If aquariums are your thing then you have probably invested some of your time and money into some high-quality aquarium plants to complete your display. Although choosing the correct aquatic plants to match the various fish you have chosen for your aquarium may be relatively easy, choosing the correct lighting for growth of these plans can sometimes turn into a problem.
In this article, we have decided to answer the question of “what are the best aquarium lighting for plants?” As usual, we have attempted to choose products from a number of price points in the market that we hope offers something for everyone’s budget and requirements.
Finnex Planted+ – The Best Aquarium Lighting For Plants
First up, we have the Finnex Planted+ from the higher end of our recommended products price range that currently retails at around the $100 mark for the 36-inch long version with discounts available in sales such as black Friday. The Finnex Planted+ is also available in the 20 inch, 24 inch, 30 inch and 48-inch variants with different price points.
It is a fully automated aquarium light that you are able to control from the included remote control to ensure you have optimal lighting for your aquatic plans at all times. There are a number of different settings available including fire Red sunrise and Blue starry night with an additional four different channels that are 100% fully customizable with the ability to dim the lighting at will.
The 36-inch version of the Finnex Planted+ uses 7000k daylight LEDs to offer optimum lighting to stimulate the growth of your plans. You are able to utilize your four custom channels to save a number of different light settings and then set them to activate for their own time periods via the built-in timer setting.
The included legs with the lighting feature allow you to secure it to any aquarium, even ones that are totally rimless. The high-quality build standard comes with a water-resistant splash guard that help add that extra layer of safety by adding an additional layer of resistance to your electronics from any possible water splashes.
One common misconception with this light seems to be buyers expecting instant growth one their aquatic plants, especially things like baby tears. You have to keep in mind that before growth can occur, some plants have to have time to root and secure itself before beginning to grow. Most reports that we have seen report excellent growth for new plants from around the 30-day mark with almost instant growth for plants that have already had a chance to settle into their new environment.
Question – Can this light be used to grow baby tears?
Answer – Yes it can, it is more than capable of growing baby tears. Just be sure to keep in mind that you will not see much growth for the first thirty days or so. This is to be expected and is totally normal.
Question – Is the remote control easy to use?
Answer – Yes, the remote control has been specifically designed to be as easy as possible to use to ensure any non-tech based customers are able to get the best out of the lighting kit.
Question – Does this lighting kit have any preset lighting effects?
Answer – Yes, the thunder and lightning storm is the most popular preset lighting effect.
As with any product that we recommend to our readers, we prefer to offer some independent reports from other aquarium enthusiasts who are currently using this product. Although we have summarised the below reports, you can click on their links to read each report in full if you would prefer.
- This report comments on how the owner wishes that they had taken some pictures of their plants before they had implemented the light and after. They report tremendous plant growth since using this Finnex Planted+ lighting system.
- This report comments on how the majority of the plants in their aquarium were close to dead before the owner had decided to invest in the Finnex Planted+ lighting system. They go on to comment on how the plants have since rejuvenated and are looking fresh and healthy.
- This report comments on how the Finnex Planted+ lighting system provides plenty of light for their tank to efficiently grow their plants.
- This report comments on a number of the features and benefits of the Finnex Planted+ lighting system as well as shares a photo of the progress of their aquarium since making the switch in lighting systems.
- This report comments on how they replaced their old lighting system with the Finnex Planted+ lighting system and that they are very happy with its performance.
COODIA Aquarium Hood Lighting
Next up, we have the COODIA aquarium hood lighting. A cheaper product than the Finnex offering but it still has the potential to offer excellent plant growth. The COODIA aquarium hood lighting system comes with a number of preset lighting modes as well as the ability for you to customize the lighting as you see fit or even use the system as a form of mood lighting.
As with the Finnex, the Coodia includes a remote that allows you to control the system from anywhere in your home. A firmware update recently improved the remote system to even work through walls meaning you don’t even have to be in the room to change your light setting.
The Coodia has been designed to be as easy as possible to use, simply attach it to the top of your aquarium and plug it into your power supply. The lighting system is resistant to any possible splashes and works well for both freshwater and saltwater plants.
On top of offering you a better view of your aquarium fish, the Coodia also offers an excellent light source for your plants to use during photosynthesis to help oxygenate your tank. There are multiple reports confirming that this lighting system has been able to assist with the growth of algae, coral, anemones and other underwater plants. Over the years, a number of studies have shown that correct lighting in your aquarium is able to help with the physiology and behavior of your fish.
Question – Does this light only stay as one color?
Answer – The COODIA aquarium hood lighting system has sixteen different colors that it can be set up to display. In addition to this, you can brighten or dim the lights as you see fit or set it up to flash, fade or switch between colors as you like.
Question – Is this a full spectrum lighting system?
Answer – Yes, the COODIA aquarium hood lighting system is a full spectrum lighting system.
Question – What battery does the remote require?
Answer – The remote uses a CR2032 battery.
- This report comments on how the COODIA aquarium hood lighting system is perfect for making colorful plants pop and stand out in the display.
- This report comments on how they have only had the COODIA aquarium hood lighting system in their aquarium for two weeks but their plants are already sprouting new leaves.
- This report comments on how their aquarium plants are growing nicely since installing the COODIA aquarium hood lighting system.
- This report comments on how they feel that this is the best light you can get for your money. They then go on to comment how the COODIA aquarium hood lighting system makes all the colors in the aquarium standout.
- This report comments on how this is a this is a great cheap lighting system. They then go on to mention how their plants are growing nicly since then installed the COODIA aquarium hood lighting system to their aquarium.
NICREW LED Aquarium Light
Our next offering is the NICREW LED Aquarium Light that has a number of different price points depending on the size of the lighting rig you choose. We have broken down the different options below.
- 11-19 inches for $17.99
- 20-27 inches for $29.99
- 28-36 inches for $37.99
- 37-45 inches for $46.99
- 46-54 inches for $59.99
The NICREW light is made up of energy efficient, super bright long lasting LEDs that produce an amazing shimmer for your aquarium while offering optimum plant growth for your aquatic plants and providing optimal viewing conditions for your fish. Its metal fitting bracket is 100% adjustable to fit the size of your aquarium with each version of the system being broken down in the size brackets and price points bullet-pointed above.
The default daylight settings for the system will show illuminate both Blue and White LEDs with the night time default lighting setting illuminating only the Blue LEDs. The Blue LED system offers a lower level of light to allow your fish to relax and get some downtime while still providing some light for your plants to use in photosynthesis.
A number of people use the NICREW exclusively for their refugium to develop their algae and have reported excellent results from doing so. The majority of people who own this lighting system seem to use it on their main aquariums and report excellent results.
Question – Is the NICREW LED Aquarium Light able to sustain plant life in an aquarium?
Answer – Yes, multiple people are using the NICREW LED Aquarium Lighting system to sustain plants and algae in their aquariums.
Question – What is the spectrum range of the NICREW LED Aquarium Lighting system?
Answer – There are two different modes, one is 2800K and the other is 6700k.
Question – Does this come with a remote control?
Answer – No, the NICREW LED Aquarium Light is operated by a manual remote switch.
Shenzhen KOTO LED Aquarium Light
Next up is the Shenzhen KOTO LED aquarium light, although not a full tank light as our initial three recommendations, the Shenzhen KOTO light is a simple side light system to place at the side of your aquarium. In our opinion, it is overpriced for what it actually offers in comparison to our other recommendations but it has excellent reviews on Amazon and other online sites.
While we imagine this light will work fine for smaller aquariums that are able to receive plenty of light from its single bulb system, we would not recommend it for any medium to large sized systems as the light dispersion simple will not be enough for your tank. There have been a large number of reports saying that they experienced excellent plant growth when using the Shenzhen KOTO but they did not confirm the size of their aquarium.
If you keep a refugium then we would imagine this system would be more than enough to keep your algae ticking over and growing at a decent rate but would not recommend it for a tank with fish or any other animals as it does not have a dim setting. If you forget to turn the light off overnight then your pets will be exposed to a light source for the whole day and this may lead to increase stress levels that can totally be avoided.
The KOTO is simple enough to fit to your aquarium, simply place it on the rip where you want the light to stand and tighten its fixture bolt, finally adjust the neck as required to provide optimal light penetration through the water to offer maximum benefit to your plant life.