This option for filling the bottom will add volume and look more impressive.
Many novice aquarists sometimes lay out drawings of different colors from the soil at the bottom of the aquarium (paths, the sun, other compositions). Such drawings are short-lived, the soil gradually mixes up and, as a result, nothing remains of the “sun”. There is, of course, nothing bad in this. However, as a result, you can get a soil of gray-brownish color. it can ruin the overall appearance of the aquarium.
After distributing the soil, I install the decor, fill the aquarium with water, plant the plants.
Summing up, we can say that the most correct, best soil for the aquarium bottom will be the one that was wisely selected.
Video about decorating an aquarium with soil and cleaning the soil
What soil is needed for aquarium plants
The soil is an important part of the entire aquarium. The health, life expectancy of underwater inhabitants depends on which soil to choose, so before buying pets, decide in advance which soil is best for the aquarium.
What you should pay attention to
- There are no pores in the glass, in which bacteria useful for the aquarium multiply.
- No nutrients are retained in glass, so plants are not able to grow in glass.
- Glass refracts light and this negatively affects fish, causing stress.
The substrate is obtained by chemical or mechanical processing of natural components. sand, gravel, pebbles. With the help of this method, the substrate acquires certain properties that have a beneficial effect on underwater inhabitants.
The main thing when laying the mixture is to maintain water permeability. And the layered substrate does not allow the soil to breathe.
This type includes materials of natural origin. The difference from the mechanical view is that the components have undergone almost no processing. Natural substrates include quartz, crushed stone, sand, pebbles. This also includes thermally processed materials such as fired clay. In a natural substrate, plants will not grow immediately, because there are no nutrients in it.
Combination with fish
In second place after the benefits and harmlessness of the soil is its compatibility with underwater pets. Match the colors to the fish to create a specific design. For example, bright fish look good on dark and monochromatic soil. Conversely, dark or black fish are especially noticeable with a light bottom. Fully white bottom works well with goldfish and species.
Nutrient substrate for aquarium plants. what is needed for proper start-up?
Nutrient substrate for aquarium plants contains a large number of beneficial elements that provide nutrition for the root system of ornamental herbalists for their better growth, development and overcoming stress during planting and starting up the aquarium.
Do you need nutrient soil in an aquarium?
Aquarium nutrient substrate, its quality and balanced elements are of great importance in the start-up and life of an aquarium. He is on the one hand. plays the role of an effective biofilter that fights nitrogen compounds, on the other hand, it helps the comfortable growth of certain groups of aquarium plants. Many experienced aquarists have noted a number of beneficial qualities of a nutrient substrate for aquarium plants, with its help:
- absorption of harmful and excess nutrients occurs;
- blackening and rotting of the roots is excluded;
- plants receive trace elements necessary for growth and development;
- the minerals that make up the water are balanced and do not affect the pH level.
What spectrum is needed for aquarium plants
Launching aquariums on nutrient grounds
To start an aquarium, decide on the types of living organisms that you want to see in it, and based on this, purchase or make yourself a suitable nutrient substrate for the inhabitants and plants of the aquarium. The self-starting procedure of the aquarium is carried out in several stages:
- having previously washed the aquarium with running water, fill it with soil, also washed and mixed with gravel, the layer is 2-3 cm;
- install a filter and lighting system;
- fill the aquarium with warm (within 25 degrees) water, up to half the volume. Pour gently without eroding the soil;
- plant the plants, placing the tallest ones closer to the back wall, freeing up area for the fish to swim;
- add water at room temperature to the special mark of the aquarium;
- turn on the filter and lighting;
- repopulate the necessary biocultures that will establish the biological balance of water, you can add fertilizers for better development of plant roots. For some time, monitor the normal operation of life support systems, temperature readings and water condition;
- with the lighting turned off (to reduce stress), lower the fish in the transport bag into the aquarium for 5-10 minutes to equalize the temperature, then untie the bag, fill it with aquarium water and release the fish;
- on the first day of stay in the aquarium, do not try to feed the fish, after the stress experienced, they may refuse to feed, it is better to do this the next morning.
Which soil is best for aquarium plants?
Thinking about what kind of soil is needed for aquarium plants, proceed from what types of living organisms you plan to use, what their number will be, the qualitative composition of the substrate must meet the requirements for their content. For a rational choice of soil for your aquarium, you need to think in advance not only about the types of fish and vegetation, but also about the general design, there are several general rules that need to be taken into account:
- for plants with an underdeveloped root system, a soil with a fine-grained structure is needed;
- a strong root system requires a coarse or medium-grained fraction;
- the optimal soil thickness suitable for most plants is 5-7 cm;
- an important factor is the nutritional value of the soil, choose more enriched with microelements;
- the best soils are natural, natural.
The thickness of the nutrient substrate in the aquarium
The substrate for aquarium plants is important as source of nutrition for the root system and as a water aerator to prevent bacterial growth. If the soil layer is too thin, less than three centimeters, it will not be able to prevent the growth of anaerobic bacteria. Organic matter settles in the soil so that it is not washed out of it, the layer thickness is desirable at 4-5 cm, such parameters are suitable for a large number of plants.
You can use the three-layer method of laying the soil in the aquarium:
- the lower part (2-4 cm). laterite enriched with iron or gravel, interspersed with clay, is used to contain balls with additional mineral fertilizers;
- middle layer (2 cm). earth mixed with peat and sand, clay balls, fertilizer and nutrition can be added to it;
- top layer (4-5 cm). fine gravel mixed with sand, serves to cover the previous layer, which can muddy the water, it is convenient to lay decorative pebbles or other items on it that serve to decorate the design of the aquarium.
DIY soil for aquarium plants
Purchased nutrient soil for aquarium plants has one positive quality. it is granular, this eliminates the appearance of turbidity, but incurs additional material costs. Therefore, many novice aquarists are thinking about how to make nutritious soil for an aquarium on their own.
None of the well-known companies disclose the list of ingredients and their quantitative ratio, but the main elements used are still known. There are several required components:
General characteristics of aquarium lighting
Light sources for aquarium
An incandescent lamp (LN) is the well-known “Ilyich’s Bulbs”. Lighting in such lamps occurs by incandescent tungsten filament or its alloys.
This type of lighting was actively used in Soviet times, in the absence of an alternative. Now, has sunk into oblivion.
Advantages of LN: Surprisingly, the light spectrum of incandescent lamps is as close as possible to sunlight, which is very welcomed by aquarium plants. Why is such a good source of illumination already gone??
Disadvantages of LN: Incandescent lamps have low / scanty efficiency (hereinafter. “efficiency”) and light output. For example, a 100W LN has only 2.6% efficiency, 97% goes to waste. to generate heat. Luminous efficiency, alas, 17.5 Lumen / W. The service life of the LN is also too small. 1000 hours.
Halogen lamps (HL). we can say that this is the “Next generation” in the line of incandescent lamps. high-tech, compact.
The efficiency indicators are slightly higher, the light output is 28 Lumen / watt, the service life is up to 4000 hours. The use of such lamps in an aquarium, for obvious reasons, is also not recommended.
Fluorescent lamps (LL) are the most popular, running, gas-discharge source of aquarium lighting. Why?
Advantages: Firstly, an affordable pricing policy, and secondly: the luminous efficiency of LL is several times higher than that of LN (LL at 23 W = LN at 100 W), the lifespan is eleven times longer.
Disadvantages: First, the spectrum of many LL is discrete. cut. Only special aquarium lamps have a more or less good spectral range. Despite the long service life, LL should be changed every 6-12 months, since by this time they lose all their “useful properties”. Plus, LL have low permeability into the water column and give diffused light, effective use of such lamps is possible with the use of reflectors / reflectors.
Speaking about LL, it should be noted that they are divided by type into T8, T5 and others, for example, T4 (rarely used in aquaristics).
T8. the most popular aquarium lamps, a certain combination of price and quality.
T5. much better than T8, but much more expensive. Due to its small diameter and optimal luminous efficacy at 36 ° C, T5s give a more intense and more directional light than T8.
Metal halide lamps (MGL) (MG), panels, floodlights
If you decide to recreate Amanovski herbalist in your aquarium or your aquarium height is 60cm. and above, then MGL is the perfect solution! MGL is used by many professional aquarists. Why?
Advantages: reasonable pricing, power, luminous flux directivity, light temperature from 2500K (yellow light) to 20,000K (blue), huge performance (100 Lumen / W), up to 15000 hours service life.
Simply put, with the small size of the MGL, you get excellent color rendering and high luminous flux during the entire life of the lamps. The aquarium will begin to shine, waves will flicker at the bottom, shadows from fish and plants will be visible. Metal halide lamps “pierce” the deepest aquariums. In a word, it is an excellent source of aquarium lighting, both for plants and fish, and for the general visual perception of the aquarium.!
Disadvantages: The use of such a light source is possible only on suspensions or a stand at a distance of 30 cm to the water column, the reason is that MGs emit a lot of heat, they are very hot!
LED lamps (LED), panels, spotlights.
If on MGL aquarists, at least somehow came to a certain consensus, then there is no agreement regarding the use of LEDs in an aquarium, as they say, some in the forest, some for firewood. Firstly, this is due to the rapid growth and development of LED technologies, and therefore, there is a lot of outdated information on the Internet. Secondly, the absence, at present, of a full-fledged practice of using.
In order not to refute the countless myths about the SD. Let’s just say there are now excellent LED panels / floodlights for aquarium plants, with a wide / full spectrum, with a normal light temperature of 6500K, with enough Lm (lumens). Add to this the colossal ergonomics and economy, safety (work at low voltage). Plus, there is also an actual absence of heating from the front side and tolerable heating from the back of the lighting device, which allows using LEDs under the aquarium cover, i.e. without suspensions and racks. The visual effect is almost identical to the MGL.
Disadvantage: pricing policy, good LED panels and floodlights are quite expensive, but it’s worth noting if earlier. these were off scale prices, now have become affordable for most consumers.
The conclusion is obvious, metal halide lamps in their pure form or by adding LL (mixed lighting) are the best option for professional aquarium plants and aquascaping. It’s hard to argue with an aquarium guru.
It is worth noting that using the principle of mixed lighting, Takashi Amano turns on the metal halide lamp for only 3 hours, the rest of the time the LL works. From this we can draw conclusions:
1. It is not necessary to “fry” the aquarium 12 hours a day. You need to create a peak of intense lighting, and the rest of the time the lighting should be calm. This approach is absolute, because the sun does not shine 24 hours a day: first dawn comes, then zenith, and then sunset. Actually, this is a natural phenomenon and must be imitated in an aquarium.
2. At the same time, in the absence of proper lighting, shining with such a light 24 hours a day is not the best option. The sun doesn’t do that!
Illumination W / m2 20L 40L 80L 200L 400L
low 200 15W 24W 38W 69W 110W
medium 400 30W 47W 79W 137W 220W
high 800 60W 94W 149W 274W 440W
Here is another guide-memo for the selection of the number of LL:
– what kind of lighting power do you want to get. low, medium, or high;
– whether a cover or suspension will be used and at what height it will be from the water;
– what is the depth of the aquarium;
– whether the principle of mixed lighting will be used;
– what type of lamps will be used: T5 or T8, SD.
– type of reflectors / reflectors.
Daylight hours and control options
500 rubles), unlike mechanical timers, they do not go astray when disconnected and power surges, which is important!
Also, at the moment, there is a good dimmer for LED lighting (a thing that makes dawn-zenith-sunset of LED sources).
Aquarium lighting and lamp selection
Aquarium lighting and lamp selection
Parameters and terms characterizing lighting
As mentioned earlier, it is not worth measuring lighting in watts alone. There are other parameters that characterize the quality component of lighting. For a deeper understanding, below let’s look at these parameters of light.
The spectrum of light is our, human impression of irradiation of the retina of the eye with wavelengths from 380 nm to 780 nm (1 nm = 0.000 001 mm). We are not able to perceive electromagnetic radiation of a different frequency.
Cool videos about plants and herbalists from FanFishki
Fluorescent lamps (fluorescent lamps)
They’re fluorescent. The division of luminescence into fluorescence and phosphorescence has become obsolete and has acquired the conventional meaning of a qualitative characteristic of the luminescence duration.
General purpose fluorescent lamps are actively used for lighting in offices and schools. And the lamp, which is suitable for the needs of plant growing, has a special coating on the glass bulb. This coating enhances blue and red light emission. We see this glow as pinkish purple and not very pleasant to the eye. Usually such lamps are marked “For plants” or “Fito”.
Pay attention to the color temperature of the lamp: 6500 K is perfect for vegetation. Since these lamps generate less heat than high voltage lamps, they can be placed close to plants. at a distance of 5-10 cm. Like high pressure lamps, fluorescent lamps require ballast. The total power of lamps per 1 square meter of cultivation area must be at least 250 W.
The well-known brand Secret Jardin, in addition to tents, also produces fluorescent lamps of three types (for each period of the plant’s life):
- Bluesky Cutting. for the period of seed germination and rooting of clones, 9500 K
- DayLight Growing. for the growing season, 6500 K
- Yellow Blooming. for the flowering period, 2700 K
These lamps are more expensive than conventional phytolamps, but their efficiency is higher.
What spectrum of light is needed for plant growth?
During the growing season, the maximum growth of the plant occurs. the root system, stems, leaves are actively developing, the plant is gaining green mass. Chlorophyll production is in full swing and the plant produces as much greenery and foliage as genetically possible as long as light, carbon dioxide, food and water are not limited.
Studies have shown that plants have two photoreceptor pigment systems:
- One of them is based on the blue-green pigment phytochrome, which reacts to red light.
- The second system provides absorption of the blue-violet part of the spectrum, and here the yellow pigment. cryptochrome works.
Blue rays stimulate cell division, which leads to active growth and development of leaves and stems. Therefore, at the vegetative stage of growth, it is important to focus specifically on lamps. blue Spectra light. Daylight hours for closed ground increases at this stage to 18 hours a day.
We select a lamp for the growing season
Don’t expect a good harvest without the right lighting. You can burn a lamp with an inappropriate spectrum and / or intensity for at least 24 hours and end up with a “donut hole”. In order for the plant to live well, it is worth choosing the right bulb for it. Today we’ll talk about which lamps are suitable for the growing season.
Plants are able to distinguish between orange-red and blue-violet light rays. Thanks to this, they can orient themselves in time and turn on or off the corresponding enzymatic processes.
Metal halide lamps (DRI / DRIZ)
They have a suitable color temperature. from 5200 K. Lamps of this type are unpretentious in the choice of ignition devices. Both imported and domestic IZUs are perfect for lighting these lamps. Like all high voltage lamps DRI (DRIZ), they heat up during operation, therefore additional cooling is required (for example, the use of a kultub). For 1 square meter of growing area, a lamp with a power of at least 400 W is required.
Number of LED lamps per m2 in a grow box
(area of the growbox luminous intensity) / value of the luminous flux of the lamp
The luminous flux is indicated by the manufacturer in the lamp instructions for use. You can also use special calculators to calculate the required number of lamps, which also take into account the installation height. You can easily find them on the Internet.
Currently, there is a heated debate among growers about the advantages and disadvantages of LED lamps, because they are expensive, and the advantages of using them are not completely clear. In the video below, we tried to consider this issue from all sides:
Color Spectrum in Planted Tank Lighting. Planted Aquarium Lighting Guide. Part 3
What lamps to use during the growing season?
Of course, you can successfully grow everything on only one HPS lamp; many breeders recognize it as the best in terms of price-quality ratio. However, its radiation lies in the region of the red spectrum, which means that it does not fully satisfy the needs of the vegetative stage. For best results, it is recommended to combine sodium lamps with vegetation lamps.
Consider the lamps that are most suitable for use during the growing season.
LED lamps (LED)
Modern LEDs in LED lamps and LED plant lamps cover all light spectra and can be used in plant growing both for the period of vegetative growth of plants and for flowering.
LED lamps do not emit heat at all, so you can save on ventilation. On the other hand, a large number of LEDs mounted on a single panel get very hot. Therefore, the design includes coolers. True, they do not always cope with the temperature, and individual LEDs can burn out.
Energy Saving Fluorescent Lamps (ECL)
Although ECL plant lamps are not as bright as high pressure lamps, they are suitable for producing cool white and warm white spectra, and therefore suitable for the vegetative growth stage.
The main advantages of energy-saving lamps are their minimal heating and a built-in ballast. This means that there is no need to purchase additional equipment for ventilation and lamp lighting. Just screw the ESL into the socket and connect to the mains.
They are an excellent light source for small growing areas. For 1 square meter of growing area, at least 2 lamps of 150 W each will be required.
The result of improper illumination
With the wrong calculation and selection of lighting for the aquarium, the results can be disappointing. With insufficient lighting, the growth rate of plants will slow down or stop altogether, and light-loving plants may even die.
A yellow coating may appear on the walls of the aquarium, this is a sign of the appearance of diatoms. If there is too much light, aquarium plants can collapse their leaves and an outbreak of green algae can occur. This all significantly degrades the appearance of the aquarium. It is sometimes very difficult to get rid of such consequences as algae! Therefore, it is very important to initially choose the right lighting and fertilizers.
Do you need a natural source?
Natural. this is daylight, it is used as an additional stimulation of the growth of aquarium plants and during spawning of fish.
IMPORTANT! It is not recommended to set up the aquarium in a place that is exposed to constant sunlight. Sunlight is a great stimulus for the growth of green algae.
At the moment, there are many types of artificial lighting. For aquariums are used:
5 Things I Wish I Knew About Planted Aquarium Lighting
- incandescent lamps;
- LED bulbs;
- fluorescent lamps;
- energy-saving lamps;
- special professional light sources
Gaining popularity among aquarium lovers. Their use with backlighting contributes to energy saving, helps to achieve optimal light conditions. These lamps have a high luminous efficiency, so two or three bulbs with a power of 18-20 W are enough to illuminate an aquarium of 150-200 liters.
Special light sources are used in professional aquariums. These lamps can have a specific light spectrum adapted to a specific type of aquarium and plants.
All lighting options can be done by hand. There are many videos on this topic. Here is one of them:
LED modules and strips
Fairly expensive, but more efficient lighting. They are often used by aquarists in combination with energy-saving lamps. LED bulbs are low wattage. And often they are not able to independently provide large aquariums with enough light.
However, high power LED bulbs have begun to appear on the modern market, which over time can find widespread use in the world of aquaristics.
Daylight hours and control options
For the harmonious operation of the aquarium, it is necessary to correctly determine the daylight hours. The light must be turned on according to the schedule and for a certain number of hours. The optimal daylight hours are within 8-10 hours. For grass aquariums it can be 12 hours.
There are special devices for monitoring daylight hours. These are time relays or timers. They are electrical and mechanical. These devices automatically turn on and off the lighting in the aquarium.
In principle, night lighting is not required, you can only use it for beauty and when you turn it on depends on you. If your bulbs have ceased to shine, then the repair will not cause difficulties. Usually this problem is solved by buying a new one.
They are rarely used due to the availability of a more economical and efficient alternative. However, in aquaristics they are used due to the fact that their spectrum is as close as possible to natural light. But this lighting device has a very low efficiency and many incandescent lamps are needed to grow aquarium plants.
A large number of lamps will generate a lot of heat, which can negatively affect the aquarium climate and water balance.
Sources of light
Light sources for an aquarium are:
Most commonly used in the aquarium world. Their advantages are considered to be profitability and a fairly long service life.
Light emitting diodes (LED)
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are becoming brighter, consume less electricity and have an ever wider spectrum of radiation.
LED lighting for aquariums appeared about 10 years ago, abroad. Here, in Russia, they still prefer traditional lamp lighting.
A couple of years ago, several aquarium equipment companies decided to manufacture LED-based equipment. The idea was to replace existing traditional metal halide aquarium lights on the market with more economical and durable LED arrays.
Red (Red) radiation in combination with orange (Orange) represents the main form of energy for photosynthesis of aquarium plants. This light enhances the formation of carbohydrates during photosynthesis, as it is extremely well absorbed by chlorophyll. The zone of these radiations is one of the most important for all physiological actions in plants.
Radiation of violet (Purple) and blue (Blue) LEDs is needed to stop the growth of stems, leaf petioles, plant plates. That is, this light makes your plants more compact, which in turn allows for better absorption. These rays stimulate the production of proteins and organic synthesis in aquarium plants. The blue and purple parts of Spectra are almost completely absorbed by chlorophyll, which in turn creates excellent conditions for maximum intensity of photosynthesis.
The Green LED may be useful if you need to give your aquarium plants a distinct green color. Since its radiation actually passes through the leaf blades, without being absorbed by it. The latter, under their influence, become very thin, and the axial organs of plants stretch. The level of photosynthesis in this case is very low.
Yellow (Yellow) LED creates a glow as close as possible to natural lighting. Yellow radiation, in contrast to warm white, does not reflect from the surface of the water and its light penetrates deep into the aquarium, allowing you to create effective lighting as close to natural light as possible.The intensity and type of lamps affects the health, color, photosynthesis and reproduction of the inhabitants of the aquarium. Choose the light for your fish and their natural habitat. Many tropical species are unfamiliar with bright light even on hot, sunny days, so too much light can stress them and make them feel unwell. Some organisms need powerful rays of light, as a rule, they are inhabitants of shallow tropical rivers, where the water is clear, and the sun sends rays for 12 hours. Wildlife coral reefs are located in shallow water bodies, so they also need good and bright lighting. UV radiation is very important for corals, the rays pass into the very depths of the water, where corals and invertebrates are already waiting for their arrival, since ultraviolet light activates the process of photosynthesis.
Spectra lamp selection
The choice of Spectra is a constant controversy among aquarists. It is especially fueled by advertisements about the need to use the very best Spectra of a particular company.
As stated above, there is no spectrum that “helps” plants and “interferes” with algae. If you have a “good” enough spectrum, then intensity is more important to you than spectrum. If you have enough light, then the spectrum is not very important, and if you do not have light, then the spectrum will not help you. This is evidenced by the successful cultivation of plants under the light of conventional lamps. LB (Coolwhite) or a combination of LB / LD (coolwhite / daylight) with electric lamps.
Color temperature is an important nuance in illumination. For fish of different species, the range of light temperature ranges from 5.5 to 20 thousand Kelvin. Deeper vessels require more saturation. Aquatic plants need no less than 5.5 and no more than 20 thousand Kelvin. Underwater reefs require from 9 to 20 thousand Kelvin.
For all types of vessels with different inhabitants, you should choose universal lighting in the aquarium in the form of LEDs, the light temperature of which is 10 thousand Kelvin. Such diodes have a rich white light to create a comfortable environment for the inhabitants.
LED lighting for aquarium plants
Trying to provide comfortable conditions for the inhabitants of home aquariums, willy-nilly, we strive for the most accurate reproduction of conditions characteristic of the natural habitat in it. One of the most difficult tasks in this regard is to ensure a normal light regime.
It would seem, what is simpler: he took a light bulb, hung it near the aquarium and. let there be light! But no. You look, after a week, either the water bloomed, or the walls were covered with algae, or the plants that looked handsome at their previous owner suddenly acquired a very deplorable look.
So something is wrong. You need to buy specialized lamps for the aquarium, which give increased radiation in the blue and red parts of the spectrum. Take Osram-Fluora and Sylvania Gro-Lux as examples. Sometimes, in order to get well-developed plants and nice looking fish, you have to combine different types of lamps. Whatever fiddles with turning on the lights in the aquarium manually. You can entrust this to an automation. The photosensor in the room will monitor the overall level of illumination and in the summer, when there is already enough light, turn off the backlight. And the daily timer completely de-energizes the aquarium lamps at night.
LED lighting is becoming more and more part of the aquarium hobby, driven by the changing LED market.
How many watts / liter do you need for an aquarium with plants
I will say right away that the formula is complete nonsense and nonsense. You cannot measure lighting in watts. This is the same as measuring the speed of digging a trench by excavators. Well, 1 meter of a trench needs 1 excavator to dig a trench in 1 hour. Isn’t it stupid? And what tool does the excavator, shovel or excavator use (which lamps are, incandescent, or professional), and what is our moat size (what is the size of the aquarium).
If there are doubts that everyone is writing the truth, and we alone are so smart, then we can say yes we are. The crowd does not always do it cleverly (you can look at cotton wool in the Russian Federation. There 90% can really think?). Let them answer: how the lighting power is measured, watts or lumens; what type of watt lighting was used, fluorescent lamp, incandescent lamp, and whether there were reflectors; let them answer how the illumination of the aquarium changes from its height.
Aquarium 505090 (last height) for 275 liters. To get 1 watt per liter, we can supply 6 incandescent lamps of 100 watts each, and even get a higher figure of 2 watts / liter. What will grow in this aquarium? Valisneria and hornwort. ALL. But we have fulfilled their conditions, moreover, we have exceeded them 2 times.
2. Aquarium 703030 for 63 liters. Let’s put 1 T8 light bulb for 18 watts. The result is 0.28 watts / liter. What can be grown in such an aquarium? Yes ALL plants that live in the aquarium. ALL. But the formula is 4 times broken.
Time and light mode
In order for fish and plants to feel good, and the light does not harm them, aquarium keeping implies several rules.
- The inhabitants of the vessel will not tolerate a sharp change in lighting, there must be a smooth transition, otherwise the plants and the animal world will receive stress. In nature, light gently replaces darkness and vice versa, the same conditions are created in a home aquarium. A sudden change in light can cause the algae to change its appearance, its leaves will turn dull, curl or even get sick. Fish also hate it when the light changes too quickly.
- Before turning on a special lamp, it is necessary to smoothly prepare its inhabitants. It is enough to turn on the usual indoor lighting for plants for a few minutes, so they get used to the dim light, this will prepare them to turn on additional light. Well, if the room has enough natural light, then this procedure does not need to be done.
- Daylight hours for plants and fish in nature is approximately 11-12 hours, based on this, you should select the light mode. Ideally, you want to create natural light. This means that during the day it is necessary to simulate first an increase in light intensity, then a peak, a kind of midday, and then a decrease, so that the inhabitants of the aquarium will feel comfortable. It is important not to overdo it with lighting and keep track of the time, because the vessel and its walls in this case will begin to bloom.
The choice of lamps for lighting the aquarium
If you only have fish in your aquarium, for example, African cichlids, and there are no live plants, then everything is simple. You only need light to be comfortable. Of course, you should not go too far and put a 1000W arc lamp from a nearby parking lot because the lamp came out cheap. Pisces do not need too bright lighting. it will only cause stress for them and, as a result, illness and other problems. remember the detectives, where the main character is kept alone with a bright lamp on the ceiling around the clock. Usually, the lamp that comes with the aquarium will be enough for you.
You can put a lamp with any spectrum. To have a more natural color rendition of the color of fish (and who knows what color is natural?) Put a lamp with a wide spectrum (full-spectrum) or tri-phosphate (trichromatic, triphosphate). not necessarily Triton. A very good GE Chroma-50 lamp that is very inexpensive. Lamps, in the spectrum of which there is a lot of blue light, reveal the color of fish due to the “glow” of fish scales (although is this color natural?). for example, in an aquarium with African cichlids. pseudotrophies, aulonocaras, etc. you can put a lamp with actinic light. the blue color of the fish will look very beautiful. In general, the choice of lamp is determined by your taste and financial capabilities.
If you are going to seriously deal with plants, then it makes sense to think about using modern lamps. high power (HO, VHO, SHO), metal halide (HID), compact fluorescent (PC. power compact), electronic ballast. Compact fluorescent lamps. they have high luminous efficiency and brightness, high color rendering index (CRI) and, in combination with electronic ballast, represent the most optimal combination for low powers. up to 200W. Their compactness allows efficient use of the reflector.
Metal halide lamps, for example DRI, are practically not made of small powers (due to problems with an arc discharge at low current and low luminous efficiency). It makes sense to install them if you need a power of 300-1000W. For them, it is necessary to think over a cooling system with a fan, since all the heat emitted by them is concentrated in one place.
If you are installing expensive lamps, then consider electronic ballast for them, which is much preferable to conventional ballast.
Use a reflector. a well thought out reflector to increase the efficiency of your lamps. The reflector is effective with compact lamps. if you have 8 T12 lamps close by, then the reflector will not change anything.
Think over the wiring diagram in advance, especially if you assemble everything yourself. Electricity, especially in a humid environment, is not to be joked about; be sure to use a grounding conductor and fuses to cut off power if current flows to the earth wire. Plan how you will make the cover, ventilation, what wires you will use. a significant current can flow from the ballast to the lamp, many ballasts cannot be placed at a significant distance from the lamp. The ballast, especially the choke, gets very hot, so position it so that it does not heat up lamps whose light output decreases with increasing temperature.
Consider the size of the lamps, especially if you are buying an aquarium with a pre-fabricated lid. If any rare lamp is installed there, then it will be difficult to find a replacement later. Remember that a 40W lamp is much more common and costs (standard, not aquarium) several times cheaper than a similar 25W lamp.
Remember to replace the bulbs regularly as their light output decreases over time. Therefore, it makes sense to use PC lamps, for example, which have a longer lifespan.