Category Archives: Lighting

Lighting – Intensities and Duration

Light is the most important factor when growing aquarium plants. Deciding how much light you need over your aquarium depends on the plants you want to grow, how fast you want them to grow and how many hours of tank maintenance you are prepared to put it. It should also be played with carefully like you would be fire. Too much and your plants could be toast!

It is all to easy to go overboard with aquarium lighting. Often those not injecting CO2 stress out the plants by firing a ton of light at them. More light = more demand for CO2 and nutrients. When these are not supplied enough to meet the plants demands, they start to suffer. Growth deficiencies may occur, the plants might start loosing leaves or they could start to simply melt. Many of us know what happens when your plants suffer…and if you don’t know….algae starts to thrive!

A simple solution to this!? Reduce the intensity of your lighting. Do this by:

  • Disconnecting a bulb
  • Raising your light higher above your water
  • Changing the type of light you have e.g. from T5 bulbs to T8 bulbs
  • Use a dimmer. Many LED units are compatible with certain light dimmer controllers

By reducing your lighting intensity you are lowering the demand for CO2 and nutrients by your plants. You will then start to restore some sort of balance between your lighting and the available nutrients and CO2 in your aquarium. Your plants will start to perk up and over time health will be restored. Growth will be slower, but with lower lighting you have to accept that. However the up side is less pruning is required, and water changes become less rigorous than a tank with high lighting.

While your plants are recovering, remove any dead, deformed or unhealthy leaves by cutting them away using a sharp pair of scissors. This will encourage the plant to focus on new growth. Old unhealthy leaves will be taking up vital energy from the plant. This energy should be focusing on new growth while your plants are recovering.

Furthermore, one more thing you should take into consideration with your lighting is the lighting period. This is the length of time your lights come on to the timer they go off. We recommend sticking to 8 hours per day. Plants do not need any more than this and we think it reduces the risk of algae outbreaks. During the first 2-3 weeks of your tank start-up, try only having your lighting on 6 hours per day. You are less likely to be confronted with early algae formations during this fragile stage of the tanks life. You should also put your light on a timer so your plants are getting the same amount of light each day. Consistency is vital, and this goes for many aspects of having a planted aquarium.

LED Planted Aquarium Light

A suitable light for densely planted aquariums

See here for a post about of NEW LED LIGHTING

If you have any questions, please drop us a e-mail at info@aquariumgardens.co.uk or leave us a comment below, we are happy to help answer any of your planted aquarium questions!

LED Lighting for Tropical Planted Aquariums

Light is the most important factor when growing aquatic plants. The planted aquarium starts with a good lighting unit and I am now about to introduce to you some fantastic new LED lighting units for planted aquariums…

Beamswork LED Planted Tank Lighting

Say hello to the Beamswork LED lighting units designed for use with planted aquariums. These Hi-lumen light units are super slim and adaptable so will fit on any size aquarium. The unit housing is just 5″ thick, which means it will fit under almost any aquarium hood to replace your old aquarium lighting. The adjustable feet will allows the light to be extended to fit onto a range of different sized aquariums. The unit works great over open top aquariums and the feet rest on the aquarium glass side panels.

The 6500K colour is the perfect level for plant visuals, a level considered the best colour rendition for viewing your aquarium plants.

The unit comes in several different adjustable sizes so you can be sure to find a unit that will fit onto your aquarium. The bigger the unit, the more 0.2W LEDS are fitted into the housing.

The various sizes we have available are:

  • 12-18″, 33 x 0.2w 6500k LED’s, 600 Lumens
  • 18-22″, 54 x 0.2w 6500k LED’s, 1020 Lumens
  • 24-30″, 78 x 0.2w 6500k LED’s, 1450 Lumens
  • 36-40″, 129 x 0.2w 6500k LED’s, 2410 Lumens
  • 48-54″, 168 x 0.2w 6500k LED’s, 3140 Lumens

It’s definitely worth giving these a go. They will certainly look much better & take up less space than your old bulky T5 lighting units, and because LED’s use much less power than flourecent tubes, you will be saving £££’s off you electricity bill….win win!?

Plant Care – Aquarium Lighting

Lighting Aquarium

Knowing how much light is needed for your planted aquarium is key to your success.

 

Read this guide on our website

 

Deciding how much light you need over your aquarium depends on the plants you want to grow. Some plants have high light demands, others have low demands. Often, the more light demanded, the harder the plant is to grow. Higher light often requires more maintenance too, as your plants will be growing faster leading to more pruning, fertilization, and water changes.

Types of light

The most common form of aquarium lighting is T8 and T5 florescent bulbs. Both are capable of growing plants, however T5’s are recommended. T5 bulbs are more powerful, and better suited to growing aquarium plants.

 

LED lighting is an up and coming form of aquarium lighting, offering fantastic lighting effects and low running costs. A LED light can last over 5 years, making them a great investment for your aquarium.

 

Lighting Levels

Aquarium plants require differing amounts of light to survive. The lower light demanding plants are generally the easier to grow, making them the perfect choice for beginners, or for ‘low tech/maintenance’ aquariums.

Below we have indicated what we consider to be low, medium and high lighting (assuming you are using T5 bulbs):

 

0.25 Watts per Liter = Low Lighting

 

0.50 Watts per Liter = Medium Lighting

 

0.80 – 1.0> Watts per Liter = High Lighting

 

You will find all our plants have a difficulty rating (Easy, Medium and Hard). Generally speaking, Easy plants require 0.25 Watts per liter, medium difficulty require 0.50 Watts per liter and Hard requires 0.8 – 1.0 Watts per liter.

Lighting Durations

Getting the lighting period correct is important in preventaion of algae. If your lighting period is too long then you could be asking for algae! It’s worth putting your lights on a timer to ensure your plants are getting the same amount of light each day.

 

Avoid:

– Setting your lighting period for longer than 8 hours. Most planted aquariums do not need more than 8 hours of light.

– Setting your lighting period for longer than 6 hours in NEW planted aquarium set-ups. During the first month your lighting period should be shorter to keep away algae while your plants grow in.

 

Colour Temperatures

Color temperature is measured using the Kelvin rating. It tells you the color of the light. Daylight is 6500K, which is whats recommend for the planted aquarium. Plants are not overly fussed about the color of your light in order to grow, they will grow under any light. It is more a case of choosing a color that shows off the natural color of your plants., and often comes down to personal taste. 6000K to 8000K provides a pleasant color output.