maintenance, care, compatibility
In short, aquatic plants are the most important element of an aquarium, and proper lighting is the most important condition for their existence. Thus, the light is actively involved in creating the necessary balance of a closed aquatic system, which is precisely the aquarium.
Artificial light day trying to bring as close as possible to the natural as the spectrum of light, and the duration of illumination. For example, the length of daylight hours in the tropics and the equator is approximately 12 hours, and owners of tropical aquariums know this.
Conversely, an excess of light will in no way positively affect the cultured aquatic vegetation, but the rapid growth of green and blue-green algae will be provided.
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
There are aquatic plants that do not like intense, powerful lighting. If, for example, Blass, Griffith cryptocorynes, Javanese moss, cryptocoryne cordata or fernite bolbitis are planted, then the luminaire power of 0.3–0.4 W / l is quite sufficient.
When it is necessary to create a tropical forest landscape, it is enough to install a lamp (or several lamps) with a power of 0.4–0.5 W / l. In this case, the vegetation will be pulled up to natural light.
For most aquarium plants, luminaires with a power of 0.5 W / l to 0.8 W / l are used. It is in this case that they develop normally, acquire a coloring inherent in them from nature.
By the way, there are many species of aquatic flora that change the color of the leaves, depending on the power of the light source.
If the aquarium is planted with dense vegetation (the so-called herbalist), then it is better to use a lighting device with a power higher than 0.8 W / l.
Of course, these are general recommendations, and in each particular case a particular type of luminaire should be chosen. And vice versa: if you purchased an aquarium with an integrated lighting system, then you should pick up such plants that will feel comfortable in it.
Many experts say that the fitolamp (a special lamp for aquarium plants) is the optimal solution for a herbalist. Companies Osram, Sylvania, General Electric, Philips produce a large range of such devices.
Given the specific features, you can choose a great option in which the vegetation will develop normally and live long in your aquarium.
Video: how to make phytolamp yourself: