Aquarium Lighting

Choosing the Right Lighting According to Tank Size
Aquarium lighting systems come in all shapes and sizes - learn how to choose the right system for the tank size you have.
You could have the most beautifully decorated aquarium in the world but no one would know it if you didn’t have an aquarium lighting system set up. Aquarium lighting is very important, yet many aquarium hobbyists overlook its importance. Not only can a quality lighting system help your tank look its best, but it plays a key role in maintaining plant life as well. When choosing your aquarium lighting system you need to consider a number of factors including your tank size.


Basics of Aquarium Lighting


Aquarium lighting systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes – some systems are better suited to certain kinds of tanks than others. For example, if you have a fish-only tank then your aquarium lighting system only serves the purpose of enhancing the appearance of your fish and your tank decorations. If you have a planted tank, however, your lighting system will perform this same function in addition to providing your live plants with the energy they need to facilitate the process of photosynthesis.


To help you understand which aquarium lighting system might be right for your tank, review the basics of each type of lighting system described below:



  • Standard Fluorescent – Once the most common type of aquarium lighting, standard fluorescents come in wattages between 15 and 40 with different size and color options. This is the type of lighting that is most often used in aquarium kits that come with a hood light. Standard fluorescents are inexpensive, easy...
Understanding the Lighting Spectrum
The key to finding the perfect lighting for your freshwater aquarium is to understand the basics of the lighting spectrum. Read more to find out how spectrum is measured and what type is best for your tank.
Many aquarium hobbyists do not understand the basics of aquarium lighting and they end up purchasing the wrong bulbs or the wrong lighting system entirely. While having the right type of lighting in a freshwater tank isn’t quite as critical as it is in a reef tank where corals are present, it is still very important. The type of lighting you choose will have an impact on how your tank looks and how well the photosynthetic organisms in your tank thrive. When it comes to selecting the lighting for your tank you need to think about more than just wattage – you should also consider the spectrum of the lighting. Unless you understand the basics of the lighting spectrum you may be easily confused or overwhelmed when you set foot in the lighting section of your local aquarium supply store. This article will provide you with all the basic information you need to know about the lighting spectrum so you can make an informed decision for your tank.

Measuring Spectrum


The word spectrum, in terms of aquarium lighting, generally refers to the visible spectrum of light. Visible spectrum is measured in nanometers according to the wavelength of light energy. The wavelength for light visible with the naked eye ranges from around 400 nanometers to 800 nanometers – ultraviolet light is near the low end of the spectrum and infrared light near the upper end. If you look at a diagram of the visible spectrum of light you...
Finding the Right Balance with Aquarium Lighting
Installing the proper aquarium lighting system is essential in maintaining a thriving tank environment. This article will help you find the right balance in terms of watts, lumens and intensity.
Equipping your tank with the right aquarium lighting system will not only impact the aesthetic appeal of your tank, but it could also have an effect on your tank inhabitants. Some species of fish prefer low lighting while others thrive in brightly-lit tanks. If you plan to cultivate a planted tank, you will need to equip your tank with a high-intensity lighting system powerful enough to provide for the needs of many aquarium plants. Choosing an aquarium lighting system is more than just picking the right type, however – it also involves finding a balance in terms of wattage, lumens, intensity and spectrum. Every freshwater aquarium is different so it is up to you to perform some basic research in order to customize your lighting system to suit the needs of your tank inhabitants.

Problems with Intensity

When it comes to the intensity of aquarium lighting there are two problems you may run into – the light may be too intense or it might be too dim. In cases where the lighting is too intense, you may experience problems with excess algae growth. Algae are photosynthetic organisms which means that they use light as an energy source to facilitate biological processes – the more light available, the faster they will grow. Fortunately, there are several ways to go about solving this problem. One option is to replace your lighting system, or simply the lamp itself, with one that is less intense. If you have a small or shallow aquarium,...


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The aquarium lighting system you choose for your tank will not only affect your tanks appearance but its performance as well. The articles in this category will help you choose the right system for your tank and will provide you with the information you need to make the most of your aquarium lighting.

Choosing the Right Lighting According to Tank Size
Choosing the Right Lighting According to Tank Size
Aquarium lighting systems come in all shapes and sizes - learn how to choose the right system for the tank size you have.
Understanding the Basics of Freshwater Aquarium Lighting
Understanding the Basics of Freshwater Aquarium Lighting
Selecting a lighting system for your aquarium can be a difficult task.
Types of Freshwater Aquarium Lighting
Types of Freshwater Aquarium Lighting
Choosing the right lighting system for your freshwater tank is a very important decision.