Vacation Lighting "Help!" - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-16-2010, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Vacation Lighting "Help!"

I am new to fish keeping and am wondering about the lights while on vacation. I have someone checking on them every couple of days, but what about the lights? Leave them on or off?
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-16-2010, 10:21 PM
Can you not train the fish to do this?
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post #3 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 12:38 AM
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Welcome to the forum, cicfish! Is your tank planted? If so you'd want the lights to turn on, then off, just as when you are at home. This can be accomplished via a timer, which you can pick up at any Home Depot, Walmart, etc. Without plants and if the room does receive some light during the day (any windows in the room where the tank is located?) I would leave the lights off (more preferable than leaving them on) as fish need their sleep just as we all do. Leaving the lights on 24/7 would be very stressful for them.
Once again, welcome!

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post #4 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 05:18 AM
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+1 to Kymmie

just wanted to say hello!!!

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post #5 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 07:14 AM
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is this fresh or saltwater?
i only ask because i dont think people realize that this is in the wrong section LOL we can move it for you i just want to know where....

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post #6 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 11:39 AM
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Cicfish,

I looked your aquarium and see you keep cichlids in your tank, so I have moved this thread to a part of a forum where other members may see it and offer further advice.

Weclome again!

“The space between the tears we cry is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more...."-- Dave Matthews

Last edited by JohnnyD44; 06-17-2010 at 11:41 AM.
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post #7 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 11:41 AM
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thanks Johnny i was not sure which section so just wanted to wait to hear from the OP

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post #8 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 11:50 AM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

I agree with kymmie and johnny. Lights on over fish for 24 hours is highly stressful. The fish will almost certainly come down with something, frequently ich or worse. Fish need darkness just like we do, a minimum of 10 hours of total darkness.

A timer is a small investment in money but a very good idea for fish as well as plants. Fish are accustomed to a regular period of 10 hours daylight, 10 hours darkness and 4 hours for dusk/dawn each and every day in the tropics. Their systems are geared to this.

If you ever look into your aquarium in total darkness, say 3+ hours after the lights on the tank and in the room are out, and use a small flashlight, you will see many of the fish "sleeping." They lose their colouration, they respirate very slowly, they are inactive, some even resting on their sides. This rest period is vital, and when the light remains on they cannot manage it. Some fish are nocturnal and will be active in darkness, like many catfish; but these also rest during daylight under wood, rock and plants to balance their systems.

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 #9 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Smile vacation lighting

Thank You! Thank You! No, I do not have live plants and I had thought of the timer. The room gets daylight so I am going to leave the lights off. Currently I don't turn the lights on until around 8 am, but I may adjust this in light of the new information.
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-17-2010, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cicfish View Post
Thank You! Thank You! No, I do not have live plants and I had thought of the timer. The room gets daylight so I am going to leave the lights off. Currently I don't turn the lights on until around 8 am, but I may adjust this in light of the new information.
As you have no plants, your fish for their part would be fine without a light at all. In their native habitats, many of the fish we keep are in very dimly-lit waters. Daylight in the room for the day and total darkness at night would be OK. But it's nice to see them so we use a tank light. Having it on a regular schedule is best, the fish's metabolism is in sync then. Just like humans; I heard on the news only this week that people who work shift work have more trouble with the 12 midnight to 8 am shift, simply because of our internal "clock." Fish have these things too.

Another point, when the tank light comes on and when it goes out, there must always be some light in the room so it is not a sudden light/dark situation.

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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