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What Type of Light is Right for My Aquarium?

The type of light fixture your aquarium needs will depend on what you decide to keep in terms of inhabitants. A typical freshwater aquarium with only fish can get by with as little as an incandescent fixture, although a fluorescent fixture will show off your fish much better. With more complex aquariums containing live plants or corals, stronger lighting options are required in order to promote proper photosynthesis, such as Power Compact Fluorescent (PC), High Output T5, Metal Halide (T5HO or HOT5), and LED aquarium lighting.

There are different styles of lighting to suite every application. The most popular choice is Light Strips or Strip Lighting that come as complete, ready to use units that can be set on top of the aquarium or held above the aquarium with mounting legs.

Pendants are Small hanging units that usually need to hang above the aquarium from the ceiling, or with the use of light stands that can be mounted to the aquarium stand or wall behind the aquarium. Lastly, Retrofit kits that are a bare bones set up that can be installed into a custom hood or canopy. The generally include a ballast, the bulb sockets or ‘end caps’ and

The spectrum or “color” of light the fixture produces is based on the bulbs used in the fixture. For standard freshwater aquariums there are a plethora of different bulbs designed to brighten the aquarium, enhance the color of your fish, or illuminate the tank enough for viewing while avoiding excess algae growth.Planted aquariums typically use bulbs geared towards plant growth, such as 6000K, 6500K, 6700K, Roseate that are near the 660nm spectrum, and bulbs simply listed as “Plant Growth Bulbs” by the manufacturer. All of these bulbs are designed to promote health and, lush plant growth

Reef aquarium bulbs have three main categories:  Daylight bulbs that range in spectrum from 6700K up to 15000K, Actinic bulbs that range in spectrum from 420nm up to 470nm, and Coral Grow bulbs that are generally purple/pink in color and are a mixture of Actinic and Roseate spectrums. A combination of Daylight and Actinic bulbs are used to create full spectrum lighting to enhance coral coloration and growth while promoting proper coral photosynthesis.

For any questions regarding aquarium lighting, and what light might be best for your aquarium, please contact us at customerservice@bigalsonline.com or call us toll free at 1-888-824-4257

 

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