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Video: Aquarium Lighting: Spectrum And Intensity
Lighting in an aquarium is not only responsible for its aesthetic appearance, but also for the overall health of fish, plants and invertebrates. The goal set when designing a lighting system is to simulate as much as possible the natural lighting conditions of organisms and plants that live in an aquarium. Below we look at the characteristics of light and how natural light can be simulated in aquariums.
Measurement of light characteristics
Spectrum. Usually the spectrum or "temperature" of light is measured in degrees Kelvin (K). This unit of measurement is based on the spectrum of light that a "black body" would emit in the corresponding degrees Kelvin. At 0 degrees Kelvin (equivalent to 273 ° Celsius), no light is emitted. When a black body heats up, it emits red light. As it heats up, yellow light appears, then green, blue, and finally purple. A candle flame is measured at 1800 K. Sunlight at noon is rated at 5500 K. This light is called full spectrum because it contains a mixture of all colors. Remember, the lower the K degree, the redder the light spectrum. The higher the Kelvin, the more the light tends to the blue spectrum and is said to have a higher color temperature.
Freshwater aquarium lighting
In nature, when light enters water and passes through the first 5 m of water, red and orange waves of light are absorbed by the water, increasing the K, resulting in a blue color. When light penetrates 9 m of water, the yellow spectrum is absorbed, and at a depth of 15 m, green waves are filtered out and only blue and violet remain. This leads to the fact that the light has the highest degree of Kelvin here.
Light intensity. The intensity of light can be measured at its source and on the surface that the light is exposed to.
The intensity of the light that hits the surface is measured in the international unit "lux". It is a metric unit, similar to a foot candle: 1 foot candle equals 10.7 lux. The intensity of sunlight on the surface of the water on the reef can reach in excess of 120,000 lux, but due to different weather and atmospheric quality, it averages about 75,000 lux. When light enters the water and its various waves are absorbed, its intensity also decreases. In clear water, you can determine how quickly light changes in different water environments. For example, the intensity level on a clear water reef will average approximately 20,000 lux at 4.5 m and 10,000 lux at 9 m. Therefore, knowing the conditions in which an organism lives in its natural environment, you be able to determine the intensity of light,which you need to maintain for it in the aquarium. Light intensity meters are readily available and relatively inexpensive. They are used to determine the light intensity in the aquarium and to diagnose the need for lamp replacement.
The unit of measure for watts is related to lux. One lux equals 1.46 milliwatts (0.00146 watts) of energy of one specific frequency (555 nm) that heats a surface of one square meter. However, since lamps used in aquariums emit light at many frequencies, not just 555 nm, there is no exact formula that can be used to determine the number of lux produced by a lamp of a given wattage.
Reef aquarium lighting
The spectrum and intensity of light in nature. There are many factors that influence the color and intensity of light in aquatic environments in nature. These factors include the depth and clarity of the water, the weather and the clarity of the air. Therefore, in each reservoir, the characteristics of light will be different.
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Light spectrum and intensity for aquariums
Fish-only aquariums… The function of the fish-only aquarium lighting system is to provide the day / night cycle needed for the health of the fish. Since the spectrum and intensity of light for fish is not as important as for a plant or coral aquarium, the lighting system for this type of aquarium can be designed with other factors in mind, including aesthetics. When determining the cost of a lighting system, consider not only the initial cost, but also the operating costs of maintaining the system. When budgeting, choose lighting equipment that does not consume excessive amounts of electricity and lamps do not need private replacement. You can use the rule - for a fish-only aquarium, lighting is set at 1-2 watts per 5 liters of water.A standard or powerful compact fluorescent system can be a good choice for this aquarium. The spectrum of lighting is chosen here only based on personal preference. In general, lamps rated more for the red part of the spectrum (low K) illuminate colors better than a lamp with a higher Kelvin. However, algae thrive in low K lighting conditions, resulting in more difficult aquarium maintenance. If your goal is to illuminate the inhabitants of the aquarium with a low K lamp, you can use special chemicals to combat algae, or reduce the number of hours you light the aquarium.rated more at the red end of the spectrum (low K), illuminates colors better than a lamp with a higher Kelvin. However, algae thrive in low K lighting conditions, resulting in more difficult aquarium maintenance. If your goal is to illuminate the inhabitants of the aquarium with a low K lamp, you can use special chemicals to combat algae, or reduce the number of hours you light the aquarium.rated more at the red end of the spectrum (low K), illuminates colors better than a lamp with a higher Kelvin. However, algae thrive in low K lighting conditions, resulting in more difficult aquarium maintenance. If your goal is to illuminate the inhabitants of the aquarium with a low-K lamp, you can use special chemicals to combat algae or reduce the number of hours you light the aquarium.you can use special chemicals in the fight against algae or reduce the number of hours of aquarium lighting.you can use special chemicals in the fight against algae or reduce the number of hours of aquarium lighting.