Best Lighting for a Freshwater Aquarium

If you want your fish to be healthy and happy, you should offer them the best lighting for a freshwater aquarium. Not only the fish need the light but also the natural plants in your aquarium. The plants need light for photosynthesis, for producing their own food.

You may purchase a full hood or one that doesn’t have a light built in. The unit with the light incorporated is the most used one because it suits perfectly your tank. You can change the bulb when needed by replacing it in the hood. The problem is that the light is going to heat the water in the aquarium and you must be sure that you have chosen the appropriate bulb. Otherwise, you are going to boil the fish and melt the hood, all these being dangerous for the fish but also for you. The perfect light is the natural light, the one that is similar to fish’s natural environment. It is enough a 1 to 2 watts per gallon lighting system in order to create a day-night cycle in your freshwater aquarium.

The light that is not incorporated in the hood, is placed on a canopy, and offers you the freedom to move it and to improve it whenever you want. My advice is to pay attention to this type of light. It must be perfectly fixed on the tank! Otherwise, when plugging it you may cause a real disaster for you and for your fish, if it falls into the aquarium.

For both types of lighting you need bulbs. These are some models to consider when choosing one:

  1. Fluorescent lighting is great for the plants because they provide natural light and they do not overheat.
  2. Tungsten is not recommended because it overheats and distributes unbalanced light in the aquarium. It may also cause an over plus of algae in the water. By no means should you buy a colored bulb because it is going to create an artificial, unnatural, cheap look.
  3. Actinic blue bulbs are used mostly for marine aquariums. They produce ultraviolet radiation, which is a positive aspect for the natural plats, but it may cause an excess of algae.
  4. Metal halide are bright, similar to sunlight. The plants love this but this type of light are expensive.
  5. High-powered mercury vapor lights are recommended for large and deep aquariums. They are very lasting but the aquarium might need an extra light because mercury vapor lights’ spectrum are short in green and blue.

Choosing lighting for a freshwater aquarium is a matter of preference but you must pay attention to your safety, your fish’s preferences, and to the heat that it might produce. Obviously, in order for everything to be safe, you must purchase the bulb from the pet shop. 

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

back to top