Archive for the ‘Aquarium Lighting’ Category
Lights are one of the most important aquarium products to have. They help make the conditions in marine fish tanks as close to its natural environment as possible. Aquarium lights are necessary to maintain proper behavioral cycles and for marine plants to grow and thrive. Improper or inadequate lighting can cause your fish to be stressed, more susceptible to diseases, and have poor appearance and coloration.
Different marine fish tanks need different kinds of aquarium lights, based on their size, depth, and the kind of organisms inside. Small, shallow fish tanks require only low intensity light, whereas deeper tanks need a higher intensity of light to penetrate the entire aquarium. The intensity of aquarium lights can be measured in watts. A general rule of thumb when matching aquarium lights to the size of marine fish tanks is to use 3 to 5 watts of lighting per gallon of water. So a 55 gallon tank would require an aquarium light with 165 to 275 watts.
Fluorescent bulbs are the most popular and readily available kind of aquarium light. The most affordable kind of fluorescent lamp is the Normal Output (NO) lamp. However, NO lamps provide only low intensity lighting. They have wattages that range from 15 to 60 watts, which make them unsuitable for marine fish tanks. A NO lamp is best used for freshwater fish only tanks.
HO and VHO lamps
Marine fish tanks require moderate to high intensity lighting. High output (HO) and Very High Output (VHO) lamps are suitable for saltwater tanks that only contain fish. HO lamps are not as readily available as the VHO kind. Both HO and VHO lamps require special ballasts and end caps in order to be used as aquarium lights.
Power compact (PC) bulbs are fluorescent bulbs that can be used to light any kind of marine fish tank. They also need special ballasts and light fixtures to work. However, they are the most energy efficient out of all the kinds of lights.
If you really need a high intensity light source, a metal halide lamp is your best bet. Metal halides are used to light marine fish tanks containing corals and anemones, fish with high light requirements, and deep marine fish tanks with plants.
Keep these in mind and you’ll be able to choose the right kind of aquarium light for your marine fish tank.
Knowing the kinds of aquarium lighting fixtures available will make it easy for you to make the best choice for your fish and aquatic plants. Each kind is best suited for a particular aquarium setup.
Aquarium lighting sources
Incandescent bulbs, including halogen lamps, are the cheapest source of light. These are the light bulbs that you commonly find in homes. However, they’re not always suitable for aquarium use. You’re better off using these for small fish bowls and reptile terrariums, such as those housing pet lizards and snakes.
Fluorescent light sources can be power compact (PC), normal output (NO), high output (HO), or very high output (VHO) kind. A PC bulb is a good choice for almost any kind of aquarium housing a variety of marine life. However, it’s more expensive than the other kinds of fluorescent lights. NO lights are less costly, but only provide low intensity lighting suitable for shallow freshwater aquariums containing only fish. If you need aquarium lighting for freshwater aquariums with plants, or saltwater aquariums with fish only, HO or VHO lights is your best bet.
For saltwater aquariums with both fish and plants, tanks with corals and other invertebrates, and aquariums containing organisms that require high levels of light, metal halide and HQI halide lights are the best choices. They also provide the highest intensity lighting needed for very deep aquariums. However, they’re also the most expensive out of all the aquarium lighting sources.
Light strips are aquarium accessories that are easily placed on top of your tank. They can house fluorescent light sources.
A light pendant isn’t directly attached to the fish tank. Rather, it’s hung from your ceiling over an open aquarium. Light pendants hold metal halide lights.
The aquarium hood can hold any kind and combination of light sources. Aquarium hoods also keep your fish from jumping out and foreign objects from falling in.
Aquarium Light Canopy
Just like aquarium hoods, aquarium light canopies can hold all varieties of light sources. This aquarium accessory is mounted on top of your tank. Keep in mind that aquarium lighting fixtures are there to recreate a natural environment for your fish and plants. The right choice will give you a healthy, thriving aquarium.