The Best Aquarium Light To Prevent Algae

Last Updated on October 21, 2022 by Griselda M.

Wondering which is the best aquarium light to prevent algae? Read our tips for choosing the ideal one and thus preserving a healthy aquatic environment.

Aquarium lighting plays a much more important role than mere aquarium illumination. It is important for the optimum growth and development of all living beings, just like their diet and sleep.

Have you noticed any sudden changes in your aquarium and are therefore afraid for the health of your aquatic world? Wondering what to do? Learn more about the best aquarium light to prevent algae and solve all your problems.

Algae in Fish Tanks – How and Why?!

The term “algae” is a complex that implies a large number of different organisms. Interestingly, they do not thrive in just any kind of environment. So, they will thrive only in an environment that is rich in water, light, and nutrients. They need a perfect breeding ground. Therefore, aquariums are an excellent place for their development.

These are the most common reasons for their occurrence:

  • home light on for too long,
  • too much direct sunlight,
  • excess in fish food,
  • irregular water change,
  • accumulation of excess nutrients in the water.

The Most Common Types Of Algae in Your Aquariums

If you notice them in your aquarium, don’t panic right away. Most of them are completely harmless, but there is still that part that is dangerous and difficult to remove. These are the most common types and ways to recognize them.

  • Brown algae (also called gravel or silica algae) – are harmless and very easy to remove. They do not look very beautiful, most often appear in new aquariums and disappear over time.
  • Blue-green algae (also called slime or smear algae) – appears due to too much nitrate and phosphate in tank water and is considered cyanobacteria. They reproduce and grow extremely fast and are difficult to control.
  • Red (beard algae) – one of the most difficult to get rid of, grows on plants.
  • Green algae (growth hair, thread, or spot algae) – completely harmless, easy to remove, they appear at some point in almost any aquarium.
  • Green water (also known as an algae bloom) – changes the color of water because it suspends in water instead of growing on surfaces. It is very difficult to get rid of because it cannot be simply scraped or wiped.

Click here to read more about other aquarium invaders.

Now you are probably wondering how to solve this problem. The solution is very simple – modify your lighting.

The type of lighting you are using greatly affects the growth of algae in your aquarium tank. It is necessary for all living beings. Choosing the right light color helps create a lush and healthy aquatic environment. Most importantly, choosing the ideal light helps in controlling algae growth. Therefore, let’s say a few words about the best aquarium lights to prevent algae.

Blue Light For Fish Tank

The blue light is special because it is intended to mimic the moonlight. However, its primary purpose is to let you see your nocturnal fish and their activities when they are awake at night. Interesting and simple, isn’t it?

It is most commonly used to mark the transition between dawn and dusk. On the other hand, it is very calm and allows edgy fish to venture out in search of food. Blue light is special in its duality – it benefits nocturnal creatures and allows diurnal fish to rest at night.

Most important of all, blue lighting for a fish tank does not affect the day and night cycle of living beings. However, it affects preventing the growth of algae. This is a great benefit when using it.

Led Lighting Fish Tanks

LED lights (Light Emitting Diodes) have experienced a significant boom in the aquarium industry in recent years thanks to their high energy-efficient and long-lasting. In each bulb, they have small microchips that convert small electric currents into the light we see shining from the glass.

Another reason for their popularity is that they are not as heavy on the environment or wallets as halogen lights can be. What makes them special is their longer lifespan, less energy consumption, and several different color options.

However, it is time to dispel one important myth that has brought this type of light to a bad reputation. LED aquarium lighting does not cause algae growth. Moreover, it helps in suppression.

Led Lighting Fish Tanks

Learn more about the Top 6 Cheap Aquarium Lighting For Plants

Fluorescent Fish Tank Light

Available in a range of sizes, shapes, and light intensities, fluorescent bulbs can be found in aquariums around the world. It gives a good light intensity (more light but at a smaller size) and produces little heat. This type of aquarium light is most often installed in the aquarium cover (hood).

Its advantage is the wide range of light that allows/mimics the original environment and can sustain photosynthesis for aquarium plants. Although there is a price difference between Fluorescent and LED light bulbs for aquariums, their lifespan is noticeably shorter. Which means frequent bulb replacements. However, the positive thing is that you can find them in almost every fish store, they are easily available.

And to be clear, fluorescent lighting will also not cause excessive algae formation in your aquarium.

Read more about How To Clear Green Aquarium Water?

What Color Light Stops Algae Growth?

So, it is important to remember, an algae outbreak is caused by light intensity as well as the duration you keep the light switched on. If you keep the light on for more than 8 to 12 hours a day, you can expect accelerated expansion and algae growth. This applies equally to all types of lights, whether you opt for blue, metal halide, LED, or fluorescent lighting.

The simplest solution – invest in a timer on your aquarium light to create a consistent day/ night cycle. Truth be told, algae outbreaks are more often caused by nutrient build-up than by light itself.

Final Thoughts

If you notice algae in your aquarium, the most important thing is to react properly and on time. Try not to panic. The vast majority are completely harmless and very easy to remove from the tank.

Choosing the right lighting for your aquarium enhances its natural beauty and provides a healthy environment. Fish, plants, and all other living creatures have their own specific lighting needs. Do your best to enable them to grow and develop properly.

What do you think is the best aquarium light to prevent algae? Write us your ideas and suggestions below, we are waiting for you!


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