How to Choose the Best Color Spectrum for your Freshwater Fish

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of any aquarium. It not only provides vital energy for photosynthetic plants and is essential to the overall health and balance of your tank, but it also makes for a gorgeous aesthetic! Picking the right color spectrum has the ability to showcase and intensify the best hues in both your fish and your plants.

A fish-only freshwater tank doesn’t require lighting for many purposes besides illuminating the tank, and essentially any color spectrum can be used safely without harming your fish. A planted tank, on the other hand, requires a significant amount of well-planned lighting because plants require light as an energy source.

Our Satellite LEDs are the perfect choice for your freshwater tank – you can easily choose your favorite hues with the full-spectrum, remote-controlled strip light. There are five LED color spectrums we recommend for enhancing specific colors on your freshwater fish:

  • 8,000K White

    • This is a warmer white light that enhances reds, oranges, greens, gold, and yellow colors in many fish, including: swordtails, platies, guppies, goldfish, bettas, discus, tetras with red colors, yellow labidichromis, rainbow sharks, tiger barbs and albino fish. This warmer color spectrum is usually achieved by running your white LEDs at full power (100%), Reds at 100%, Greens at 100% and turning down the blue spectrum (15% or less). This is also a very popular color spectrum for planted tanks.
  • 10,000K White

    • If you are looking to enhance the blue and fluorescent colors in your fish, this is the color spectrum to do so. It’s usually achieved by “turning up” the blue color spectrum in your light.
    • Great for enhancing the blue colors found in neon and cardinal tetras, and many species of African and South American cichlids.
    • Usually achieved by increasing the level of blue light (100%) with bright white (100%) and turning the reds and greens off (0%)
  • Magenta:

    • The brilliant magenta hue dramatically enhances greens, pinks, blues, and red colors in freshwater fish and plants. Similar to freshwater “pink” fluorescent lamps, it’s a popular color for sunrise and sunset and perfect for bringing out stunning red colors.
    • To dial in this color, increase the red color to 100%, blue to 100%, whites at 25%-50% and turn the greens off (0%).
  • Deep Blue:

    • Enhances blue, green, and red colors. Combining a little crispness of bright white with eye-popping royal blue, this combination is the ideal color spectrum for cichlids and tetra tanks.
    • The royal blue greatly enhances the blues and reds commonly found in these fish, while a bit of white reflects scales brilliantly and producing soft shimmer effects.
    • Achieved by turning blues to 100%, whites to 25%-50%, red and green levels to 0%.