Tag Archives: Aquarium Lighting

admin    June 28, 2018   CATEGORY: Industry News and Tips

Should You Use Different Lighting for Saltwater Aquariums and Freshwater Aquariums?

Light is light, right? Isn’t it all the same thing? Well, when it comes to fish tanks, there’s much more to it than that. You should use different lighting for saltwater aquariums and freshwater aquariums for a few reasons.

Using Different Lighting for Saltwater Aquariums and Freshwater Aquariums

As an aquarium is set up, the goal is to mimic a natural sea life environment. That’s why a fish aquarium often includes items like dry or live rock when setting up saltwater environments, live plants, coral, and various substrates, depending on if it’s a freshwater aquarium or saltwater aquarium.

While the fish probably don’t need as much light as we think they do, some lighting is critical. The purpose of the light is more for us to see them, but it’s also important for the natural behavioral characteristics of the fish and for the overall health of the aquarium and its inhabitants, especially if they would naturally live in shallow water.

Following are some basic guidelines regarding the best lighting to use for different types of aquariums, as listed by Doctors Foster and Smith.

Different Lighting for Saltwater Aquariums and Freshwater Aquariums

• Fish-only aquariums that contain fish, artificial plants, and decorative wood or ceramics: Standard, power compact fluorescent system, or LED lights at 1 to 2 watts per gallon.

• Freshwater aquariums that contain live plants that depend on light: Standard fluorescent, T-5, HO, VHO, Power Compact, Metal Halide/HQi, or LED at 2 to 5 watts per gallon. When it comes to freshwater aquariums, too much light may result in the growth of algae, but not enough light can endanger the plants. For that reason, it’s important to ensure that the right amount and intensity of light is used.

• Saltwater aquariums / marine reef aquariums that contain fish, invertebrates, corals, and live rock: The recommended lighting system is T-5 HO, VHO, Power Compact, Metal Halide/HQI, or LED. The strength and saturation of light depends greatly on the natural habitat of your specific fish and other wildlife. In the wild, corals can be found deep underwater or in shallower areas, and the same goes for the type of fish that are in your saltwater aquarium. Generally, if your reef aquarium is 24 inches deep or less, use a lighting system of 4 to 8 watts per gallon.

Regardless of how much or what type of light is used, it’s important to regulate the temperature of the tank. Tank water that is overheated can be dangerous to the wildlife. For this reason, you also should limit the use of strong lights or use a lighting system that can be dimmed. It may be wise to have the lighting system on a timer as well.

Have Seatech Aquariums Install Your Aquarium and Its Lighting System

Now that you understand a little more about the different lighting for saltwater aquariums and freshwater aquariums, there are a couple more things you should know.

First, each aquarium is wonderfully unique, and making it so is our goal. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating a natural habitat for your wildlife. Each piece of coral is as different as each type of fish in the aquarium, and a combination of all the different elements of your aquarium is what makes it all yours. For that reason, the best type of lighting for your tank will depend on a variety of factors, which is why we will include the best system for your livestock as we install your aquarium.

It’s also important to not only use the recommended lights, but also to have them installed properly for your safety and for the safety of your livestock.


Should You Use Different Lighting for Saltwater Aquariums and Freshwater Aquariums? Contact us at Seatech Aquariums to have an aquarium lighting system installed.

TAGS: Aquarium Installation, Aquarium Lighting, Fish Tank Lighting, Freshwater Aquarium, Reef Aquarium, Saltwater Aquarium,

admin    June 26, 2017   CATEGORY: Aquarium Maintenance ,Reef Aquariums ,Saltwater Aquariums

What Lighting Should You Buy for a Saltwater Aquarium vs Reef Aquarium?

Lighting is one of the most important factors for your fish tank, and choosing the right lights, including type, brightness, and size, can have a significant impact on the overall health of your fish and the small ecosystem that is your aquarium. This is especially true if your tank has living coral, as this life form depends on light for its food and nutrition. So what lighting should you buy for a saltwater aquarium vs reef aquarium? We’d like to share some basic information to help you make the right choice.

What Lighting Should You Buy for a Saltwater Aquarium vs Reef Aquarium?

• Basic Saltwater Aquarium Lighting with No Coral

If you have a tank that holds only fish and artificial plants and decorations, then a standard light fixture will suit your needs just fine. Generally, you’ll want a lighting system that provides one to two watts for every gallon, which should provide enough light to simulate daytime conditions.

In reality, a fish-only aquarium is very forgiving as far as the type of light you choose, as fish are not dependent on light to survive. Give them enough light so you can see them and you’ll essentially meet their needs. However, it’s generally accepted that you should avoid standard bulbs, as they can promote brown algae. Instead, choose fluorescent or LED lighting.

• Reef Aquarium Lighting with Coral

What Lighting Should you Buy for a Saltwater Aquarium vs Reef Aquarium

What lighting should you buy for coral? That’s when the answer becomes more complex. When you add life that depends directly on light, which includes coral and plants, you need to be very particular about the light you provide. If you have a tank with coral, choose metal halide lights, LEDs, T-5 HO, VHO, or compact lights. Coral needs light for a large portion of its nutrition, but the required amounts will vary. You can find coral that grows near the surface, or coral that lives over 60 feet down, which means they are adapted to low-light conditions.

The generally accepted ratio is four to eight watts for every gallon. However, if you choose coral that does better in low-light conditions, you can get by with low-powered light and still have a thriving aquarium.

• Be Aware of Heat from Lighting

No matter what type of aquarium you have, it’s important to be aware of heat generation from lights. Products like metal halide lights can increase water temperature, so you may need to use fans or other methods to keep the water cool. You may even need a chiller, depending on the size of your aquarium and the specific setting.

What Lighting Should You Buy for a Saltwater Aquarium vs Reef Aquarium? Get the Expert Answers You Need!

Aquariums can be gorgeous, changing the character and charm of a room. However, they can also be complex.

Work with Seatech, the area’s expert in aquarium design and maintenance, and you’ll have a saltwater aquarium that enhances your entire home with the right lighting for fish, plants, and coral.

What Lighting Should You Buy for a Saltwater Aquarium vs Reef Aquarium?

TAGS: Aquarium Lighting, Reef Aquarium, Saltwater Aquarium,