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LED lighting aquarium with plants

maintenance, care, compatibility

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.

What are the requirements for the LEDs in the aquarium?

What types of aquarium LED lights are available?

The choice of LED aquarium lights on the market is not as large as, for example, fluorescent lamps. Most often in the stores there are low-power colored, usually blue, lamps that mimic the moonlight.

They are good in those aquariums where they live night fish – with the help of night lighting, you can observe them.

LEDs are widely represented to illuminate nano aquariums, the most popular are the small Aquael Leddy hinged luminaires with a power of 3 and 6 W. There are similar lamps from Dennerle and Aqualighter, but they are on sale much less often, and Dennerle is also several times more expensive.

And only in the most advanced aquarium online stores you can find LED lights for large aquariums. These are Aquael Leddy long (39 and 54 cm each), Aqualighter 1, 2 and 3 rulers and adjustable-length Fluval LED luminaires.

They are designed to be fixed in the lid or on the walls of the aquarium, protected from the ingress of water, very convenient to install and operate.

As for the power of their lighting, then, according to aquarists, it is abundantly enough for good lighting of fish and scenery, but only professional, very expensive Aqualighter 3 and Fluval LED models are suitable for Amman or Dutch aquariums with a large number of capricious plants from the above models.

For the sake of fairness, we will mention another group of LED lamps, which are almost not found on sale in Russia. This is a high-tech, powerful and incredibly expensive complexes for lighting marine reef aquariums firms Hagen, Eheim, Giesemann.

Since industrial-made LED aquarium lights are not yet very affordable, and the choice of ordinary LEDs at any electrical store is huge, many aquarists are trying to make lighting for their aquarium on their own.

For this, depending on the required light power, LED lamps, a searchlight or a tape are used. There are no established rules, everyone is experimenting for his own pleasure, as well as to the best of his skills and financial capabilities.

For example, we chose the easiest and cheapest way and supplemented the fluorescent lighting of our aquarium with LED strips. Since we only needed to increase the illumination slightly (the plants in this aquarium are unpretentious), we decided that such an upgrade would be enough.

The following materials and equipment were used:

  1. SMD 5050 LED strip: super power diodes, white color, color temperature about 6000 K, increased dust and moisture protection (silicone casing). Tape power 14.4 watts per meter.
  2. Start-charging device (its power must exceed the total power of the tape installed in the aquarium). In our case, a device with a capacity of 60 watts was used on a 3.5 meter tape with a total power of 50.4 W.
  3. Aquarium silicone sealant.

A cover with tapes stuck on the power supply.

The length of the tape was measured according to the size of the cap so as to cut along the lines indicated on the tape. Cut in other places can not be!

Cut the tape into the desired number of parts.

The ends of adjacent tapes were soldered with short pieces of wire with respect to polarity (plus to plus) and soldered to the power supply. We made the wire to the block long enough for the latter to be located on the pedestal, outside the aquarium.

Then they glued the tape to the lid with silicone, pressed it with a load until it was completely dry (it can last up to a day, depending on the glue). The ends of the tape are sealed with silicone sealant.

And everything, after drying the cover is ready for installation.

Sealed wire and tape connection.

The result of adding LEDs to fluorescent lamps immediately became noticeable visually – the aquarium brightened, in addition, the condition of the plants improved: they began to more actively photosynthesize (this can be seen from the oxygen bubbles on the leaves), grow faster and produce new shoots.

No undesirable side effects, such as overheating, are noted. The starter heats up to about 40 ° C, but since it is outside the aquarium, this does not affect the water temperature.

In short, we were satisfied and are going to continue to experiment in other aquariums.

Obviously, LED lighting is the future of aquarism. But now there are enough opportunities to evaluate its merits.

Take advantage of them and see for yourself.

Trying to provide comfortable conditions for the inhabitants of domestic aquariums, we, willy-nilly, strive to reproduce in it the conditions that are characteristic of the natural habitat as accurately as possible. One of the most difficult tasks in this regard is to provide a normal light mode.
It would seem, what is simpler: he took the light bulb, hung it near the aquarium and – let there be light! But no. You see, a week later, either the water began to bloom, or the walls were covered with algae, or the plants that looked handsome from their former owner, suddenly took on a very deplorable appearance.

So something is wrong. You need to buy specialized lamps for the aquarium, giving increased radiation in the blue and red parts of the spectrum.

As an example, we give Osram-fluora and Sylvania Gro-Lux. Sometimes, in order to get well developed plants and beautiful looking fish, it is necessary to combine different types of lamps. That would not mess with the inclusion of lighting in the aquarium manually.

You can instruct this automation. The photo sensor in the room will monitor the general level of illumination and in summer, when there is enough light, turn off the backlight.

A daily timer completely de-energize the lamp for the aquarium at night.


LED lighting type more and more enters aquarism, which is greatly contributed by changing the LED market.

Light Emitting Diodes (LED))

Light Emitting Diodes (LED)) become brighter, consume less electricity and have an increasing radiation spectrum …

LED lighting for aquarium appeared about 10 years ago, abroad. We, in Russia, still prefer traditional lamp lighting.

A couple of years ago, several companies producing aquarium equipment, decided to produce and equipment based on LEDs. The idea was to replace the traditional aquarium metal halide lamps on the market with more economical and durable LED arrays.

Red radiation in combination with Orange (Orange) is 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 purple and blue (Blue) LEDs are needed to suspend the growth of stems, leaf stalks, plant plates. That is, this light makes your plants more compact, this in turn allows you to improve absorption.

Such rays stimulate the formation of proteins and organic synthesis in aquarium plants. The blue and violet part of the spectrum is almost completely absorbed by chlorophyll, which in turn creates excellent conditions for maximum photosynthesis intensity.

Green (Green) LED You may need to, if you need to give your aquarium plants a pronounced green color. Since its radiation actually passes through the leaf blades without being absorbed by it.

The latter under their action become very thin, and the axial organs of plants stretch. The level of photosynthesis in this case is very low.

Yellow LED creates a glow as close as possible to natural lighting. Yellow radiation, unlike warm white, does not reflect from the surface of the water and its light penetrates deep into the aquarium, allowing you to create an effective lighting as close to natural light as possible The intensity and type of lamps affects the health, color, photosynthesis and reproduction of aquarium inhabitants. Pick up the light with all the preferences of the fish and their natural habitat.

Many tropical species are not familiar with bright light even on hot sunny days, so an excess of light can cause them stress and deterioration in their well-being. 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 out rays within 12 hours.

Coral reefs in wildlife have settled in shallow bodies of water, so they also need to ensure good and bright lighting. UV radiation is very important for corals, the rays pass into the depths of the water, where corals and invertebrates are already waiting for their arrival, since ultraviolet light activates the process of photosynthesis.


If you have only fish in the aquarium, for example, African cichlids, and there are no live plants, then everything is simple. You only need light to make you comfortable. Of course, you should not go too far and put a 1000W arc lamp from a nearby parking lot because the lamp went cheap.

Fish too bright lighting no good – it will only cause stress to them and, as a result, illness and other problems – remember the detective stories where the main character is kept alone with a bright lamp on the ceiling around the clock. Usually you will be enough of the lamp, which is included in the kit aquarium.

You can put the lamp with any spectrum. In order to have a more natural color reproduction of fish coloring (and who knows which color is natural?), Put a lamp with a wide spectrum (full-spectrum) or three-phosphate (trichromatic, triphosphate) – not necessarily Triton.

Very good lamp GE Chroma-50, which is very inexpensive. Lamps with a lot of blue light in the spectrum reveal the color of fish due to the “glowing” of fish scales (although is it natural?) – for example, in an aquarium with African cichlids – pseudotrophia, aulonocardia, 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.

For a plant aquarium – It is more difficult. As always, planning first. Consider the lighting system in advance, so that you don’t have to think about how to place extra lamps or paint over with extra black paint.

The planning of the system includes not only a trip to the nearby shops. Think about what plants you will grow – Javanese fern and Anubias do not require a lot of light, and cabomba will require bright light.

You may want to use carbon dioxide and fertilizer to improve plant growth. In this case, you need a lot more light. Conversely, a bright light, in the absence of fertilizers and carbon dioxide will only lead to the development of algae.

It does not make sense to spend all the money on a super-duper lamp and not to think about fertilizers, it does not make sense to install a cylinder with carbon dioxide and put an old lamp. If you do not have the opportunity to purchase good lamps, then it will be much more difficult for you to grow plants, although it is quite possible – after all, aquarists grew them 50 years ago, when only incandescent lamps were in use.

If you are going to seriously deal with plants, then it makes sense to think about the use of modern lamps – high power (HO, VHO, SHO), metal halide (H /

Metal halide lamps, such as DRI, are practically not made small power (due to problems with arc discharge at low current and low luminous efficiency). It makes sense to put them if you need a power of 300-1000W.

For them, it is necessary to think over the cooling system of the fan, since all the heat emitted by them is concentrated in one place.

If you install expensive lamps – then think about the electronic ballast for them, which is much preferable to conventional ballast.

Use a reflector – a well-designed reflector to increase the efficiency of using lamps. The reflector is effective with compact lamps – if you have 8 T12 lamps in close proximity, then the reflector will not change anything.

Consider in advance the electrical connection scheme, especially if you collect everything yourself. It is impossible to joke with electricity, especially in a humid environment. Be sure to use grounding and fuses that cut off power in the event of a leakage current to an earth wire. Plan how you will do the cover, ventilation, what kind of wires you will use – from the ballast to the lamp there can be a considerable current, many ballasts can not be placed at a considerable distance from the lamp.

The ballast, especially the choke, is very hot, so place it so that it does not heat the lamps, the light output of which decreases with increasing temperature.


Consider the size of the lamps, especially if you buy an aquarium with a finished 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 regularly replace the lamps, as their light output decreases with time. Therefore, it makes sense to use PC lamps, for example, having a longer service life.

Lamp spectrum selection

Regarding the choice of the spectrum all the time there is a dispute among aquarists. Especially it is fueled by advertisements about the need to use the very best spectrum of a company.

As stated above, there is no spectrum that “helps” plants and “interferes” with algae. If you have a sufficiently “good” 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, the spectrum will not help you.

This is evidenced by the successful cultivation of plants in the light of ordinary lamps – LB (Coolwhite) or a combination of LB / LD (coolwhite / daylight) with electric lamps.


DIY Aquarium Lighting, LED Lights in Aquarium

DIY Aquarium Lighting, LED Lights in Aquarium
One of the key moments of maintaining a healthy, beautiful aquarium with lush aquarium plants is LIGHTING. Highlights of the selection of aquarium lighting have already been covered on FanFishka.ru, in this ARTICLE.

Here, I would like to share with the reader my experience of creating a high-grade, high-quality lighting for an aquarium with live aquarium plants.
So, we will discuss the creation of mixed lighting: the installation of LED spotlights (hereinafter referred to as “SD projector”) in a plastic aquarium cover and a T5 fluorescent lamp (hereinafter “LL T5”). Also in this article we will consider the installation of coolers in the aquarium to cool the water in the summer.
– What is mixed lighting, why is it needed, what are the advantages?
– Why precisely LED spotlight? –
– Why precisely in the cover?
– Why do I need a T5 lamp?
– Choosing a cd spotlight?
– What do you need to create lighting with your own hands?
– The process of assembling aquarium lighting in the home.
– How much is it?
– Is it worth bothering? What is the effect?

What is mixed lighting, why is it needed, what are the advantages?

MIXED LIGHTING – It is a combination of different sources of lighting. A good example of such lighting is the ADA Solar I luminaire, where Takashi Amano combines a metal halide floodlight MH-HQI 150W with two LL T5 lamps of 36 watts each.
In general, if we talk about high-quality aquarium lighting, then in my opinion a metal halide spotlight (hereinafter – MG) in combination with LL is the best option. Such lighting “breaks through” even the deepest aquariums, the characteristics of such lighting are as close as possible to natural, natural lighting. Well, and a visual row, you just will please – sparkling glare of waves at the bottom of the aquarium, the shadows of plants and fish, natural, rich colors.

Why do you need such mixed lighting? It’s very simple to recreate the “effect of the sun” in your tank: the effect of sunrise, zenith and sunset.
Agree, the Sun does not fry 24 hours a day, the maximum intensity of sunlight is observed only during the day – at lunchtime. The rest of the time, the Sun either rises or sets, the intensity of illumination gradually increases and then decreases.
Approximately the same effect can be achieved with a mixed luminaire (lighting), when LL T5 (sunrise) is switched on first, then a searchlight (zenith) is added for 3-4 hours, and then (LL T5) again work (sunset) again.
The advantages of such lighting are clear:
1. Aquarium plants get the most natural light. Set a certain rhythm.
2. Prevention of algal outbreak. Powerful, long-lasting, and even more so illumination leads to the “greening” of the aquarium.

It is only necessary to create a peak of activity of lighting, and not to “fry” an aquarium for 12 hours a day.
3. At the same time, the presence of powerful, directional and high-quality lighting in sufficient quantities is the key to success!
Why LED led spotlight? Why precisely in the cover?

The only significant drawback of the metal halide lamp is that it heats up very much. Alas, such lighting can be used only in open aquariums (without a cover), at a distance of at least 30 cm from the surface of the water, while using hangers or stoics for the lamp.
When I decided the question of what kind of lighting would be in my aquarium, I proceeded from the assumption that the aquarium would be closed (with a lid). Firstly, the spouse wanted so much))), secondly, I agreed with her that the aquarium with the lid looks at home, as it is more comfortable, plus at home cats who watch “Aqua-TV” every evening, and all the same, the house is not an exhibition center and not an ADA laboratory … metal halide spotlights in a house are a bust!

But, here everyone decides for himself … my opinion is not a dogma.
So, an analogue of the metal-halogen spotlight is the LED. Immediately I will note the word “analog” in quotes … yet there is a significant difference.

First, LED lighting, in contrast to the MG discrete. Discreteness (from the Latin. discretus – divided, intermittent) – a property opposed to continuity, discontinuity.

To explain on the fingers, below the photo example, what a continuous and discrete spectrum looks like.

Thus, we see that the spectrum of LEDs, to put it mildly, is not the best. And the thing is, not even in the peaks of red and blue, namely, that aquarium plants in fact, in the process of photosynthesis, absorb the entire visible spectrum, and it is deficient in diabetes.
What is the similarity between MG and SD, you ask? Why initially do such “poor-quality” lighting?

The answers to these questions will reveal the benefits of CD spotlights.
1. Like the metal halide spotlight, the LED has directional lighting. That is, the efficiency of LEDs is much higher than, for example, in fluorescent lamps, the effective use of which is possible only with reflectors.

Speaking in everyday language, the SD and MG projecters “beat” one way, and not “sprayed” at all. It is this property that makes it possible to “pierce” MG and SD spotlights the deepest aquariums and the water column of 60 centimeters or more.
2. Unlike MG, the LED spotlight does not emit excessive heat. Verified

From the front side, the LED searchlight does not heat up at all, and the back part heats up, but is tolerable (tolerable for a hand and a plastic cover). Some aquarists are advised to put a cooler on the CD for heat, but so far even now, when it’s 36 on the street, I see no need for that.

Again, this is not a constant, everyone has their own specifics.
3. LED lighting is by far the most economical lighting. You will save 3, 10 times on electricity.
4. A significant drawback, for example, of fluorescent lamps, is their flickering with a frequency that is noticeable even to the eye. In this connection, with a long-term effect of LL on a person, his eyes very quickly get tired.

LED lamps are powered by direct current, so they have no flickering.
5. Other positive aspects of diabetes: safety (work at low voltage, which is important for the aquarium business) and long life (up to 100,000 hours).
Why do I need a T5 lamp? From the fact that T5 fluorescent lamps are better than T8, I think they already know a lot, so I will not focus on this particular attention here.
I used LL T5 in my case, firstly, to create mixed lighting, and secondly, to make up for the discreteness of the LED spectrum.
Namely, the so-called “Full Spectrum” lamp was used.

Fluorescent lamp for the aquarium, designed to provide intensive lighting. The JBL Solar Ultra Color T5 lamp has increased power compared to standard T8 lamps and has a full range of colors.
When using a JBL Solar Ultra Color lamp in an aquarium, you will gain increased red and blue color transmission of aquarium fish and other inhabitants of the aquarium.
Having a higher proportion of red and blue in the spectrum, the JBL Solar Ultra Color aquarium lamp stimulates the synthesis of chlorophylls, which in turn speeds up the process of photosynthesis.
Naturally, this lamp was installed with a reflector / reflector. I note that I wanted to initially install 2 such lamps, for uniform lighting and good power, but alas, the dimensions of the cover did not allow to do this.
The choice of LED spotlight
To the selection and acquisition of LED spotlight must be treated with special scruples. This is a very important and expensive moment, without paying enough attention to that, you can simply throw your money away.
Since I am a pioneer on FanFishka, I had to subtract a lot of information, review a lot of characteristics of various projectors and LED panels, collect scant information on forums and talk with a few experts on the LED case.
And so, what conclusion was made! Per 100-110 l. Aquarium, net volume need:
1. Two LED spotlights. Since they have a directional light and one, albeit a more powerful searchlight does not cover the entire area of ​​the bottom and the reservoir as a whole.
If the cover allows, you can put three spotlights (of lesser power), which will give you more confidence that the spotlights will not burn quickly. Alas, the repair of SD-spotlights are not subject. Less powerful spotlights heat less, respectively, the risks are reduced.

At the same time, the smaller the watt of diabetes, the less its “penetrating” ability and its other characteristics, too. In general, all you need to calculate and estimate.
2. Everyone knows that LED lighting is much more powerful than the nominal. That is, the power of LEDs in watts to measure at least not correctly.
So I asked the question, but how many watts then is needed in my aquarium. To believe the sellers in the market who say: “Multiply by three years and there will be those real wats” is stupid!

In general, I had to rummage in this matter and find clearer information.
And the truth is quite simple, lighting, in addition to watts, has a lot of characteristics, including the so-called Lumens – is the amount of light emitted / emitted by the light source. A light source with a luminous flux of 1 lumen, which uniformly illuminates any surface of 1 square meter, creates on it (surfaces) an illumination of 1 lux.
Experienced, aquarists have found that for a good herbalist, for the Dutch and Amanovo aquarium, you need 40-50 lumens per liter of pure water.
The task was solved and the choice of searchlights became extremely specific – you need two searchlights so that in the sum of their Lumens they give 50 Lm / l.
3. And the last two important points when choosing a CD projector are all the same: spectrum and Kelvin.
As it turned out, the searchlights were full of variety: there was a warm glow, a cold glow, I even came across RGB searchlights (and for a long time I understood what that kind of thing was))). But, we only need one searchlight – with a spectrum as close as possible to daylight.

This type of LED has the best characteristics.
Kelvin (K) – This is the color temperature of any light source. This is the measure of our impression of the color of this light source. For maintenance of aquarium plants, it is recommended from 6500 to 8000 K.

What do you need to create lighting in the aquarium with your own hands and how much will it cost?

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).

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