Question about lighting - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-10-2011, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Question about lighting

I have a 55 gal. planted tank in my basement office. How long should i run the lights?
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-10-2011, 08:16 PM
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I think this mostly depends on what exactly you have in there. I run my lights on for 14 and off for 10. I would venture to guess your safest bet would be to time it with sunup and sundown. At least until someone has a better idea, it would help as I mentioned to know what kind of plants and fish you have just in case there is something that requires something out of the ordinary.

  • 55 Gal x2, 30 Gal, 20 Gal, 20 Long, 10 Gal x 3, 2.5 Gal, 1 Gal
  • 4 Beta's, 3 Pleco's, 4 Convicts, 4 Fire Belly Toads, 4 Serpe Tetras, 3 Angel Fish, 5 Tiger Barbs, 2 Rosey Barbs, 2 Cherry Barbs, 2 Odessa Barbs, 2 YoYo Loaches, 3 Ottos, 2 Yellow Labs, 2 Snails, 1 Black Tiger Barb, 1 Pictus Cat, 1 Balla Shark, 1 Rainbow Shark, 1 Ghost Shrimp, 1 Oscar, 2 Chinease Algea Eater,2 Tadpoles
  • 4 Ferrets,3 Gerbils, 2 Cats, 1 Dog
  • 1 Child, 1 Girlfriend
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TED45 (01-11-2011)
post #3 of 4 Old 01-10-2011, 09:05 PM
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I have all low light plants in my tanks and my lights in the 55 are two 6500 daylight bulbs on a timer that is on 10 hours a day and off 14 and it works well with my tank. What kind of bulbs do you have?

Kindest Regards,

Keeping fish its not a hobby it is a passion!

I have a 55 gallon, 40 gallon, 29 gallon, 20 gallon tank, 5 gallon , and a 2.5 gallon all with real plants.
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TED45 (01-11-2011)
post #4 of 4 Old 01-11-2011, 06:23 PM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

As previous member's responses have mentioned, the answer to your question depends upon several things. Plants need light in balance with available nutrients in order to photosynthesize (grow), and if any one essential is lacking, they can't. So the light duration must balance the nutrients. If light exceeds the available nutrients, algae will take advantage. Light should always be the limiting factor in plant growth to avoid this.

I would use a timer and have the light on during normal viewing periods, probably trying 12 hours to start with, and monitoring plant response and algae. If the latter increases, reduce the duration by one hour, and so on. We could go into more detail if we knew your light specs, plant species and number, and fertilization data.


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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