No matter what you have an interest in, if you have a collection, you will want to show it off in the best possible light. Similarly, if you have a pet, you will want to make sure that you care for it properly and ensure it remains in good health. If you have fish at home, there is an opportunity for you to achieve both of these aims in one easy move. The right type of fish tank lighting will not only help you to show off your collection of fish, but the right style of lighting can also positively impact on the health and happiness of your fish too.

It may seem like a simple thing but when you are considering the lighting for your fish tank, the fish and any organisms that are in it, you need to think about what their natural habitat is. It is important to try and replicate the day and night cycle that the fish is used to. You would not be comfortable if you had a bright and powering light shining in your face every hour of the day and the same goes for your fish. The right lighting for your fish tank can help to replicate a setting where your fish feel at ease, helping them to feel more comfortable and at home in your tank. This means being able to replicate a day and night feel to your fish tanks lighting set-up is the first thing you should consider.

Think about your fish
With this in mind, you will then need to think about the right style of lighting for the fish inside your tank. If you unsure about what style of fish you have or you are worried about buying the wrong type, using a Power Compact (PC) fluorescent bulb will be sensible. This is because this is a very versatile bulb which will provide ample lighting for all types of fish and tanks. These bulbs also last a long while and although they are not the cheapest bulbs on the market (which is the standard incandescent or halogen bulb), they are affordable and provide great value for money. This style of aquarium lighting is the ideal place to start but once you develop more confidence or focus on a particular style of fish, you may be interested in trying other forms of lighting.

If the price is your deciding factor for lighting your aquarium, halogen or incandescent bulbs will be of benefit but in reality, they are not the best option for fish tanks. They are very cheap and can provide a wide range of colours to light your tank but they provide a poor return of heat and light. If you are opting for this style of lighting, you need to make sure that it will be sufficient to the needs of life within your fish tank.

Lighting has to be right for your type of fish
The Normal Output (NO) fluorescent bulb is a strong choice for freshwater fish. This style of bulb is the cheapest you will find to buy and it can be selected in a wide range of colours and there are even different effects to opt for. For freshwater fish or tanks that are shallow, this is a strong option but they may not provide sufficient lighting for tanks that are deep.

For saltwater fish, you would be advised to opt for the High Output (HO) or the Very High Output (VHO) fluorescent bulbs. These are smaller and provide a much brighter light than the NO fluorescent bulbs, so can be utilised in deeper fish tanks. However, these are not as common and there is a need to have a specialist fitting to use these bulbs. There is also the fact that these bulbs have a much shorter shelf-life than other bulbs. If the value for money is important to you, you should be able to find better options than this bulb.
One of the most important things about lighting options for fish tanks is the fact that there is a wide range of options to choose from. It doesn’t matter whether size, price, colour or power is the most important factor for you, there will be an option that suits your needs, helping you to get more from your fish tank and the life inside it.