fish and light question - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 09-16-2011, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
fish and light question

I keep seeing that certain fish do not like much light and should have floating plants to block some of it and make them feel safer. i wondering if there are any fish who are happier with light/shouldn't have floating plants blocking the light? at the moment i'm assuming that any fish will be ok with floating plant while some need them. is this correct?
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post #2 of 2 Old 09-17-2011, 11:43 AM
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There are no freshwater fish that require light brighter than ambient daylight/room light. By this I mean that bright light is not something necessary for the fish's health or well-being. All fish would be quite healthy and probably very happy in a tank with no light beyond that coming in the windows of the room.

Many species occur naturally in very dimly-lit waters, either due to forest canopy shade, floating or overhanging vegetation, naturally murky water, etc. These fish do care about light because it is not "natural" and thus stressful. Fish not only have sensitive eyes but also light receptors in their skin. So light can affect them to varying degrees. A few species are naturally nocturnal, so this is even more crucial for them. In the species profiles it always mentions light in the natural habitat where this is an issue for that species.

So the light we place over the tank will be there solely for our purpose, both to observe the aquarium and to grow live plants. This should therefore take into account the natural habitat of the fish in the aquarium. I know of no fish species that has problems if there is something above to shade the light, be it floating plants or just less light. The colour of the substrate also enters into this.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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