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Light for aquarium

maintenance, care, compatibility

What light is needed for those aquariums in which aquatic plants do not live? In such tanks it is necessary to reduce the intensity of light.

To do this, you can take a lamp of lower power. For containers 30 cm long, the lamp power should not exceed 10 watts.

With such lighting, the movement of fish will be visible, and the inhabitants of the artificial home pond will feel comfortable. When choosing the intensity of illumination, you must consider the breed of fish

If albino fish live in an aquarium, then even a level of light would be dangerous for them.

For comfortable illumination in an aquarium with a green flora that does not cause stress in fish, a lamp with a length equal to the length of the aquarium is suitable. This is the best option for selecting lighting for shallow tanks.

For deep tanks, it is better to select a certain compromise that would create comfortable conditions for both flora and fauna. There are several solutions to this problem.

If there is not enough light in the tank for aquatic verdure, then fish species should be chosen from shallow reservoirs that are accustomed to bright light. In this case, the fish will not be dangerous bright light, and it will be useful for plants.

You can choose the types of underwater flora that do not need too bright light. Such varieties are well combined with the content of deep-sea fish.

They allow you to create conditions for life, close to natural.

You can pick up seedlings with leaves that can float on the surface of the aquarium and consume the right amount of light. The leaves will create a shade in which the fish will feel comfortable under intense light. In this case, the arrangement of the aquarium should begin with the cultivation of underwater plants.

As soon as comfortable conditions for fish are created in an artificial reservoir, it will be possible to launch them. Then, in bright light, fish will be able to hide in the grown leaves of algae floating on the surface of the reservoir. Usually the plants grow to the desired size in two months.

For better growth of plants, while there are no fish in the tank, you need to add fertilizer to the soil or water.

When arranging an aquarium, you can pick up high and low species of plants, evenly distributing them in the pond. For starters, choose unpretentious representatives of the aquatic flora: anubiasa, cryptocoryne, elodea, javanese moss, vallysneria, aponogetony, riccia, bacopa, limnofily. You can make such an arrangement only in large aquariums.

For small volume tanks this option is not suitable.

Watch the video about unpretentious aquarium plants.

When setting the illumination, you can adjust the direction to which the light will go. The lamp is best sent to the places of intensive plant growth. So you can equip the backlight in large containers.

Water areas free from aquatic flora should be decorated with snags or stained oak, which will create shaded “islands” that are close to the natural habitats of fish.

Metal halide luminaire with integrated blue lamps

Many sources point out that the best option is to use fluorescent lights. They shine well, quite economical.

They are connected via an electronic ballast, as well as a special device – a choke.

Nowadays, most lovers prefer special fluorescent lamps in combination with metal halides. At the same time they are placed on the front wall of the reservoir.

In addition, special fluorescent aquarium lamps of different power with warm or daylight white light are also used. Installation is carried out complete with special reflectors.

With properly tuned lighting, the fish will demonstrate the diversity of all their color, while corals will develop excellently.

Fluorescent lamps are economical, provide excellent lighting, last long enough. As a disadvantage, it can be noted that they must be connected using a special device – electronic ballast or choke.

Fluorescent lamps – the most popular type of lamps used in aquarium today.
These are low-pressure discharge lamps. Inside they are a mixture of inert gas and mercury vapor, which gives off ultraviolet light during electrical discharge.

This glow is transformed into visible radiation, due to the phosphor layer deposited on the inner side of the bulb. It is the various compositions of phosphors that give a different spectral range.

And, for example, a three-layer phosphor and an ultraviolet protection film on a fluorescent lamp do not transmit the ultraviolet spectrum at all (anything that has a wavelength of less than 400 nm).
Fluorescent lamps are durable enough, but they need to be replaced in the biotope with the same exact lamp (so that there are no abrupt changes in the spectrum and power of illumination) before their expiration date. It is recommended to replace such lamps at least once a year.

And the average life of this lamp in the aquarium is 6-7 months. But it is impossible to change all the lamps at once: abrupt changes in the power of lighting can adversely affect hydrophytes.

The power of fluorescent lamps varies from 8 to 56 watts. A certain power of the lamp usually corresponds to a certain power: on average, 20 to 120 cm.
The color of the lamp is indicated by two or three numbers: / 43 or / CW.

Why precisely L-lamps? The fact is that these gas-discharge devices have high luminous efficiency and low heat transfer.

Their principle of operation is that the electric field, acting by its discharge on the pumped gas into a sealed glass tube, creates a strong radiation in the ultraviolet spectrum.

A crystal phosphor-based phosphor converts UV radiation into visible light. Such a luminaire has a high light transmission index (Ra) and creates a diffused even light that is ideal for lighting large rooms as well as small ones.

The relative durability and the possibility of continuous work without shutdowns makes fluorescent lamps indispensable in aquarium.

True, they have a common drawback – the presence of a starting device or a choke, which makes some noise.

There are also specialized lamps, which are represented by Hagen.

  1. Sun-glo – the spectrum is similar to LB, but more balanced, it shines with white light, in most cases it can be replaced by cheaper LB or imported analogues;
  2. Aqua-glo – The spectrum is specially selected for maximum compatibility with the absorption spectrum of chlorophyll, shines pink-violet light, good colors red, yellow, orange, blue and blue colors on fish;
  3. Flora glo – designed for aquariums with plants, shines pink, also improves the color of fish, cheaper counterparts – LF and Osram / 77 Fluora;
  4. Power glo – has in its spectrum a significant part of blue light, very powerful, can be used in saltwater aquariums or aquariums without plants (for example, in cichlidariums); if plants are there, then it is better to combine it with Aqua-Glo or Flora-Glo, it enhances blue and blue coloring of fish.

These lamps are quite expensive, but give a better effect than conventional ones.

Shine – the most important element of a successful biotope, so the creator of a biotope always has to ask which lamp to use in an aquarium. This question must be considered at the planning stage.

LED bulbs – lamps of tomorrow. They, unlike fluorescent lamps “do not flicker,” and more and more are being introduced into the aquarium practice.

How to choose a lamp in the aquarium?

All tips and strategies can not be described in one or more articles.
In addition to general data on the characteristics of the light, the lamps themselves, it is also necessary to take into account the individual requirements of aquatic organisms living in the aquarium, and the wishes of the aquarist himself to the type of future biotope.

However, general guidelines might look like this. Consider fluorescent lamp types.
The most important parameters when choosing: power and spectrum of the lamp.

Aquarium with an emphasis on fish is quite enough 0.5 – 1 watt per liter, and two kinds of lamps: one – with a color temperature of 6400K, 7500K, or 10000K, and the second – with a predominance of the red spectrum, which will enhance the color of fish and plants. It is possible to add a lamp with white color, with CC 6400K.

These are all T8 lamps (lamp diameter: 8/8 inch).

If settling down herbalist, or a biotope with a large number of light-demanding plants, the power of illumination should be from 1 watt per liter or more. Some plants and 2 watts per liter will not be enough!

The lamps CT is chosen the same: 1-2 lamps with low CT + 1-2 lamps 6400K (or 1 lamp 6400K and 1 lamp 8000K).
In such an aquarium, bright white daylight should prevail.
In general, different variants of light-organization are possible here, but the predominance of yellow color should not be allowed: in this case the plants will grow worse, and seaweed on the contrary, they will feel very good. It is also recommended to install T5 fluorescent lamps (5/8 inch lamp diameter) with greater light output.

In general, plants need red and blue spectrum for growth.
It is recommended that aquatic plants have lamps with maxima in the red and blue regions of the light spectrum, since these two regions are very important for hydrophytes for photo synthesis. However, a maximum of blue light applied without a red maximum can lead to rapid algae growth.

Therefore, it is necessary to use these two maxima together.

Lamps of warm colors are put on the foreground, and cold tones – on the back. It improves the “depth effect”.

Light reflectors significantly improve the light output of the lamps. And in the herbalist they are necessary, their presence is also desirable in the biotope created primarily for fish.

With an illumination of 0.3 W / liter and less, many plants will not grow at all.
However, even with an unjustified increase in power: 0.6 W / liter, rapid growth of algae may begin.

The color in the designation of a fluorescent lamp usually comes after the “/” sign. Colors can be designated as numbers, and an alphabetic combination. The following lamp designations are most common:

/ 35 – white color, 3500K (W);
/ 54 – daytime color, 6200K (D);
/ 77 – lamp for the aquarium;
/ 79 – with a high content of red;
/ 89 – blue color (actinic, 10000K), used in reef aquariums;
/ 05 – blue color (actinic), used in reef aquariums;
/ 03 – super actinic, used in reef aquariums.

Even a very experienced amateur, setting the lighting system in his aquarium, monitors the state of plants, algae growth and other factors in it and, if necessary, corrects the selected lighting scheme.
Many manufacturers of lamps for aquariums have specialized solutions for a particular biotope and offer a ready-to-install lamp or a combination of lamps.

To form your “light solution” is not a simple task for a beginner. But do not despair: studying the characteristics of light, lamps, the needs of hydrobionts, and, of course, observing your pets in a biotope is the key to a proper solution of this issue.

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.

When installing lighting in the aquarium, you need to decide on the lamps used. Their types are diverse, but each is characterized by both advantages and disadvantages.

We study this question in more detail.

For a long time, the aquarium was equipped with ordinary incandescent bulbs. Subsequently, they were replaced with energy-saving lamps.

However, it should be recognized that providing lighting in an aquarium with such lamps is an outdated option. The fact is that the use of lamps (including energy-saving) does not give enough light.

In addition, these lamps heat too much, which ultimately leads to an imbalance in the heat balance in the aquarium. The situation is similar when using energy-saving lamps.

Fluorescent lamps can produce good light intensity. However, we have already noted above that it is impossible to provide the light spectrum required by plants with fluorescent lamps.

Modern phytolamps can be a good option. Such illumination should provide optimal light intensity, as well as organize the necessary spectrum.

True, equipping an aquarium with such lamps is not the cheapest pleasure.

LED (LED lighting, ICE) is a new, convenient and perfect way to supply light. The fact is that LEDs are as close to natural sunlight as possible.

When lighting the aquarium through LED lighting ICE is obtained to maintain the stability of the temperature of the water. In addition, the resource at LED significantly exceeds the factory life of other types of lamps.

There are two more positive aspects of using LEDs. First, ICE is the ability to self-adjust the brightness of the lighting.

Secondly, LED provides a variety of lighting colors. As a result of the use of ICE obtained beautiful pictures of underwater life.

As you can see, the lighting of the aquarium is an important stage. Successful solution of this issue depends on the type of lamp chosen and on the characteristics of plants and fish inhabiting the aquarium.

And with the right approach, all aquarium residents should be unusually comfortable.




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.


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