# How to calculate the lighting in the aquarium

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## How to calculate the lighting in the aquarium :: what is the light in the aquarium :: Aquarium fish

### How to calculate the lighting in the aquarium

The life of any living organism is closely connected with light. In an aquarium, an overabundance of light can trigger the growth of simple algae and lead to many other troubles. However, with a lack of lighting your plants will not develop properly or even die.

The question "opened a pet shop. Business is not going. What to do?" - 2 answers

#### Instruction

1. It is very difficult to adjust the natural lighting, sometimes it is simply impossible, therefore it is necessary to use additional artificial light to ensure a full life of the aquarium, first of all it is important for your plants. Properly calculated power and lighting duration will help you achieve an optimal result.

2. First of all, you need to know that the aquarium should be lit evenly, it is possible to achieve this only by using artificial light. Experts say that, ideally, aqua should be lit only with special lamps, without the participation of sunlight, since it is the sun's rays that provoke the growth of brown algae. Put the aquarium away from the window and get special lighting.

3. You need to know some general recommendations that allow you to choose the power of fluorescent lamps for the aquarium. If your aquarium has a depth of about forty centimeters, then it is quite simple to calculate the lighting: use lamps that can give you one watt per centimeter of the length of the aquarium. For example, if the length is 50 cm, then you will need a 50 watt lamp. There is another, more universal method of calculation: 0.5 watts should be used for each liter of your aquarium, which means that a lamp of 30 watts is enough for a volume of 60 liters.

4. Mainly lighting is necessary for your aquarium plants. Probably many people know that most ornamental algae come from the tropics. In such a climate, the duration of daylight hours is on average twelve hours, and it is worth starting from this figure. For plants in your aquarium, a good day can be a 12-hour day, but note that you must first properly calculate the power of the devices, without this the length of the day does not matter, as the lighting will be either too bright or too dull.

#### note

You can avoid problems with lighting, if you initially purchase an aquarium with a lid in which special lamps are embedded. The only disadvantage of such a purchase is the price.

If you like to watch the aquarium at a later time of day, it is better to install an additional light source nearby. The very same light day for aqua should not exceed.

## Mode, the calculation of lighting aquarium

At arrangement of an aquarium special attention is given to lighting. The fact is that its quality depends on the health of the inhabitants of the aquarium, as well as their color. Lighting also affects the overall condition of underwater plants. That is why this issue should be treated with all responsibility.

On average, it is recommended to light the aquarium at least twelve hours a day. Among aquarists, this period is called a tropical day. In order for plants and fish to develop evenly, lighting is placed in the upper part of the aquarium above the water, mainly on the lid.

It is worth noting that many plants that live in water, at night their leaves shift to the central part of the outlet. They can also close growth points. As a rule, this happens closer to nine in the evening. Thus, the plants demonstrate that photosynthesis, which is carried out with the help of light, is over. This sets the aquarium lighting mode.

The absence of bright night lighting is extremely necessary for plants. The thing is that this time of day they are engaged in the assimilation and processing of carbon accumulated during the daytime photosynthesis. Therefore, for plants it is very important to observe the alternation of day and night.

Also sensitive to changing the day of the fish: it has a significant impact on the behavior of pets. In the dark, fish that were too active during the day rest, they swim slowly and even freeze for a few hours. Those fish that, by nature, become active with the onset of night, begin to show signs of life.

For example, there is a type of catfish that do not leave their shelters during the day, even if they are very hungry. Therefore, if such fish live in an aquarium, it is necessary to pour food for them before turning off the light.

The calculation of the aquarium lighting is made depending on what types of plants and fish live in it. Some experts believe that to achieve the desired level of lighting, it is enough to install an aquarium so that it gets natural light.

It is worth noting that the water overheats from exposure to sunlight, the algae begin to grow much faster, and the water may even “bloom”. First of all, fish suffer from this. That is why the correct solution would be to use special aquarium lamps. In order not to engage in constant switching of the lamps, when it is necessary to switch from day mode to night mode and vice versa, you can use special timers.

## About important aspects of aquarium lighting

Any aquarist will sooner or later have to face the need to purchase additional equipment: it is a question of devices for aeration, filtration, and of lamps that provide the necessary lighting for the aquarium. Let us consider in more detail the main aspects related to this issue.

First of all, it is necessary to clearly understand: the presence of light is very important for the fish that inhabit your aquarium, for the plants in the aquarium, even for bacteria. And if the lighting in the aquarium is insufficient, then first of all you will learn about it from plants. In such situations, instead of the green color, they acquire a dark brown shade. subsequent processes of decay, which leads to a violation of the biological balance in the aquarium, the development of various harmful organisms and, ultimately, to the death of fish.

As you can see, to ensure proper lighting is extremely necessary. On the modern market are a variety of lamps in the aquarium, which allow to take into account the peculiarities of specific aquarium fish and plants.

### General information

Much really depends on the correct lighting of the aquarium. The fact is that the vast majority of plants and fish that can live in an aquarium, come from the tropics. And in these latitudes, the length of daylight is almost 12 hours year-round. Consequently, it is necessary to arrange the lighting in the aquarium so that the fish live in the conditions of their usual daylight hours.

Is it necessary to organize breaks in the lighting during the day? In fact, there is simply no unequivocal answer to the question of how much light should be switched on. However, the presence of such interruptions will not play a special role. It is only for convenience that they advise you to turn on the lighting around 10-11 o'clock in the afternoon, which will allow you to enjoy funny games of fish in the aquarium lighting in the same period of time in the evening.

How to correctly determine how exactly the aquarium will be equipped with lighting? As a rule, novice aquarists choose a method of organizing lighting in which the light in the aquarium is provided for a long time. True, this method is not always combined with the necessary way of life for fish and plants. The second method involves the organization of breaks, as we said above. Those. This is a method in which the light is interrupted during the day for an hour or two. Finally, the third method is stepped. The step method (as the name implies) is based on the fact that for a certain period of time the lamps shine at full power. Subsequently, the stepwise method implies a gradual decrease in the light intensity, its complete shutdown and further switching on with a gradual increase in intensity. For many, the step method is the most acceptable.

In general, it is possible to transfer the functions of switching on-off the lighting throughout the day to the automation. To date, there are very convenient outlets, timers, which allow you to fully automate the management of the lighting process. The principle of operation of this kind of timers is quite accessible: they are inserted into the outlet and set a specific lighting mode.

### Backlight intensity

How to determine the acceptable intensity of illumination in the aquarium? You can meet with the information that the optimal calculation is 0.5 W per liter of water in the aquarium. However, this calculation can not be called the only true. The depth of the water, the individual characteristics of the habitat familiar to the fish and the plant, all have an impact on the final calculation of how much power is needed to determine the intensity of the backlight. After all, it is obvious that aquarium inhabitants, accustomed to life at depth, need much less light than residents of shallow water. It is also quite clear that at a depth of about 20 cm, the intensity of light is greater than at a 60 centimeter depth.

Therefore, the final calculation of the intensity of the light flux in the aquarium can be selected exclusively by a kind of experiment. It is recommended to take as a basis a typical calculation of 0.5 V / l, after which to increase or decrease the intensity. As a result, you can choose how much is the optimal calculation for your particular case. If the lighting is excessive, the water in the aquarium will begin to bloom, the filament will develop, the walls will be overgrown with algae. With a lack of light, fish will find it difficult to breathe, small-leaved plants will start to die, and the aquarium will be covered with brown spots. In this case, you may need additional lighting.

### Light spectrum

Aquarium plants are particularly demanding for the light spectrum. The fact is that for the successful photosynthesis of plants requires the presence of two narrow color ranges:

• and red-orange (approximately 660-700 nm).

It should be noted that standard fluorescent lamps do not provide a sufficient spectrum of illumination for plants. Modern fluorescent phytolamps allow to fully organize the required spectrum. LED aquarium lighting (LED) can also be arranged.

When installing lighting in the aquarium, you need to decide on the lamps used. Their types are diverse, but each is characterized by both advantages and disadvantages. We study this question in more detail.

For a long time, the aquarium was equipped with ordinary incandescent bulbs. Subsequently, they were replaced by energy-saving lamps. However, it should be recognized that providing lighting in an aquarium with such lamps is an outdated option. The fact is that the use of lamps (including energy-saving) does not give enough light. In addition, these lamps heat too much, which ultimately leads to an imbalance in the heat balance in the aquarium. The situation is similar when using energy-saving lamps.

Fluorescent lamps can produce good light intensity. However, we have already noted above that it is impossible to provide the light spectrum required by plants with fluorescent lamps.

Modern phytolamps can be a good option. Such illumination should provide optimal light intensity, as well as organize the necessary spectrum. True, equipping an aquarium with such lamps is not the cheapest pleasure.

LED (LED lighting, ICE) is a new, convenient and perfect way to supply light. The fact is that LEDs are as close to natural sunlight as possible. When lighting the aquarium through LED lighting ICE is obtained to maintain the stability of the temperature of the water. In addition, the resource at LED significantly exceeds the factory life of other types of lamps.

There are two more positive aspects of using LEDs. First, ICE is the ability to self-adjust the brightness of the lighting. Secondly, LED provides a variety of lighting colors. As a result of the use of ICE obtained beautiful pictures of underwater life.

As you can see, the lighting of the aquarium is an important stage. Successful solution of this issue depends on the type of lamp chosen and on the characteristics of plants and fish inhabiting the aquarium. And with the right approach, all aquarium residents should be unusually comfortable.

## Light in the aquarium

The normal life of aquatic plants and living beings is directly dependent on the quality of light. And every novice fan of aquarium fish will certainly have questions: do we need light in the aquarium and why is it needed? Let's try to find answers to these questions.

In the old days, fish lovers put their aquarium next to the window for better lighting. However, they soon noticed that if the light from the window falls on the fish house at an angle, then its walls begin to overgrow with algae.

Later, with the advent of modern lighting, natural light for fish in aquariums was replaced by artificial.

In addition to the decorative function, the light in the aquarium also performs an important physiological load. After all, for the proper development of the light is necessary for all living organisms, and its absence causes them to be stressful.

### When to turn on the light in the aquarium?

Almost all aquarium fish and plants originated from the tropics, where the light day lasts about 12 hours, regardless of the time of year. Therefore, for their aquarium pets it is better to organize the kind of lighting to which they are accustomed to in nature.

There is still no single answer to the question: do you need to take breaks in the lighting of the aquarium? You can turn on the lamp at about 10-11 am and in the evening turn them off at the same time. And it is better if the duty to turn on / off the light in the aquarium you will provide a special timer that will do this even in your absence.

### How to calculate the light in the aquarium?

Many aquarists are advised to set the intensity of illumination based on one liter of water - a lamp with a power of 0.5 watts. Do not forget to take into account the depth of your aquarium: for fish that live at a depth, you need less light than for shallow ones.

As practice shows, it is possible experimentally to pick up the light in your aquarium, starting from the average 0.5W. If there is an excess of light in the aquarium, the water in it will begin to bloom, and the walls will overgrow with algae. Under insufficient light, the fish will breathe heavily, small-leaved plants in the aquarium will begin to die, and brown spots will appear on the walls.

### The spectrum of illumination in the aquarium

The most demanding spectral illumination underwater plants. In order for photosynthesis to occur in them, a violet-blue range of light and an orange-red are necessary. Conventional fluorescent lamps cannot achieve this. But modern LED and fitolampy cope with the task perfectly.

### How to choose a lamp for the aquarium?

Lamps for aquariums come in several options:

• incandescent lamps - the worst option, they shine badly, but very warm;
• fluorescent lamps do not fully provide the required range of light;
• phytolamps provide the desired intensity of light, but their cost is quite high;
• LED lighting closest to the sun. It maintains a stable water temperature. With their help, you can adjust the brightness and the spectrum of light illumination in the aquarium.

## Aquarium lighting and choice of lamps, which is better to choose?

Aquarium lighting and lamp selection

Proper lighting in an aquarium is one of the global issues of aquarism. It is difficult to understand the beginners of the aquarium craft, and experienced aquarists constantly discuss and argue about the power, spectrum and light sources.
In this article I would like to sort everything out, concentrate all the information about aquarium lighting, and the main thing is to try to present it in an accessible way. So that everyone understood it, both beginners and pros.

### General characteristics of aquarium lighting

I think the conversation should start with determining the power of lighting for a particular aquarium.
REFERENCE: Power is measured in watts. Watt (Russian abbreviation: W, international: W) is the unit of measurement of power in the International System of Units (SI). Named in honor of the Scottish-Irish inventor James Watt (Rus. Watt).
In "Runet", the "generally accepted" standards of the power of illumination roam:
0.1-0.3 watts per liter of pure volume of aquarium water (hereinafter referred to as "watts / l") - for a reservoir without live aquarium plants.
0.2-0.4 watts / l - for the maintenance of shade-loving fish (catfish, "night" fish). At the same time, aquarium plants can contain live aquarium plants that do not require a lot of lighting: cryptocorynes, wallisneria, Javanese moss, some other echinodorus.
0.4-0.5 watts / l - подойдет для аквариумов с ограниченным количеством растений. При таком освещении большинство аквариумных растений будут расти, но их рост будет замедлен, а внешний вид "искажен" - растения будут тянутся изо всех сил вверх - поближе к источнику освещения.
0,5-0,8 Ватт/л - оптимальная освещенность подходящая для красивого, декоративного аквариума с живыми аквариумными растениями. 90% растений прекрасно развиваются и принимают яркую окраску.
0.8-1 watt / l and above - the lighting necessary for a dense planting of aquarium plants or for the maintenance of soil and meristem plants. Such aquariums are called: Dutch, Amanov.
However, the above parameters are approximate and conditional. Much depends not only on the power of lighting, but also on the parameters of the aquarium itself (length, width, height), on the status of aquarium water and other smaller parameters: the “aging” of lamps, the loss in the cover glass, air heating, etc.
To understand the essence of what has been said, let's see what happens to the light when it enters the water! Alas, the intensity of light in the water inexorably falls. In the water of medium transparency, the intensity of the study decreases every 10 cm., By about 50%.

It is not difficult to calculate that if you, for example, have a lighting of 50 watts, then only 12.5 watts reach the bottom of the aquarium with a height of 50 cm. That is why if you decide to recreate an aquarium with beautiful aquarium plants and at the same time do not install powerful lighting, it should be as low as possible.
No less curious opinion Takashi Amano and ADA, on this occasion. The Amanov approach to determining lamp power is markedly different from the generally accepted one. Amano definitely goes from a measure of Watt per liter. According to the lighting characteristics of Takashi Amano's aquariums, it has been determined that the power of lighting (lamps) does not depend directly on the volume of the reservoir. For example, for small Takashi Amano aquariums, 8 watts / l is too small, and for volumes over 450l. - 2 watts per liter is too much. Claiming this, Amano assumes that the illumination depends more on the surface area of ​​the water ...
Concluding the conversation about Watts, which can be continued to infinity, going further and further into the subtleties and nuances, one more thing should be noted: lighting power - This is the primary parameters from which to repel when deciding on the content of aquarium plants. None Parole (fertilizer) nor CO2 supply (carbon dioxide) will not save the situation in the absence of adequate lighting. And the thing is this.
CO2 consumption by plants directly depends on the power and intensity of the aquarium lighting. To be precise from the total daylight. The intensity of photosynthesis of aquarium plants is set not by the concentration of CO2, nor by the micro and macro elements (CDR), but only the LIGHT !!! And do not reverse!
The process of photosynthesis of plants occurs only in the presence of light energy, while plants convert water, CO2 and nutrients (parole) into plants. If there is no proper level of lighting in the aquarium, photosynthesis simply does not occur, CO2 and parole remain simply unclaimed.
When there is enough light, there is a sufficient amount of CO2 and VDO, you get a phenomenal result - lush growth and bright green! A visual external sign of photosynthesis saturation is the formation of oxygen bubbles on the leaves of plants a couple of hours after turning on the aquarium lighting. And this is possible only with the balance of all 3 factors: Light + CO2 + UDO.
Two words about mistakes! A common mistake when keeping aquarium plants is an attempt to use special aquarium lamps for aquarium plants with red and blue spectrum peaks or an attempt to increase daylight as compensation for the lack of light.
Unfortunately, these manipulations do not give the proper result and, on the contrary, lead to an outbreak of algae: the appearance of a needle, a beard and other troubles.
On the Internet, the thesis is stubbornly haunting: "Aquarium plants need a red and blue spectrum" ... even if you burst, it is nothing but !!! Why, then, there are other spectra? Has the Lord gone too far? The answer suggests itself - NO! Contrary to the ephemeral notions about the preference of the plants for only the red and blue spectrum, the absorption of light occurs virtually evenly throughout the spectral range of visible light. The use of lamps, lighting with peaks of the red and blue areas - are unfounded. Lamps of sufficient power, with a wide range, with color temperature from 6500 to 10000 Kelvin - that’s all you need! The use of special lamps takes place when implementing the principle of mixed lighting, i.e. when one light source (lamp) complements the other.
Now let's digress from the lighting options and talk about its sources. If further in the text you will encounter incomprehensible values ​​and measurements - do not be alarmed, we will cover this question below.

### Running lights for aquarium

Incandescent lamp (LN) - these are the well-known "Ilyich Lamps". Lighting in such lamps occurs by incandescent tungsten filament or its alloys.
This type of lighting was actively used in Soviet times, for lack of an alternative. Now, sunk into oblivion.
Advantages of LN: Surprisingly, the spectrum of light from incandescent lamps is as close as possible to sunlight, which is very much welcomed by aquarium plants. How much is already such a "good" source of lighting, faded away?
Disadvantages of LN: Incandescent bulbs have a low / miserable efficiency (hereinafter - "efficiency") and light output. Example, 100 Watt LN has only 2.6% efficiency, 97% goes to "empty" - for heat generation. Light output, alas, 17.5 lumens / watt. The lifetime of the LN, also small - 1000 hours.
Findings: Given the low efficiency, it will take many, many LNs to grow aquarium plants. Which will give a lot, a lot of heat, which will lead to excessive heating of the water, which is bad for fish and for plants. Yes, of course you can try to put the 4th cooler in the aquarium cover, but this is not a panacea!
Halogen lamps (HL) - we can say that this is the Next Generation in the line of incandescent lamps. More technical, compact.
Efficiency indicators are slightly higher, light output is 28 lumen / watt, operation life is up to 4000 hours. The use of such lamps in the aquarium, for obvious reasons, is also not recommended.

Fluorescent lamps (LL)
- the most popular, running, gas discharge light source of the aquarium. Why?
Advantages: Firstly, an affordable pricing policy, and secondly: the light output of the LL is several times higher than that of the LN (LL at 23 W = LN at 100 W), the life expectancy is eleven times longer.
Disadvantages: First, the spectrum of many LLs is discrete - truncated. Only special aquarium lamps have a more or less good spectral range. Despite the long service life, LL needs to be changed every 6-12 months, since by this time they lose all their “useful properties”. Plus, LL have low permeability to the water column and give diffused light, the effective use of such lamps is possible with reflectors / reflectors.
Speaking of LL, it should be noted that they are divided by type into T8, T5 and others, for example, T4 (rarely used in aquariums).
T8 - the most running aquarium lamps, a kind of combination of price and quality.
T5 - Much better than T8, but much more expensive. Due to the small diameter and optimal light output at 36 ° C, T5 give a more intense and more directional light than T8.
Metal halide lamps (MGL) (MG), panels, spotlights
If you decide to recreate in your aquarium, the Amanovski herbalist or the height of your reservoir is 60cm. and above, the IPF is the perfect solution! MGL is used by almost all professional aquarists. Why?
Advantages: reasonable price policy, POWER, lumen intensity, light temperature from 2500K (yellow light) to 20000K (blue), huge performance (100 Lumens / W), up to 15000 hours service life.
Simply put, with small sizes of MGL, you get excellent color reproduction and high luminous flux throughout the life of the lamps. The aquarium will begin to shine, waves will blink at the bottom, fish and plant shadows will be visible. Metal halide lamps "punch" the deepest aquariums. In a word, it is an excellent source of aquarium lighting, both for plants and fish, and for a general visual picture of the aquarium's perception!
Disadvantages: The use of such a light source is possible only on hangers or a rack (an open aquarium - without a lid) at a distance of 30 cm to the water column, the reason - the MG emit a lot of heat - very hot.
LED lamps (LEDs), panels, spotlights.
If aquarists, the aquarists, at least somehow came to a consensus, then there is no agreement on the use of LEDs in the aquarium, as they say, who are in the forest, who are for firewood. First, this is due to the rapid growth and development of LED technology, and therefore, there is a lot of outdated information on the Internet. Secondly, the lack, at present, of a full-fledged practice of application.
In order not to disprove countless myths about diabetes. I will say this: at present (2014) there are excellent LED panels / spotlights for aquarium plants, with a wide / full range, with a normal light temperature of 6500K, with a sufficient amount of Lm (lumens). Add to this the colossal ergonomics and thrift, safety (operate at low voltage). Plus, the actual absence of heating from the front and "tolerable" heating from the back of the light fixture, which allows the use of LEDs under the aquarium cover, i.e. without suspensions and racks. The visual effect is almost identical to IPF.
Disadvantage: The pricing policy, good CD panels and spotlights are quite expensive, but it is worth noting if earlier - these were off-scale prices, now prices have become affordable for most consumers.
Often on the forums they ask if it is possible to use LED strips in an aquarium. The answer is YES, but only as additional lighting or as night lighting. Unfortunately or fortunately, most SD tapes are thin, to provide the necessary light intensity you need to buy and install "kilometers of SD tapes" under the hood. This paragraph can be refuted because SD technology does not stand still and is constantly evolving. However, most SD tapes are not the best way to resolve the issue with lighting.
You can talk about CD lighting for a very long time, so many different nuances, as well as about any other popular aquarium light source. But, nevertheless, I hope that the above calculation will help the reader to figure out what's what and take the foundation.
If you have questions or doubts, I suggest to discuss them on our Forum. Personally, I will be interested in your experience and questions, because In the aquarium itself, there are LED spotlights in combination with LL T5 and all the same there are unexplained nuances. In general, the experience of each is very important, it is possible to build an overall picture of it and emphasize the strokes.
Concluding this part of the article, let us pay attention to the fact that Maestro Takashi Amano is using when solving the issue of lighting. I think it will be curious.
Predominantly Amano uses the following suspensions:
ADA Grand Solar I with LL - T5 2x36W and one MGL - MH-HQI 150W

or just ADA Solar I with one MGL MH-HQI 150W lamp

The conclusion is obvious, metal-halogen lamps in their pure form or by adding LL (mixed lighting) is the best option for professional maintenance of aquarium plants and aquascaping. Already with the aquarium guru is difficult to argue)))
It is worth noting that using the principle of mixed lighting, Takashi Amano turns on the metal halide lamp for only 3 hours; the rest of the time, LL works. From this we can draw conclusions:
1. "Fry" aquarium 12 hours a day is not necessary. It is necessary to create a peak of intense lighting, and the rest of the time the lighting should be "calm." This approach is absolute, because the sun does not “fry” 24 hours a day: dawn comes first, then zenith, and then sunset. Actually - this is a natural phenomenon and must be simulated in an aquarium.
2. At the same time, in the absence of adequate lighting (adequate power), to shine with such a light 24 hours a day is not the best option. The sun does not do that!
As a kind of guide, in addition, below I will give an interesting table.
by Aqua Design Amano

Still, ... the power of fluorescent lamps in an aquarium with plants according to Eric Olson, compiled according to the illumination data of Takashi Amano's aquariums
Illumination W / m2 20L 40L 80L 200L 400L
low 200 15W 24W 38W 69W 110W
average 400 30W 47W 79W 137W 220W
high 800 60W 94W 149W 274W 440W

Here is another guide which does not include a guideline for selecting the number of LL:
- how much light power you want to receive - low, medium, or high;
- whether the lid or suspension will be used and at what height it will be from water;
- what is the depth of the aquarium;
- whether the principle of mixed lighting will be used;
- what type of lamp will be used: T5 or T8
- type reflectors / reflectors. Parabolic reflectors are recommended.

### Duration of aqua illumination and options to facilitate control

As previously mentioned, never try to fill the lack of aquarium lighting with a duration! This will only lead to a "bloom of water." For LL lamps, the duration of daylight hours should be 8-10 hours, for MGL (when using only it) - 6-8 hours.
Of course, the duration of aquarium lighting is a purely individual parameter, but it can still be said for sure that wandering around the Internet that the plants should be 12 hours a day, or even 14 hours is not a dogma! Moreover, as a rule, such a long illumination of the aquarium is the cause of the flowering of the reservoir.
How to facilitate the control of the duration of the lighting of the aquarium. Everything is very simple! Fortunately, we do not live in the Stone Age, and in all household / building stores there are outlet timers that can be divided into: electronic and mechanical.

Mechanical timers - simple, not expensive (~ 200 rub.), according to reviews of aquarists break less often.
Electronic Timers - simple, higher functionality, expensive (~ 500rub.), in contrast to the mechanical timers do not get off when disconnecting and power surges, which is important !!

### Parameters and terms characterizing the lighting

As previously mentioned, it is not possible to measure lighting only in watts. There are other parameters that characterize the quality component of the lighting. For a deeper understanding, below, let's look at the basic "additional" parameters of light. I will try to set out available.
Light spectrum - this is our, human impression from irradiation of the retina with waves from 380 nm to 780 nm in length (1 nm = 0.000 001 mm). We are not able to perceive electromagnetic radiation of another frequency.

In the specified wavelength range - in the spectral range visible by us, we perceive waves of different lengths as different colors. For example, we call the shortest waves purple, and on the other end of the spectrum there are the longest waves, we call them red. Between these boundaries are all the other colors and shades. The natural phenomenon - the rainbow, is nothing more than the decomposition (refraction) of light into the visible spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, blue, purple.
Suite - This is a unit of illumination equal to one lumen per 1 sq. m. The brightness of the sunlight reaches 100,000 Lux, in the shadow of 10,000 Lux, in an illuminated room - about 300 Lux.
Lumen - is the amount of light emitted / emitted by the light source. A light source with a luminous flux of 1 lumen, which uniformly illuminates any surface of 1 square meter, creates on it (surfaces) an illumination of 1 lux.
Kelvin (K) - this is the color temperature of any light source. This is the measure of our impression of the color of this light source. Kelvin determine the color of the lamps and the color tonality: warm, neutral or cold.
Light color temperature !!! does not indicate the spectral composition of the lamp light !!! - it only indicates how the color of light from the source is perceived by the human eye. This is a characteristic of perception. The lower the color temperature, the greater the proportion of red, and less blue, and per revolution.
- White overheated - 2700 K;
- White warm - 3000 K;
- White natural (or just white) - 4000 K;
- White cold (day) - more than 5000 K.
Recommendations for aquatic organisms:
For fish from 5500 to 20000 K (depending on the variety).
For plants from 6500 to 8000 K.
For reef aquariums from 9,000 to 20,000 K.
Below is a visual table:

Ra (CRI)
- This is the color rendering ratio. He talks about how close to true the colors of objects will be when they are viewed by a person under a specific source of illumination. Ra can be from 0 to 100. The color rendering factor, equal to 0, corresponds to light that does not transmit colors at all. Ra = 100, corresponds to the source.
Ra 91 - 100 very good color rendering.
Ra 81 - 91 - good color rendition.
Ra 51 - 80 - average color rendering.
Ra <51 - "seedy" color rendition.
PAR - photosynthetic active radiation. This is a luminous flux measurement unit that measures light in the number of photons.
You will ask me why I am telling all this, why are we so complicated? I will answer you this way, with my favorite phrase: "This is only the tip of the iceberg")))
For example, as for the color temperature !!! Low temperature lamps (5000K) reveal green. In practice, it looks like this, at 5000K, the light is bad, because it has yellow tones, and the light at 10000K is whitish and the colors become bluish, like from a UFO. When the light temperature is less than 5000K, the plants have a yellow tint and look like diseased. At a light temperature of 10,000K, aquarium plants turn green and look like plastic. In order for plants to look natural underwater, you need to choose lamps with a color temperature of 6500-8000K.
In addition, light sources with a temperature of less than K5400 contribute to the growth of lower algae.
Fuv! You can talk about aquarium lighting for an immensely long time; this is an interesting and never-ending topic.But, alas, the limits of this article have been exhausted. Other nuances will be discussed in other articles.

## What kind of light do plants need?

In order for the aquarium to develop properly, and the plants in it develop well, it is necessary that it is illuminated correctly. Light is needed not only for flora, but also for fauna (fish). Lighting allows them to develop properly. Light regulates vital activity, but correct lighting intensity does not always occur. Too much light can cause intense algae growth and algal blooms in the tank.

### The consequences of irregular lighting

For an aquarium where different types of plants live, a light period of 10-12 hours per day is suitable. The plants need a change of day and night, but in some tanks they artificially increase the light period, in an effort to accelerate the growth of the flora. The natural alternation of day and night helps regulate the life rhythms of living plants. With too long or short coverage, they begin to stress, the regime changes and diseases can develop.

The difficulty is that for some aquarium plants you need a lot of light for development, but this can harm the fish, since most aquarium fish species are used to living in shaded areas of the reservoir (in the wild). Too long and bright lighting affects the appearance of the inhabitants of the aquarium. Fish may fade, lose their brightness and hide from the light.

Problems with improper illumination of the aquarium are found in non-standard containers, the height of which is more than 38 cm. In high reservoirs, plants growing on the ground have a lack of illumination. Sometimes they try to solve this difficulty due to the intensity and duration of the artificial illumination. The desire to improve conditions for undersized soil seedlings leads to errors. Too bright lighting adversely affects the fish and the microclimate of the reservoir. The inhabitants of this aquarium are inactive, because all the time they need to be protected from bright light. Fish tend to hide from the bright light, so aquascape seems unpopulated. In such conditions, diseases often appear, and water begins to bloom.

Watch the video story about lighting in the aquarium.

### Illumination standards for aquariums

What light is needed for those aquariums in which aquatic plants do not live? In such tanks it is necessary to reduce the intensity of light. To do this, you can take a lamp of lower power. For containers 30 cm long, the lamp power should not exceed 10 watts. With such lighting, the movement of fish will be visible, and the inhabitants of the artificial home pond will feel comfortable. When choosing the intensity of illumination, you must consider the breed of fish. If albino fish live in an aquarium, then even a level of light would be dangerous for them.

For comfortable illumination in an aquarium with a green flora that does not cause stress in fish, a lamp with a length equal to the length of the aquarium is suitable. This is the best option for selecting lighting for shallow tanks. For deep tanks, it is better to select a certain compromise that would create comfortable conditions for both flora and fauna. There are several solutions to this problem.

If there is not enough light in the tank for aquatic verdure, then fish species should be chosen from shallow reservoirs that are accustomed to bright light. In this case, the fish will not be dangerous bright light, and it will be useful for plants. You can choose the types of underwater flora that do not need too bright light. Such varieties are well combined with the content of deep-sea fish. They allow you to create conditions for life, close to natural.

You can pick up seedlings with leaves that can float on the surface of the aquarium and consume the right amount of light. The leaves will create a shade in which the fish will feel comfortable under intense light. In this case, the arrangement of the aquarium should begin with the cultivation of underwater plants. As soon as comfortable conditions for fish are created in an artificial reservoir, it will be possible to launch them. Then, in bright light, fish will be able to hide in the grown leaves of algae floating on the surface of the reservoir. Usually the plants grow to the desired size in two months. For better growth of plants, while there are no fish in the tank, you need to add fertilizer to the soil or water.

When arranging an aquarium, you can pick up high and low species of plants, evenly distributing them in the pond. For starters, choose unpretentious representatives of the aquatic flora: anubiasa, cryptocoryne, elodea, javanese moss, vallysneria, aponogeton, riccia, bacopa, limnofily. You can make such an arrangement only in large aquariums. For small volume tanks this option is not suitable.

Watch the video about unpretentious aquarium plants.

When setting the illumination, you can adjust the direction to which the light will go. The lamp is best sent to the places of intensive plant growth. So you can equip the backlight in large containers. Water areas free from aquatic flora should be decorated with snags or stained oak, which will create shaded "islands" that are close to the natural habitats of fish.

### Light Mode

For comfortable conditions of plants, you should create a twilight mode, which happens in the wild. This is the time when the sun sets slowly, peculiar to different climatic regions. Even tropical species of flora need twilight. Too abrupt transition from light to dark causes stress in seedlings. In wildlife, the processes of lighting and darkness smoothly transform into each other. This must be taken into account when creating the illumination of domestic aquariums.

If the light is turned off and turned on abruptly, then the plants will drastically change the mode, they will not have time to adapt to new conditions and will change their appearance. Many species, even photophilous, need shading for a comfortable life. They are often in bright light trying to roll the leaves, and fall into the shadow of the aquarium. It should be remembered that harsh darkness is also dangerous. If night shade-loving species can survive the day in the shaded corners of the reservoir, then light-loving ones simply cannot develop in dark water. Therefore, it is necessary to consider a smooth transition from light to dark.

To create twilight conditions in the tank, turn on the room lighting before turning on the lamp. 15 minutes is enough for the plants to be able to go from day to night to living. For rooms with good natural lighting in the summer, this is not necessary. When observing the aquarium at this time, you can see how some species of plants are activated in a state of twilight. When the light appears, the bakopas begin to turn the leaves and blossom.

The best kind of lighting for aquarium is natural. If the container is standing next to the window, then the plants in such an aquarium look very beautiful due to the fact that they have enough natural light. But natural light of a temperate climate zone is not suitable for all types of flora. Tropical plants will definitely need a regulated additional lighting - side or corner. The number of light days for light-loving species - 11-12 hours.

It must also be remembered that the sun does not always shine equally brightly. There are cloudy days, and the light then falls. When the light of the sun is too bright, it is also not very good. The water is heated in the sun, and the plants feel uncomfortable. In the strong light of the sun, the water in the aquarium may bloom, the plants will begin to grow strongly, taking away free space from the fish. In the evening the sunshine will also be missed for lighting the aquarium.

Regulate the natural light you need with the help of artificial lamps. It must be remembered that the main part of the light in an artificial reservoir must fall through the top. With proper alternation of natural and artificial lighting of the reservoir, it is possible to create comfortable conditions for both fish and aquatic plants.

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