White or Blue Light For Aquarium? Best For Fishes and Plants?

Have you ever wondered white or blue light is best for your aquarium? 

White light and blue light have their own benefits, but which one is the best for your fish and plants? 

We will now discuss white or blue lights in an aquarium, white or blue lights for plants, white or blue lights for fishes, comparison between white and blue lights in an aquarium.

White or Blue Light For Aquarium? Which Is Better?

White Or Blue Light For Aquarium
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Wait, First, let me clarify that I am no one to judge which light is best for the aquarium?

Why not try them and learn about them individually and lastly we would conclude which gives many benefits to the aquarium environment and your fish.

Let’s start with the white light first.

Also read: Is blue light good for water plants? Read the benefits!

White Light

White Aquarium Lights
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White light is beneficial for the fishes and plants in an aquarium because the white color appears neutral to them. 

It has a balanced color temperature, giving out white or blue lights depending on which one it falls under. This kind of lighting can also be used as a contrast against dark-colored fish so that they will seem more lively and colorful than they are.

This is the preferred type of lighting for those who want to have a white background in their tank or more white-colored fishes and plants. 

Some white light may not be strong enough to provide sufficient illumination, so it would be better if you use fluorescent lights that give out white color instead of LED lamps which typically emit blue-white.

White light is also the best for plants that are white-colored, or white-colored fishes and plant stems like white driftwood because it will give a natural feel to your tank. 

The only downside of white light in an aquarium is its inability to illuminate fish with dark colors such as black, reds, blues, etc., which are not white-colored.

Advantages Of White Light

For Fishes:

White Aquarium Lights For Fish
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The benefits of white lights in the aquarium for fishes are that white light is thought to be less stressful for fish than blue lights in an aquarium. White light may also have a calming effect on fish because of its association with daylight, which can reduce stress levels.

Lighting that mimics natural sunlight is best for fishes as it provides them with vitamin D and promotes their health by stimulating the production of melanin, which protects them from free radicals.

White light in an aquarium can also reduce the risk of fish developing white spots on their skin due to a condition called ICH (ichthyophthiriasis).

For Plants:

White Aquarium Lights For Plants
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White light can also benefit aquarium plants as white light is thought to help them grow faster than plants under blue lights.

White light in an aquarium can also reduce the risk of algae developing because it does not promote photosynthesis as blue and green lights do, which means that white light may be more effective at controlling algae growth in a fish tank.

For Aquarium Maintenance:

Some white lights are brighter than blue lights, which can be helpful as they will help you see better in your aquarium and make it easier to keep your tank clean.

White light is also less likely to cause a green coloration of the water than blue or green lighting is.

Also read: Here are the signs of too much light on aquarium plants!

Disadvantages Of White Light In The Aquarium

Disadvantages Of White Lights In Aquarium
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White light is too blue and can hamper fish’s natural instincts or lead to blindness. 

White LEDs are also known for their temperature which makes them both hotter than regular LED lights, but cooler than metal halide bulbs – this means they radiate more heat into the aquarium.

White lights don’t cover as much surface area as blue light.

White lights don’t work well with freshwater plants, which usually need a lot of blue and red spectrum light to thrive.

This is because the white lights emit mostly green or yellow light waves while green algae need more violet and orange wavelengths for photosynthesis. The intensity of white LEDs also doesn’t match up to white light, which means white LEDs need to be closer to the plant for it to grow well.

White lights are also known for their expensive prices and short lifespan of up to 50 hours before they burn out – this is because white LEDs have a low lumens per watt output when compared with other lighting.

Blue Light

Blue Aquarium Lights
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Blue light is a much weaker wavelength than white. For this reason, it can be beneficial to use blue lights for plants that need less lighting or fish that are sensitive to white light. 

Blue lights also have the ability to produce more chlorophyll in plants and their growth rate is increased with exposure. 

Plants will thrive under blue light conditions as they will be able to use less food.

Blue light is most beneficial in tanks that have a white substrate or sand, as the blue color will enhance this look. 

If there are white gravels then white lights should work fine for your tank and you could still get benefits from using blue bulbs with plants or fish who need it.

Advantages Of Blue Light

For Fishes:

Blue Aquarium Lights For Fishes
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The benefit of blue light in the aquarium for fishes is that it attracts them more than white light. 

It also gives a sense of security to the fishes by making their environment look submerged in water and hence, they are less likely to scatter around or be stressed out when there is no blue light present.

For Plants:

Blue Aquarium Lights For Plants
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The benefits of blue light for plants include that it makes them grow better and helps attain a bloomed and lush greener look because white light would not be able to penetrate their foliage.

The blue color also helps the plants absorb more water due to its absorption quality on a chlorophyll molecule where it is stronger than other colors of light like white or yellow. 

It also helps promote the healthy growth of aquatic vegetation, and white light can also be used to achieve this goal. For a natural appearance, blue diodes are preferred because they provide more “natural” looking colors than white LEDs do.

For Aquarium Maintenance:

For maintenance blue light is beneficial in the aquarium. Blue light helps keep algae growth under control, and white light can contribute to this as well. It also makes mirrors shine better if they are used as part of your décor.

In the maintenance blue light also helps to create a white balance in the aquarium. This helps your fish not become discolored due to different intensities of white light or artificial lighting and can help maintain the colors as they are intended for fishes. Blue light also maintains coloration on corals found within your tank.

Also read: Why should you turn off the fish tank light at night? Know the reason!

Disadvantages Of Blue Light

Disadvantages Of Blue Aquarium Lights
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Blue light inhibits the ability of white light to penetrate deep into an aquarium and reach plants on the bottom. 

Plants that need blue or red wavelengths may require supplemental lighting in white tanks if they are grown along with other plant species that can tolerate white lights. 

Blue wavelengths are also not as good for aquatic life.  

Blue light also causes the white light to scatter resulting in a less intense white light.

Comparison Between White And Blue Light In The Aquarium

White Lights VS Blue Lights
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Now that you have come to know about the benefits and the harm of white light and blue light in the aquarium. Now let us both discuss the comparison between these two. So, that we come up with the better one.

The white light has the advantage of being able to penetrate through the water. It is good for plants and fishes alike as it helps in photosynthesis, growth, reproduction, etc. The white light also provides a better view into the tank because it does not get absorbed by the water, unlike blue lights! On the other hand, white light requires more energy, and thus white light fixtures are more expensive.

Blue lights, on the other hand, provide an aesthetically pleasing color tone which is good for both plants and fishes alike. The blue light helps in penetration of water with a depth up to about 18 inches only as opposed to white lights that can go through even deeper than 18 feet. Blue lights also require less energy and are cheaper.

However, white light is recommended for beginners on account of the blue lights being a little more difficult to maintain as per their power consumption requirement and also because it changes its hue once submerged in water, unlike white light that remains white even when underwater!

So, white light is recommended for beginners and blue lights are good if you have an aesthetic taste!

Also read: Do fish need darkness to sleep? Know the fact!


White Lights or Blue Lights For Aquarium
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In conclusion, white light is the best choice for an aquarium. This is because white light mimics natural daylight and it doesn’t have a risk of causing algae growth or plant death like blue light can do. White lights are beneficial to both plants and fish while blue lights only benefit one or the other. The white spectrum offers better color contrast and helps to see the fish against their environment.

The white light will also help to create a brilliant display of colors from plants, corals, and invertebrates in your aquarium while blue lights can cause some sections of an aquarium scene to appear faded or gray due to lack of color saturation. The white spectrum is not harmful to fish, while blue lights can cause a fish to become stressed or aggressive.

Blue light is the only option for plants and white light is beneficial to both plant and fish life in an aquarium. The choice between white or blue lights will be entirely up to you but white light would seem like the best choice based on this article due to its benefits for both plant and animal life.

This was my comparison of white or blue light for the aquarium. Now, let us know what color light you are using in your aquarium? Are your fishes loving that?

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