Fluorescent tubes are usually used for those aquariums that contain only fish without freshwater aquarium plants or saltwater reefs. However, depending on requirements, reef tanks and live coral will do better only with metal halide system that produces high intensity lighting. Somehow for the best result, mixing fluorescent tubes with metal halide is always the preferred choice because it will provide full benefit of both systems and experienced aquarium hobbyist are known to prefer such setup.
Proper lighting is necessary to replicate the natural conditions found in natural habitats. Aquarium fish needs at least 12-14 hours of light exposure and thus the best setup should have a timer that automatically turns on and off the light for specific period of time daily. Aquarium light tubes should be contained in a light hood and general maintenance will require the tubes to be replaced at least once every 9 months to ensure best performance.
The Purpose of Aquarium Light
Lighting does not only play its purpose to provide visual appeal or with the intention to decorate the aquarium but its role also include providing natural equilibrium. It is important as a unit that functions as biological clock for the fish that lives in the tank. Pets like all living beings, when exposed under the normal and natural alternate day and night cycle will usually exhibit more alertness and overall appears healthier. Don’t forget when the lights get dimmed out, these are the best time for most species of fish to relax and rest. This will turn your aquarium into having a proper conducive environment and more important, a place to call home to live in.
The energy emits by the light also allows live plants to perform photosynthesis and generate new leaves. Not only that, the micro-algae that acts as food source for the fish also rely on natural spectrum to thrive and produce in large numbers sufficient to strike a proper balance. The best aquarium lighting which you should go after are those that provide illumination which resembles as close as possible the one similar like in the wild habitat with regards to quantity and most important quality. The quality of light is usually measured based on the intensity and spectrum range that it produced. Energy is lost as the beam has to travel long distance towards the bottom of the aquarium and as a general rule of thumb, the application and use of fluorescent tubes are recommended for depth of only up to half meter. One thing an aquarist should always take note is that maintaining a crystal clear water is of extreme importance as water with a lot of suspended particles with cloudy appearance will prevent light from reaching bottom of the tank.
Examples of Common Light Tubes.
These days, there are endless list of manufacturers with different brands all serving multipurpose functions. Phillips for example is the most commonly heard brand name in pet shops providing florescent tubes with the dominant blue color type being the favorite among aquarist. It is usually installed in conjunction with daylight lamps to create the spectrum that resembles those at natural lakes in Africa and especially for those cichlids tank. This are made for freshwater setup that contains very less plants with mostly hardy species and it is also mainly for those with rocky type of environment. For reef and live plants setup, you will also come across Osram and Sylvania metal halide brands made specially to provide full and strong illumination.