Anyone who has planned to buy an additional lamp for their aquarium knows how much money they can cost. Conventional fluorescent lamps have lost their popularity in favor of solutions using LED diodes. Which lamps are best for fish and plants? What color of light should you choose?
In the previous article, I explained the most important concepts related to the subject of lighting in general. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you read it before continuing on. It will allow you to better understand some of the terms that will be used in this material.
Which lighting for the aquarium should you choose? What to consider
When deciding on a specific solution for your aquarium, we must answer an important question – what do we need it for and what do we want to achieve with it? Different solutions will be used for a saltwater aquarium, different for a freshwater one. This division is much greater and is not limited only to the salinity of the water. Some species of fish do not like and do not tolerate too intense light. It is similar with plants – some feel perfect in quite strong lighting, others not necessarily (e.g. anubias). Too much lighting in an aquarium filled with only slow-growing plants will cause algae to burst.
Another element to consider is the size, depth of the aquarium and the place where the lamp is installed. Why is it important? Fluorescent lamps shine around each other, hence in this type of lighting, reflectors from the cover side are used. As a result, the light beam is reflected towards the water surface. As a result, the light reaches the entire aquarium fairly evenly. The characteristics of the LEDs make it a more point-like light than a fluorescent lamp. By using 50-centimeter lighting in a 100-centimeter aquarium, we will create quite a lot of shaded places where too much light will not reach. It will be visible to the naked eye.
An equally important aspect is the depth of our reservoir. I have tested various solutions in several of my aquariums. While one lamp worked well in a fairly shallow aquarium (30 high, 80 long), the same solution did not work well in a twice as deep aquarium of the same length. The stream of light was simply very diffuse in the water and it was even 4 times darker at the bottom of the reservoir.
Therefore, in the photo above you can see one of the ideas that I applied to a 140 cm long aquarium. 12V COB lighting illuminates the entire aquarium evenly, but not sufficiently to plant a lawn. For symmetry, I added a module consisting of six 3-watt powerLED diodes (color 5500K) on both sides. To get the spotlight effect focusing the light closer to the bottom – I also added large 45 degree lenses. Everything is turned on independently for the rest of the lighting.