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Aquarium Lighting: Balancing Beauty and Practicality

by Mr.Knowledgeable 01 Jan 2024 0 Comments

Introduction: Aquarium lighting serves both as a design feature and a practical necessity. The soft internal glow of a lit aquarium adds a beautiful element to room decor, while the fish and live plants within require light for their growth. However, determining how much light fish and plants need and controlling that quantity can be a bit tricky.

How Much Light is Needed? In general, most aquariums require 10 to 12 hours of light per day (8 hours is a good starting point), provided by aquarium lights. However, the exact duration your aquarium lights need to be on each day depends on several factors:

  • The quantity and type of live plants in the aquarium.
  • How much ambient lighting already exists in the room.
  • The types of fish in the aquarium.
  • The level of algae in the aquarium.
  • The light requirements of live aquatic plants.

The primary reason for supplementing aquarium lighting is to provide essential light for the photosynthesis of live aquatic plants. Similar to terrestrial plants, aquatic plants use light to synthesize food from carbon dioxide and water, obtaining this light from ambient room light and supplemented aquarium lighting.

If your aquarium contains live plants, you may need to maximize the supplementary lighting time. Plants typically require up to 12 hours of light per day, but the exact duration depends on the aquarium setup and plant species. On the other hand, if your aquarium lacks live aquatic plants, your lighting requirements reduce to what is necessary for the fish.

It is generally recommended that aquatic plants in the aquarium match the type of fish you are keeping: tropical plants for tropical fish aquariums and temperate/coldwater plants for aquariums with coldwater species. The choice of lighting levels should also mimic the natural environment of the plants.

Room Ambient Lighting: Determining the length of time to run aquarium lights will depend on how much ambient light already exists in the room. Even if the room already has plenty of light, you still need to run aquarium lights every day, as ambient room lighting is usually indirect, and regardless of how much light already exists, you don't need to run aquarium lights for 12 hours.

During winter, when there is less natural light due to seasonal reasons, keeping aquarium lighting on for a longer duration is beneficial. This promotes better growth and healthier aquatic plants. As the days lengthen, the lighting time for the aquarium can be shortened.

Lighting Requirements for Different Fish Species: Regarding the fish themselves, aquarium lighting is more about you than them. While aquarium lighting allows you to see and appreciate the fish more easily, it generally doesn't have a significant impact on the fish. Most fish are accustomed to receiving more light than they would in their natural environment due to the nature of aquariums with four glass sides and relatively small size.

Some species, like angelfish and discus, thrive in lower light conditions. For these species, excessive supplemental aquarium lighting may have a negative impact.

When determining how much additional lighting is needed (if any), consider the conditions the species experienced in the wild. Tropical fish evolved in conditions where approximately 12 hours of light was available daily. Therefore, logically, an aquarium with tropical fish may need to combine ambient and aquarium lighting for about half a day.

On the other hand, coldwater species like goldfish, minnows, rice fish, and zebrafish come from temperate climates where daylight duration varies with the seasons. For these fish, you might want to change the light amount throughout the year to create a more natural environment, matching the lighting conditions they would experience in their native habitat.

Controlling Aquarium Lighting: The biggest obstacle to maintaining consistent lighting in an aquarium is that owners often find it challenging to turn the lights on and off at the same time every day. Fortunately, Seaoura's aquarium lights can address this issue. Set the on and off times to achieve the desired lighting duration. It is highly recommended for all aquarium owners to use a timer switch.

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Every aquarium hobbyist wants to create and maintain a good living environment and maximize the quality of life for their aquarium friends – and Seaoura has the same beliefs and values. The brand Seaoura was registered on Jul 7th, 2018. And ever since then, we have been dedicated to making aquarium products. Our headquarter is located in the most economically active city Shenzhen. We also have Seaoura warehouse office in the United States. Seaoura positions itself as a brand that offers high quality products at an affordable price. It pursues innovation, pays attention to detail and the user experience. Seaoura prides itself on understanding what aquarium hobbyists want and need. It has earned the trust of fish-hobbyists and continued to develop and grow since 2018. We are going to stay true to this principle – it is our core tenet. Over 10 years’experience of aquarium products, we have established our own unique advantages in aquarium equipment. Now we are vigorously developing the market in the Western Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, Australia, Japan, and more other countries and areas. We have a wide range of aquarium products including but not limited to aquarium light, water pump, fish tank, internal filter, canister filter, air pump, aquarium heater, aquarium plastic plants, fish tank decorations, air stone, gravel cleaner, filter brush, bio-ball, sponge filter and so on. Seaoura is committed to making fish keeping easier and more enjoyable. And Seaoura will keep on providing more innovative and high-quality aquarium products for aquatic hobbyists.
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