Understanding Your Aquarium Lighting

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Understanding Your Aquarium LightingAquarium lighting is often overlooked when setting up new aquariums, fish tanks in your home are usually setup in well illuminated rooms with sunlight flooding through the room, but this is usually inadequate for any aquarium supporting fish and plants.

Lighting is essential for any aquarium large or small, and depending on which fish species and plant species that you will be populating the aquarium with will eventually determine what type of lighting and and how long the lights need to be left on.

The majority of aquarium fish available around the world would of originated from shallow rivers and lakes where the bright tropical sun would of penetrated through the water for 12hrs of the day there for these fish species would need very bright lighting for long periods.

Aquarium plants rely heavily on adequate lighting in the environment to remain healthy and to grow strong as they need the light for photosynthesis and convert CO2 exhaled by the fish into oxygen only when the lights are turned on in the aquarium.

The color temperature of aquarium lighting is very important depending on the environment you are setting up in a freshwater aquarium the color temperature needs to be around 6,500K to 7,000K for a saltwater environment the color temperature needs to be around 8,000K and upwards.

color temperature for aquariums

The most popular aquarium lights available are LED or light emitting diodes, these lights usually have a life of around 50,000 HRS and are ultra reliable as long as the power is on these lights will shine.

LED lighting produces very low heat although some of the very high intensity LEDs can produce a little heat, this has minimal impact on the temputure of the aquarium water, LED lighting out put is measured in lumens.

How many lumens your aquarium needs depends on the size of the aquarium and what species of plants you intend to keep in the aquarium, low light plants need around 10-20 lumens per liter of water, medium light plants around 20-40 lumens per liter and plants needing high strength lighting 40 plus lumens per litre of water. 

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