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Which light is best for aquarium plants

Aquarium fish

Travel lights for aquarium

What kind of light do plants need

In order for the aquarium to develop properly, and the plants in it to develop well, it needs to be properly lit. Light is needed not only for flora, but also for fauna (fish). Lighting allows them to develop correctly. Light regulates vital functions, but the correct adjustment of the illumination intensity does not always take place. Too much light can cause intense algae growth and water bloom in the tank.

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Lighting parameters and terms

Duration of aquatic lighting and options for ease of control

Which light is best for an aquarium?

Remember that any lamp cannot be screwed into the aquarium. Not all of the white light emitted from a lamp can be beneficial to plant and animal life.

Everyone knows that white consists of a whole set of colors, such as red, blue, yellow, green. The predominance of any of the constituent colors affects the light. Based on the above, it is necessary to make a choice, what kind of light is needed for the aquarium.

For plants, the best fit are lamps that emit white light. From the spectral components and the predominance of blue and red. This is necessary so that the plants do not die or become covered with unpleasant green mucus. Therefore, when choosing a lamp, if the previous one has burned out, study the information provided by the manufacturers on the characteristics of the work of this at the place of production.

You can also ask professional breeders what brand of lamps they prefer to use when maintaining and lighting their aquariums. If you are building the backlight yourself, choose fluorescent lamps in the light of which the colors of the red-blue spectrum prevail. So, which light is best for an aquarium, we understand based on the information provided.

But the conversation was mainly about fluorescent lamps, it is also necessary to pay attention to energy-saving lamps. They are gaining especially strong popularity in recent years, possessing a number of positive qualities and advantages over conventional lamps. When choosing an energy-saving lamp, pay attention also to the spectrum indicators.

This type is suitable for the characteristic in which the lamp should emit light in a red-yellowish range. In addition, the plants lining the bottom of the aquarium need ultraviolet light in order for photosynthesis to occur at the pace they need. UV lamps are different. When choosing, it is necessary to pay attention to the characteristics of the lamp and choose those that emit soft, non-aggressive ultraviolet light, which has a beneficial effect on all living things.

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:

Why do you need light in an aquarium

Lighting is one of the main postulates of the normal functioning of a closed biological environment in an aquarium. The normal functioning and even the very life of the inhabitants of the aquarium and aquatic plants depends on how its parameters are configured.

If the intensity of light and the duration of illumination is not enough, the plants begin to acquire a brown color, and then begin to rot and decompose, poisoning the water and fish.

With an excess of light or its wrong spectrum, the water “blooms”, the glass walls of the tank are covered with parasitic algae, actively absorbing beneficial microorganisms from the environment.

Without artificial lighting of the reservoir, it will not be possible to create the 12-hour daylight hours necessary for fish and plants, which will inevitably cause their dystrophy.

The choice of light intensity, Spectra emission and duration of illumination depends on the specific species of the inhabitants of the aquarium.

Watt-lumen table

Let’s bring this data together. On the left, the watts of a fluorescent lamp are indicated, if you are using a different type of lamp, use the table for converting watts to lumens located below in the article.

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Illumination in watts in lumens
weak0.1-0.2up to 30
moderate0.2-0.430-50
preferred0.4-0.550-70
high0.5-0.870-100
very high0.8-0.1above 100

Aquarium illumination in lumens is conditional, as all aquariums have different heights. So for cans with a water column height of 20 cm, 30 lm / l is enough, and if the water column height is 60 cm, then in this case even 50-70 lm / l will not be enough. The brightness of the lighting is influenced by the transparency of the water, as well as the direction of the lighting. A fluorescent lamp will shine in all corners of the aquarium, LED lamps are characterized by a directional stream of illumination.

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Based on the above, it turns out that LED light sources shine clearly downward, but fluorescent lamps shine sideways, up and down. In order for the lighting from fluorescent lamps to reach the bottom of the aquarium, reflectors must be installed in the cover.

Consider all these parameters when choosing lighting and the power of its luminous flux! Aquarium height, light direction, water clarity, large plants shading other small ones.

In addition, the lighting depends on the aging of the lamps, the presence or absence of a cover glass, and the air temperature. Depending on the power of the lighting, the issue of supplying carbon dioxide and fertilizing the plants with fertilizers is decided. The fact is that the process of photosynthesis in plants occurs only in light, they consume carbon dioxide and fertilizers and convert all this into tissues. In low light, there is no photosynthesis process, that is, plants cannot consume nutrients and carbon dioxide.

If there are a lot of nutrients in the water, then algae, xenoccus, Vietnamese, beard, endogonium begin to develop in the aquarium. If everything is fine with the lighting, then the plants grow at a fast pace and please with a beautiful appearance. You can learn about the process of photosynthesis by the presence of oxygen bubbles on the leaves 1-2 hours after turning on the light. But keep in mind that bubbling occurs only with good lighting, carbon dioxide supply and fertilization.

Lamp types

The water column of artificial reservoirs is illuminated with different light sources. For this purpose, the following types of lamps are used:

  • luminescent, having a gas-discharge light source. The light they provide in the aquarium is closest to daylight, which allows you to create natural living conditions for fish and vegetation. over, for this purpose, LL less powerful are needed than, for example, incandescent lamps. Most often, fluorescent lamps of 3 types are used in aquariums: T5, T8 and compact (CFL).
  • metal halide lamps are a type of high pressure discharge lamps. They differ from other GRLs in that they have special emitting additives. The basis of the MGL is a quartz glass or special ceramic burner. The burner is housed in a borosilicate glass flask that acts as a light filter that cuts off hard UV radiation. Metal halide luminaires emit pure white daylight.
  • LED. When properly selected, diodes are capable of producing scattered light with a yellow or reddish spectrum. This is the spectral composition that fish and plants need. LED luminaires have the advantage of saving energy, which is important for large tanks. A significant drawback of Led lamps is considered their high cost.
  • Incandescent lamps in aquariums have recently been the only lighting fixture. But due to the strong heating, they are rarely used now. Mainly for temporary lighting in table lamps or floor lamps above the aquarium, but not near the water itself.

Knowing the area of ​​the bottom of the reservoir, you can thus easily calculate the required lamp power and choose the number of lamps.

For tall aquariums with plants (the height is greater than the length), an illumination of 6-10 thousand lux is sufficient, but if they are light-requiring, it is necessary to increase this figure to 10-15 thousand lux.

Colorful temperature

Color temperature determines the composition of visible Spectra light emitted from source. The color of the lighting is not so much important for the fish as it is for the aquarium plants. Taking into account this parameter, measured in Kelvin, the light for the “can” is chosen. After all, color temperature affects the natural illumination of the underwater landscape. As the color temperature decreases, the proportion of red (warmer) increases, and the proportion of blue becomes less. Raising the CG leads to an increase in the proportions of blue and green, respectively, the light will be colder.

For a marine aquarium, choose a cool blue light. It is generally accepted that for plants it is worth choosing lamps of a more yellowish Spectra (6500-8000 K), and for a better visual perception and more beautiful color of fish, sources of a pale yellow hue (5500-6500 K). The best effect is given by a combination of similar lamps.

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Fluorescent lamps

Most commonly used in the aquarium world. Their advantages are considered to be profitability and a fairly long service life.

We select lighting for the aquarium so that the inhabitants and plants are comfortable

Lighting in the aquarium plays a key role for the normal existence of plants and the fish themselves. With the right light mode, the natural habitat is recreated. How to choose the right lamps, their power, which light mode to set. We will consider all these questions in this article.

Energy saving

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:

Intensity calculation

There are various methods for calculating the light intensity for aquariums. The main ones are:

  • selection by volume;
  • depth selection.

Selection by volume

The selection of lighting for the volume of the aquarium is quite simple. It must be assumed that 1 liter of water requires 0.5 W of power. And then, by simple mathematical actions, you can calculate the required power of lighting devices for your aquarium and no calculator is needed.

Aquarium volume, lLamp power, WNumber of lamps
258one
fifty15one
6015one
130eighteen2
220thirtyfour
31038four
35036four
40036four
50058four

Light streams passing through the water lose their strength, respectively, at the depth of the aquarium, the illumination is much less than in its upper layers. To calculate the depth, it is necessary to divide the height of the water column by every 10 cm. For every 10 cm, the illumination is halved. We need to know what kind of illumination of the bottom we want to get in the end. And already based on this, calculate the required power.

En = Unit / (Ko Kv), where
Unit. illumination on the lower surface of the aquarium, Lx;
Ko. light attenuation coefficient (depends on the height of the aquarium);
Kv is the coefficient of light attenuation due to water. Equal to 0.83.

Depth Light Attenuation Ratio:

  • 0.3 m. 0.47-0.65;
  • 0.4 m. 0.37-0.55;
  • 0.5 m. 0.29-0.48;
  • 0.6 m. 0.22-0.40;
  • 0.7 m. 0.17-0.35;
  • 0.8 m. 0.14-0.30.

General characteristics of aquarium light

The main characteristic of aquarium lighting is power. It is necessary to start with determining the correct lighting power. As you know, power is measured in watts (W). There is a special calculation of the lighting power depending on the volume of the aquarium.

Lumen (Ln). using this unit of measurement, the amount of light that the lamp emits is determined.

Another characteristic of lamps is their color temperature (K). Only the sun gives the full light spectrum of illumination, it consists of waves, which in their combination give yellow or white light.

But if you separate them, they will have different colors. Many aquarium lamps have a specified parameter of 5500K, 6500K, 10000K, 20000K. This is their color temperature.

It is not recommended to choose lamps with a color temperature below 5500K. Since their blue red rays promote the growth of algae.

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If you have a shallow freshwater aquarium, you should pay attention to 5500-10000K lamps. Lamps over 10,000K have a very high light intensity and are only used for deep aquariums.

Spectrum (Nm). For aquariums, 2 narrow spectral ranges are used: blue-green (440-470 Nm) and red (660 and 700 Nm).

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:

  • incandescent lamps;
  • LED bulbs;
  • fluorescent lamps;
  • energy-saving lamps;
  • special professional light sources

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.

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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.

Colorful temperature

It is important to take into account the color temperature and its saturation when preparing equipment for the fish house. For most fish, a comfortable temperature range is 6–20 thousand Kelvin, but it is worth giving preference to a range above 10 thousand Kelvin, because the color temperature becomes white, which is customary for fish. The larger the tank, the richer the color temperature should be.

Underwater lighting

In case of a lack of light or additional lighting of parts of the tank, an underwater lighting for the aquarium is used. a searchlight. The backlight for the aquarium consists of a hermetically sealed container and source of bright light inside. It comes in white, blue, red. Most often used for decoration, deliberate illumination of underwater figures, or other decor.

Plant growth under different types of lamps

The state of health of the greenery also depends on the type of lamp chosen. The best option is metal halide lamps. They are most similar to natural radiation and do not heat water. Grasses live well under ordinary incandescent and fluorescent lamps, but these lamps also have drawbacks. And under the LED lamp, it is better not to contain plants at all. LEDs don’t provide enough light for plants, quality LEDs are expensive.

Light intensity

The intensity in the tank should be selected taking into account the specifics of the tank: what is the salinity of the water, how much consumer plants, color, depth of water. For these conditions, lamps with optimal illumination are selected.

Characteristics of aquarium lighting

Basic power standards for lighting devices:

  • 0.1-0.3 watts per liter of aquarium. Preferred by inhabitants with a nocturnal lifestyle, catfish. From plants, weak vigor is suitable for Javanese moss, Vallisneria.
  • 0.4-0.5 Watt / l. In such a reservoir, plants will grow slowly. Shade-loving plants should be planted, because other species will be drawn to the light source, become thin, weak.
  • 0.5-0.8 Watt / l. This is the best option for a standard aquarium. Plants grow well, do not lack aquarium light.
  • 0.8-1 Watt / l. This power is suitable for fish, plants living in constant direct sunlight. Such an indicator is also necessary for aquascaping, aquaristics with the number of plants exceeding the frame.

In addition to Watt / L, another unit of change is used. lumens (lm), which are now more accurate than Watt / L. Because Watt / L does not take into account the characteristics of the lamp, and they are too different.

Another main characteristic of illumination is power. With insufficient power, it will not be possible to grow healthy plants, other inhabitants.

In a tank without plants, light is not very important, fish are undemanding to it.

Why do you need light in an aquarium

In the absence of lighting devices, it will not be possible to provide sufficient, correct lighting for pets. Under natural conditions, this time is 12 hours.

Aquarium lighting is selected for each type of fish: soft, diffused light, bright rays.

It is also necessary if you have planted live plants. Without it, the process of photosynthesis will not take place, oxygen in the water will not be enough.

We take into account the depth of the aquarium

With an aquarium depth of 50 cm and illumination of 1000 lm, only 10 lm reaches the bottom. Therefore, you need to take into account the depth of the aquarium, calculate the lamp power so that about 80 lm remains at the bottom.