Aquarium Lighting: A Necessary Evil?

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Published: Monday, April 30, 2012, 14:03 [IST]
 
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Aquarium Lighting: A Necessary Evil?

We love our fish as pets but no one can deny that aquariums have a decorative value too! After all, we are not rearing fish in a pond but within the confines of our tiny urban homes. Lighting the aquarium makes it look good but it also heats up the water. Aquarium fish may tolerate lights but they do not love the harsh water lights 24 x 7. So, where do we draw the line between decoration and fish care?

Aquarium lighting can help and harm in some ways. Here is what you should do if the fish in your aquarium are your first priority.

Aquarium Lighting: Dos and Don'ts

1. Time Period: In an average fish tank, you can leave the aquarium lighting on for about 8 to 10 hours. Anything more than this might prove to be detrimental for the fish. It might make the water too hot to be habitable.

2. Aquarium Plants: If you have real living plants in your aquarium, then the time period can be extended to 12 hours (half a day). This is because the plants need light for photosynthesis. Aquatic plants cannot live without sufficient lights.

3. Type Of Fish: Some breeds of aquarium fish are photo-shy. They do not like too much light. If your tank has a majority of such fish breeds like tetra and chichids, then you must limit the lighting hours of your aquarium. Also consider using low power water lights or covering the lights with shades to reduce their intensity and brightness.

4. The Size Of Your Tank: The right amount of lights you use will be determined by the size of your fish tank. If you have a tiny fish bowl and use a 100 watt bulb in it, then it will affect the health of your aquarium fish. You need to use lights that are proportional to the size of the tank and the number of fish it holds.

5. Water Heat: Lights will heat the water in the fish tank. This will lead to evaporation. It means that you need to refill the water in your tank more regularly if you have aquarium lights.

6. The Cycle Of Day And Night: It is not like lights do only harm the aquarium fish. Your fish also need these lights to maintain the cycle of day and night. Goldfish for example are more active during the day. Without the lights, your fish will lose their sense of time. This unsettles their body clock.

To care for your fish, you do need aquarium lighting. The trick is to use it judiciously.

Topics: pets, pet care
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