Top Considerations for the Best Aquarium Lighting Systems

Proper aquarium lighting is fundamental for a number of reasons. Light allows you to observe and admire fish in their natural habitat. In addition, with the right type of lighting, the inhabitants in the aquarium are able to survive. Besides fish, there are other organisms and plants, especially photosynthetic ones, which derive energy from this light. Therefore, fish tank lights are not only the main source of light, they are the only source. Right from the beginning, you should know that light is so important in all aquarium systems. The behavior of fish in an ecosystem depends on the amount of light filtering through the water.

If this is your first time to keep fish in an aquarium, then it is important for you to know the different options available. It does not matter how simple or sophisticated your aquarium system is. There are several categories of aquarium lighting namely normal, compact and high intensity. The first two use fluorescent lights while the third uses metal halide lights. More recently, LED aquarium lights have joined the foray of fish tank lights. LED aquarium lights are considered to be the top choice for aquariums where you intend to keep saltwater and freshwater fish. Most hobbyists will tell you of the versatility of these lights.

In aquarium lighting, you have a wide choice of bulbs and fixtures. Take for instance, the compact fluorescent lights. They have a higher output than their standard compatriots. In the place of single tubes, they utilize several of them in one fixture. Hence, a single compact fluorescent is able to do the task handled by two or more standard fluorescent bulbs. In the end you find that it helps you utilize the available lighting space. When it comes to maintenance, there is no difference between these fish tank lights and the standard types. Other benefits include low emission of heat and low maintenance cost. There is also a wide variety to choose from.

Going to the metal halide lights, these are also known as HID (high intensity discharge) aquarium lighting fixtures. They comprise of glass bulbs interconnected through wires. When electric charge passes through the glass tubes, they produce light by virtue of the material in them. These materials include metal salts and gases which are ideal for light production. Halide lights for reef aquarium lighting. This is mainly because of the types of fish found in such aquariums require high intensity light.

When choosing aquarium lighting fixtures, you need to consider the needs of the fish you are putting in there as well as your own. A fish tank lamp is more than a source of light. It brings out the overall beauty of the aquarium besides sustaining the life therein. Always ensure that you use the right lighting systems for your aquarium. Seek help from experts in this area; share your ideas and how you want the finished product to look like.

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Cleaning a Fish Aquarium Instructions

It’s essential to clean your pet’s habitat on a regular basis to maintain their optimal health, and fish are no exception. Cleaning an aquarium top to bottom should be done about once a month, with more frequent water changes only on a weekly basis.

  1. Start by removing some of the water from the tank.
  2. Remove and rinse with warm water any statues or artificial plants you are using for decoration.
  3. Gently remove any algae growth that has accumulated on the sides of the tank with a special algae scraper designed for aquarium use.
  4. Using a gravel vacuum, clean out about 25% of the dirty water from the bottom of the tank. To use the vacuum, place one end in the tank all the way below the gravel level and one in a bucket on your floor below the surface of the water. To create suction, quickly move the vacuum up and down at a slanted angle. You will know the vacuum is working when dirty water starts to drain out into the bucket.
  5. Replace clean decorations.
  6. Collect water from your sink and combine with water conditioner made especially for aquariums. Typical dose is one drop per gallon of water. Add back into your aquarium until full.
  7. Unplug your filter and use a special aquarium brush to clean out any accumulated algae inside the chambers. Rinse out in your kitchen sink.
  8. Remove old filter and replace it with a new one.
  9. Put cleaned and reassembled filter back into the fish tank and plug back in.
  10. Add water cleaner, such as Stress-Zyme to water per dose recommended on bottle. This will help keep your filter running properly and will help keep the water clean.
  11. Add some aquarium salt to the cleaned tank to help gill function and prevent disease.

Aquarium tips: When your corals need more light, please lower down the height. The 2w LED aquarium light wouldn’t burn the corals even close to the tank.

Aquarium Lighting Tips

If hobbyists select the wrong type of lighting for a home aquarium, it can result in algae overgrowth, die-off of benthic plants, poor visibility and behavioral problems in fish. Fortunately, the challenge of lighting an aquarium is simple to address when the needs of the aquarium are taken into account. A proper lighting setup can make the difference between an unattractive, imbalanced aquarium and a beautifully aquascaped paradise.

Evaluating Biotope
The most successful aquariums are not hodgepodge “community” tanks; they instead combine fish that require similar water parameters and tank setups. These natural-environment tanks (called biotope aquaria by enthusiasts) mimic the lighting and water chemistry of wild aquatic ecosystems. To select a proper lighting strength, aquarists should research the lighting needs of each resident fish species. Some popular fish, like zebra danios, thrive under very bright lights. Others–including most tetras and cichlids–become shy, sulky and dull-colored in the presence of bright lights. Lighting requirements should suit the biotope of every species in the tank.

Selecting Kelvin Rating
Aquarium lighting fixtures are usually labeled with a Kelvin rating. This rating is a number–usually 5,500, 6,500, 10,000 or 20,000–followed by the letter K. Kelvin ratings indicates the wavelength or color spectrum provided by the lighting fixture. Shorter wavelengths, like 5,500 and 6,500, provide a reddish or yellowish cast, and longer wavelengths are blue-violet in color. Most aquatic plants can thrive under lights with shorter wavelengths, but reddish-toned plants and coral reefs require the ultraviolet rays found in 10,000 to 20,000 K fixtures. Additionally, tall tanks may need higher-Kelvin lighting because longer wavelengths are able to penetrate deeper water.

Timing and Cycling
Most fish and aquatic plants need anywhere from 10 to 14 hours of lighting per day. Too much light can cause fish to develop behavioral problems and may encourage the growth of algae; too little lighting can cause plants to die off. It is critical to set up a regular and predictable lighting schedule. For very sensitive biotopes, it may be necessary to set up a timer. While fish from dark, tree-shaded environments do not require a “night light“, fish native to open-water ecosystems can sometimes benefit from a whitish LED-based fixture that imitates moonlight. Breeders and professional aquarists may also adjust lighting times to mimic seasonal and lunar cycles; this can encourage temperamental fish to breed.

Aquarium Fish Feed

Aquarium fish feed is plant or animal material intended for consumption by pet fish kept in aquariums or ponds. Fish foods normally contain macro nutrients, trace elements and vitamins necessary to keep captive fish in good health. Approximately 80% of fishkeeping hobbyists feed their fish exclusively prepared foods that most commonly are produced in flake, pellet or tablet form. Pelleted forms, some of which sink rapidly, are often used for larger fish or bottom feeding species such as loaches or catfish. Some fish foods also contain additives such as sex hormones or beta carotene to artificially enhance the color of ornamental fish.

Ingredients of quality fish food

Fish food should ideally provide the fish with fat (for energy) and amino acids (building blocks of proteins) and the fish food (whether flake or pellet) must be speedily digested in order to prevent build up of intestinal gas, renal failure and infections (such as swim bladder problems and dropsy) and to avoid aquarium pollution due to excessive ammonia. Aquatic diets for carnivores must contain vegetable matter such as spirulina.

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Building block ingredients of fish food

  • Amino acids are the basic components of proteins. An example of an aquatic diet that is a good source of amino acid is a crumbled hard boiled egg offered to small fry. Large amounts of DL-Methionine enhance the headgrowth of the Lionhead goldfish.
  • Fats that are broken down into fatty acids are the main source of energy in fish especially for the heart and skeletal muscles. Fats also assists in vitamin absorption. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble or can only be digested, absorbed, and transported in conjunction with fats.
  • Carbohydrates are molecular substances that include sugars, starches, gums and celluloses. Most of the carbohydrates that are incorporated into aquatic diets are of plant origin and are sources of the enzyme amylase. Carbohydrates, however, are not a superior energy source for fish over protein or fat but digestible carbohydrates do spare protein for tissue building. Unlike in mammals, glycogen is not a significant storage depot of energy in fish.

Sources of fish food

  • Fish meal (protein source) have two basic types: (a) those produced from fishery wastes associated with the processing of fish for human consumption (such as salmon and tuna) and (b) those from specific fish (herring, menhaden and pollack) which are harvested solely for the purpose of producing fish meal.
  • Shrimp meal is made from cull shrimp that are being processed before freezing or from whole shrimp that is not of suitable quality for human consumption. The material to be made into shrimp meal is dried (sun-dried or by using a dryer) and then ground. Shrimp meal is a source of pigments that enhances the desirable color in the tissues of fish. It is also a secondary supplemental protein source for fish.
  • Squid meal is made from squid viscera portions from cannery plants including the eggs and testis. Squid Meal is a highly digestible protein source for fish which provides a full range of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and cholesterol (1.0–1.5%) of cholesterol suitable for fish fry and young fish.
  • Brine shrimp (adult Artemia) is a common food source for fish that are available in adult-form, as eggs or freeze-dried. Brine shrimp is a source of protein, carotene (a color enhancer) and acts as a natural laxative in fish digestive systems. Brine shrimps can also supply the fish with vegetable matter due to their consumption of algae.
  • Soybean meal is a high protein source for fish and has become a substitute for traditionally-used marine animal meals.
  • Spirulina is a blue-green plant plankton rich in raw protein, vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E, beta-carotene, color enhancing pigments, a whole range of minerals, essential fatty acids and eight amino acids required for complete nutrition.
  • Whole wheat (carbohydrates) is not the best source of energy in fish but is an excellent source of roughage for fish such as Goldfish and Koi. It is also a natural source of vitamin E which promotes growth and enhances coloration.

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