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When we choose to light for our human castles, we consider the beautification characteristics first, then take into account the wattage, the styles of desk lamps, wall sconces, chandeliers, and security lights, for example.
But when we prepare to get aquarium lighting, we must consider that beyond providing visual effects, aquarium lighting decides the health, welfare, and life longevity of our aquatic pets. Therefore we need to study a bit more for aquarium lighting than we would for, say, a couple of night lights.
For example, there are qualifications of aquarium lighting to decide on–the costs, the lumen quotient, and the light spectrum requirements of the plants and fish moving in. These specifics are in many different types of lighting, such as incandescent, fluorescent, compact, and/or metal halide lighting, with their high lumen output, energy-efficient, high intensity, and broad-spectrum, and luminescent glow characteristics, respectively. Already you might agree that these details are quite different from the overhead or bedstead lamps in our own lives, no?
Aquarium Plants, for Real
Thirty years ago, it was easier to get and maintain artificial than real aquarium plants. But then, those aquarium plants were for aesthetics–they were pretty to look at.
With the new artistry of aquarium keeping, however, it is understood real that plants–with species numbering in the hundreds–have many more benefits: besides being beautiful and natural, living aquarium plants contribute to the well-being of the tank and therefore of the main attraction–the fish.
First, there are types of aquarium plants–greenery that grows differently–to choose from: there are rosette plants, floating plants, stem and rhizome plants. Plants are hailing from South America, Africa, Asia, and southeast Asia, plants pan-tropic, central American, and American.
Then, we consider the tolerance levels of each of the types and species of aquarium plants. Some plants need soft water. Some thrive in the hardest of waters. Others require a high light intensity, while others still need moderate to dim lighting.
Whatever your decisions regarding aquarium plants, it’s best to read up, research, and consult a professional aquarist or his or her web pages. What’s pretty, in other words, could demand rigorous care, while what’s not so hot to look at might be the best thing for your babies, your little fishies.