Healthy Aquarium Lighting Guide

The type of fixture you illuminate your aquarium with matters.

To make all the elements of your aquascape stay healthy and visually pop — from fish and plants to decor — select a full spectrum RGB (red, blue, green) option, such as the Aqueon® OptiBright® Smart LED light. This smart light syncs with the Aqueon® BlueIQ app to make controlling your aquarium light a breeze.

About the Light Spectrum

When an aquarium is in direct sunlight, you risk algae overgrowth, overheated water, and stressed aquatic friends. To keep everything healthy and in balance, artificial lights are a must. You have many light fixture options on the market, but if you want a healthy tank, RGB spectrum fixtures are ideal to encourage plant growth, make the colorful fish in your tank look their best, and properly light the enclosure for optimal viewing.

Red Light

The red spectrum triggers photosynthesis, also know as the process of creating oxygen and food from the aquarium water and carbon dioxide. Red light specifically encourages stem growth in aquatic plants. Red light also makes the red hues in plants and fish appear bolder to the human eye.

Green Light

The green spectrum makes foliage and green elements in the tank look more saturated and vibrant. This light is essential for optimal viewing of your aquascape and also aids in plant growth.

Blue Light

The blue spectrum also fuels photosynthesis and specifically encourages leaf growth in aquatic plants. As a bonus, blue light can enhance the blue features on colorful fish, aquarium gravel, and other tank embellishments too!

How much light do fish need?

Aim to keep your light on for about eight hours each day in a fish-only tank. If you have fish in a planted tank or a reef, 10-12 hours is best. To encourage spawning or if you have nocturnal aquatic pets, 12 hours of night light will keep your tank active. Use an outlet timer or set a schedule with the Aqueon BlueIQ app to make timing simple. And if you develop a problem with algae growth, cut back on the number of hours you illuminate the tank each day.

Aqueon OptiBright Smart LED Light

The Aqueon OptiBright Smart LED Light provides the full spectrum lighting your tank needs. This fixture offers beneficial red, green, and blue light in addition to illuminating white light. The smart light is programmable to offer complete color customization of your freshwater or saltwater aquascape. Simply connect the Aqueon OptiBright Smart LED Light to the Aqueon BlueIQ app, share details about your set-up (tank size, equipment, fish, etc.), and you're ready to monitor your aquarium from your electronic device.

Aqueon BlueIQ App

Open the app and use the default lighting presets, or manually adjust each color channel to create a custom lighting design. The app allows you to change the intensity of each color channel in 1% increments with a simple sliding scale. You can even simulate cloud movement or lighting to add character to your aquarium viewing.

In addition to controlling your Aqueon OptiBright Smart LED Light, the Aqueon BlueIQTM app offers:

  • Aquatic pet care guides

  • Daily and weekly lighting scheduling

  • Exclusive Aqueon product offers

  • Feeding reminders

  • Fish-keeping tips

  • Scheduled maintenance information

  • ... and more!

Shine a Light on Your Aquatic Hobby

Show off your beautiful aquarium by using the Aqueon OptiBright Smart LED Light to enhance and highlight the details of your fish, plants, and decor. The tech-advanced lighting system connects to the Aqueon BlueIQ app using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® technologies. This allows you to adjust your aquarium lighting 24/7 from anywhere, even while traveling.

Check out the complete line of Aqueon aquarium and accessories at

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