Shrimp Tank Lighting Requirements
Should we light our shrimp tanks to promote the growth of biofilm and algae, or should we leave them unlit? We'll attempt to clarify this controversy between aquarists and shrimp breeders in this article.
One should consider the aquarium ecosystem as a whole in order to comprehend the illumination requirements. You must determine factors like the number of living plants in your tanks and the rate at which algae develop. Your aquarium's stage and maturity level. Finally, decoration and aesthetics.
Let us start with the obvious, THE SHRIMPS
Shrimps do not require light, and there is no connection between a shrimp's life expectancy and the amount of light it receives. However, some shrimp breeders have observed that shrimp color and pigmentation may occasionally be impacted by strong lighting. That pigmentation, which is indirectly tied to illumination, is caused by certain nutrients and color hues in the tank, not by any scientific principle.
Therefore, illumination may be a factor in this situation if you adhere to the rule that considers substrate coloration, such as dark versus bright colored substrate. Which takes us to the following point regarding the utilization of your substrate.
Are you using your substrate for plants or for water conditioning,
If you solely use your substrate to adjust the ph and gh levels of the water, you won't require light.
However, if you use your substrate for plant development, this may fall under the plant's illumination needs. A broad spectrum light that mimics their natural environment is also required for the majority of aquarium plants, if not all with a few exceptions.
The most crucial elements in this situation are the light's PAR levels. As a general rule, you need to illuminate an area for fewer hours (4-6) the higher the PAR. Conversely, if your illumination has low intensity, you'll need to keep the lights on for longer (10-12 hours).
With lighting comes algae, THE BIOFILM
Shrimp breeders frequently discuss this subject. Considering that biofilm is a type of algae, or vice versa. They are both important components of shrimp aquariums. In addition to some bothersome algae, shrimp are always eating biofilm. They simply keep munching on this stuff all day and night long.
In a tank that is established and mature, a few hours of window light or direct sunshine may be adequate to maintain the growth of the biofilm and beneficial algae. And in the absence of such natural illumination, an aquarist may utilize an aquarium light or a grow lamp often used for plants to make up for any daily lighting deficiencies the aquarium may experience.
Moreover, It is recommended to use a high intensity light in a fresh setup for the first few weeks, but just to accelerate the biofilm and algal growth in the tank and get it to a stage where it is ready to start housing live shrimp and plants.
Which bring us to, THE STAGE
As you get more experienced with keeping a shrimp tank, you'll begin to comprehend how the ecology functions and changes. Whether your tank develops better with lighting, without illumination, or with a moderate amount of lighting will be apparent at this stage.
The live organisms in the tank, however, adjust to their surroundings as it becomes older. Plants, microorganisms, fish, and shrimp all adapt to the conditions that are provided for them. It's also vital to keep in mind that any change in the setting could make the creatures anxious because they would have to get used to a new atmosphere. Comparable to human jet lag, our bodies and minds need time to adjust when we move to a new location and environment. The aquarium is the same; every time you change it, your tank has jet lag.
Finally Decoration and aesthetics,
Now that we have a tank, we can enjoy viewing our little natural work of art, the scape. And what is art if not illuminated? In any case, we require light to see our aquariums and the animals that inhabit them. Good lighting also produces quality images. In order to appreciate your aquarium, lighting is therefore a must. And controlling it here should adhere to the advice we provided in this post depending on your tank requirements.
However, in all circumstances, you determine how you want to view your tanks, so there is no right or wrong way to do it. I have breeding tanks that are fully in the dark, others that simply receive window sunlight, and still others that receive direct full spectrum lighting, in my experience. However, all of my show tanks are lit up with properly controlled lighting.
For more information about lighting and tanks you can watch our video: