06-04-2009, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Arkamaic
Just a quick/update question. I've noticed while watching TV with the lights off, my fish become more active. It seems as though as long as the aquarium lights are off, they swim more, and they seem more apt to eat.
What's weird about this is that I haven't changed anything about the lighting. Still using a 18" 20w 4600 light.
My ammonia levels are about .1 ppm, still working on getting that down, making progress. But what would cause them to become nocturnal like this??
Most of the tropical rainforest fish we keep in aquaria come from waters that are not bright but heavily shaded by overhanging trees, aquatic vegetation and so forth. I'm not familiar with the specific habitat of rainbowfish, but from a quick search they seem to originate from a variety of habitats including jungle streams and swamps, so this fits in. Bright light would not be a preference of rainforest fish, and aquarists often shade the tank a bit with floating plants like Ceratopteris. If your tank is a 16g and you have one 20w tube, that is not overly bright (close to what I have at 1 watt per gallon).
A second observation is that when the tank lights go out, fish are normally more active just from the "shock" of the sudden darkness (by comparison). It is always good to have room lights on when the tank light goes out, as the fish will be less startled and more relaxed. I have sometimes remained in front of my tanks after the tank light is outwith the room lit, and generally there is very little activity; once the room light was not on and the fish were darting around quite a bit--which only proves that the room should not be dark when the tank light goes out. In nature, there is no sudden day or night but a gradual darkening in the evening and gradual brightening in the morning. Fish are more relaxed when we can replicate this a bit more.