On the basis of heat emitted by lighting, lighting can be divided into two categories being incandescent lighting and tungsten lights. Fluorescent lighting emits less heat and can help reduce electrical costs since they act as power savers. Tungsten lighting on the order hand emit more heat and consume more electricity. Fluorescent lighting is mainly available in the form of tubes of various sizes while incandescent lighting is mainly available in the form of screw on bulbs.
Another difference in the two types of lighting is that uncolored fluorescent tubes emit white light while incandescent lighting emits yellow light. The cost of fluorescent lighting is comparatively more expensive than incandescent light and the cost for incandescent lighting depends on the wattage and spectrum of the tube light. Colored fluorescent light is a good option for you if you want to see your fish in a colored light such as pink and blue. Colored lights are also known to enhance the color of aquarium fish.
It is important to know that both natural and artificial light can cause algae in an aquarium if the light excesses the requirement. The general rule for fish only aquariums is 1 watt per gallon water but this can be increased up to 1.5 watts per gallon water. For instance if you have a 75 gallon aquarium then the ideal wattage would be 75 watts – 112.5 watts. If you have a freshwater aquarium with plants then the total desired wattage will depend largely on the number of plants and type of plants. Plant grower bulbs are beneficial for planted tanks since these bulbs emit a higher spectrum of light and this can help the plants grow better.
UV lighting is another type of aquarium lighting is needed for aquariums if you have a turtle, since turtles need UVB light to properly utilize calcium and Vitamin D in their body. UVB light is required for your turtle aquarium if he does not get regular sun exposure.
Metal halide lighting is used in salt water tanks and heavily planted tanks, Metal halide lighting require an electrical ballast to work and are expensive compared to the regular lighting used in fish only freshwater aquariums.