$6 light timer
There are some clear benefits to timing your fish's lights. For one thing, every animal needs a predictable schedule of night and day in order to enjoy the best health, same as us.
I have used this particular timer for about 8 years to control the lights on several things, including my fish tanks. If you thought you couldn't afford a timer, think again:
Here is a digital one for not much more money, though the analog one actually got slightly better reviews:
These aren't fancy, but they are hard to beat for the price. You will need to re-adjust for power failures occasionally (which takes me about 15 seconds to do), but they sure beat having nothing at all if your schedule makes it hard to provide your pets with regular hours.
Yeah, timers are great. I have the analog ones on both of my 55 gallon tanks. The only problem is I have had a couple of them stick. I bought a digital one for my 135 gallon. it was only a few bucks more and it has 2 sockets so I could plug in 2 lights. It's been working like a charm so far.
This $5.99 analog timer from Harbor Freight has never stuck on me and it does have 2 sockets, one on either side of the unit, though the photo angle doesn't show both. I own two of these and both have worked great for many years. I keep thinking I want to try the digital one, but the old cheap ones just won't break and give me the chance. Oh well!
I feel fortunate to have a Harbor Freight store close by. If I had to mail order these I would probably buy something else locally. But they do work great, at least mine have.
You are fortunate to live close by to Harbor Freight. I sometimes get their catalogs in the mail and they have some great prices. The timers I have I got at Walmart.
I think I paid $20 for my digital light timer and it has 4 timed outlets and 4 untimed outlets. Still trying to decide what I will use on my tank in the livingroom so thanks for the links.
I have had the ones from Walmart for over a year now and so far so good.
Ace Hardware stores carry solid heavy duty ones for outdoors, i bought it because it is build to be outside aka doesn't matter if it gets wet, it won't short out.
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