Aquarium lighting is an important but often overlooked and sometimes confusing aspect when keeping an aquarium, especially for a beginning aquarist. This confusion is caused mainly by the many available types of aquarium lighting.
Bright lighting systems are the key to seeing all the activity that goes on in an aquarium and brings out the colors of your fish. Additionally, without adequate lighting, aquarium plants won’t grow and your fish won’t be at peak health.
The type of aquarium light needed for any size of the fish tank depends on which fish and plants you wish to keep and what the final look will be.
Species Considerations :
Different types of aquarium specimens will need different light requirements to thrive. Once you decide which species you’d like to house, you can better determine their lighting needs. Researching the requirements of the specific subspecies you will add to the aquarium before choosing aquarium lighting ensures that the lights will produce the correct amount and type of light for the subspecies.
Most common community aquarium fish come from rivers, streams, or clear lakes. These fish are used to the bright sunlight and warming rays of rainforest weather. With bright light, however, there must be darker places to accommodate the fish that like to hide from the light. Live plants and rock outcroppings help simulate nature for these fish.
On the other hand, bright light may not always be a good choice. Some fish in a community aquarium may naturally come from the bottom of murky floodplains and enjoy a dimmer environment.