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Which is better to choose the light for the aquarium and plants

Properly selected light in the aquarium will be needed primarily for plants that can grow and multiply only if they are provided with the appropriate conditions. It is necessary to choose the right lighting, including taking into account the location of luminaires, indicators of power and range of lamps.

Only in this case it will be possible to perform a beautiful aquarium, the care of which will not be of any particular complexity.

Novice aquarists mistakenly believe that the light in the aquarium is only needed to admire the underwater world. However, in reality, properly selected lighting will be one of the conditions for providing aquatic animals with the right conditions for keeping, so the aquarist will need to determine what kind of lighting is needed for an aquarium, choose its power and optimum spectrum.

Currently, various technologies can be used to illuminate aquariums. The most widely used today are the following lamps and lamps:

  • LED;
  • fluorescent;
  • metal halide;
  • energy saving incandescent bulbs.

Each of these types of fixtures has its own specific advantages and disadvantages. To choose which light is better for an aquarium, it is necessary first of all on the basis of the required power.

Energy-saving lamps are used to light aquariums that are small in their clearance capacity. Today, in specialized stores you can pick up energy-saving halogen lamps, which have a spectrum suitable for plants, are economical, and thanks to their small size, you can easily position a homemade or factory lamp even above a cube of 10 liters or more.

The only drawback of such energy-saving incandescent lamps is their ability to heat up during operation. Accordingly, under the lid the temperature can increase significantly, the water is heated, there are problems with the content of cold-loving fish species.

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LED lighting is a promising technology that is becoming increasingly popular with aquarists every year. Properly selected diodes form a diffused light with a yellow or slightly red spectrum, which is necessary for fish and plants.

The undoubted advantage of using LED lamps is their minimal power consumption, which owners of large-sized aquariums will appreciate, where powerful lighting is necessary for plant growth.

LED lamps can be controlled using special controllers that operate according to a pre-installed program. Such aquariums and their lighting will be fully automated, it is possible to simulate sunrises and sunsets, and in the middle of the day the power of lighting will increase, and if necessary, you can turn on or off the LEDs with different colors and spectrum.

LED lamps due to the versatility of their use today are successfully used in freshwater and saltwater aquariums. It is only necessary to correctly select the power of such lighting, 0.2 watts of which should be per liter of volume.

For freshwater aquariums, it is preferable to use a soft yellow or reddish spectrum, but for the sea they adjust the lighting work to a pronounced blue and blue hue.

With all its many advantages, LED Led-lamps have one major drawback – this is the high cost and complexity of their manufacture. Many simply can not afford branded marine or fresh Led-lamps, the cost of which can be 15-20 thousand rubles.

However, every year the cost of LEDs and controllers gradually decreases, which has a positive effect on the total price of lighting lamps made with this promising technology.

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Fluorescent lamps are popular for many years, because of their affordable cost, low power consumption, lack of heating, as well as the ability to choose such lighting under the desired spectrum. Today you can find various luminescence lamps that are intended for herbal aquariums, have a pronounced “fishy” yellow spectrum, or their color is clearly blue and blue, which will be an excellent option for the sea.

In pet stores you can pick up a variety of factory fluorescent lamps, which are designed for large-scale aquariums. If necessary, you can make your own lighting based on fluorescent lamps. You will need to use sealed cartridges, ballasts and high-quality power wires.

The cost of the components used will be minimal, while you can significantly save on the purchase of ready-made branded lighting.

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Having correctly selected aquarium lighting, it will be possible to provide appropriate conditions for keeping fish and plants. When choosing lamps and fixtures, it is necessary to pay attention to the following parameters:

  • Lighting power.
  • Color temperature index in Kelvin.

The required power levels of the luminaire will depend primarily on the total volume of the aquarium and the plants grown. For undemanding types of greenery, 0.5 W of fluorescent lamps per liter of volume will be sufficient. But light-loving plants will require 0.8–1 W per liter of aquarium.

When using LED luminaires, power parameters are calculated approximately from the calculation of 0.2 W per liter of aquarium volume.

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The color temperature of the light is calculated in Kelvin and is one of the most important parameters when choosing aquarium lighting. It is from this indicator that our vision will determine the emitted light, which can be cold blue, warm yellow or red.

To emphasize the bright color of fish, you should choose a lamp with an indicator of 5500−6500 ​​Kelvin. For plants, the best value of the color temperature of light is the level of 6500-8000 Kelvin.

But in the marine aquarium choose a pronounced blue cold light, color temperature which is 9000−20000 Kelvin.

The aquarist will not only need to decide what the light in the aquarium should be, but also ensure that the light conditions are properly controlled. Manually turning on and off the light will be problematic for many of us.

The easiest way to solve this problem is through the use of simple electronic timers, which allow you to set the time for switching on and off electricity.

Such timers are mechanical or electronic. They are easy to use, extremely reliable and at the same time offered to buyers at affordable prices.

Due to the simplicity of such equipment, each aquarist will be able to deal with its use by installing the necessary program for switching the light on and off.

At first glance, it is easy to determine which light is needed for an aquarium; some aquarists do not even bother to choose the light using ordinary incandescent lamps. This leads to certain problems, and ultimately you have to restart the aquarium, changing the lighting equipment used.

The wrong choice of fixtures can lead to the following problems:

  1. Long daylight hours and the use of super-powerful lamps invariably stimulate the rapid growth of algae, the water begins to bloom, the plants are covered with dark brown bloom. Without the use of special chemistry and restarting the aquarium, the problem cannot be solved.
  2. The optimal daily duration of illumination is close to the natural and is 10−12 hours. However, many aquarists increase the period of illumination, which, in their opinion, should stimulate the growth of greenery. Such a powerful and long-lasting light will be effective only if the necessary fertilizers are applied to the aquarium. If the plants do not have enough nutrition, then long-term coverage will always lead to rapid growth of algae.
  3. The use of powerful lighting will be justified if carbon dioxide is additionally supplied to the aquarium from the cylinder. Otherwise, the plants will be covered with a hard calcium bloom, will lose their decorative effect, and soon there will be problems with brown algae, which will be extremely difficult to get rid of in the future.
  4. Many tropical plants require powerful and long-lasting illumination. However, most species of fish prefer penumbra, and in such a brightly lit aquarium they can be stressed and often hurt. As a result, the aquarist will have to choose – either it contains exotic demanding plants, or creates optimal conditions for the life of the fish.
  5. Turning on and off the light on our own, rather than on an automatic timer, we unwittingly increase or decrease the duration of illumination. All of this has a negative effect on fish and plants that have lost their biological cycle, there are problems with the development of greenery, and fish, being constantly under stress, can lose their color, often get sick, and there are problems with their reproduction.
  6. The higher the column of water in the aquarium, that is, its height, the more powerful should be the lighting, which is obliged to “pierce” the water to the very bottom. Otherwise, there are problems with the growth of plants, which will simply not be enough light.
  7. The use of lamps with peaks in the red and blue spectrum in a fresh aquarium leads to the development of thread, beard, and other algae.

Proper light in the aquarium will create optimal conditions for fish life and plant growth. The aquarist will need to decide what kind of lighting should be in the aquarium, correctly calculate the power of the lamps and choose the optimal color temperature of the lighting. LED lamps are very popular today., which are distinguished by their economy, they are well illuminated even by high aquariums, and the entire work of such equipment can be completely controlled by automatic equipment.

Fluorescent lamps, which differ in functionality and have an affordable price, have not lost their relevance.

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