Actinic lights are also common in the reef aquarium industry.

Aqueon Actinic Blue Aquarium Lamp Deeper water violet light for fish and corals provides the violet wavelengths of light that are found in deeper water and at dawn and dusk. Stimulates neon glow found in GloFish.

48" 324W T5 HO Aquarium Light Hood 6x54W Fluorescent Actinic Lamp LCD Timer REEF

The colors we see around us come from the light’s wavelength, measured in Terahertz (THz) or nanometers (nm). Most people can see light ranging from about 700nm (reds) to about 400nm (purples). Blacklights and both produce light from the bottom of the visible light spectrum (the BIV in ROY G BIV). Most actinic lighting for aquariums has a wavelength of about 420-460nm. The higher end of this range (460nm) produces a more blue color light, while the color shifts to purple approaching the lower end (420nm). This type of lighting is still well within what we are capable of seeing. “Blacklights” emit a light below what we as humans are able to see known as ultraviolet or UV light. Yes, this is the same UV light that we wear sunscreen to protect ourselves against! UV lighting is separated into three major ranges. Blacklight bulbs are UV-A bulbs (315-400nm), the spectrum which causes our skin to tan. For comparison, the UV Sterilizers popular in aquariums for eliminating algae, diseases and parasites are UV-C bulbs (200-280 nm), a destructive spectrum that is mostly filtered out by Earth’s atmosphere and the UV-B range in between is the more damaging rays from the sun that causes sunburn and other harmful conditions.

Actinic Blue vs White Freshwater Aquarium LED Lighting - YouTube

48" 324W T5 HO Aquarium Light Hood 6x54W Fluorescent Actinic Lamp LCD Timer REEF lightbulbs provide high quality fluorescent aquarium light bulbs and provides life supporting actinic radiant energy at the 400nm – 450nm range where photosynthesis takes place. Precise actinic wavelengths penetrate deeper into a marine environment to nourish corals and living reefs. The Barrier Reef Blue Actinic .03 light bulbs enhance and fluoresces the colors of fish and decorations in your aquarium.

Aqueon T8 Actinic Blue Light Fluorescent Aquarium Lamp, 17 Watts

Fluorescent Reptile and aquarium light bulbs are scientifically engineered to provide the perfect blend of UVB and UVA radiant energy, while providing optimum color enhancement for viewing your pet. Essential for the prevention and reversal of metabolic disease by incrasign D3 production and calcium absorption. Fluorescent Reptile and aquarium light bulbs help to increase appetite, promote physical activity and induce reproductive behaviors in reptiles, turtles, snakes, amphibians, exotic birds, and fish. The 24″ 20 watt F20t12/5.3UVB 8617.3 kelvin fluorescent aquarium and reptile light bulbs emit 5.3% UVB at 310nm wavelenght, which results in greater D3 production. UVB – 6.44 UVA – 32.57.

Lovely reef aquarium under actinic light - YouTube


With the growing popularity and availability of fish like and decorations like our own line, “glow-in-the-dark” and fluorescent aquariums are becoming more and more common. Most of these animals and decorations are brightly colored in any light but under special lighting, the colors will really glow. There are two main kinds of light that are used in these aquariums: “blacklights” and actinic lights. Knowing the difference between these two can play an important role in making your tank really stand out, as well as in keeping it healthy. For this blog, we will be focusing in general terms only for community aquariums. Aquarium with invertebrates and corals will have different needs since their light requirements are much more specific and extensive.For daytime viewing, an actinic light is a better choice since it produces more of a brighter light that we can see and less UV radiation that can be harmful to some more sensitive organisms in higher concentrations. Blacklights are a good option for nighttime viewing only, when you may not want to see anything in the aquarium other than those fluorescent glowing objects or fish. You may choose to use one or the other of these lights or a combination of them or more standard “white” lighting which contains a balance of the entire visible light range. Lighting an aquarium containing glowing elements with a more traditional white light or “50/50 bulb” (half white light, half actinic) during the day and changing to an actinic or blacklight at night can truly give you a dramatic change to the look of your aquarium with no more effort than the flip of a switch!