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post #1 of 6 Old 05-18-2011, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
Lighting question

So I'm going to put my tank on a timer for 6 hours a day. I already have the light on for 6-7 hours a day and it gets some but minimal light for a couple windows. I usually turn the light on around noon and turn it off around 6-7. Would that time range be best or should I make it so it comes on around 1-2 and on until 8-9? I know fish have a day and night cycle so I don't want to screw them up too much or anything. When the light is off it's kind of like an early morning look more dark than light. Would this be good enough for them until 1-2 when the light came on and is suddenly brighter and stays brighter till later in the evening? I'm probably over thinking this but any help would be great. Thanks.
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-18-2011, 06:39 PM
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So I'm going to put my tank on a timer for 6 hours a day. I already have the light on for 6-7 hours a day and it gets some but minimal light for a couple windows. I usually turn the light on around noon and turn it off around 6-7. Would that time range be best or should I make it so it comes on around 1-2 and on until 8-9? I know fish have a day and night cycle so I don't want to screw them up too much or anything. When the light is off it's kind of like an early morning look more dark than light. Would this be good enough for them until 1-2 when the light came on and is suddenly brighter and stays brighter till later in the evening? I'm probably over thinking this but any help would be great. Thanks.
I think fish can adjust to the light schedule you give them, so you also can enjoy the tank when you're home at night. I've got my light coming on at 9:30 a.m. (at work during the day) but turning off around 9pm. I probably have mine on too long, but I'm not getting algae so not too worried yet. I think if you're seeing algae you need to give your tank less light, than more.

Not sure if that will help. Your ambient light will have little effect on plant growth unless it's directly hitting tank. I think 10 hours is max needed for light for plant growth. Do you have live plants?

Gwen

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post #3 of 6 Old 05-18-2011, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
Thanks Gwen. I do have live plants in my tank. I have an Amazon sword, wendtii crypt, anubius, ludwigia and compact hygro. I know that there's not going to be enough ambient light for them during the day but I do have a slight algae problem so less light would probably be good. I was just mainly worried about the fish because I don't want it to be too dark for them for too long.
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-19-2011, 10:02 AM
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Light and dark in the tropics is constant, and that is the more important issue here. As long as the fish have a reasonable period of total darkness--by which I mean, complete dark, no daylight, no room lights, no moonlight, nothing--of several hours they will be fine. If you never turned on the tank lights, and the room just had ambient daylight, your fish would be in "heaven." They don't need much if any light, and in most of their native waters it is very dim. |The day/night contrast is the critical thing.

My fish room gets daylight during the morning, through closed blinds, but the fish are awake and to them it is day. The tank lights come on at noon, and remain on for 9 hours until 9 pm; this schedule is solely for the benefit of the plants to prevent algae inctreasing. There is a room light that comes on just before 9 pm and remains on for an hour, to provide a "dusk" type period. Then the fish have total darkness until dawn, which varies from 7-10 hours summer/winter.

Byron.

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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post #5 of 6 Old 05-19-2011, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
Thanks Byron that's the main thing I was wondering. They do get complete darkness for a while at night and as long as the ambient light is good enough then I won't really worry about it. They are definitely active while there's just ambient light I just wasn't sure if they knew it was day time or were just active cause they slept long enough.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-19-2011, 01:18 PM
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Thanks Byron that's the main thing I was wondering. They do get complete darkness for a while at night and as long as the ambient light is good enough then I won't really worry about it. They are definitely active while there's just ambient light I just wasn't sure if they knew it was day time or were just active cause they slept long enough.
The inactive period is crucial for fish as it is for all of us, to provide needed rest for our system. And total darkness achieves this. Except for nocturnal fish of course. I do not know if they can "rest" completely in less than night darkness, or if they can how much different this may be for them. But you are providing some total darkness, and that is the thing.

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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