In the previous article, we discussed aquarium lighting in detail. Now, let’s look at the best clip-on aquarium lights suitable for small fish tanks.
So let’s get started.
- What is a clip-on aquarium light?
- Best Clip-on Aquarium Light Review
- 1-ECtENX LED Aquarium Clip-on Light (With White & Blue Colors)
- 2-Aqueon Aquarium Clip-On LED Light
- 3-Finnex FugeRay Aquarium Clip-on LED Light for Planted Tank (Plus Moonlights)
- 4-Astra LED Nano Fish Tank Light for Saltwater+Freshwater Planted Tank & Coral Reef Tank
- 5-Wave-point Micro Sun 6,500 k Daylight High Output Clip-on Light
- 6-Finnex Stingray LED Clip Light
- 7-Coralife Marine Aquarium Clip-On LED Light
- Our Recommendations
- Other options for Small Tanks
- Check list before buying a clip-on light for your tank
What is a clip-on aquarium light?
A clip-on aquarium light comes with a light fixture and a soft-touch switch or a clip that allows you to clip it over the fish tank glass. For small fish tanks, a clip-on aquarium light is the perfect option. They usually produce less light than larger fittings and that makes them ideal for smaller tanks or areas where targeted lighting is required.
Best Clip-on Aquarium Light Review
1-ECtENX LED Aquarium Clip-on Light (With White & Blue Colors)
The ECtENX LED Aquarium Light is a durable, energy-efficient, and dual color LED light (white and blue) to light up your small tank. The clear white light looks amazing during night time and can be used to enhance colors in corals and fish.
The white and blue lights work perfectly and are absorbed by the chlorophyll of aquatic plants. You can buy one LED light for a 5 to 20-gallon tank and two for 20 to 55-gallon tanks.
The advantage for choosing Blue and White ECtENX LED light is that it provides enough light for aquatic plants to grow healthily.
Moreover, vibrant colors make your fish tanks more alluring at night. And lastly, it is easy to install and comes with an affordable price tag.
The disadvantage, as reported by some people, is the issue of light flicker and a larger wall plug that was difficult to fit into a crowded socket area.
2-Aqueon Aquarium Clip-On LED Light
Aqueon Aquarium is a freshwater aquarium clip-on LED light with a set of 21 bright LED lights for shimmering illumination. It has a 2-way soft-touch LED control for on and off. It can be conveniently mounted on frameless or framed aquariums with mounting screws.
These Aqueon lights will offer vibrant and clear lighting to create a thriving environment. It’s a brilliant option to support your aquatic corals and plants. These lights are most ideal for aquariums 20 gallons or less in size.
They come in a set of bright LEDs to support your fish tank with an affordable price. It’s great value for money with high PAR outputs and a sturdy metal construction.
Some people say that the only disadvantage is the set of bright lights, as they are pretty vibrant with high intensity that can be difficult to look at.
3-Finnex FugeRay Aquarium Clip-on LED Light for Planted Tank (Plus Moonlights)
Finnex FugeRay Aquarium LED light is a series of identical LED lights in a clip light molding. The lights are joined in an even manner to fulfill the requirement of medium-light fish tanks. These lights come with 660nm LEDs to boost chlorophyll photosynthesis.
They can last up to 40,000 hours and feature a moisture resistant PC Splash Guard to guard against any water mishaps. The light spreads around 10 inches and it is ideal for a 10-gallon fish tank.
To offer light durability, the circuit board is manufactured with high quality aluminum and the fixture acts as a heat sink. It comes with a very pocket-friendly price. The PAR rating for Finnex FugeRay LED light is 35 at 12 inches high.
Some people note heat output from the control box. Also, the 180-day warranty is a bit shorter than its competitors.
4-Astra LED Nano Fish Tank Light for Saltwater+Freshwater Planted Tank & Coral Reef Tank
The Asta 20 is an attractive light with some brilliant features. One of the best things about this light is its versatility. The long gooseneck allows you to clip it on and then place it wherever the light is needed most.
Even more important is the dimmer capability of the lamp. You can adjust the brightness to suit your tank’s needs.
The light can be controlled via DMX with Wi-Fi, although this costs extra. The housing is made with metal cooling fins for quiet operation.
The biggest advantage of the Asta 20 is its flexibility. The long gooseneck and customizable lighting spectrum allow this light to be used in many different applications.
A few people commented that the lights turn pretty hot when they are on for long periods.
5-Wave-point Micro Sun 6,500 k Daylight High Output Clip-on Light
Wave-point Micro Sun LED Fixture Lighting is another great option for saltwater environments and freshwater aquariums. They are equipped with super blue and white daylight lamps surrounded by a sleek aluminum hood with heat removal technology.
The hood and light can be adjusted using two hinges that lock into place with screws. The light attaches to tanks with a suction cup and hook system.
The biggest advantage of Micro Sun lights is their water-resistant construction that can survive accidental immersion.
This light will heat up so it needs good air circulation to avoid overheating problems.
6-Finnex Stingray LED Clip Light
The Finnex Stingray LED light is a nice-looking light for smaller tanks. One of the distinctive features is its white casing. This makes it suitable for tanks that are not hidden or against a wall. The light isn’t trying to disappear.
At 4 watts, this isn’t a great light for huge aquariums. It will be perfect for smaller tanks and nano tanks.
The fitting is a simple clip bracket with a screw for tightening it. This design works very well for rimless tanks. The gap of 0.6 inches allows this to work for tanks with a rim up to ½” in thickness.
The 7000K light spectrum makes some fish really stand out and produces nice shadows in planted tanks.
The light isn’t very bright so application choice is crucial.
7-Coralife Marine Aquarium Clip-On LED Light
Coralife marine light is a multi-functional and a versatile light that can be used for fish tanks as well as for garages, workbenches, plant seedlings, etc. The clamp is sturdy and the slim positioning should keep the attention on your fish and not the light.
Controlling the light is simple with the 3-way switch. All on, blue on, or all off are the only three options. There are 60 LEDs to light up the tank and promote fish and plant health.
This light is great for smaller tanks. If you want a light that is effective for a nano cube or small betta tank, then this is a great choice. The slim fitting and fixture will not draw attention away from your tank.
The biggest advantage of this lamp is its simplicity and cost. It is one of the most affordable small tank lighting solutions on offer.
A big disadvantage is the lack of flexibility. The neck is fixed so the lamp will not be adjustable once placed.
For Fish-Only Tank
Our recommendation for a tank with only fish is the LED ECtENX Aquarium Light because it offers two sets of white and blue lights and is super affordable.
Without plants to support, the lower level of light is not a problem. Using both blue and white lights can help showcase your fish. The gooseneck can also be adjusted to light up one side of your tank while leaving the other side less bright.
For Fresh-Water Planted Tank
The planted version of Aqueon Aquarium Clip-On LED Light is suitable for freshwater planted tanks as it is ideal for growing plants. The set of 60 bright LED lights will support your aquatic plants and help to grow lush plants effectively. It is less expensive compared to other lights and will easily support a 20-gallon freshwater planted tank.
For Saltwater Tank
Now for saltwater tank, we have two recommendations, first is the LED Aquarium Lighting Nano Fish Tank Light. It is a great option for coral reefs and other saltwater plants because the light provides equally distributed illumination throughout the tank. The light can be customized with four different spectrums to achieve the best results.
The next one is Coralife Marine Aquarium Clip-On LED light as it offers a set of 60 bright LEDs with a blue spectrum to give off a deep sea look. A cool white to blue spectrum is the perfect option for saltwater tanks as it helps to grow corals and enhance tank colors.
Other options for Small Tanks
If none of the above suit your needs, then we have a few other options for you. These are a little more flexible and could be used for different applications such as a vivarium, combo tanks, and grow tanks.
1-MingDak LED Under Water Light (White/Blue Colors)
MingDak LED Aquarium Light is the most cost-effective option for small tanks. They are 20% brighter and offer longer performance compared to regular lights.
The basic 7.5-inch light has a set of 18 LEDs that is beneficial to illuminate your tank and enhance the existing fish colors. They work great underwater and use low voltage, so you don’t have to worry about using too much electricity.
It is more than sufficient for a 20 to 40-gallon tank which is a great return on such a low investment. The electric cord is longer than others so you can place your aquarium anywhere you want.
2-Simple Deluxe Clamp Light with 5.5 Inch Aluminum Reflector
Simple Deluxe Clamp Lamp Light is a 5.5 Inch Aluminum Reflector manufactured with a scratch-resistant vinyl sleeve and a spring-powered steel camp with an adjustable ball joint. It has a 60-watt medium base bulb, an on/off push through a switch, 6 feet cord and an adjustable ball joint for focus light area. It’s a great choice for a cheap start and flexible use.
Check list before buying a clip-on light for your tank
We’ve given you quite a few options and even made some recommendations. There are hundreds of different lights available. Let’s finish with a simple checklist to help you make your own choice.
1-Is it suitable for your plants or corals needs?
You know your plants and corals. Low light needs, high light requirements, foreground, background, and living coral are all different plant and lighting requirements that could be in your tank.
One of the best things to do is make a list of your plants and their lighting needs. Consider where each one is located so you can choose a good light for your plants.
2-Is the light size fit for your tank size?
There are three different aspects of matching lights to tank size:
- Ensure the light is long enough for your tank. If you have a wide tank that is not very deep from front to back, then you may need two or more clip-on lights to cover the entire width of the tank.
- Check the light is going to reach the middle of your tank. If your tank is squarer, then a clip-on light may not reach the front of your tank from the back. Longer goosenecks can address this problem.
- Finally, check your tank’s water depth. Light doesn’t penetrate very far into the water. These clip on lights are not the best for tanks with water depth greater than 12″.
3-Can it be clipped on your tank frame?
Do a quick check to make sure the clamp will fit where it’s needed. Rimless tanks may be too thin for certain clamps while tanks with a thick, chunky rim might be too wide for others. Check this to avoid disappointment.
4-Lighting Options and Flexibility
Consider what you need and want from your light and then choose the features that will deliver your desires. For example:
- Some may want a bright light that is dimmable to look after certain species of fish.
- Blue light may be a requirement for marine tanks or people who want constant illumination but not algae.
- A broader color spectrum may be desirable to highlight specific species of fish.
Think about what you want to achieve and then choose a light that will do it for you.