Aquarium Lighting

Written by Dina Kayed
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Aquariums add a delightful touch to any home. In addition, they can provide an interest to members of the family. You will need some kind of lighting to bring out the true beauty of your aquarium. Aquarium lighting is not just important for esthetic reasons though. It is crucial for supporting aquarium plants and even the fish. All living things need light to some degree or another to thrive.

Essentials of Aquarium Lighting

You will need some basic lighting for your aquarium such as electrical wiring, a suitable bulb, ballast and a socket. An aquarium contains water, so you will need a splash shield for the bulb. Otherwise, it might explode when it touches the water. Waterproof end caps are another choice. You can use them to protect the bulb if you do not have a splash shield.

VHO fluorescent and metal halide bulbs are very hot and they tend to overheat aquariums. If you use them, you will need cooling fans to keep the temperature reasonable. Remember that if you don't keep the temperature at the right level, you could kill your fish. You can regulate the light of your bulb by simply using a dimmer. The last important component you will need will be a hood, which is a cover for your tank that contains all the lighting components.

When light penetrates water, it filters out. The red light, yellow and orange lights are the first to go. Most spectrum colors do not reach the deep end of water; only the blue spectrum reaches the deepest. Fresh water plants need the red and yellow spectrum in their light. Make sure your fish don't get more than 12 to 14 hours of light a day, because it could kill or damage them. To solve that problem, you can use a timer to regulate light timing.


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