All of the benefits of LED aquarium lighting mentioned above here apply as well. From the longevity to the energy efficiency, there’s no doubt LEDs lead the way there.
But what about using a metal halide as an energy source for your aquarium? What are the advantages there?
Let’s take a look:
Before we start talking about the benefits of metal halides in aquariums, we need to understand what one is. Metal halides are high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting systems that give off most of their light from an electric arc inside a small discharge tube.
Metal halides are popular when it comes to aquariums due to the amount of light they emit for their size.
For a more in-depth look at how metal halides work in aquariums, check out this video:
Metal halide aquarium lights come in two varieties, single-ended and double-ended. They also come in different wattages and color temperatures. Depending on the size of your tank, you can determine the wattage you’re going to need.
This lighting calculator is still the best resource. You input all your stats, and it will tell you what bulb wattage is best.
But, is the metal halide the best choice for your aquarium?
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of metal halide lighting.
- Bright illumination
- Single fixture generates same brilliant result as multiple fixtures of other bulb types
- Creates beautiful shimmering effect other sources do not produce
- Light gives the aquarium a natural look
- Some bulbs can last up to two years before they need replacement
- Generate a lot of heat which increase water temperature inside the aquarium
- Need to be aware of proper bulb placement so that there is ventilation inside the tank
- May require a water chiller if bulbs give off too much heat
- May contain a small amount of mercury which means it needs to be disposed of in a particular way
Who knew aquarium lighting could be so complicated, and there could be so many choices?
It’s like lighting your own home…but for fish!
That’s why there’s a lot to consider when choosing what type of lighting is best for your aquarium. You need to consider the level of illumination you’re looking for as well as how to import energy efficiency is to you.
Also, how do you want to spend your money illuminating your tank? Do you want to pay more money upfront on bulbs or your monthly bill?
If you’re still unsure which choice to go with, ask some friends who have aquariums. See what’s working and not working for them. You can also check out online forums where people always have a lot to say about just about everything.
By doing your homework you can save yourself a lot of time, money, and aggravation.