Properly selected lighting for the aquarium will ensure rapid growth of plants and good life of aquarium inhabitants. Currently, several different methods of aquarium lighting are used, including using energy-saving lamps, diodes and metal halide technologies.
High-quality lighting, you can make your own hands or buy ready-made kits for aquariums of various engine capacities.
Environmentally friendly LED lighting does not contain harmful chemicals like fluorescent lamps
Aquarium fish and farmed plants can not exist without solar or artificial light. Under high-quality lighting, aquatic flora is actively involved in the process of photosynthesis: it absorbs carbon dioxide, nitrates and nitrites, while simultaneously saturating water with life-giving oxygen.
Light is required by fish and other hydrobionts. It allows them to observe the daily mode of wakefulness and sleep. It is necessary not only to choose the right light power, but also its duration.
The last factor in particular will be important for plants, as it prevents the growth of undesirable algae.
Without proper lighting in the aquarium, only plastic artificial plants can be planted, the appearance of which is far from ideal. But if you want to create in the aquarium a real underwater garden with beautiful plants and bright tropical fish, then you cannot do without high-quality light.
Until recently, the choice of aquarists was significantly limited. They could only use standard incandescent bulbs, which were not very suitable for these purposes, as well as fluorescent lighting, which somewhat reduced the cost of electricity, making it possible to choose the best spectrum option for fish and plants.
Today, the range of lighting for the aquarium has expanded significantly.
Key facts that should be guided when choosing the backlight:
- Optimal solution – halogen light sources, which are both economical, have a wide range of lighting, contain a minimum of mercury and are easy to operate.
- Incandescent lamps small power can also be used to light the aquarium. This light has a yellow tint that allows you to highlight the beauty of bright tropical fish. However, the disadvantages of incandescent bulbs are still there. First of all, it is increased energy consumption, provoking the growth of algae, as well as significant heating, which leads to overheating of the entire aquarium.
- Fluorescent lamps they are distinguished by their cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and a large variety of spectra.
- LEDs – It is an economical modern technology that allows you to reduce energy consumption, providing intensive directional or diffuse lighting. Thanks to the use of various controllers, LED lamps can be fully automated: they will turn on and off according to a predetermined schedule.
The most popular today are fluorescent and LED lamps. At the same time they are economical, they allow to get color with any shade and spectrum, they perfectly illuminate both small aquariums and tanks of several tons.
The only drawback of LED lamps and the controllers necessary for their operation is the high cost of the components used. The latter somewhat limits their distribution in the domestic market.
Blue lamps 430 – 460 nm will give a realistic beauty to the aquarium. With the help of blue light, you can accelerate the growth of marine life
It is often difficult for beginning aquarists to calculate the required light power for a specific volume of the aquarium. In the past, when fluorescent lamps were the most popular, it was much easier to calculate the required lighting power.
The minimum level was 0.50 W per liter of volume. Accordingly, a 10-watt lamp was sufficient for a 20-liter aquarium.
For light-loving plants and with an increased height of the glass container, the power could be 0.7–1 W per liter.
But with the advent of LED lights calculation has become significantly more complicated. Here it is necessary to take into account not only the consumption of electricity by a single LED, but also its power in lumens and other characteristics.
Most experts recommend using 0.2 W LEDs for lighting aquariums per liter of aquarium capacity. Accordingly, the volume of 200 liters will require about 40 pieces of such small diodes.
- for bottom fish – 3000−6000 Lux;
- for the maintenance of flora and fauna – 6000−10000 Lux;
- for light-loving plants and aquascape – 10,000−15,000 Lux.
Experienced aquarists choose the power of lighting they need empirically. Here it is necessary to take into account not only the requirements of cultivated plants (some may feel good in the shade or in bright light), but also the presence of fertilizers in water, the length of daylight hours.
The higher the water column, the more powerful the lighting should be.
If the plants and walls of the aquarium are richly covered with brown bloom, this indicates excessive light power and a long light day. But if the plants look lifeless, weak and faded, then you should simultaneously start the supply of carbon dioxide, regularly apply fertilizer to the water and increase the intensity of lighting.
LED aquarium lighting is expensive, but ordinary LED lamps work up to 50,000 hours, and are cheaper if you consider the long-term perspective.
Despite the seeming complexity, it’s easy to make an aquarium lighting with LEDs. It is possible to use both fluorescent lamps, and the implementation of the cover with integrated LEDs.
In each case, the choice will depend on the volume of the aquarium, the required intensity and power of light, as well as the financial capabilities of the aquarist.
The easiest way to perform effective and inexpensive lighting based on fluorescent lamps. All that is required in this case is sealed cartridges (two for each lamp), an electric starter, or a control gear, high-quality power wires.
It is not recommended to take conventional, unprotected from water cartridges, since there is increased humidity under the lid, which leads to oxidation of the contacts and possible short circuit.
Circuit of such lighting is standard. From the outlet is the cable to the electric trigger device.
Wires from germopatron are connected to the device in the corresponding outputs. A simplified wiring diagram will be applied to the case of an electric trigger device, in accordance with which a fluorescent backlight should be assembled.
It is possible to increase the efficiency of such lighting by using diffusers arranged above the lamps and made of polished metal or kitchen foil.
On sale you can find ready-made LED lamps and ribbons, which are the easiest option to create high-quality lighting in the aquarium. Thanks to the use of modern technologies, such lamps are distinguished by the highest possible economy: with their compact dimensions, they illuminate the aquarium well, emit a minimum of heat and are easily installed in the standard seating places of used lamps.
You can choose different versions of LED lights for the aquarium, which will differ in their power, spectrum, and a number of other characteristics. Such lamps are especially popular with beginning aquarists, who were able to use the latest advances in the production of lighting.
Every year, the popularity of led lighting for an aquarium is constantly increasing, which is explained by the functionality of such light, power, economy and the ability to easily choose the spectrum necessary for an aquarist. LEDs of various capacities and shades are on sale, as well as the simplest automatic controllers necessary for controlling electricity.
Making your own LED lamps for the aquarium will not be particularly difficult.
In specialized pet stores you can find ready-made fixtures or LED strips designed specifically for the aquarium. The largest manufacturers of such lighting are following companies:
The LED tape must be secured with silicone waterproof glue on the aquarium cover with a snake or crosswise, arranged in such a way as to ensure uniform density of the LEDs. The power supply unit and the starting device are connected to the LED tape.
In the event that there is no power supply and a starting device complete with a tape, then it can be purchased additionally or made from old computer power.
If you plan to use the controller, then it is connected between the power supply and the LED strip. The used controller allows you to smoothly increase and decrease lighting, simulating sunrise and sunset; It is possible to turn on various LEDs that allow changing the spectrum of lighting depending on the time of day.
Controllers for LED lights are most common in marine aquarium, where you need to maintain your daily routine.
By properly selecting the LED lighting used for the aquarium, you can create optimal living conditions for aquatic animals and grow a beautiful garden from plants. Fluorescent and metal halide lamps, as well as LED elements that can significantly reduce electricity consumption, optimally controlling the intensity, power and duration of lighting, are suitable for an aquarium.
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