maintenance, care, compatibility
Aquarium lighting and choice of lamps, which is better to choose?
Proper lighting in an aquarium is one of the global issues of aquarism. It is difficult to understand the beginners of the aquarium craft, and experienced aquarists constantly discuss and argue about the power, spectrum and light sources.
In this article I would like to sort everything out, concentrate all the information about aquarium lighting, and the main thing is to try to present it in an accessible way. So that everyone understood it, both beginners and pros.
Duration of aqua illumination and options to facilitate control
Each person engaged in breeding fish, understands the importance of lighting for the aquarium. Modern technology contributes to the emergence of a variety of lighting options, and LED lighting, also known as LED, is one of the best.
The wide range allows you to count on the beauty of perception
How much LED light per liter is required?
What are the advantages of LED lights for the aquarium?
Before the organization of the lighting system, it is desirable to take into account all the existing advantages of the option.
- Efficiency. Modern LED strips are much cheaper compared to other types of lamps. At the same time, you can save on electricity consumption.
- The efficiency can also be noted decent performance, despite the fact that fluorescent lighting devices are slightly superior in performance.
- Guaranteed high level of durability of any tape. You can be sure that the equipment will be resistant to mechanical factors and vibrations.
This factor is due to the absence of thin spirals. It should be noted that the operational period can be up to five years, and frequent replacement of components is not required, with the result that it is possible to count on the maximum financial benefit.
- LED lighting technologies have a decent light spectrum, which is truly favorable for many aquarium inhabitants.
- High security is guaranteed when using LED lamps. This becomes possible even with a minimum voltage. A high level of safety is guaranteed with respect to fire, as humidity and short circuits become almost impossible due to special technologies.
- LED ribbons, even when operated for 8–10 hours, cannot produce excessive heat, as a result of which an optimum temperature can be maintained in an aquarium.
- LED bulbs are created without the use of toxic components, infrared and ultraviolet radiation. Thanks to this approach, an optimal level of environmental friendliness is guaranteed, which turns out to be useful for plants and fish.
The only drawback is the high cost of the LED equipment and the need to ensure that the rated operating voltage is applied. In most cases, an additional power supply is required.
In the aquarium, you can organize a full lighting, ensuring no need to use generators and sophisticated equipment. This option is also suitable for plants and fish.
A capacity of 120 V is recommended for 200–300 liters if you grow a large number of plants. It is assumed to use 40 point LED lamps with 270 lumens of three watts each.
The overall figure will be 10,800 lumens, with optimal brightness guaranteed. It is necessary to note the need to monitor the balance of the ecosystem, as in some cases it is recommended to reduce the overall intensity.
The cost of such equipment for the aquarium can be significantly different, but in any case, high-quality products can be found. What is required for self-assembly activities?
- A set of LED lamps.
- Two to two and a half meters of plastic gutter width of 100 millimeters.
- Power supply at twelve volts.
- Soft wire 1.5 millimeters.
- Six computer coolers at 12 volts.
- Forty sockets for LED light bulbs.
- Milling cutter for machining holes of 48 millimeters.
It should be noted that you will need to cut two pieces of tape gutter along the length of the aquarium, and it is recommended to make holes in the bottom (optimally – 20 pieces per meter with a staggered arrangement). LED bulbs need to be inserted into the holes and securely fastened, then connect to the power supply unit at 12 volts in compliance with the wiring diagram.
For an aquarium, LED tapes can be successfully used, because they guarantee the successful growth of plants and the development of fish. An independent event is more than possible.
How to determine the acceptable intensity of illumination in the aquarium? You can meet with the information that the optimal calculation is 0.5 W per liter of water in the aquarium.
However, this calculation can not be called the only true. The depth of the water, the individual characteristics of the habitat familiar to the fish and the plant, all have an impact on the final calculation of how much power is needed to determine the intensity of the backlight.
After all, it is obvious that aquarium inhabitants, accustomed to life at depth, need much less light than residents of shallow water. It is also quite clear that at a depth of about 20 cm, the intensity of light is greater than at a 60 centimeter depth.
Therefore, the final calculation of the intensity of the light flux in the aquarium can be selected exclusively by a kind of experiment. It is recommended to take as a basis a typical calculation of 0.5 V / l, after which to increase or decrease the intensity.
As a result, you can choose how much is the optimal calculation for your particular case. If the lighting is excessive, the water in the aquarium will begin to bloom, the filament will develop, the walls will be overgrown with algae.
With a lack of light, fish will find it difficult to breathe, small-leaved plants will start to die, and the aquarium will be covered with brown spots. In this case, you may need additional lighting.
- LED aquarium lighting is initially expensive, but standard LED lamps currently work up to 50,000 hours, and are cheaper if you count on their long-term perspective.
- LED lighting also emits less heat, so it does not always require fans and cooling systems (depending on the number of lamps installed).
- Determine what type of LED light will best suit your needs for lighting a fish tank. If you have a salt water aquarium, more powerful LED lights will be required. Large and deep tanks also require strong lighting.
Look at the LED backlit aquarium.
How to install LED aquarium lighting by yourself
The first method, how to make LED lighting aquarium do it yourself is the simplest. Here you can use the cover with a special backlight.
It is recommended to attach white LED stripes around the perimeter of the lid, which will provide a variety of spectrum and ensure uniform illumination of the upper perimeter of the tank.
The second method is to make a small “chandelier”. Above the tank it is necessary to make a block of square, round or diamond shape, in which you can put all the equipment and LED strip. Lighting capacity of 120 watts is enough for a spacious tank with a capacity of 250-300 liters, where many fish and plants live.
Such a “chandelier” may contain about 40 LED lamps with a luminous flux of 270 lm (lumen), 3 watts each. The brightness of the illumination will be more than 10,000 lm, which will provide a bright light spectrum in an aquarium of such a volume.
The main thing is to constantly monitor the balance of the ecosystem: an excess of green light contributes to the reproduction of microbes.
How much does it cost to assemble such a lamp? The cost may be different, depending on the seller.
It is advisable to buy LED lamps from trusted manufacturers, so that they last for a long time and do not create installation difficulties. Reliable imported LED lamps: Osram, Cree, Philips, Lumileds.
Russian manufacturers of LED dump: “Feron”, “Camelion”, “Jazzway”, “Gauss”, “Navigator”, “Era”.
To mount the lighting with such bulbs yourself, you need:
- Buy a lot of LED bulbs, LED strip;
- Plastic trench 10 cm wide and 2 meters long;
- Power supply 12 V, can be carried out from a stationary computer;
- Take the soft wire 1.5 mm;
- Get air conditioning at 6-12 V;
- No LED connectors are needed for the LED strip; 40 lamps are required for the lamps;
- Cutter for holes 48 mm.
See how to make LED lighting for the aquarium with your own hands.
After all materials have been prepared, two grooves should be cut along the plastic construction, and about 20 pieces should be drilled in the lower part. at 1 meter, you can staggered. Then in the holes you need to put the LEDs, and fix them.
All lamps must be connected to the power supply. If you do not know how to properly handle the wiring, contact an electrician who can perform the procedure correctly.
The cooler or fan should be placed in the place of evaporation or heating of the lighting coating. For decorative purposes, you can make a night light, which will become an imitation of moonlight.
It is needed for tropical sea fish and sea anemones. For night light, you can use a blue LED ribbon, which can be installed on the back wall.
An electric lighting timer or automatic switching on / off of the backlight must also be connected in order to regulate the amount of daylight required.
The lighting of the aquarium should come from its upper part – this is how soft and diffused light is formed. It is better to use an ICE lamp with a power of 1 W, however, for different aquariums the appropriate power is chosen. A LED strip of 30-40 light bulbs with a total power of 3 watts may be enough for a 200-liter tank.
The main thing that the light was not too bright, and not harm the slaves and plants. The optimal calculation is 0.5 watts per 1 liter of water, but for a deep and spacious aquarium in the formula, all indicators must be multiplied by two.
It is also important to take into account the thickness of the bottom – visually the water and all bottom plants should receive enough light in the lower layers of the tank. Bottom fishes and snails require a little light, but the plants will still grow and require more light.
In the process of photosynthesis, plants will require a lot of light, because of its deficiency will emit less oxygen. To avoid problems, you need to adjust the amount of daylight, and create a uniform lighting in the pond, which will receive every inhabitant.
Experienced owners know that extra light is needed for beautiful fish coloring and healthy plant growth. It helps to recreate habitual conditions for inhabitants.
In addition, proper lighting will help maintain the internal balance of the aquatic environment. And this affects the development and reproduction of the inhabitants of the aquarium.
In a specialized pet store, you can purchase a cover of the desired size along with the aquarium. It already has a built-in lighting system.
However, it is not suitable for every aquarium.
The most budget lighting option. Most often used in small pools and ponds for fish.
The advantage of such lamps is the required color spectrum – up to 3000 K. It is the most favorable for the process of photosynthesis and algae growth.
There is also a big minus – this is a very low efficiency (only 5%). A lot of energy goes into heat.
Therefore, incandescent lamps are most often used for aquariums with cold-blooded inhabitants (frogs, turtles, newts and others).
How to install lighting for the aquarium yourself?
First of all, you need a frame or a finished cover. The frame itself is best made of wood or OSB-plates.
You can take plastic and plexiglass, but it is undesirable, because these materials are easily deformed when heated (depending on the type of lamp being installed, heat transfer can be quite large). The cover can be made by hand.
Inside the lid is pasted with a light-reflecting foil – so all the light will be directed at the aquarium itself. For fluorescent and halogen lamps, special mounts are used, with the help of which they are fastened tightly to the inner surface of the cover.
You will only have to connect the wires and isolate the open areas with special tape.
More information on AquariumGuide.ru:
Details of the use of LED lamps for the aquarium here.
What is a UV sterilizer for underwater inhabitants?
LED strip is much easier to install. They connect to a 12V power supply.
Then the protective cover on the back side is torn off, and the LEDs are glued to the cover.
We should not forget that a lot of moisture evaporates from the aquarium. It settles on the lid and can lead to burnout of the LEDs.
Therefore, you need to choose a waterproof tape.
After installation is completed, it is necessary to glue the junction of the wires of the LEDs and the stabilizer with silicone sealant.
Backlight in the aquarium is very important for the healthy growth of fish and plants. She is involved in regulating the balance of the aquatic environment. It is easiest to buy a ready-made cover with lighting, but it will be more expensive and not a fact that it will fit every aquarium.
Indeed, depending on the size of the aquarium, the types of its inhabitants (fish, toads, tritons or turtles) and plants need different intensity and color spectrum of the backlight.
In the home pond – aquarium, the light is needed. First of all, to ensure the normal development of fish and plants, as well as to be able to admire the beauty of the underwater landscape and its inhabitants.
Long-term coverage of the aquarium, as well as its complete absence, adversely affects the health of fish and algae. The light should be switched on for 10-12 hours per day in order to maximally bring the existence of its inhabitants to the natural environment.
Among the artificial light can be distinguished fluorescent lamps and the most modern LEDs.
The originality of LED lighting is that it can create a diffused dim light. Diodes allow you to make underwater lighting for an aquarium of completely different shades – red, green, violet, blue.
The main advantage of LEDs – low power consumption, they do not heat the water, and serve much longer. Reducing the voltage on the lamp can reduce the intensity of illumination of the aquarium.
In one luminaire, a variety of diodes is controlled by a controller, with which you can set different modes of illumination during the day – dawn, noon, sunset, night lighting of the aquarium. Blue light is often used as moonlight.
It is believed that the fish in the blue light do not see anything, with him no rapid growth of plants is observed. Night lighting can greatly decorate the aquarium at night and will not cause any harm to fish and plants.
When choosing a light for an aquarium, one should take into account the spectrum of the emitted light, which is necessary for its inhabitants. For example, red is ideal for the growth of freshwater plants, and blue for coral polyps.
The best solution would be to combine different diodes to create a full spectrum of illumination.
Luminous flux must pass through the water column and illuminate the plants completely. For this purpose, spotlights are used.
In practice, it is considered the norm to use a power of 0.5 W per liter of water. LED lighting will allow to decorate the aquarium, along with the obvious benefits for its inhabitants.
Proper lighting of the aquarium is a necessary and important factor in creating a beautiful and healthy ecosystem, will ensure the normal growth of plants and will give a bright color to all the inhabitants of the home pond. Aquarium with LED lighting will be an impressive interior decoration.
There is an opinion that the optimum lighting is for an aquarium at the rate of 0.5 W of lamp power per 1 liter of water. However, these indicators are not dogma.
It is necessary to take into account the depth of the water and the characteristics of the natural habitat of fish and plants. It is clear that residents of the depths need much less light than the inhabitants of shallow water, and the loss of intensity of the light flux at a depth of 20 cm. Is much less than at a depth of 60 cm.
Most accurately the lights for the aquarium can be set by experiment. With excessive light in the aquarium, you will start blooming water, the development of nitrica, the overgrowing of the walls with algae. Insufficient illumination for the aquarium will lead to difficult breathing of fish, the death of small-leaved plants, brown spots on the walls.
Therefore, in lighting aquarium repel the notorious 0.5 W / L. and experiment.
Proper lighting of the aquarium. The choice of lamps. Pros and cons
- Lighting for an aquarium with incandescent bulbs is, in fact, yesterday. They shine a little and heat a lot, breaking the heat balance.
- Illumination with fluorescent lamps solves the problem of light intensity, but does not fully provide the necessary range of lighting.
- The lighting for the aquarium with the help of modern fitolamps provides both the intensity and the spectrum of illumination, but the light in the aquarium can be affordable for not everyone.
- LED lighting aquarium – the newest method of supplying light that is closest to the natural light of the sun. Lighting the aquarium with LEDs allows you to maintain a stable temperature regime of water. The resource of LEDs exceeds the service life of other lamps. Underwater LED ribbons provide an opportunity to adjust the brightness and color range of lighting, create fascinating pictures of “marine” life.
LED lights for aquarium do it yourself
Modern aquarium lighting from LEDs – economical, does not heat the water and makes it possible to create beautiful color effects. LED backlight from the finished tape for the aquarium is easy to assemble with your own hands, without having special knowledge of physics. It is waterproof, diodes exist in different colors that are easy to combine.
There are single ribbons with white color or color – RGB, which can be switched to different shades. Consider how to do your own hands beautiful LED lighting aquarium.
To make the lights of the aquarium out of the LED strip with your own hands, you will need to make a frame or use the finished cover of the aquarium. Additionally, you need to purchase: