maintenance, care, compatibility
Aquarium lighting and choice of lamps, which is better to choose?
Proper lighting in an aquarium is one of the global issues of aquarism. It is difficult to understand the beginners of the aquarium craft, and experienced aquarists constantly discuss and argue about the power, spectrum and light sources.
In this article I would like to sort everything out, concentrate all the information about aquarium lighting, and the main thing is to try to present it in an accessible way. So that everyone understood it, both beginners and pros.
Duration of aqua illumination and options to facilitate control
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).
Metal-halogen is considered to be energy-saving and oversized lamps, which provide excellent light in a home aquarium. They can produce intense light, have the ability to give the so-called “sparkling light”, which recreates the sun rays depth.
Metal halide appliances are great for reef saltwater aquariums where algae and sea anemones live.
Such devices have strong power, so they should be used in special lamps with ballast. Their power can reach the level of 70-1000 W, which can be detrimental to living organisms. Unlike fluorescent lamps, metallic-halogen devices do not illuminate a wide space, concentrating light and heat at one point.
They get very hot, they need to be turned off every few days for 1-2 hours.
It is necessary to resort to security measures: do not touch the cones of the lamp with your hands, since fingerprints weaken the light transmission. Another disadvantage of metal halide lighting fixtures is that they need to be cooled with fans and attached in a tank at a certain distance from the water so that it does not heat up. Today, these types of lighting are sold in single-base and double-cap versions, with lamps included with them.
It is better that there is a protective glass between the aquarium and the lamp itself, which will protect all living organisms from harmful UV radiation.
Look at the aquarium, illuminated by metal halide lamps.