Lighting Timer Question
I have a lightly planted 10 gallon tank (3 sword plants and wisteria, I think). Is it ok for me to turn the light on for an hour in the morning so I can see the fish before I go to work and then turn it off until about 3 p.m so I can enjoy them while I am home?
Will this affect the fish or the plants negatively?
Fish have "sleep" cycles similar to humans. It would be similar to someone turning on a room light for an hour in the morning waking you up. It won't kill the fish, but it may bring undeeded stres sin to the tank.
This is a very good question, and one I have researched as it relates to the "siesta" approach to lighting a planted tank. This method has the tank lights on for say 4 hours, then off for 2-3, then on for another 4. I won't go into the reason behind this as it is irrelevant to your question. But yes, fish are affected by overhead light. You may get a better background in this article:
Aside from the effect on the fish, the plants are not likely to benefit much from just an hour, so there may be issues here too. A regular daily period of lighting is best for fish and plants, and this is easily achieved with a timer so it is consistent. The "daylight" period when the tank light is on can be whenever you like, provided the tank receives a decent spell of complete darkness (no room light or tank light) to replicate night.
Thanks for that article Byron; it was very informative. I was hoping that I could do the hour in the morning and 8 hours in the evening, but I will just set the timer to come on around 2 pm and turn off at 10. That way I will get the most enjoyment out of seeing my fish and the plants will benefit.
I used to turn the light on in the morning, feed the fish, go to work and feed them again when I came home. Is it ok to feed the fish while the light is off? Or should I feed them when I get home from work and then again before I go to bed?
So much to learn about fish!
It is best to feed during daylight for the fish, i.e., when the tank light is on. But always wait at least half an hour, or more, after the light is on. This is explained in that article.
I used to feed my fish in the morning, about an hour after the lights came on. Then I moved and had to leave for work before daylight so rather than mess with the tank lighting I fed the fish when I came home in the evening. This is fine; just make sure the feeding is not close to when the lights go out. Feeding at say 5 or 6 pm if the tank lights go out at 9 or 10 pm is fine.
Thanks again! Feeding once a day when I feed my dogs will work out perfectly.
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