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Have you wondered how our lives would be without proper lighting in our houses, streets, and surroundings? Darkness is undoubtedly not the way any of us would ever prefer. Thus, artificial lighting has been one of the most beautiful inventions of all times.
Not only do animals require sunlight; plants do too. Different plants show different levels of requirements. The plants on the surface of the earth need more light as compared to those in deep seas and oceans.
Aquatic plants are adapted to function efficiently, even in low light conditions. They grow and thrive in aquatic environments, regardless of freshwater or saltwater. But these days, they are found not only naturally but artificially too. Aquariums are yet another home to such plants.
Aquariums are generally found indoors where there is no natural sunlight. This calls for a need for an equipment which provides artificial lighting for the aquarium plants. This water tank is home to aquatic animals and plants, so there is a need to provide optimum lighting which will help them grow, instead of intimidating their existence.
You need to be careful and aware of the effects of the lighting you opt for and be familiar with the species of plants and animals you in your aquarium. So before digging further for the best LED aquarium lights for plants, you should be well-informed about some basics of LED lighting.
Factors To Look For While Buying The Best Led Aquarium Lighting For Plants
1. Size Of The Aquarium
The size of the aquarium greatly affects the type of lighting you will buy. If you have a small aquarium, you might need only one fixture of lights. However, a larger tank will require several fixtures to get the optimum lighting you desire. This helps in ensuring a uniform distribution of light throughout the tank.
Uniform lighting which reaches every corner of the tank will be better to look for as this will help the aquatic plants in maintaining a proper photosynthesis cycle. In general, it is good to use a 175 watts lighting for shorter tanks which are about 22 inches deep. Tanks which are 22 to 28 inches deep may need 250 watts lighting, and the deeper ones can make use of 400 watts lighting for a desirable effect.
2. Marine Life
The type of marine life you have in your aquarium is another important aspect for determining the type of lighting you will have to opt for. Aquatic plants need optimum light to undergo photosynthesis and synthesize food from carbon dioxide and water. The only light source they have is these artificial lights of the aquarium. So do not hesitate while buying high priority lighting for better growth and development of the basis of their functioning.
Plants require 12 hours of light per day, but it specifically depends on the type of species you own. If you have an average planted aquarium, then 10 hours of light daily can provide good results. Twelve hours of lighting is needed when you have tropical plants and eight hours of light if you have cold water plants in your collection. If there are no plants, then lesser light is needed.
3. Lifespan Of Led Lights
LEDs are known for their durability and longer working hours as compared to other sources of light. The product description contains the lifespan of the lights, and it is your responsibility to check the functionality of these lightings. It is best to compare the different LEDs to get the one which will prove to be a profitable deal. The longer the duration of the lights of your aquarium, the lesser will be the troubles relating to a regular replacement.
The best-planted aquarium lights also provide their users with a chance to make some beneficial upgrades. The upgrading process includes three steps that are disassembly, wiring, and giving final finishing touches. Because of the upgrading process, you do not have to worry about investing your time and money again and again in replacing the lightings of your tank.
Some of the LED models offer this amazing feature where you’ll just have to remove the old lights and put the newer ones. In this way, you can make the necessary changes to the already existing lighting of your tank and give your tank a fresh feel every time, without a need to opt for the new LED lightings.
5. Control Panel
Before buying any lightings for your planted aquarium always look for the type of control you will have to control the functioning and working of the LEDs fitted in the tank. With the growing technology and advancements, you can have control over these via a wireless remote controller, which is very convenient for the users to use. This allows the buyers to change the effects and select different modes to set the theme of your aquarium.
Some of the controlling mediums are sometimes quite complex, but there is no need to worry as you can get used to the buttons and keys on the controller after a short span of time. It also depends on the lights, and whether they will have a controller which is easy or difficult to handle.
6. Light Penetration
Light penetration means how deep the light can penetrate deep into a substance. The more the penetration power of the light, the better it will penetrate the water. Thus, it helps in reaching every inch of the tank to provide nourishment and proper growth supplement to the corals. The light’s energy is usually absorbed when it is passed through water, which is why there is a need to always look for lighting which offers stronger penetration, especially if you have deeper planted tanks.
Keeping all these things in mind will help you find the best LED aquarium lighting for plants. Always make a priority list and note down all the requirements, measurements, and the size of the tank beforehand to ensure an efficient purchase.
Top 12 Best LED Aquarium Lighting for Plants 2019
1. Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED KLC Aquarium LED Light, Automated Full Spectrum Fish Tank Light, 36 Inch
Despite weighing 2.4 pounds, this product is an ultimate source of light for your aquatic life. It has a true customizable sunset and sunrise controller which gives your underwater plants an amazing, natural feel. You can also adjust the lighting in such a way that it supports the aquarium environment from warm sunrise to starry nights.
It has a 7K multi-color blend which favors plants’ growth and nourishment. It has different color channels, dimmable lights, and weather models which provide you with a wide variety of advantages. These can be easily installed and have dimensions of 36 x 3.8 x 0.8 inches. The fixtures have 7000k daylight LEDs which supports the healthy living of your planted aquarium.
The fixtures are adjustable and can be transformed into shorter ones in the case of shorter aquariums. It is good for a 29-gallon standard tank. The remote is easy and convenient to use and offers user-friendly buttons, which aren’t too difficult to understand as a beginner.
Many of its users have reported that it malfunctions within a year of its use as the whole system stopped responding to the remote provided with the unit. This might be the reason for an occurred technical issue. Some users have also complained about the lower brightness levels of the lighting due to which the plants showed stunted growth.
The remote was responsive but appeared more like a toy. The sensors didn’t work so well, leaving the buyers in a state of annoyance. Apart from these drawbacks, the lighting is pretty decent for the mid-tech aquariums and planted tanks. It is programmable, gives good output, pocket-friendly, and ultra-slim, which are some of its leading aspects.
The whole 24-hour cycle is pre-programmed and can not be adjusted as per your needs. The program is quite attractive, but you can not adjust the colors on your own and the time of sunrise as well as sunset. But these 24-hour self-changing lights are aesthetically appealing and provides a great look to the aquariums at different times of the day!
In addition to these features, this also proves to be the best aquarium lighting for fish color. Thus if you’re looking to enhance the colors of flora and fauna of your aquarium, then don’t hesitate to put it on your priority list!
2. Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light
Now packed with ultra-bright LEDs, this lighting will make your aquarium look more vibrant and beautiful, causing your corals and underwater species to look brighter and clearer. It adds colors and hues to the tank transforming it from dull to bright in no time. It provides both light and pump-control as it is now in the loop.
Shimmer effects and the orbit mode enhances the look of the tank. These also result in providing beautifully portrayed natural effects and surrounding for the aquatic plants where they can have a sufficient amount of balanced light during different intervals of the day. The automatic sunrise and dimming sunset, as well as night time, is a striking feature of this product.
It is easy to use and simple to program with a wireless IP remote controller. It also has a 24 hour on/off time with gradual sunrises and sunsets resembling a natural environment and providing a feel of the habitat even in the artificial surroundings. The package includes an orbit marine LED fixture, two adjustable docking mounts, one loop light, and wave pump controller, one wireless LED remote controller, and one LED light HUB where you can connect up to two lights.
It has multiple modes including lunar and dusk, whereas the storm modes will blow your mind with amazing visible lightning strikes. This surely adds a realistic and attractive feel to the aquarium. It also has dynamic weather effects, making it a real deal for the money you pay for it.
It offers bright light and aesthetic features. It has the strength and is durable as well as long-lasting. It supports growth and shimmers look pretty good, giving your aquarium a brilliant look. Apart from these advantages, programming the timer seems an annoying task to do. Also, the moonlight is a normal blue light which is too bright to give the aquatic plants a feel of nighttime. These are not so concerning, but some users might have slight trouble while getting adapted to its working.
If you are looking for the best LED light for a planted tank, this is surely one of the best ones you have in store!
3. Finnex FugeRay Planted + Aquarium LED Light Plus Moonlights
This product features a series of LEDs which helps in promoting marine and freshwater growth. It also presents moonlight on a separate switch. It also has an anti-moisture PC splash guard ford the protection of the lightings against the water. Additionally, it offers 600nm red light for offering a warm environment to the corals. These are durable and gives a high output by working for more than 40,000 hours. These are pretty good for larger aquariums.
High-quality aluminum has been used to build the circuit boards which provide longevity to the product. The fixture, on the other hand, keeps the aquarium cool and allows the heat dissipation from the tank. These are ultra-slim and weighs just 2.5 pounds. It comes with dimensions 36x 2.8×1 inches. The light is great and has a sleek design.
Though there has been a noticeable problem of lights flickering after a few months of purchase, despite the power supply, it worked well. It is bright and provides a vibrant look to your aquarium. Yet another problem which some of its users faced was the increase in the temperature of the water after its installation. It tended to raise the water temperature by 2 degree Celsius, so you have to be extremely careful with the temperature changes that are taking place in your tank.
It also allows proper growth and functioning of the plants you have in your collection. Colorful and clear lighting is what is offered in this Finnex pack. If you are looking forward to enhancing the overall look of your planted water tank, then do not hesitate to install these lightings.
Just make sure that you check for an appropriate power supply which is compatible with the lighting, and you are all set to rock the dazzling plants in these bright lights!
4. Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus Light For Aquarium
The fixture comes with a 32 key customizable and wireless remote and proves to be an ideal match for your expectations. It has white LEDs which are extraordinarily bright with up to 6500k full spectrum. Every color in the lighting is adjustable for countless color blends.
The striking features of the product are the cloud cover, fading lunar, dusk, lightning, and memory buttons, which serves the purpose of saving the color blends which you have optimized. In addition to all of these features, color presets and freshwater optimization do wonders. It makes use of low voltage and super safe LEDs which use 12V direct current. The 120-degree dispersion helps a lot in the blending and mixing of different hues and tones.
It is user-friendly with an easy and convenient installation process. The realistic effects with the satellite LED resemble the aquatic conditions all around the world. With dimensions 22.8 x 3.5 x 0.4 inches, it is best to use this product for tanks which are not too large. It weighs as light as a pound, making it convenient to carry and the installation process a bit simpler while handling.
Apart from all these amazing features, one of the major problems that the users face is the danger of damage to the water of the aquarium during its usage. As reported by the users, this light is not fully water-resistant as it got damaged because of the water bubbles coming out from the water.
Also, it can only be switched on using a remote. There is difficulty in finding all the RGBs available. In addition to these stumbling blocks, there is no time which you can set. It has good value, to sum up. It comes under the category of a decent purchase, so if you are on a hunt for the best lighting for planted aquarium’s overall look, then don’t be hesitant to keep it on your bucket list.
5. Koval Aquarium Lighting Fish Tank Light Hood with Extendable Brackets, White and Blue LEDs
This upgraded, colorful, and full-spectrum product is with extendable brackets, proves to be an amazing choice for your planted aquarium. It has 129 bright LEDs with five colors, giving the plants and tank the tones and shades that make them more vivid. Due to its extensibility, this lighting can be used for various sizes of the aquariums.
The LEDs used in the fixtures are long-lasting and durable, providing about 50,000 hours of smooth working. The LEDs are not connected in such a way that they hinder each other’s performance. So, a defect in one of the LEDs of the fixtures will not affect the working of the others. This makes the product more efficient and demanding.
It has high performance and dissipates fewer energy levels as compared to the other lightings of the same range. LEDs have an extended lifespan because of the aluminum alloy shell. This makes it an obviously better choice than those lights which are made up of plastics. It offers a vital control to its users, offering them three optional control modes such as- all LEDs on, only blue LEDs on and close the selected ones.
It weighs 4.4 pounds and has dimensions 39.7 x 6.3 x 2.8 inches. These fit easily in the aquarium, offering a simpler insertion of the lights inside the tank. If you have rocks, in addition to the plant species in your tank, then these might be the finest choices for your aquariums. Some of the users complain about its poor assembly, while others are happy with the functioning and its placement. So it totally depends on you and your requirements from the lighting of your aquarium.
6. Aquatic Life LED Aquarium Light Fixture
This LED light is loaded with amazing features that fulfill all your aquarium needs. This light enhances the look of your aquarium, providing ambient lighting and not even looking tacky and unattractive.
The three-channel system allows this lamp to adjust itself to bright white, mixed color and moonlight automatically, giving your precious fishes proper underwater sea experience replicating the daylight sunlight and the night sky.
Being 36 inches in total, this amazing light fixture can fit almost all the home aquarium tanks ranging from 35 inches to 38.25 inches. Along with just making the tank more eye-catchy, the fact that it can simulate the lighting conditions according to the daylight and the night times helps in taking care of the physical as well as mental well being of all the fish that you call a part of your family.
With the best modern technology, the light is evenly distributed throughout the tank for every member of the aquarium. The light can also link up with the smartphone app allowing the user to program the light according to their needs. It can be programmed to slowly turn on or off, or to create a natural sunlight and moonlight experience.
Having 21 9k white, 52 blue 454nm, four blue 440 nm, three violet 420nm, three violet 400nm, and four red lights as a part of its components, the Aquatic life LED aquarium light fixture proves to be one of the best choices for all your home aquarium needs.
7. Finnex Planted+ 24/7 CRV Aquarium LED Light
Having everything needed for properly competing with the other top aquarium lights, The Finnex planted+ 24/7 CRV aquarium LED light, provides a fully customizable LED lighting option allowing the user to easily control and set the lighting according to what suits their needs.
An LED receiver at the end of the fixture allows the user to control the lighting with the help of a remote easily and is conveniently wireless. This makes it a very hassle-free product. The helpful IR blaster remote control allows the user to fully customize the lights with just the press of a button.
It also features the 660nm red LEDs which are especially helpful in maximizing the photosynthesis activity within the plants and helps in their proper growth and nourishment along with providing a great ambiance across the room and making it the best LED lights for planted aquariums.
Along with all the technical plus points, the sleek black design of this device gives it a classy, elegant look making your aquarium the center of attention. All in all, this device has everything needed to be one of the best Aquarium LED lights in the market.
8. Current USA 18″-24″ Satellite Plus PRO LED Light
Multiple modes, including the cloudy mode, the daylight and night mode, and the amazing storm mode with complete lightning strike effects and the evening mode like the dusk and lunar mode add spark and excitement to the whole aquarium experience.
The user-friendly installation feature saves all the installation costs as it comes with sliding docking legs allow quick and easy adjustments for different installation options and makes it a piece of cake to add multiple other additional fixtures.
Along with all other features, the satellite LED allows the fixture to simulate real-life natural lighting conditions.
The wireless remote control provides an effortless way for the user to control and manipulate all the different lighting modes and options. With the 24-hour timer options, the light can be programmed to start at the gradual sunlight, and set at gradual sunset giving the complete real-life experience.
9. BeamsWork DA 0.50W Series LED Pent Aquarium Light Marine FOWLR Cichlid
The high quality and efficient power consumption make this product one of the best choices, easily overtaking the double tube fluorescent lights. The 10000k white lights and Actinic 460nm LEDs work best during the day, and the Actinic Blue 460nm LEDs give exceptional results at night time. The thin and sleek design makes it eye-catchy and gathers everyone’s attention, and the clean and clear clamps make it easy to set up.
One of the best parts of this light is that it supports and helps in the nourishment of almost all different types of fishes even including fish like GloFish which some of the other lights don’t support. But one of the drawbacks of this light is that it is not easily dimmable. So this creates a little annoyance among the users, but other astounding features never fail to amaze you uniquely.
So what are waiting for? Grab your beamswork lighting now and dazzle in the aroma of amazing lighting and the beautiful underwater world.
10. MarsAqua Dimmable 165W 300W LED Aquarium Light Lighting Full Spectrum for Fish Freshwater and Saltwater Coral Tank Blue and White LPS/SPS
With a working temperature of 20 to 40-degree Celsius and 165W LED aquarium light, this product never fails to fulfill the expectations of its users in any way. The package includes a thermometer, a tank cleaner, a hanging kit, two power cords and a manual instruction with a Marshydro light. The day and night are specially designed for providing the plant species with a natural environment for their overall growth and for stimulating the look of the aquarium.
It has a professional LED lens, which is 25% higher than the ordinary lens. The lights make use of copper with a thermal conductivity, which is beyond other metals. This helps in keeping the tank water cool all the time, providing a comfortable environment to the plants under the water. This lighting is equipped with double cascade for better performance. This product is best suited for a tank of 30 gallons of water capacity.
A 3 years warranty is like a cherry on the cake, adding a bonus to all the striking features it consists of. The product dimensions are 4 x 2 x 5 inches, and it weighs as light as 0.64 ounces. Its quality of construction, pocket-friendly price, good coral growth, and a great spectrum together make a complete deal in return for the money you spend on it. It costs just one-fourth of the price of the high-end lightings. It also comes with a mounting kit.
One of the major disadvantages of using this product is that the programming of this lighting is not possible. You have to turn the lights on and off each and every day manually. This adds to unnecessary utilization of efforts and time, which sometimes annoys the users. Another point to be noted is the two coral cords are clearly visible, and there is no way you can hide it.
Overall, this is a top-tier LED lighting for your planted aquarium which will not leave you disappointed in any way. So what are you waiting for? Go grab your mars aqua set today!
11. Lightimetunnel WiFi LED Aquarium Light， 165W WiFi + Dimmable Fish Tank Light Full Spectrum Timer Control Four Channels Freshwater Saltwater Carols Marine Tanks
The intelligent wifi control feature of this device allows to control the operating system using smartphone apps “Aquarium light” and connecting to the Wifi. The device includes four different modes than can be used according to the user’s convenience, including the manual, auto, timer, and default modes.
Featuring a long-range of lighting color options including red, blue, purple, royal blue, green and white, this LED fixture provides a variety of other benefits apart from great ambiance. Each color has its plus points, like the red light is a great promoter of healthy growth of the fish and the blue light aids in the absorption of important nutrients like coral calcium and producing important vitamins like the vitamin D3, which gives a bright look to the coral. This fixture proves to be highly efficient.
A great benefit of this light over the other competitors is that it is 25% brighter than other classic aquarium lights and has a 120-degree lens which ensures ambient lighting for photosynthesis and makes the tank appear more attractive and clear.
Different season options like the summer, winter, autumn, and spring allows the LED to automatically adjust itself according to the four different seasons giving the fish proper natural experience. Also, the four different channel options like blue, night blue, white, and all light options make it ideal all saltwater and freshwater aquariums. Additionally, it offers a feature called the daisy chain, which allows the user to connect two or three aquarium tanks.
The best part of this aquarium is that the seller offers a full year warranty and a 30-day refund policy. This ensures the authenticity of the product, making sure that the buyer has the best possible experience.
12. Micmol – Smart LED Aquarium Light, Aqua Air, Dimmable Programmable Timer Sunrise Sunset Full Spectrum for Saltwater Coral Reef Fish Marine and Freshwater Shrimp Planted Fish Tank
Coming at a staggering 11mm thin body, this smart LED aquarium light has a sleek body and a fashionable design gathering all the attention of the room. Being especially great for saltwater marine reef coral LPS SPS home aquariums.
This device boasts of super-bright LEDs and features a full spectrum of colors with seven bands and spectral combinations to compliment your tank in every way possible. The variety of colors adds to the ambiance of the room and makes your aquarium a part of everyone’s talks.
It comes with a smart controller which gives the user easy access to all the different modes and options with just the press of a button, making the device even more elegant and user-friendly.
Different modes such as the sunrise, sunset, timer, lightning, etc. add to the whole real-life experience for marine life.
The sleek design and adjustable super Brackett makes it suitable for both rimmed and rimless aquarium tanks ranging from 585 to 1085 mm.
Moreover, this fixture comes with a limited one year warranty and also provides a power adapter which is safe and highly efficient adding to all the other features which make this light the ideal choice for your aquatic world.
Things To Be Kept In Mind While Using LED Aquarium Lightings for Plants
1. LEDs Should Be Ventilated Well
LEDs are well known for maintaining the temperature of the water in the aquarium. But there is a possibility that LEDs can cause the heat levels to rise slightly, making it an uncomfortable environment for the underwater plants and other species. This calls for a proper ventilation system which can avoid this problem. In other words, this will reduce the heat movements, which were directed upwards by the non-ventilated LEDs. This can directly or indirectly shorten the lifespan of the LED chips.
So make sure that there is plenty of air circulation around the chips of the LEDs so that the extra heat can be sent away from the heat sink and vertically as well. You also add a cooling fan which allows proper airflow.
2. Don’t Get Them Wet
Here, being water-resistant doesn’t mean that you have the freedom to submerge them into the water or use them underwater all the time. Putting your LED lightings deep into the water is surely not a wise decision. Make sure that your LEDs are water resistance because non-waterproof LEDs can damage the chips of the lighting. If you think there’s a need for you to submerge it, then opt for the waterproof fixtures.
3. Avoid Mineral Deposits On Your LED Strips
Any of the materials such as salt, lime, or mineral deposits can lead to the corrosion of your aquarium lightings because of the evaporation process that takes place from the water inside the tank. This can damage the heat sinks and LEDs of the lighting. Therefore, there is a need for keeping a regular and thorough check on the fixtures of your tank to avoid these avoidable damages.
You can clean the fixtures in and around with vinegar as it removes all these chemicals from the lighting strips. Vinegar is easily available in the stores and markets. Always clean the parts coming in contact with the water with intense care as these are the parts which corrode easily and faster than the other ones. Also, make sure that the fixtures are off before you clean it.
But Why LED Lighting for Aquarium Plants?
1. Consumption Of Less Power
LEDs consume less power and use 80-90% less energy than its other competitors. This saves a lot of money and reduces the extra expenditures which you can utilize otherwise, making it the best light for planted tank. They do not have a high heat output, acting as a cherry on the cake.
2. Cooling effect
You must be thinking, what is the best light for aquarium plants, isn’t it? So, there are a lot of options that are available in the markets, including fluorescent bulbs, LED lighting, metal halide lights, and compact fluorescent bulbs. You should not opt for the ones which emit blazing light due to intense heating as these are suitable only for small aquariums and give too much heat.
A lot of LEDs have a cooling effect, which gives them a major advantage. In contrast, fluorescent bulbs emit good light intensity with less heating effects. Metal halide bulbs provide a full spectrum, but they show very high heating, which causes discomfort for the under-water life. Thus, LEDs being the most appropriate ones in regard to the cooling effects proves to be the best light for aquarium plants.
3. Long-Lasting And Durable
LED lights can work for up to 50,000 hours, i.e., six years, unlike the others which can run for about a few months only. Incandescent bulbs can only run for about 2-4 months, while standard fluorescent bulbs and metal halide bulbs have a lifespan of 6-18 months. The compact fluorescent bulbs have decent durability and can work for up to 28 months. But none holds a beatable competition with the LEDs.
4. Adjustable Light Intensity
An amazing yet hideous advantage of using light-emitting diodes or LED lighting is its ability to allow the users to adjust the lighting as per their needs. This gives a natural environment feeling to the living creatures inside the aquarium, such as natural dimming of the sun during sunset and sunrise.
LED strips available in the market can also resemble the monthly lunar cycle. These changes can be set via a remote or an app, so it is very easy to use. LED strips allow your lighting system to be adjusted as per the requirements of the aquatic plants; enabling you to select the temperature, colors, and the color wavelength for proper plant growth. Thus it is one of the essential features of classifying lighting as the best aquarium light for plants.
5. Choice Of Colors
If you are interested in adding different hues and tones to make your aquarium interesting and attractive, there is no better way to implement it other than using LED lightings. These are often marked by spectrums in Kelvin.
8000 K white light spectrum proves to be the best aquarium light as it helps plants in photosynthesis. On the other hand, a magenta or magenta blue spectrum can be added to enhance the greens, blues, and reds, which improves the texture of your plant aquarium. A 445- nanometre royal blue hue can help in the maintenance of night lunar light. In this way, the choice of colors you have for the lights determines whether it is the best lighting for aquarium plants or not.
Best LED Aquarium Lighting for Plants – Your Choice?
Lights are one of the features that even though is very important, people usually forget and keep on the back burner but lights are responsible for a lot of things when considering all the impact that they have on both the fish and the plants inside your aquarium.
Lights can alter the behavior of the fish, control and increase the amount of stress they have and also affect their growth and well being. On the other hand, while considering the plants, some of these lights can provide all the essential nutrients and ingredients needed for their growth while some can offer hindrance in their proper growth.
This is why it is absolutely vital to make the decision carefully and choose the best option for your aquatic wonderland. It is your responsibility to provide the best life to your marine life but to do so you have to make sure of even the tiniest little details and all the help that you need to make an educated decision has been listed above.
Everything that you read above has been properly researched and personally used by our professionals and are completely trustworthy. Each one of these lights has its specific plus points and their specific drawbacks. Therefore, it’s up to you in what you think will best suit your small and perfect aquatic world.