Types of Lighting Systems

There are many options available now for illuminating an aquarium, but they all fit conveniently into two categories: fluorescent and metal halide. Within these two categories there are a few different formats, and plenty of bulbs to choose from.

Forms of lighting that are not recommended for reef tanks include some mercury vapour and sodium vapour lights, as well as HQL and HQI-NDL lighting which have colour temperatures (4300 K) and spectrums that aren t ideal. These lights can be used successfully for reef aquariums, provided UV emissions are blocked and temperature is managed. With 4300 K light, the colours of the animals and appearance of the tank is not as good as with daylight spectrum, but most corals will still grow as long as they receive bright light. Quartz halogen lights that are inexpensive and readily available from hardware or department stores are also unsuitable because of the spectrum and the tremendous amount of heat they produce.

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Wavelength/nM

Aquarium and Fish Care Tactics

Aquarium and Fish Care Tactics

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