Photosynthesis or how plants manage to produce Oxygen out of sunlight
This is a process that is powered by the energy of light. In nature the light
source is of course the sun. In your aquarium artificial illumination provides
the needed energy.
During photosynthesis carbon dioxide is absorbed while oxygen is expelled. These
two gases enter and leave the plant through very tiny pores. The green pigment
called chlorophyll is the substance that is responsible for this process.
Photosynthesis also produces simple sugars like glucose which are the building
blocks for the plant. Glucose in fact is the food of the plant. Oxygen is only
produced as a byproduct while carbon dioxide is only necessary to keep the
photosynthesis process going.
Since photosynthesis is most active in the blue and red portions of light you
should choose aquarium lights with that in mind. There can be only
photosynthesis when there is light – the process stops when there is no more
light available i.e. nighttime.
Knowing that photosynthesis stops in the night raises the question about what is
happening during those dark hours. Don’t forget that your aquarium plants
usually have originated in the tropics where there is about twelve hours of
daylight. During the other twelve hours the main process is respiration. This is
in fact the opposite of photosynthesis. During darkness food substances are
broken down (with the help of oxygen) and carbon dioxide is produced as a
For more information about other services and products choose from one of the following links: