Best Aquarium Light To Prevent Algae

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Aquariums can be beautiful additions to any home, but keeping algae at bay can be a challenge. When algae takes over an aquarium, it can be difficult to get rid of and can often look unsightly. To make things worse, some types of algae can be harmful to fish and other aquatic life.

To fix the problem, we need to look into the factors that contribute to algae growth. The most important of these is probably light. Aquarium lights can be a major factor in algae growth, so it’s important to use the right type of light.

In this article, we will look at some of the common causes of excessive algae growth, the different types of aquarium lights available on the market, and discuss which one is the best aquarium light to prevent algae.

Comparison Table of The 5 Best Aquarium Light To Prevent Algae

IMAGE

MarineLand LED Light Hood for Aquariums

BRAND

MarineLand LED Light Hood for Aquariums

DETAILS

  • Color: Black & Ampersand Gray
  • Material: Plastic
  • Brand: MarineLand
  • Special Feature:
  • Made In America
  • Included Components: 1 x LED Light Hood for Aquariums
AQUANEAT LED Aquarium Light Full Spectrum Fish Tank Light

BRAND

AQUANEAT LED Aquarium Light Full Spectrum Fish Tank Light

DETAILS

  • Color: Multicolor
  • Material: Plastic
  • Brand: AQUANEAT
  • Special Feature: Instant On
  • Shade Material: Plastic
NICREW ClassicLED Plus Planted Aquarium Light, Full Spectrum LED Fish Tank Light for Freshwater Plants

BRAND

NICREW ClassicLED Plus Planted Aquarium Light

DETAILS

  • Color: Black
  • Style: Fine
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Brand: NICREW
  • Special Feature: Dimmable
hygger 14W 24 7 Lighting Aquarium LED Light

BRAND

hygger 14W 24/7 Lighting Aquarium LED Light

DETAILS

  • Color: Black
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Brand: Hygger
  • Shade Material: Metal, Aluminum
  • Product Dimensions: 12″D x 12″W x 18″H
MingDak Submersible LED Aquarium Light

BRAND

MingDak Submersible LED Aquarium Light

DETAILS

  • Color: White
  • Brand: MingDak
  • Product Dimensions: 11″D x 6″W x 1″H
  • Light Source Type: LED
  • Switch Style: Dimmer

What Causes Excessive Algae Growth?

There can be a number of reasons for excessive algae growth in an aquarium. The most common are too much light, excess nutrients (especially phosphates and nitrates), and not enough water changes.

Too Much Light

Algae need light to grow, so if you have a tank that gets a lot of light, you’re more likely to have problems with algae. This is especially true if you have a tank that’s in a sunny spot or has an aquarium light that’s on for long periods of time – these lighting conditions are too harsh and excessive and will cause algae to thrive.

Aquarium in a green dim light

The type of light bulbs you use can also make a difference. Fluorescent light is less likely to cause problems with algae than a halogen light, and LED aquarium lights are even less likely to cause problems. Make sure to place your tank in a spot where it will get the right amount of light but won’t be in direct sunlight.

Excess Nutrients

Fish and other aquatic creatures produce waste that contains nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrients can be a major cause of algae growth in an aquarium because algae thrive on them. If you have a lot of fish in your tank, or if you’re feeding your fish a lot of food, then you’re probably putting out a lot of vital nutrients that can lead to algae growth.

This will then lead to you inadvertently meeting the fertilizer requirement for algae growth – which you do not want! You can reduce the number of nutrients by reducing the amount of food you’re feeding your fish, using an aquarium filter that removes nutrients from the water or doing regular water changes. Whatever you do, make sure that your tropical aquarium is well-maintained!

Infrequent Water Changes

Algae also thrive when the water in an aquarium is stagnant. If you don’t do regular water changes, the water will become more and more nutrient-rich and this will lead to excessive algae growth.

Ideally, you should do a water change every week or two. You can also use an aquarium filter that removes debris and waste from the water, which will help keep the water clean. Aerators can also help keep the water moving and reduce the amount of algae growth.

Choosing the Right Aquarium Light: Factors to Consider

woman thinking, raising her both hands with question mark

So, algae growth can get out of hand for a number of reasons. But truth be told, lighting conditions form the most common catalyst for algae growth.

The spectrum and intensity of light that is emitted from a bulb can directly cause some types of algae to grow and spread at an expeditious rate. Conversely, insufficient lighting will stunt the growth of photosynthetic algae, leading to less green muck obscuring your viewing pleasure.

When it comes to aquarium lighting, there are a lot of different factors to consider. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the most important factors to consider when choosing an aquarium light.

Type of Bulb

The most important factor to consider when choosing an aquarium light is the type of bulb. There are a few different types of bulbs you can use in an aquarium:

  • Fluorescent bulbs – These are the most common type of bulb and they come in a variety of colors, including daylight, warm white, and cool white. Fluorescent bulbs are relatively cheap and they’re not as hot as other types of bulbs, which makes them a good option for aquariums.
  • Halogen bulbs – Halogen bulbs provide intense lighting and they can be quite expensive. However, they do produce a lot of light and they’re available in a variety of colors.
  • LED bulbs – LED light bulbs are becoming more and more popular because they use a lot less energy than other types of bulbs and they last a long time. LED bulbs come in a variety of colors and they’re available in a range of prices. If you want to learn more about the difference between LED and fluorescent bulbs, check out our article!

The type of bulb you choose is important because it will determine the rate of algae growth in your tank. Generally speaking, fluorescent bulbs are the best option for algae control, followed by LED bulbs. Halogen bulbs produce a lot of heat and they’re more likely to cause problems with algae growth.

Light Features

In addition to the type of bulb, you also need to consider the features of the light. Some lights come with built-in timers and dimmers, which can be helpful for controlling algae growth.

For instance, you can use a dimmer to reduce the amount of light being emitted from the bulb and this can help slow down the growth of algae. And a timer can be helpful for ensuring that the light is turned off at night, which will help reduce the amount of algae growth.

Wavelength of Light

Another important factor to consider is the wavelength of lighting in aquariums. Not all types of algae thrive under exposure to the same types of light. Some types of algae, such as green algae, thrive in the presence of blue light. While other types of algae, such as diatoms, thrive in the presence of red light. 

Therefore, it’s important to choose a light that emits a spectrum of light that is beneficial for the type of algae you are trying to control. Learn the difference between regular aquarium lights and grow lights. If you’re not sure which wavelength of light is best for your algae, ask your aquarium retailer for help. 

Needs of Other Aquatic Plants

Aquarium Plant

It probably goes without saying, but the light requirements of your tank inhabitants also need to be considered when choosing an aquarium light. Flowering aquarium plants may need 10 watts of power per gallon, while a more hardy aquarium plant may only need 5 watts of power per gallon.

Of course, the water condition requirements and fertilizer requirements of your plants will also need to be considered. Getting rid of algae in freshwater aquariums often requires aquarium veterans to use multiple techniques. For these individuals, the aquarium hobby provides an outlet for their skills, which is truly invaluable.

Little algae can go a long way in making an aquarium look terrible. So, if you’re looking for the best aquarium light to prevent algae, be sure to consider the type of bulb, the features of the light, and the needs of your plants. With these factors in mind, you’re sure to find the perfect light for your cold water

Best Aquarium Lights To Prevent Algae Growth

Now that you have a better understanding of the factors to consider when choosing an aquarium light, let’s take a look at some of the best lights for preventing algae growth in aquariums. We’ve curated this list based on the needs of the average aquarist, but you should definitely take your specific needs into account as well!

1. MarineLand LED Light Hood for Aquariums

MarineLand LED Light Hood for Aquariums
  • Color: Black & Ampersand Gray
  • Material: Plastic
  • Brand: MarineLand
  • Special Feature:
  • Made In America
  • Included Components: 1 x LED Light Hood for Aquariums

First on our list is the Marineland LED Light Hood for Aquariums. This light hood is a great option for tanks up to 30 gallons and is one of the most popular options on the market. Its design allows it to mount directly to the top of your aquarium in the form of a sleek, domed hood.

Marineland’s white LED bulbs create a shimmering effect that replicates the natural light of the sun and its energy-efficient design means that it won’t break the bank. The light hood also comes with a blue light effect mode, which will be especially useful if you’re trying to control green algae overgrowth in aquariums.

Though this light is extremely popular among people who own a tropical fish tank, some reviewers have reported manufacturing defects such as bulbs that melt the hood and switches that don’t work as intended. However, their customer service is generally regarded as being excellent, so if you do experience any problems, you can be assured that they will be happy to help.

PROS

  • LEDs provide an energy-efficient light source
  • Mimics natural light with shimmering effect
  • Comes with blue light mode for algae control

CONS

  • Some reviewers report manufacturing defects

2. AQUANEAT LED Aquarium Light Full Spectrum Fish Tank Light

AQUANEAT LED Aquarium Light Full Spectrum Fish Tank Light
  • Color: Multicolor
  • Material: Plastic
  • Brand: AQUANEAT
  • Special Feature: Instant On
  • Shade Material: Plastic

The AQUANEAT LED Aquarium Light is a great option for those looking to prevent algae growth in their tank. This light comes with 42 LED bulbs that emit a full spectrum of light, including blue and red wavelengths, which are beneficial in managing algae overgrowth in freshwater aquariums.

Although this light does not come with a built-in timer or dimmer, many people find that the all-on and all-off features work well enough for their needs. For the price, this light is a great option for those looking for an affordable way to prevent algae growth.

PROS

  • Comes with 42 LED bulbs that emit a full spectrum of light
  • Includes blue and red wavelengths, which are beneficial for algae control
  • Affordable price

CONS

  • No timer or dimmer included
  • Some people find the all-on and all-off features to be inconvenient

3. NICREW ClassicLED Plus Planted Aquarium Light

NICREW ClassicLED Plus Planted Aquarium Light, Full Spectrum LED Fish Tank Light for Freshwater Plants
  • Color: Multicolor
  • Material: Plastic
  • Brand: AQUANEAT
  • Special Feature: Instant On
  • Shade Material: Plastic

With its aluminum alloy shell and high-quality LED bulbs, the NICREW ClassicLED Plus Planted Aquarium Light is a great option for those looking for a durable and long-lasting light. And with prices starting at $21.99, it’s also one of the most affordable options on the market.

This light boasts an energy-efficient, bright combination of white, blue, green and red LED lights that are perfect for plant growth. It manages to provide enough lighting for low-to-medium light plants, without being so strong that it promotes algae growth.

The only downside to this light is that the sizing recommendations are a little bit off. It comes in different sizes and is meant to be placed above the aquarium, but many users find that it is too small to be effective in larger tanks. However, if you size up, you can expect good results.

PROS

  • Bright, energy-efficient LED lights
  • Perfect for plant growth
  • Affordable price

CONS

  • Sizing recommendations are a little off
  • Not effective in larger tanks

4. hygger 14W 24/7 Lighting Aquarium LED Light

hygger 14W 24 7 Lighting Aquarium LED Light
  • Color: Black
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Brand: Hygger
  • Shade Material: Metal, Aluminum
  • Product Dimensions: 12″D x 12″W x 18″H

Looking for something that comes with an adjustable timer AND dimmer? The hygger 14W 24/7 Lighting Aquarium LED Light is exactly what you need. This light is perfect for controlling algae growth in your tank, with its adjustable timer that can be set to turn on and off anywhere from 1 to 12 hours.

And if the brightness of the light isn’t quite right, no problem! The dimmer allows you to adjust the light to the perfect level for your tank. In fact, the DIY mode on this light allows you to customize the light spectrum to match the specific needs of your plants, so you can dim certain lights as needed if the algae situation gets out of hand.

Though it’s a little bit more expensive than some of the other options on this list, it’s well worth the price for all of the features it comes with.

PROS

  • Adjustable timer that can be set from 1 to 12 hours
  • Dimmer allows for customized brightness
  • Comes with DIY mode to match specific light needs of plants

CONS

  • More expensive than some other options on this list

5. MingDak Submersible LED Aquarium Light

MingDak Submersible LED Aquarium Light
  • Color: White
  • Brand: MingDak
  • Product Dimensions: 11″D x 6″W x 1″H
  • Light Source Type: LED
  • Switch Style: Dimmer

Look – sometimes, all we want is an affordable, reliable light that gets the job done. If that’s you, then the MingDak Submersible LED Aquarium Light is the perfect option. This light is simple but effective, with a built-in timer that can be set for 1 to 8 hours. This timer is great for those who want to set it and forget it, without having to worry about their light turning off in the middle of the night.

The light also comes with a brightness adjustment knob, so you can find the perfect level of light for your tank. And you’ll want to adjust it, too – this light is BRIGHT. It’s perfect for those who want a powerful light to combat algae growth, provided that you use the dimmer that comes with it. Otherwise, the 30 LED bulbs can be a little too harsh for some aquariums.

At just $10.99, this light is one of the most affordable on the market – and it still gets the job done. Though this may not be the best option for hobbyists with larger tanks, it’s perfect for those who just need a simple, affordable light.

PROS

  • Brightness adjustment knob
  • Built-in timer that can be set for 1 to 8 hours
  • Affordable price

CONS

  • Not the best option for hobbyists with larger tanks
  • 30 LED bulbs are too bright for some

The Takeaway

There you have it! 5 of the best aquarium lights to prevent algae growth. Whether you’re looking for an affordable option or something with a ton of features, there’s sure to be a light on this list that’s perfect for you. So what are you waiting for? Get started on your algae-free tank today!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. And if you found this article helpful, please share it with a fellow enthusiast! Check out our other articles on the best lights for your tank. We love spreading the joy of fishkeeping, and we know you will, too!

Wanda is a second-generation aquarist from the sunny tropics of Malaysia. She has been helping her father with his freshwater tanks since she was a toddler, and has fallen in love with the hobby ever since. A perpetual nomad, Wanda does her best to integrate fish-keeping with her lifestyle, and has taken care of fish in three different continents. She loves how it provides a nice break from the hustle and bustle of life.

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