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Aquarium Setup
Hoods & Lighting

An aquarium should always have a hood (cover) to:
  • Help maintain temperature
  • Deter evaporation
  • Keep dust out
  • Keep fish in the aquarium
  • Prevent splashing
Getting Started with a Freshwater Aquarium
1. Aquarium Water
2. Choosing Freshwater Fish
3. Aquariums & Stands
4. Hoods & Lighting
5. Heaters & Thermometers
6. Air Pumps & Accessories
7. Filters
8. Gravel & Décor

Aquarium Lighting

Lighting is important because it serves two functions: to illuminate the aquarium so the fish can be easily viewed and to offer proper light energy for photosynthetic reaction in plants and algae and certain invertebrates.

There are two types of lighting - incandescent and fluorescent. Let's compare the two.
Lighting Type Characteristics PETCO Suggestions
Fluorescent Lamps
  • Are usually preferred because they provide natural light spectrum
  • Enhance the colors of the fish
  • Give off less heat than incandescent bulbs
  • Supply light energy for photosynthesis
  • Last longer
  • Provide the ultraviolet light necessary for saltwater aquariums

Aqueon Deluxe Full Fluorescent Oak Aquarium Hoods
Aqueon Deluxe Full Fluorescent Oak Aquarium Hoods


Wave Point High Output T5 Fluorescent 2 Lamp Aquatic Lighting System
Wave Point High Output T5 Fluorescent 2 Lamp Aquatic Lighting System



Incandescent Bulbs
(primarily for home use)
  • Are less expensive
  • Produce more heat
  • Use more electricity
  • Burn out more quickly
  • Do not enhance the fish colors to any great degree
  • Do not supply the proper light energy for photosynthesis compared to fluorescent lamps

Aqueon Incandescent Strip Lights
Aqueon Incandescent Strip Lights


Petco Incandescent Light Bulbs for Freshwater Aquariums
Petco Incandescent Light Bulbs for Freshwater Aquariums




The recommended wattage for PETCO's incandescent light hoods is 15 watts or less. A higher wattage could damage the light hood and become a hazard.

Step 5: Heaters & Thermometers