Lighting in Tropical fish tank

Lighting | Aquarium Basics

If you will not be keeping live plants, macroalgae, or photosynthetic invertebrates, the only lighting you need on your tank is what you’d like in order to view your fish, so you can choose the lighting you like best. However, a tank that looks perfectly illuminated to us can be completely unacceptable to plants, and even what would make for a well-lit planted tank would not be bright enough for most of the photosynthetic marine invertebrates found in reef aquaria.

  • A minimum of 1½ to 2 watts per gallon is needed for planted tanks, with higher amounts depending on the lighting requirements of the plants you keep. For a high-tech setup using CO2 injection and fertilizers, you would use more powerful lighting, up to 4 or 5 watts per gallon. Reef setups usually require 5 or more watts per gallon.
  • Several factors affect the required lighting. Light does not penetrate water easily, and every inch of depth greatly decreases the effective illumination. The use of good reflectors can increase effective illumination by directing more of the light produced into the tank. For a 12-inch-deep tank you can use very high output (VHO) or power compact (PC) lamps, but a depth of 18 or 24 inches requires many more watts per gallon—and probably metal halides—for the same results.

Lighting Types

Not counting regular incandescent lights, which are rarely used nowadays, there are two basic types of lighting for photosynthetic organisms: fluorescent and high-discharge filament lights.

  • NO Lighting: Normal output (NO) fluorescents are regular fluorescent lights. A standard 4-foot bulb is 40 watts. They run off regular ballasts and fixtures and come in a variety of spectra. They are satisfactory only in very shallow tanks.
  • VHO Lighting: Very high output (VHO) fluorescents pack much more lighting power. A standard 4-foot VHO bulb is 110 watts. Special fixtures and ballasts are needed to run these lamps. They work well on tanks up to about 18 inches deep.
  • PC Lighting: Power compact (PC) fluorescents are single-ended, with the tube bent back so that both ends terminate in the electrical connection, and they require appropriate fixtures and ballasts. They are available in a variety of configurations and wattages. The bulbs come in different spectral outputs.
  • HD Lighting: Most high-discharge (HD) aquarium lights are metal halide. These come in both screw-in and double-ended formats and a great variety of wattages and spectra, measured in Kelvins. Because of the intense heat generated by these lamps, the fixtures often include one or more fans, and they are generally hung above the tank to reduce heat transfer to the water. Metal halides are powerful enough to punch through deep water to provide sufficient illumination for photosynthetic reef invertebrates.

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They are definitely hardy fish

by puppyluvins

However they do better in cooler temps. Generally between 40 and 70 is where you will see goldfish thrive. Above and below both temps they start getting pretty lethargic and don't eat as often. They don't grow as fast either.
Really its not the goldfish you have to worry about in a tropical tank, its the other fish. Especially those very sensitive to ammonia, like your Pleco,a decent ammonia spike can easily kill him. With that mix I would be testing water for sure every day.

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