Recently, I ran into a larger saltwater aquarium with a lighting system that includes simulated lightning storms. At seemingly random times, the lighting system would simulate a lightning storm using strobe lights (including overnight).

  • Since it didn't simulate other environmental changes from a thunder/lightning storm, is this was actually necessary?
  • Is having this type of system beneficial for a saltwater tank?
  • Does it somehow keep the fish healthier?
  • 8
    I don't know if it is beneficial (I'm interested to see answers), but it certainly sounds cool! It is entirely possible that the "cool factor" was the only motivation.
    – Beofett
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 13:36
  • 1
    Was just the light - lightning or actual electrical discharges in the water??? Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 14:18
  • @woliveirajr It simulated a lightning storm using overhead strobe lights
    – Steven V
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 14:19
  • Was this aquarium part of an entertainment park (or the main attraction, eg SeaLife Park?). Naming the specific place might make it easier to search for information.
    – Baarn
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 14:31
  • 1
    @Baarn No entertainment park involved in this. It was at an acquaintance's apartment. They informed me that it would help the fish, but as I stated in the post, I'm skeptical.
    – Steven V
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


Oddly enough, there are some articles about it.

This article, Reactions in individual fish to strobe light. Field and aquarium experiments performed on whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus), deals with strobe light and whitefish, as its title says.

Their conclusion is that fish will swim away from the strobe light and don't bother if it comes from behind. Since you describe a light from the top, they will hide from it too.

Another article concludes that strobe light can be used as a barrier to some fish.

I couldn't find any relationship to algae, O₂ or CO₂ level.

So I think that it was just for decorative purposes - and, as some (or all) fish will avoid it, it doesn't seem to be a good decoration.

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