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Lamps for aquarium how to choose

maintenance, care, compatibility

❶ How to choose a lamp in the aquarium :: how to make a lamp for the aquarium :: Animals :: Popular

Modern lighting devices can solve the problem of lighting aquarium of any type, regardless of the type of its inhabitants. In addition to performing a decorative function, lamps in an aquarium set the tone for the normal functioning of aquatic plants, animals and microorganisms, ensuring the processing of organic substances accumulated in water.

1. In most cases, fluorescent lamps are used to illuminate aquariums. Incandescent bulbs are currently rarely installed, since most of their energy is converted into heat.

Luminescent lamps are economical, they serve for a long time, they give a good stream of light. The disadvantage is only the need to use to connect them to the network electronic ballast or choke.

2. From the point of view of the aquarium holder, fluorescent lamps have two main indicators: chromaticity and power. The first reflects the color spectrum of the lamp, the latter is expressed in watts.

The power of lighting devices are 56, 40, 30, 25, 20 (18), 15 and 8 watts. Each of the power indices corresponds to a certain lamp length: 120, 105, 90, 75, 60, 45, 20 cm, respectively.

Therefore, going to buy a lighting system, measure the length of the aquarium.

3. Calculate the power appropriate for your tank. For a container with a height of water column of 45 cm or less, take a lamp with a power of 0.5 W per liter.

In this case, you get an average illumination, which is suitable for most plants. If the aquarium is above 50 cm, the power of the lamps must be doubled.

4. It should also be noted that not all of the light coming from the lamp comes into the aquarium – some of it goes up and to the side. To minimize the loss of light, give preference to lamps with a special reflector that saves up to 95% of the light.

5. Pay attention to the color of the lamp. Chlorophyll absorbs light unevenly: in the red-orange region of the spectrum (660 nm), in violet-blue (470 nm), and in the first two times more intense.

Therefore, plants need both red and blue (smaller) light. Light with other spectral characteristics may not like plants and stimulate their growth.

6. Nowadays there are various on the power of white and daylight lamps. The white light lamp (LB) in its spectrum coincides with the absorption region of chlorophyll, for which it is commonly used by aquarists.

The fluorescent lamp has a lot of blue-blue area, so it is not suitable for an aquarium.

7. It is worth noting several varieties of specialized lamps for aquariums. Lamps with the Aqua-Glo mark have a spectrum specially selected to maximize consistency with the absorption spectrum of chlorophyll.

Its light stains on fish yellow, orange, red, blue and blue colors.

8. Sun-Glo is similar in spectrum to a white light bulb, but it is more balanced. The Power-Glo light source in its spectrum contains a portion of blue light.

This powerful lighting system can be used in plant-free aquariums or saltwater aquariums. In the presence of plants, this lamp must be combined with Aqua- or Flora-Glo, specially designed for aquariums with plants.

How to choose lamp for home aquarium, sooner or later every aquarist thinks. After all, it is adequate lighting that guarantees normal livelihoods and productivity for all residents of both freshwater and marine home aquarium.

1. First select the one that best suits your needs. aquarium type of lamp.

2. The incandescent lamp is a flask, inside of which a metal spiral with a current flowing through it glows. Such a lamp for home aquarium gives off too much heat and gives too scattered light. In addition, its service life is rather small.

The only thing that still attracts some aquarists in this lamp is its low cost.

3. A good tool for home lighting. aquarium is a halogen lamp. Its appearance is very reminiscent lamp incandescent. But its action is very different from her.

Halogen lamps for aquariums emit very intense light and do not give excessive heat. They are ideal for the rapid growth of aquarium algae.

The main disadvantage of halogen lamps is their fragility.

4. The most popular sources of light for home aquariums are fluorescent lamps, giving a soft diffused light. Objects illuminated by such devices do not cast harsh shadows. Such lamps can illuminate a large enough surface.

In addition, fluorescent lamps are very easy to install and have a sufficiently high durability. The principle of their operation is based on the fact that instead of a metal spiral, an inert gas is injected into the flask.

Minus fluorescent lamps – reducing their brightness as exploited.

5. More recently, discharge lamps have been used in aquarism. They are quite economical, and their brightness exceeds the luminescent two times.

Discharge lamps emit a lot of heat. This is their main drawback.

6. When choosing a lamp for home aquarium pay attention to its power. It should correspond to the volume of the illuminated container (0.5 watts per 1 liter of water).

Remember that excess light can affect residents. aquarium negatively.

Which lamps are better suited for a plant aquarium?

All types of lighting devices have different intensity of illumination, which can affect the well-being of the inhabitants of the reservoir and their life cycle. For fish and plants that come from tropical forest waters, you do not need a lot of daylight.

But there are also such organisms that require strong daylight – these are endemics of shallow tropical rivers with clear water and sea inhabitants.

These days, different types of aquarium lamps are sold. But which is better to choose?

The most versatile and affordable are ordinary incandescent bulbs with a tungsten filament and a screw base. For aquariums with fish and plants, they are not particularly suitable because they can burn the leaves of plants and heat the water very much. For aquaterrarium with turtles, they are more suitable because they imitate sunlight.

For a long time they can not be included, otherwise living organisms will suffer.

Incandescent bulbs are good to use in fish pools. But their color spectrum reaches 2700 Kelvin (K), starting from the red mark of the spectrum and ending with yellow. Such light provokes the reproduction of cyanobacteria that form algae.

They consume a lot of electricity, emit a large amount of heat. For permanent use in the aquarium will not work.

Watch a video about aquarium lighting.

What are the most common lighting fixtures in home aquariums? Fluorescent diodes can produce light over a large surface area, do not emit much heat. However, they are non-compact and do not have intense power.

These types of lamps can be sold in different versions of the spectral range. Lamps of samples T8 and T12 are considered standard for room lamps, sample T5 can be used in special lighting devices.

The advantage of T5 lamps is their intense illumination of a small area of ​​space. To give light to the aquarium with depth, where there are reefs and plants, you should use a fluorescent type of lamp, which have high luminous efficiency.

They are designated as HO (High Output) and VHO (Very High Output).

When choosing lamps for an aquarium, remember that their main purpose is not beauty for the aquarist, but quality light for fish and plants. If earlier only simple incandescent devices were available to buyers, now various types of light bulbs with different spectra of light and power are offered for sale.

Buying lighting for a home aquarium according to their power and type, approach your choice with particular care, since excessively bright light can become an enemy for your fish and aquarium plants.

Halogen lamps

Buying energy-saving lamps for the aquarium, you can pay attention to the ultra-modern halogen lamps, which are often chosen by professional aquarists. This type of device is suitable only in cases where you need to create high-quality lighting for an open aquarium, and as an additional element you will need a light filter that can trap various ultraviolet waves.

Fluorescent lights

Modern aquarists most often acquire fluorescent lamps for the aquarium, inside of which there is an inert gas argon and mercury vapor. On such a product is usually applied a thin layer of phosphor, capable of converting ultraviolet lines to mercury in the visible light of humans and fish.

And to get the desired emission spectrum, you will have to change the composition of the phosphors. Such lamps are considered to be an ideal option for the top lighting of the aquarium, and for lighting, it is enough to install them in the lid on its longest side.

As a rule, at the time of switching on the fluorescent lamps do not heat up, and also do not radiate excessive heat, harming the inhabitants of the aquarium. However, the lighting fixture must remain waterproof so that due to splash ingress no damage occurs. Fluorescent lamps for the aquarium remain economical, able to give an excellent luminous flux, designed for a considerable period of operation.

But they are also not without flaws, and the main disadvantage of such lighting devices is the need to connect them with a special device – electronic ballast or choke.

Special lamps

In recent years, special lamps for aquariums are widely represented on the domestic market, which indicate the color temperature — data about the emitted spectrum. Models where this temperature does not exceed 5500-6500K are intended only for shallow aquariums filled with fresh water, since in this case the light spectrum simply does not pass through a thick layer of water and the bottom will remain completely unlit.

They can also be used to illuminate artificial “reefs” in an aquarium, directing this object, and to create a bluish-violet backlight, you need to use an additional lamp that uses actinic radiation.

Some people buy lamps for an aquarium with a color temperature of around 8000K, since this spectrum of light is ideal for many plants.

A device with high luminous efficiency is recommended to illuminate the bottom of the aquarium of considerable depth, and metal halide bulbs are suitable for this. Their power remains the highest, and the device itself is often installed in a pendant lamp.

The features of metal-halide devices consist in excellent color reproduction, as well as in the highest luminous efficacy, but they should be used only in lamps of a certain configuration and in tandem with various special ballasts.

What are the requirements for the LEDs in the aquarium?

If you plan to cover only the fish and the underwater landscape, there are no special requirements for lighting, as long as the owner likes it. It is more difficult if there are or are planted live plants in the aquarium.

Then, in contrast to fluorescent lamps, to calculate the required number of LEDs in an aquarium, they operate not with watts – indicators of power, but with lumens – with units of luminous flux.

Unpretentious aquarium plants for well-being requires an illumination of 20-40 lumens per liter, more demanding – 40-60 lumens.

The color temperature of lamps designed to illuminate aquarium plants ranges from 5500 Kelvin (usually 6000-8000 K). Above 6000 K, the light is more saturated with blue hues, below 4000 K – red.

As a rule, white LEDs are used in aquariums (in variations of daylight, warm white or cool white), sometimes with a slight addition of red and blue.

Green light is not used because it is not needed for plants.

The parameters of the power of the light flux and color temperature are indicated in the characteristics of LED lamps, based on them and the selection of the lamp for the aquarium.

Of course, the quality of LEDs is also important. Cheap Chinese are very short-lived and have little penetrating ability, that is, they will not be able to enlighten the water column.

The best are LEDs brands Osram and Cree.

What types of aquarium LED lights are available?

At the dawn of aquarism, the question of artificial light sources was not acute: aquariums were usually placed near windows. Then people began to use incandescent bulbs, but soon abandoned them because of the large heat transfer.

Fluorescent lamps appeared, which, as it turned out, are perfect for small artificial ponds. Economical, with low heat dissipation, of various shapes and capacities – these lamps instantly gained immense popularity in aquarism, for a long time becoming irreplaceable sources of light.

Currently, in addition to ordinary fluorescent devices, manufacturers of special aquarium equipment produce fixtures of other various types: organic mercury, metal halide, LED, and others. Sometimes it is difficult to figure out which particular lamp is suitable for a particular aquarium, and in this case several factors must be taken into account:

  • the volume of the “can” and its depth;
  • species of aquatic plants that are planted in a home pond.

If the aquarium is high enough (50–70 cm), then it makes sense to use the mercury-organic light source, the rays of which reach almost the very bottom. This is very important for the development of the plant landscape. Such lamps have a large light output, but there is also a drawback: a long period of ignition and exit to a stable mode.

Manufacturers produce these two types of lamps: with a capacity of 125 W and 80 W.

Metal halide lamps are used when you need to light an aquarium with a depth of 1 meter. They have a higher light output (up to 90 lm) and intensity, excellent color rendition, but they are also more expensive than the previous type of lamps, not to mention conventional fluorescent ones.

Separately, should consider the requirements for lamps, depending on the type of cultivated plants.

Recommendations for choosing lamps for aquarium vegetation

So, acquiring an aquarium, it is necessary not only to have knowledge about maintaining water temperature so that the fish would be comfortable but also to know and understand exactly how to feed and care for the bottom inhabitants. Also, it is not unimportant to have knowledge about the lighting in the aquarium.

In ready-made aquariums purchased at points of sale, namely, in markets and zoological stores, they are supplied in lamp kits of the aquarium spectrum corresponding to the normal life.

Remember that any lamp can not be screwed into the aquarium. Not all of the white light emitted by a lamp can have a beneficial effect on the life of plants and inhabitants.

Everyone knows that white color 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 written, it is necessary to make a choice what kind of light is needed for the aquarium.

For plants, as well as possible, suitable lamps emitting white light. Of the spectral component and the predominance of blue and red. This is necessary so that the plants do not die and become covered with unpleasant green mucus.

Therefore, when choosing a lamp, if the previous one has burned out, study the information provided to the manufacturers on the characteristics of the work of this production site.

You can also ask the professional breeders what kind of lamp company they prefer to use when maintaining and lighting their aquariums. If you are constructing a lighting with your own hands, choose fluorescent lamps in the light of which the colors of the red-blue spectrum predominate.

So, what kind of light is better for an aquarium, we understand on the basis of the proposed information.

But the conversation was mainly about fluorescent lamps, it is also necessary to pay attention to energy-saving lamps. They are gaining particularly strong popularity in recent times with a number of positive qualities and advantages over ordinary lamps.

Choosing an energy-saving lamp, pay attention also to the spectral indicators.

This type of characteristic is suitable in which the lamp should emit light in a red and yellowish gamut. In addition, 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. It is necessary when choosing to pay attention to the characteristics of the lamp and choose those that emit a soft, non-aggressive ultraviolet, which has a beneficial effect on all life.

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