5 Reasons to Daylight Your Aquarium

Daylight is beneficial for living organisms, and that includes marine life. Fish, coral, and other aquatic creatures and plant life found in outdoor water environments thrive under the full spectrum of natural light the sun provides. But what about their indoor brethren who spend their lives under the glare and heat of electric light?

Those whose owners take care to use appropriate artificial lighting and cooling equipment can actually fare quite well. Even so, a naturally-lit tank environment may be a better option for both inhabitants and enthusiasts.

While windows and skylights may be the obvious choices for natural lighting, they are not necessarily the best. In fact, in both cases the light tends to shift as the sun travels across the sky, making it hard to control its position, duration and intensity. A Solatube® Daylighting System, on the other hand, is ideal for this type of lighting scenario.

Also known as a tubular daylighting device, solar tube, light pipe, or tubular skylight, a Solatube Daylighting System uses an advanced optical dome to capture the sun’s rays at the roof level of your home. It then transports the light into your interior using highly reflective tubing that can maneuver around obstacles in your attic without structural modifications. This makes it possible to position the light directly above your aquarium, even if it’s on a lower floor. A specially designed diffuser then disperses the light evenly throughout the space below.

Along with precise positioning, here are five more reasons to consider a Solatube Daylighting System for your aquarium.

Reason #1: Light color

For your tank inhabitants to flourish, they need access to the same spectrum and intensity of light that their species is accustomed to outdoors. For example, many corals rely on blue light to survive while aquatic plants need both blue and red light for optimal growth.

While electric lights are available in most colors and can be used to successfully sustain aquarium life, the result may not be pleasing to the eye. That’s why electrically-lit saltwater reef aquariums, for instance, are often outfitted with blue light for sustainability of aquarium life and additional white light for improved color rendition. Natural light from a Solatube Daylighting System not only allows you to meet the needs of all your aquarium dwellers but also achieve the aesthetics you want.

Reason #2: Light output

Light duration and intensity are other factors to consider when it comes to aquatic life. Tropical fish, for example, prefer about 12 hours of strong light each day. Invertebrates, on the other hand, prefer darker, less intensely lit environments. An optional Solatube Daylight Dimmer allows you to adjust light levels from 0% to 100% so you can customize light output to benefit your particular tank species. It also helps control algae growth by limiting the amount of daylight delivered to your tank.

Reason #3: Heat control

Controlling water temperature is another crucial factor for tank life. Solatube Daylighting Systems feature Spectralight® Infinity Tubing, which rejects heat-carrying infrared rays that can warm your aquarium environment. With these rays blocked, the use of cooling fans and water chillers is minimized…as is your energy bill.

Reason #4: Nighttime viewing

For nighttime aquarium viewing, electric lighting can be integrated into a Solatube Daylighting System. Or you can opt for the Solatube Smart LED™ System, which delivers natural light during the day and LED light at night. The advantage of LEDs is that they require very little electricity. This keeps energy costs down and minimizes heat transfer to your tank.

Reason #5: Reduced maintenance

A Solatube Daylighting System can also reduce maintenance. By delivering the full spectrum of natural light, you can cut back on colored bulb purchases and replacement. Since infrared rays are blocked, you may not need to use cooling fans or water chillers as often. If you opt for the Daylight Dimmer, you may also be able to minimize algae blooms and cleanup.

Natural light from a Solatube Daylighting System brings out the colors of your aquarium fish. With a Solatube Daylighting System or Smart LED System, illuminating your aquarium with natural light is both practical and possible. It allows your fish and plants to thrive and their colors to appear more vibrant. When you add a Solatube OptiView® Decorative Fixture to your setup, you can even add a natural sparkle effect similar to that produced when daylight reflects off oceans and lakes. You’ll be able to control heat and light output to suit the needs of various aquatic species while reducing maintenance requirements. Plus, you’ll save money by reducing electricity typically used for electric lights, cooling fans and water chillers.

All of this adds up to increased enjoyment of your aquarium, which is the whole point of having one. So don’t settle for electric lighting when you can get the beauty and benefits of daylight, and view your aquarium the way it was meant to be seen—naturally.

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