Modern lighting devices can solve the problem of lighting any type of aquarium, regardless of the type of its inhabitants. In addition to performing a decorative function, lamps in the aquarium set the tone for the normal life of aquatic plants, animals and microorganisms, ensuring the processing of organic substances accumulated in the water.
In most cases, fluorescent lamps are used to illuminate aquariums. Incandescent bulbs are rarely installed these days, as most of their energy is converted into heat. Fluorescent lamps are economical, they serve for a long time, and give a good flow of light. The only drawback is the need to use an electronic ballast or choke to connect them to the network.
From the point of view of the aquarium holder, fluorescent lamps have two main indicators: color and power. The former reflects the color spectrum of the lamp, the latter is expressed in watts. In terms of power, lighting devices are 56, 40, 30, 25, 20 (18), 15 and 8 watts. Each of the power indicators corresponds to a certain lamp length: 120, 105, 90, 75, 60, 45, 20 cm, respectively. Therefore, when going to buy a lighting system, measure the length of the aquarium.
Calculate the power for your aquarium. For a container with a water column height of 45 cm or less, take a lamp with a power of 0.5 W per liter. This will give you a medium illumination that is suitable for most plants. If the aquarium is taller than 50 cm, the power of the lamps must be doubled.
It should also be noted that not all the light emanating from the lamp gets into the aquarium - some goes up and to the sides. To minimize light loss, opt for lamps with a special reflector that can save up to 95% of the light.
Pay attention to the color of the lamp. Chlorophyll absorbs light unevenly: in the red-orange region of the spectrum (660 nm), in the violet-blue (470 nm), and in the first it is twice as intense. Therefore, plants need both red and blue (less) light. Light with different spectral characteristics may not like plants and stimulate their growth.
Currently on sale there are white and daylight lamps of different wattage. A white light lamp (LB) in its spectrum coincides with the absorption region of chlorophyll, for which it is widely used by aquarists. A fluorescent lamp has a lot of blue-blue area, so it is not suitable for an aquarium.
It is worth noting several varieties from specialized aquarium lamps. Lamps marked Aqua-Glo have a spectrum specially selected to match the absorption spectrum of chlorophyll as closely as possible. Its light colors yellow, orange, red, blue and blue colors well on fish.
Sun-Glo is similar in spectrum to a white light bulb, but more balanced. The Power-Glo light source contains some of the blue light in its spectrum. This powerful light system can be used in plantless aquariums or saltwater aquariums. If plants are present, this lamp must be combined with Aqua- or Flora-Glo, specially designed for aquariums with plants.