Are Color Changing Lights Bad for Fish?

colored fish

It is no doubt the light in your aquarium is among the pillars of aquatic equilibrium. Lighting is very important because it creates an environment for aquatic life just like the sun, giving it room for reproduction.

The light in your aquarium is essential for the process of photosynthesis which will allow your plants to grow and for the proper circulation between oxygen and carbon dioxide in the tank. The aesthetics of the lighting helps you to appreciate the beautiful decoration and see how your fish is thriving.

There is quite a lot of colour-changing light for your aquarium in the market. It is a beautiful option when thinking of a lighting choice for your aquarium. Have you ever wondered if these colour-changing lights are good for your fish or not?

Does your fish get stressed from colour-changing light? If it does, what is then the best colour of light for your fish. This and more will be discussed in this article.

Are Colour Changing Lights Bad for Fish?

Yes, colour-changing lights are bad for your fish. It can be as bad as not having any light in your tank. Lighting is of course good for your tank, but you can go for a single colour lighting like red, blue, or white light. If you decide you want a colour-changing light, then you will have to keep it on for only a maximum of 8-10 hours. You cannot have it in on at all times. The light level will also have to be tailored according to your tank needs.

This colour-changing lighting makes your aquarium temperature higher and most manufacturers do not indicate the colour temperature, this will make the environment unfavourable to your fish and plants.

The colour-changing light can be overwhelming for your fish and can go a long way in stressing them out. This choice of lighting can be too much for your aquarium and this will lead to an algae bloom. It will end up making your aquarium water green in colour.

Does Your Aquarium Need Light?

Yes, your aquarium needs Light. It is essential for your aquarium. It helps your aquarium plant with the process of photosynthesis, and also helps with the balancing of oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. It also gives the aquarium environment a natural feel with the lighting mimicking sunlight.

Lighting enhances the aesthetics of your aquarium, giving it’s beautiful look where you can sit, relax and enjoy the amazing view of your fish and how it’s happily moving around its environment.

No doubt your aquarium needs lighting but this lighting should not be in excess. You have to provide the best type of lighting and it shouldn’t be too much. Too much light in your aquarium will get your fish stressed, and overwhelmed and can also cause a green water aquarium.

Is Natural Light Enough?

You might not necessarily need an aquarium light as normal daylight is enough. Even though natural light can sufficient for your tank, you have to avoid keeping it directly close to the window. This can increase the chance of algae bloom from occurring. It can also make the temperature of the tank increase, especially during summer. 

What is the Best Color of Light for your Aquarium?

When you decide to add colored light to your aquarium, you will have to choose the best for the betterment of your fish and aquarium plants. Below is a list of some colors of the light you might consider when you decide to add colored light to your tank.

– Blue

This is one of the great choices of light for your aquarium plants. The color blue has a calming effect on your fish. This choice of light won’t stress them. If your blue light is moonlight blue, it is safe to even keep it on at night because it is not too bright and won’t overwhelm your fish if it’s on all day and night.

If your aquarium has both a combination of slow and fast fish, blue lighting will keep the slower fish calm while allowing the active ones to swim around. This color will accentuate the color of red, green, and blue fish. If you have red plants in your aquarium, a blue light will help bring out the color of your plants.

– White

White light is the most common aquarium light color. A blue color fish will most appropriate a while light.

One of the disadvantages as disclosed by many aquarium owners is the white light might not have the right frequency of the red, blue and green spectrum. The right frequency of all these spectrums is essential for the process of photosynthesis.

– Red

Red light is a bit warmer and duller than the other color choices, and it goes best with nocturnal fish. It makes them go about their nightlife not feeling overwhelmed. It will make them comfortable thereby not hiding behind decorations. For fish like pleco and catfish, red lighting is a good choice for them.

With red lights, your plants will grow taller and grow more flowers. When you chose a red light, you can not keep it on at all times to prevent algae growth. You can switch the light off for some time and make sure to monitor the level of algae growth in your tank. Algae use red light frequency to grow.

Is Changing Aquarium Light bad for Fish?

Changing a normal light with another light is not going to be a problem. If you are changing a normal light with colored light (i.e the light you are changing is different from the previous one), this will be new to the fish and they might react to it.

Your fish must have adapted to the previous light, so this new color is going to be new and strange. It might take a while for it to get used to it. The new light can stress your fish at first before it gets used to it. Although some fish are more sensitive than others, you might notice your fish swimming rapidly when you change the light color. This is an indication that the new light choice is overwhelming to your fish.

You might notice your fish hiding behind decorations or objects and swimming away from the surface away from the light. The right choice of light, coupled with the right frequency and intensity is the most important to put into consideration when changing your aquarium light.


Lighting is essential for your aquarium, your fish and plant will love and appreciate it if you make the right choice of lighting for them. Color-changing light can be bad for your fish because it can stress and overwhelm them.

It can also cause green water aquarium making your Aquarium water turn green and murky. You can choose to use a color-changing light for your aquarium but only have it on for a maximum of 8-10 hours. With the right choice of lighting your fish and plants will thrive well and at the same time give your aquarium that beautiful aesthetics.

Written by Justin Michaels

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