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Lighting in the aquarium – choice of lamp and color spectrum

Properly chosen lighting aquarium is the key to good plant growth and the establishment of bio-balance, so the selection of lighting type and used lamps must be approached wisely. Poor lighting will destroy all the plants you have bought, which may start to rot in the water, and brown algae will begin to appear in the aquarium.

From too much light, some plant species will fade, acquiring a brownish tint, fish will be depressed due to the strong stress from the bright light.

If there are no plants in your tank, then there will be no problems with lighting. We install lamps with enough lighting power to look at our fish well.

The type of lamp in this case does not play a special role, you can use fluorescent, halogen or incandescent lamps.

For fluorescent lamps can be oriented at 0.2 watts per liter. The length of the daylight hours is limited to 8 hours so that the fish do not have stress and at the same time avoid the growth of various algae on the walls of the aqua. Another important factor will be the color rendition.

To see all the beauty of ornamental multi-colored fish, you must install lamps with the highest color rendering index, lamps with a low color rendering index will distort the colors or make them dull.

If you decide to grow plants in your aquarium along with fish, then you need to choose the right lighting, power, range of lamps and correctly set the length of the day. To achieve particularly excellent results in the cultivation of aquarium plants will have to worry about fertilizers and supply of carbon dioxide.

Now let’s talk about the spectrum of light emitted by various types of lamps and what spectrum we need to choose for our plants. All plants in nature do not grow under halogen lamps or fluorescent ones, but under the sun, therefore, for normal and natural growth, they need the entire visible light spectrum.

Visible light is in the range between 380 and 780 nm wavelength.

In principle, it provides all the lamps, but here the intensity of illumination in a certain spectrum for each type of lamp is different. For the process of photosynthesis in plants (thanks to which they actually live and grow) they need two narrow spectral ranges:

  • blue (about 440 nm);
  • red (660-700 nm).

Both of these ranges are necessary for plants to perform different functions, red promotes cell division and plant growth in length, blue helps to increase cell size and, accordingly, the weight of the whole plant. Therefore, when selecting the type of lighting and lighting lamps, in addition to the total luminous flux (lighting power), pay attention to which areas of the spectrum have a maximum and a minimum.

For example, fluorescent lamps have appeared quite recently.

Not the best option, their spectrum left much to be desired, but everything was compensated by the high luminous efficiency of the lamp. With the advent of modern fitolamp everything has changed dramatically.

Fluorescent phytolamps are made specifically for aquariums and have a spectrum ideal for plant growth, as well as high luminous efficiency. The truth remains one drawback – the high cost of these lamps, so in most amateur aquariums and to this day use the time-tested conventional fluorescent lamps LB and LD.

Unfortunately, when you buy a lamp in a store, its spectrum is not indicated on the box, but its color temperature is indicated there, thanks to which we have the opportunity to indirectly judge its spectrum.

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