Fish Tank Lights
There are more factors to consider than you may think when it comes to fish tank lighting. The main factor when it comes to lighting is thinking about what job you need them to carry and the type of aquarium and fish they are for.
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Are you planning on buying lights for a freshwater or marine fish tank and is the aquarium holding just fish or other forms of life also? The size of your fish tank also needs to be taken into account as a bigger aquarium may need brighter lights to reach all parts and the depth of the water.
Running costs can also be a factor in which lights you buy. Although some cheap lighting solutions may seem cost effective, the running costs over time may far outweigh having bought some slightly more expensive, but energy efficient lights.
Lighting needs to be bought with the idea that they are mimicking the aquarium inhabitants natural habitat. Simply having the lights turn on and off at certain times may not be that effective if the plant life, coral and fish are unable to handle the type of lighting being used. In fact it can cause health and growth problems with plants and corals and also cause algae problems quite quickly.
Types of lighting
There are a few different types of lighting which many use for their fish tank, below we discuss a few of the options so you can get a better understand of what will work with your tank and fish.
The most common type of lighting when people think of fish tank lights, fluorescent lighting usually uses and older style, thicker T8 tube or narrower modern T5 tube. These light tube bulbs sit in the hood of the fish tank and can often be used with reflector placed behind to further enhance the light and angle it reaches.
Fluorescent lighting comes in different temperature colours from warmer red lights through to blue bulbs, depending on the type of fish you have in the aquarium. Typically the warmer colours are great for showing tropical fish and the blue bulbs more for marine fish.
LED lighting has become the norm these days for most applications and is also a popular solution for fish tanks. They not only last longer but give off more of a consistent colour throughout their lifespan. Compact and easy to place in most situations they are far less complicated to house than fluorescent bulbs and there are many different solutions available to use. They also do not create heat like other bulbs may.
Produces great illumination and penetrates deep into the water giving a great effect much like LED’s. They have low running costs and are long lasting, but one downside is the heat they give off can be quite extreme and they tend to be an expensive solution. One thing to note is that some Metal Halides with a temperature of around 5000-6000k replicate natural sun light, so can be great in curtain circumstances.