Aquarium Lighting 101: How to Choose The Best Aquarium Lighting for Fish Color?

Confused about which kind of light to get for your fish? What should be the color of the light? And which ones are the Best Aquarium Lighting for Fish Color in the market? Well, don’t fret, like every aquarium enthusiast stepping their toe into the sea for the first time (pun intended), you need to start from somewhere.

To help you shorten the learning curve, we have this guide prepared just for you.

We will start with the basic question; do fish even light? And make our way to how to find the best aquarium lighting for fish tanks along with our top 10 suggestions. So let’s dive right in:

If You are in A Hurry! check Below Our top picks of best aquarium led lighting for fish color “Amazon Bestseller” is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost, By advertising

Do fish like led lights?

One thing that is established is that you do need the best aquarium lighting for aquariums and fish color, but the question is, do your fish really need it? Or do they like the light? Well, in short, fish do not really rely on the lighting for aquariums as plants do; fish don’t need them for growth.

However, they do not despise the light if provided in a controlled environment, which basically means the light should not be too harsh on them, and it should not be kept on for the whole day.

If you can control both of these factors, then you can illuminate the tank with best Led aquarium lights and watch those little creatures swim left and right. Now, if you are wondering why I mentioned LED light, then it’s because it is affordable, energy-efficient, and more importantly, it generates minimal heat.

Unlike incandescent lights, you won’t have to worry about the water running hot, which can make it uncomfortable for the fish.

What kind of light do aquarium plants need?

Now if we talk about the aquarium plants, then yes, they do need the help of light to grow better and truly flourish. However, when it comes to the kind of light plants need, then the answer is LED lights.

Gone are those days when you could fetch some CFL or incandescent lights from the nearest hardware store and install them in your aquarium. This is because we have better and more affordable technology now; the LED.

Plus, the amount of work it requires to install CFL or incandescent light and make sure their heat doesn’t damage the plants is simply not worth it now. LED lights are better and safer in almost every way. So the answer to ‘what kind of light aquarium plans needs’ is LED lights.

What to look for to pick the best aquarium led lighting for fish color?

There are many things that you need to consider when you shop for fluorescent or incandescent aquarium lights. However, with the introduction of new light technology, you only really need to consider three things:

  • Should be LED light: The best aquarium lighting for fish color is, hands down, LED. Not only they are very energy efficient, but they are also very safe. Since the LED lights are lightly packed, there is no risk of your fish or plants getting shocked if the light is dropped underwater when it’s powered on.

    Furthermore, they generate less heat, which will keep temperatures normal under the water. And lastly, they last a lot longer than CFL or Incandescent lights combined. If you are interested in knowing about some of the best-LED aquarium lights, make sure to read the section below.

  • Spectrum: Different light colors have different effects on the colors of fish which is why instead of going for a single on, we suggest you get full-spectrum light. This will allow you to change color from blue to white or even magenta and notice the changes in colors of the fish.

    For instance, if you are in the mood of seeing your fish in blue hues with a bit of shine, you can change the spectrum to white. Blue light is generally great for red, green, and bluefish while magenta can bring out other attractive colors in fish especially the red ones. So by getting full spectrum Led lights, you can experiment with colors.

  • Operational Convenience: There are two things that you need to consider when looking at convenient light for the aquarium; the installation and the operation. For installation, you can get the LED lights to just stick to the brackets on the aquarium and be done with it.

    As for the operation, most of the best aquarium lighting for fish tanks come with remote control. So you can change Led light colors, turn them on/off or even set schedules like when they should automatically go on or off. This is the type of convenience that makes every fish owner’s life easier.

Top 10 Best aquarium lighting for fish color Reviews:

Want to bring out the most fantastic and beautiful colors of your aquarium tank’s residents and mesmerize everyone looking at them? Well, then you are in luck because we will suggest some of the best-LED aquarium lights for enhancing your fish color and make them shine. Have a look at the top 10 of them below:

Bestseller No. 1
COODIA Aquarium Hood Lighting Color Changing Remote Controlled...
  • Multiple colors and multiple lighting modes.This light is beneficial to grow plants.
  • With extendable bracket to adjust the length to fit your fish tank,fits tank 30cm--50cm in length
Bestseller No. 2
Barrina 48inches Aquarium Hood Lighting Color Changing Remote...
  • With extendable bracket to adjust the length to fit your fish tank, fits tank 45 to 51-inch length
  • Remote control for choosing 16 solid colors, 4 light modes: Flash, Strobe, Fade and adjust brightness
Bestseller No. 3
NATEEL LED Aquarium Light, Fish Tank Light Waterproof RGB Color...
  • Colorful LED lights -- RGB LED lights with 16 kinds of different color and have 4 modes. Bring you a...
  • IP68 waterproof -- you can set this light under water or out of water, any where you want to light your...
SaleBestseller No. 4
Aquarium Bubble LED Lights RGBW, TOPBRY Remote Controlled Air...
  • 【Remote Control】11 LED RGBW Lights, 16-Colors Changing Effects and 4-Lighting Modes:...
  • 【Adjustable Brightness】There are 7-levels brightness can be adjusted. You can find the most suitable...
Bestseller No. 5
ECtENX LED Aquarium Light, Fish Tank Light, 24 LEDs, Clip on Fish...
  • Aquarium clip light super bright, energy efficient and long lasting LEDs, two-color LED lighting (blue...
  • Aquarium led light enhance colors in fish and corals and can be used to provide stunning lighting effects...
Bestseller No. 6
Number-one Aquarium Bubble Light LED Fish Tank Bubbler Light,...
  • 【Remote Control & Manual】- The aquarium air stone creates beautiful underwater effects with 11 LED...
  • 【Ultra-high Dissolved Oxygen】- This aquarium bubble light built-in air bubble stone, you could...
Bestseller No. 7
Bonlux RGB LED Aquarium Hood Lighting - Color Changing Remote...
  • Benificial for Fish & Plants -- Fish, aquatic low light and higher light plants are growing good under...
  • Multi Color & Modes -- RGB fish tank light has 16 colors and 4 modes with wireless remote. Also, aquarium...
Bestseller No. 8
Fish Tank Light KAPATA RGB Color Changing Underwater Lighting for...
  • Fish tank light wateroroof desigin,diving,lighting and oxygen enrichment(but need to use with the pump).
  • Adopt the particle highlight led lamp beads.Super energey saving,long life and less heat.suitable for all...
SaleBestseller No. 9
MQ 8 in Submersible LED Aquarium Light, 1.2W Color Changing Fish...
  • Colorful Visual Effect- 24 keys controller can provide 16 colors and 4 modes (smooth/flash/strobe/fade)...
  • Lighting Brightness Adjustable - Two buttons (Rise / Down) in the left-top of the remote used to adjust...
Bestseller No. 10
COVOART LED Aquarium Light, 15 inches Fish Tank Light RGB Color...
  • Ultra bright and full spectrum RGB LEDs for showing vivid colors of aquatic plants and fish, can make...
  • Excellent sealed design. The tank light is amphibious with IP68 Rating, can be fully submerged in water...

Freshwater Aquarium Lighting Guide (FAQ)

How Can Lights Make Your Colors Look Better?

There are different logics to this questions. The first one is that when the specific color light bounces of the fish and then goes to your, your eye perceives it a bit differently than the light directly going into your eye. Furthermore, the type of textures, shades, tones, and hues of the light can have different effects on the fish depending on fish’s type.

Moreover, some parts of the aquarium will be brighter and some will be a bit darker because light cannot be equally divided into the whole area especially when there are objects obstructing it like rocks. So if the fish is in brighter part, its color will be different than the darker area.

You can always experiment with different color lights and discover how they affect your fish like green lights will enhance your plant’s look while blue can make the fish and corals fluoresce.

What’s the best light spectrum for aquarium plants “white or blue light for an aquarium?

Yes, there are best aquarium lighting for fish tanks but how their spectrum affects your plants depend on how intense the light is. Some species of plans will thrive in more intense light especially of the aquarium is taller because weaker intensity of light won’t penetrate well.

As for the spectrum, you should go for full-spectrum light having color temperature anywhere from 6,500k to 8000k. And between white and blue, the major part of the light should be blue. Plants need both colors but they thrive more in blue light. So try to mix things up like 70% blue and 30% white light.

What color light is best for betta fish?

Before we move on to the type of color of light for Betta fish, you should ask, do they even like light at all? Well the answer is not so straight I am afraid. Betta fish has a love and hate relationship with any type of light.

This means that they like the light, but for a certain amount of time and at a specific time of the day which is during the day time. So make sure to not overdo things and maintain a schedule of light which is 8-12 hours of sunlight and 12-16 hours in darkness.

So now you know two things, the time and schedule of light and the kind of light they like, which is sunlight. Now the question is, how do we simulate sunlight?

Well, it’s simple, go for plain white light which is pretty close to the natural daylight. While you can also go for colored lights to see the beautiful colors of your Bettas coming out but that can stress them. So we suggest that you give them white light for 8-12 hours and then let them rest in darkness.

How long should aquarium lights be on?

The lighting for aquarium should not be turned on throughout the day, both plants and fish need dark time to relax. So we suggest that you do not keep the light on for more than 10-12 hours every day.

You can install a timer to schedule the light operating hours and not worry about running to the aquarium when it’s ‘sunny’ time for its residents.

If you want to enjoy watching your cute pets rest at night, you can always install moonlights and turn them on at night. They are very low in intensity and won’t harm the fish or plants.

What does blue light in the fish tank do?

Blue light can make the fish shine which is why many aquarium enthusiasts specifically stick to it. Plus, low-intensity blue light which is also called moonlight will not harm your fish even if you have already kept them under high-intensity light for 8-10 hours during the day.

So if you want to enjoy watching your fish rest or swim around at night, using moonlight with low-intensity blue color will illuminate the tank without being harsh on the fish.


So this is pretty much it. Remember, you don’t want to get too much light that can stress out your plants or fish. Just keep the light 8-12 hours on, and then provide darkness to the fish so they can rest. You can of course use moonlight at night to watch those beautiful creatures sleep. And to bring out the best colors in them, check out the top 10 best aquarium lighting for fish color we have suggested above.

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Last update on 2020-09-27 at 19:20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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