Setting Up Lighting For Your Aquarium

These days almost any aquarium sets that you get as a package comes with some form of lighting. But if you do have or buy an aquarium that did not come as a set you would then have to get all the different equipment and accessories separately. In this case, you may be wondering what kind of aquarium lightning to get and how to properly install them.

The real question is whether lighting for a fish tank really is that necessary or is it merely a decorative element that you could do away with.

The first factor that determines the necessity of aquarium lighting is whether you have real plants in your tank or not. If yours is a planted tank, the aquatic plants in the water will require light to perform photosynthesis. Without proper lighting at least for a couple of hours of each day, your live plants will begin to wither and die. If your aquarium is positioned in a place that receives some sunlight daily, even if it is not direct sunlight, then fish tank lights aren’t really that crucial.

Even if you do not have live aquatic plants, having a tank that sits in a dark corner of an ill lighted room is not healthy to your fish. Fish like all living creatures live in a cycle of light and dark. Without a distinct difference between the two, they would eventually have deteriorating health and other issues.

In general there are three types of aquarium lights that you could get: normal fluorescent, compact fluorescent and metal halides.

Normal Fluorescent Lights

These are the common types of lighting you can get for a very cheap price in any pet shop. The normal fluorescent lights do provide the basic function of lighting up your fish tank and they do help with providing your aquatic plants the light it needs. The issue about these lights though is that they can be a little bulky. If you do get shorter tubes, the strength of the light might not be sufficient. The same goes if you have a fairly large tank, where you will need to get a couple of tubes together in order to provide suitable illumination.

Compact Fluorescent Lights

These are just like the normal fluorescent ones with the exception that they are much smaller. But don’t let the size full you, they do provide sufficient illumination as much as a longer normal one would. So the benefit here is that you would be able to have more tubes in a smaller space, giving your plants and fish all the light they need.

Metal Halide Aquarium Lighting

These are the latest addition to the aquarium lighting scene. Metal halide lights are able to provide illumination that is stronger and more concentrated. This allows the light to penetrate far deeper into the tank than Fluorescent lights can, making metal halides perfect for really large tanks. The light spectrum that they provide is also ideal for plants and can be selected based on the type of aquatic plants that you have.

The only drawback here is that it is for advanced aquarium enthusiast because it needs proper installation and maintenance. So if you are a new hobbyist and do not want to go through the hassle, this may not be the one for you.

So your task now is to evaluate the size of your fish tank and see which of the three options you would like to go with. They all have their pros and cons, so it is mainly a matter of preference.

Cool Aquarium Decor For Under $10

Almost anyone can keep a fish tank. What could be so difficult about filling a tank with water and dropping some fish inside? Well, there is actually more to it than that. You will have to replicate the environment from where the fish came from as best as you can. This would mean proper water filtration, the right temperature for your fish as well as the perfect water chemical balance.

But this alone would not ensure that your fish will be healthy and happy. Another important thing which a lot of new as well as experienced hobbyists fail to consider is tank decoration. If you think about it, the fish would probably never know that the lump of resin you dumped in with it is meant to represent a mermaid but aquarium decor do benefit the fish in a number of other ways. The decor create a boundary of sorts within the confines of the tank and this becomes especially important to the territorial fish. Also, the holes and gaps in the tank decor act as little caves for the fish to hide away in when they feel a need.

However, tank ornaments, especially the really cool intricate ones, can be expensive. All is not lost. There are still loads of other tank ornaments that we can get which will not burn a hole in your pocket. In this lens, we’ll look at some of the ornaments that are really cool which you can get for under $10.

Artificial Corals

Artificial corals are a good place to look for inexpensive yet beautiful tank decor. It is fairly easy to find corals and artificial anemone online and in the pet stores. The cool thing about it is that you do not have to worry about what items to match with what. This is because even in nature, there really is no proper matching. You will see corals and anemone of all shapes and colors side by side. You don’t even have to worry about positioning or proper arrangements. Just place them however you like.

A cool thing to do is to have a background of an underwater scene or a coral reef scene. By placing your artificial corals in front of it, it does create a 3D like effect in the tank, making it look like a vast ocean.

Plain Rocks And Aquatic Plants

This is another relatively cheap but excellent alternative when decorating your aquarium. And it really does not take much effort or creativity. All you need to do is arrange some rocks into a formation and place aquatic plants around it. A good idea is to arrange the rocks such that it provides the fish with at least a small cave. As for the plants, try arranging them in a cascading effect, with the tall ones at the back and the shorter ones in the front. And avoid blocking the rocks too much cos they are part of your decor.

For the background, you could use the same ones that I recommended for the Artificial Corals decor just now.

Do It Yourself Decor

One last suggestion is to just find stuff from around your house that you could use as tank ornaments. This can be almost anything such as unwanted china, old pottery and trinkets. But not everything can be put in the tank with fish. Avoid anything metal. They will oxidize and pollute the water. Also don’t have anything that is hand painted without a coat of varnish. The paint will leak into the water and poison it.

Choosing Suitable Aquarium Decor For Little Girls

Not many would care to admit it but the world of aquarium decorations tends to be a little male oriented. Looking at all the different tank ornaments from a distance you can see that they make up such themes as Pirates, Sunken Shipwreck, Greek Ruins, Skulls and more. This is not to mean that those themes are not stuff that girls would not be interested in. My own daughter is crazy about pirates, especially since Captain Jack Sparrow made it on the movies. But younger girls might not yet be into things that portray thrilling adventure or hulking ancient creatures. They may be looking for softer, more colorful alternatives and you might feel a little hard pressed searching for ornaments that would get them interested in fish keeping.

There still are some really cool options if you want a lively, colorful theme for your little girl. We’ll look at some of the best options that would guarantee your little daughter loves the aquarium you got for her and stays interested in it for a long time.

The first option would be castles. Which little girl does not dream of becoming a princess when she grows up. My tween daughter may be a tough tomboy right now but as a little child, she used to dress up in her prettiest princess outfit with her little tiara prancing around the house everyday. With the castle theme, what you would want to look for are ones that are more colorful and fun. There are numerous realistic castle decor on sale, but these tend to look gloomy and most in ruins. They make awesome looking decor in the eyes of an adult but may be a little too morbid for a little girl. Try to get colorful ones that allow the fish to enter inside as the cave would be a great benefit to the fish.

Another really cool suggestion would be the Dora the Explorer collection. Dora has numerous fish tank decor pieces that you could use in the aquarium, showing her in various poses and outfits. You can even get the other characters from the show such as Boots her monkey friend as well as her cousin Diego. Match these up, place them with some rocks and aquatic plants and they would look exactly like a scene from one of the cartoon shows.

Next we have the Atlantis theme. Ignore the ruins and temples for this one. You should focus more on getting a mermaid or two. Then add on one of the colorful caves that you could get, with tiny corals and anemone painted on them which will look really eye catching. To complement the theme, if there is some space to spare, you could add a couple of sea creatures. Get the fun looking cartoonish ones, such as sea horses and starfishes to create a really fun theme.

The final option would be fairies. Honestly, there are very few fairy tank ornaments on sale. But if you wish, you could get some resin home ornaments that can be placed inside the aquarium. Just ensure that there are not metal parts and that the ornaments are not hand painted without a layer of protection that prevents the paint from wearing out and leaking into the water. You may want to check out the Faerie Glen Bubble collection, which in my opinion are some of the most gorgeous fairy ornaments on sale today.