lighting to bring out fish colours?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by baron von bubba, 14 Apr 2009.

  1. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    hi,
    i bought some green/false tetras over the weekend and wandering how would the best way of lighting the tank to really bring out the bright blue?

    The fish dont show the same vivid bright blue as they did in the LFS tank unless i'm stood looking down at the front glass.

    i have a luminaire which is about 6 inches above the water in the centre of the tank, the LFS tanks are lit with a tube just above the water line and at the front of the tank.

    so i guess if i fit a tube in a simular place i will get a similar effect.

    i have 4x54w t5 tubes, so dont really need or want to increase my lighting power any significant amount.

    so this brings me to my question, what would be an cheap effective method of providing the extra lighting to make the fish really stand out? T8's, LED's another T5?

    any thoughts or suggestions gladly recieved! :0)
     
  2. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Paradoxically, some fish will mute their colours if light is excessive, so it may be better to lower lighting rather than add more.

    Providing plenty of shade via plants and decor will help, as will giving them the best water quality and food.

    Another reason the fish may not be showing the same colour as the shop is the stress of the move and any diference in water chemistry etc. Some fish take longer to adjust, especially if they're wild-caught, like most P. simulans.

    Spectrum-wise, any tubes with a higher blue content will help, so consider 6500K+ tubes.
     
  3. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    hi george,
    thanks for your reply,
    i understand what yer saying above, (the first 6 greens were put in mid last week and they did brighten considerably over the first 2 days)
    but when i'm stood at the tank looking down at an angle at the front glass the green neons are really vivid and bright if i lower my viewing position so i'm viewing the tank directly on the colours go darker and less vivid.
    so i figure a light as far forward and as low as i can get it in the tank will help aleveiate this effect? (the tank has a "top surround" so i can hide extra lighting nicely also)

    i'm only using 2 of the 54w currently, one is a plant gro type the other is a white 10k, so i got that covered too!
     
  4. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Check out your LFS you'll see most (if not all?) have their lighting at the front of the tank, for this very reason ;)

    Sam
     
  5. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    yeah! ;)
    i was thinking that with a lot of planted tanks having luminares, how and what ppl with these set ups fitted to bring out the fish? or even if anyone actually does this?

    i choose the green neons for thier fantastic colour, seems a shame not to do them justice!

    thanks
     
  6. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Yeh def, I've got a few and they are lovely little fish. So too is the Axelrod's Rasbora (Rasbora axelrodi) which to my mind is an underrated fish, with beautiful markings given the right light and their condition.

    Sam
     

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