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For a fish-only tank, light is almost exclusively used for the purpose of viewing the fish. On the other hand, for the plant keeper light plays a vital role, and the duration, intensity and quality of light are strictly monitored. Some fishkeepers only use a skylight or place their aquaria in brighter areas in order to avoid power consumption, but this is not satisfactory for many aquarists. Just like the lights in your house, aquarium lights may be provided through different means. The most common by far are flourescent tubes, and different types are readily available for a variety of aquarium setups. Other lighting alternatives include incandescent bulbs and metal-halide lamps amongst others. Incandescent bulbs produce light that is too biased towards the red part of the spectrum, and produce a great deal of heat to be seriously considered. Metal-halides produce excellent results, but they may prove too expensive for a hobby.

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