Aquarium Lighting Pointers Using LEDs and More
The art and hobby of tropical and planted aquariums is a timed honored tradition that has seen tremendous growth in recent years. This is most evident in aquarium lighting, where new technologies have made the task of keeping fish and plants alive and thriving in a tank easier than ever. If you’re a first-time aquarium keeper, here are some tips on how to safely light it for aesthetic and utilitarian purposes. Be advised, you can’t just go to the hardware store and pick any light bulb you choose—you might just end up killing your plants and fish, many of which are sensitive to light.
Go for LED tubes For many years, fluorescent tubes have been the de facto standard in aquarium lighting, but they present a few caveats. For starters, they generate UV light, which can harm fish and plants. Second, they get hot, which can affect your tank’s water temperature, making it susceptible to algae growth—it’s why you’ll see some planted tanks with elaborate air-cooling mechanisms. LED tubes are the answer to both these problems. They emit generous amounts of light, all while keeping very cool temperatures. LED tubes are basically tubes with small LEDs inside, and come in a wide range of sizes and lengths, perfect for any size of tank.
Light your tank from behind Backlighting is a flattering way of lighting your aquarium, creating interesting shadows and a sense of depth and texture, especially when viewed in a dark room. If you can’t use LED light bulbs, be sure to place a few inches of space between your light source and the glass, the better to avoid increasing your water temperature.
Use overhead lights Overhead lighting, or hanging a light above the water, is the most basic way of lighting an aquarium. Just be sure to have a stable fixture that secures the light source to avoid access and possible electrocution. Your best bet is to place a barrier between the light source and the tank—like a mesh panel—to prevent the bulb or tube from falling into the water. For more tips and ideas on what LEDs to light your aquarium with, contact the LiquidlEDs team!