light cycle? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-04-2010, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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light cycle?

what light cycle is recomended for a fish tank? i have a 40 gallon tank with live plants and a couple of fish. right now im running the floresent lights 24 hours. should i be running it 12-12 or 24 hours? should the tank have a "Dark" period? thanks!
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-04-2010, 07:35 PM
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Read this post about lighting with plants, if you keep the lights going all the time you will have major algae issues plus it will probably stress the fish.
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-07-2010, 02:36 PM
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24 hours is a definate no no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 10- 12 hours is a good time, fish need a night time and dawn to!!!!!!!!!!!

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post #4 of 6 Old 11-07-2010, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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well the other night i thought i would turn off the aquarium light when i went to bed but as soon as i turned around i heard some splashing around. when i turned to lok it was my silverdollar jumping around like he was wanting to jump out of the tank! i havent finished my plexiglass lid yet and i didnt want him to escape so i turned the light back on and he calmed down like normal.
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-07-2010, 08:01 PM
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Hes probably unaccustomed to it being completely dark, try keeping a bright light on in the room and turn the tank light off, the a couple hours later turn the bright light off and turn a dimmer one on, then a couple hours later see if he is good with the complete darkness.
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-08-2010, 01:14 PM
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It's already been said in this thread, are heading for real problems if you leave the tank light on 24/7.

The plants cannot possibly find sufficient nutrients to balance that much light, and algae will take over and be a real mess. Not to mention the plants cannot last under constant light anyway.

The fish will be severely stressed without a period of darkness to rest. Outbreaks of ich are common, caused by stress from the light.

As was mentioned, there must be light in the room when the tank light comes on and goes out; either daylight or artificial room lights. A period of about 20-30 minutes before/after is sufficient. This prevents the sudden shock of light/no light, which causes the reaction you describe.

And a fish tank should be covered; many fish will jump if frightened or startled, plus water evaporates (and gets into the walls and ceiling of the room just like in bathrooms without ventilation) and dust and whatever gets into the water. And it is harder to maintain a warm temperature on cold days, so the heater is working harder and may give out.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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