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LED saltwater aquarium advice

You are looking for new lighting for your saltwater aquarium. Perhaps you are in doubt about LED lighting or you are already convinced of the many benefits of LED, but you don't know exactly which lighting is best for your aquarium. Each brand has its pros and cons, but which ones are important for you? Investing in LED lighting is not something you do often, lighting is an expensive part of the saltwater aquarium and at the same time very important. So do your research and choose wisely.

Just a few examples of questions you should ask yourself when making the right choice for a good set of aquarium LED lights for your aquarium:

  • What is the light requirement of my aquarium?
  • What do I like?
  • What are the dimensions?
  • How many lights do I need?
  • What is my budget?
  • Do I have any other specific requirements?

Fortunately, HVP aqua has done much of your research for you, often in collaboration with other experts. HVP aqua is an expert in the field of aquarium LED lighting and, over the past 10 years, we have gathered more information on aquarium lighting than many an aquarium will ever have. Obviously, because it's our job, but also because we really enjoy what we do and we love helping our customers make their aquariums even more beautiful.

When choosing a saltwater LED lighting set, it is important to first take a good look at the aquarium. The first question we ask saltwater aquarium owners is:

  • What are the dimensions of the aquarium?
  • What percentage of the aquarium is decorated with corals?
  • What kind of corals are mainly in the aquarium?
  • Do you prefer an aquarium with a blue or white appearance?
  • Do you have an existing fixture. If so, what is the length of the bulbs?
  • Does the aquarium have a hood (or is the aquarium closed)?

By answering these questions, we get a better picture of the aquarium and are one step closer to the right advice. Below, we specify why we ask these questions, to take you through the process:

What are the dimensions of the aquarium?

The length of the aquarium determines the length of the lighting. Try to illuminate the total length of the aquarium. Any overflow or drying chambers can be subtracted from the length. An aquarium of 150 cm (24") preferably has a lamp length of (in our case) 1450 mm (or 145 cm). In this case only 5 cm are not illuminated. Because of the 120 degrees angle of incidence, that 50mm will remain unnoticed and the aquarium will be well lit.

Next, the depth (front to back) is important in determining how many lamps of the correct length are installed. An aquarium 50cm deep naturally needs fewer lamps than an aquarium 70cm deep. The standard rule of thumb is one lamp per 10 to 15 cm depth. For an aquarium 50 cm deep, an average of 3 light bulbs are recommended (this can vary greatly depending on the design and type of coral).

The height of the aquarium, and in particular the water height, is also important for the number of lamps. Saltwater is denser than freshwater, so the lamps need more power to reach the bottom of the aquarium. The number of lamps also helps here.

What percentage of the aquarium is decorated with coral?

Simply put, an aquarium with lots of coral needs lots of light. Sounds logical, right? However, the type of coral also influences the amount and type of LEDs.

What types of coral are mainly in the aquarium?

The type of coral, hard or soft, is important when choosing an aquarium LED lamp for a saltwater aquarium. Hard corals need more power than soft corals. In our complete LED sets for saltwater aquariums, we distinguish three types of sets, suitable for:

  • LPS/Leather corals
  • Mixed reef
  • SPS corals

Most aquariums have a mixed reef, consisting of different types of corals: hard and soft corals. These sets are therefore the most frequently purchased by our customers.

The pictures below clearly show the influence of the HVP aqua GoldLine Marine LEDs on the growth of coral in a relatively short period of time:

Do you prefer an aquarium with a blue or white look?

Apart from the fact that the corals have to grow well, an aquarium is of course also a living picture and you like to look at a beautiful aquarium. Tastes differ and there are so many people with so many wishes. Fortunately, our LED system for saltwater aquaria is very diverse and flexible. Just like with fluorescent lamps, our customers can choose from different LED colours. In LED fixtures, such as tiles, these colours are often not selectable and you can only set the colours to your own preference with the supplied/integrated controller.

Do you like blue? Or do you prefer a bright white aquarium?

At HVP aqua, it's all possible. We also have a hybrid model with blue and white LEDs (1:1 ratio). Most customers make a selection between blue/white and blue LED lamps (ratio 2:1). In an aquarium where 5 lamps are mounted, 3 blue/white variants and 2 blue ones are often chosen. This mix is very popular among Dutch and Belgian aquarium owners. In England aquariums are often whiter and in Germany, on the contrary, bluer. It's funny to see that it can differ so much from one country to another.

Our blue LEDs in particular influence the appearance of the coral. In the following comparisons the HVP aqua GoldLine Marine blue is added to the Philips Coral Care V2 lamps. Left without HVP aqua and right with HVP aqua GoldLine Marine 100% Blue.


   Without HVP aqua GoldLine Marine        With HVP aqua GoldLine Marine


Do you have an existing fixture? If so, what is the length of the lamps?

Because our GoldLine Marine lamps are fitted with T5 end pieces it is possible to fit the lamps into existing fluorescent fittings. It is therefore important to find out the length of the current fluorescent tubes or the fitting. The GoldLine lights are available in the most common fluorescent lengths:

- 550mm
- 850mm
- 1150mm


In addition, our lamps are also available in lengths that are used, for example, in Juwel aquariums that are converted from freshwater to saltwater:

- 438mm
- 742mm
- 1047mm
- 1450mm

Does the aquarium have a lid?

A closed aquarium requires waterproof lighting. The water that evaporates in an open aquarium (without hood) remains in the hood of a closed aquarium and settles on the lighting. Lighting with an IP value of at least IP67 is waterproof and can be used in a closed aquarium. It goes without saying that this lighting must be specially designed for aquariums. Ordinary waterproof lighting is not suitable.

In cooperation with Wesley Vreeswijk of Wesleys Reef, we have made a comparison between traditional T5 lamps and the HVP aqua GoldLine Marine lamps. See the results of the PAR measurements below.

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Voor 14:00 besteld, vandaag verzonden!
Freeshipping on orders above € 75,00
Payment in terms possible
The best quality LED