Generally, if your aquarium is standing close to a sunny window, you may only require about five hours of artificial lighting per day. However, in direct sunlight, algae growth tends to be excessive, despite the absence of artificial light. For optimal results, the aquarium must be placed in a place where it is not exposed to direct sunlight. Artificial lighting must be operational for at least eight hours daily, however, can remain on for ten to twelve hours to provide a better viewing experience during evenings.
Replacing Incandescent Lights
If you’re still utilizing the outdated incandescent lights, remember, lighting must be at around 25 watts per square footage of water. Incandescent lights are considered superseded for various reasons:
- Incandescent lights are not efficient at penetrating water below twelve inches in most instances and does not light the aquarium evenly.
- They cause extreme heat and can warm the tank water over the water heater’s set temperature, allowing the water to cool down once the lighting is switched off.
- Incandescent lights are very pricey to operate in comparison to LED or fluorescent lights.
- Incandescent light globes have shorter lifespans and can easily break once splashed with water accidentally when switched on.
LED Lights Versus Fluorescent Lights
Another kind of aquarium light available for tanks is compact fluorescent as well as fluorescent lights. When a fluorescent light fixture is utilized, make sure you are using globes specially rated for promoting aquarium plant growth. The light spectrum required for plant growth is completely different to fluorescent lights one would use in your office or kitchen setups. Don’t use fluorescent lighting globes from the hardware store, despite them fitting in the fixture. They are not suitable for growing plants in an aquarium setting. LED lights has made enormous progress in growing of exotic plants. Nowadays they have higher-end fixtures, however even your most cost-effective LED light fixtures made for aquariums will be enough for promoting successful and healthy plant growth in your aquarium. Check out Aquarium Labs for more aquarium-related products and topics. LED lights are the best due to these three reasons:
- They offer excellent light penetration to a level as deep as twenty-four inches without specialized attention.
- The light spectrum of LEDs promotes healthy plant growth, irrespective if you’re buying the most basic and inexpensive fixtures.
- The cost of operating the majority of LED Aquarium lights is fewer than ten percent compared to the operating costs of your average incandescent lighting fixtures, and fewer than thirty percent of the operating costs for most aquarium fluorescent light fixtures.
Harmonize Color Spectrum
All the hues in the spectrum are utilized by the plants in the aquarium for photosynthesis. However, a red/blue spectrum offers superior contrast since it promotes color and shows more pigment in plants. For this reason, aquariums are not advised to use plain white LEDs.
So, while accentuating red and blue light, your objective should be to balance the spectrum. Aesthetics are important because aquarium arrangement is also an artistic endeavor. Today, manufacturers make it easier for you by publishing spectrum charts for their products.
According to experts, blue light should not account for more than 15% of your spectrum, while red light should make up at least 50%.
The rationale is that while blue light is not necessary for many internal plant activities, some plants can absorb up to 75% of the entire amount of red light being delivered. The goal of this arrangement is to minimize the situation.
A color like orange, for instance, can be used to balance the other colors in the spectrum. Green lights should not bother you because they will be reflected by plants and, on top of that, people’s eyes are already sensitive to them.
Avoid abrupt changes in lighting because this might stress plants and lead to stunting or death. Over the course of several days, gradually change the lighting settings to give the plants time to adjust.
How long should you leave the lights on in your aquarium? It takes 10 to 12 hours of lighting per day to meet the needs of plants and animals. Lighting can be made simpler by installing a timer or buying a device with integrated timing—just set it and forget it. Remember that algae also enjoy light.
Recommended Plants For Aquariums
The following list of plants are not the same when you compare them. Some have roots, while other are bunch plants, and a few are bulbs. However, one common feature that they share are their ease of growing in an aquarium setting as well as their beauty.
Amazon sword plant, Anacharis, Cabomba, Satittaria, Nuphar lillies, Hair grass, Vallisneria, Madagascar lace, Indian fern, Ambulia, Aponogeton undulatum, Ludwegia, Hygrophila, Acorus, Myriophyllum, Nitella, Cryptocoryne becketti.