Black lights should not be used to heat or illuminate a fish tank. Fish need aquarium lighting that’s designed to provide the natural lighting they would receive in the wild. Because black lights are ultraviolet, it’s only safe to use them in small doses. A black light in the 315 to 380 nm range is the least harmful. Use the black light in small doses, such as an hour or so a day, to light up clownfish, neon tetras and other fishes with fluorescent, white or silver coloring.
Clownfish come in a variety of colors, including: orange, blue and yellow. Each clownfish features chunky white stripes outlined in thin black that glow under the soft luminescence of a black light. Clownfish are very active, so when the lights go down, you can expect their glowing parts to create a very unique look inside the tank, as they “clown around” their habitat. If you keep anemones for your clownfish, they may also glow under a black light.
Neon tetras look excellent under the glow of a black light. The shiny blue stripe down their body glows, as does their thin skin, creating a very unique lightshow for the aquarium viewer. Oftentimes, clear substances, such as the body of a neon tetra, create a fluorescent glow under a black light. Because neon tetras are a peaceful fish, you can purchase them in large schools for a truly rewarding black light experience.
Platinum angelfish, as the name implies, offer a vivid white polish that’s perfect for black lights. Black lights respond well to white, iridescence and silver – all of which are traits of the platinum angelfish. When the lights go down and the tank is lit by black lighting, the platinum angelfish should appear truly angelic, as they will be further outfitted with the fuzzy white halo black lighting produces.
More Fish That Glow Under UV Lighting
Fluorescent colors glow under a black light, so any fish that features fluorescents should produce a unique look under UV lighting. A color is only fluorescent if it’s able to absorb light at the right wavelength. Ideally, the fish’s coloring should be capable of absorbing long-wave UV, or black light. The light is then reflected back on the viewer to produce a glowing effect. In general, look for fish that feature bright colors, such as the neon yellow tetra or the brightly colored queen angelfish.
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Caryn Anderson combines extensive behind-the-scenes writing experience with her passion for all things food, fashion, garden and travel. Bitten by the travel bug at the age of 15 after a trip to Europe, Anderson fostered her love of style and fashion while living in New York City and earning her degree at New York University.