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Lighting few hours on off on...
Hi everyone I was wondering if it would be okay for my fish and plants to set the timer on the tank lights to be on say for 3 hours in the am then off then on again until say from 5pm until 1 am. What I am trying to do is get more time when I can actually see the fish while I am at home. So it would be on at 9:00 am then off at 12:00 then on at 5:00 pm until 1:00 am.
Many people put thier tanks on a siesta, for the very same reason that you want to. I know that noontime siestas are also used in keeping algae at bay.
I'm not sure how this affects the fish?? How much ambient light will the tank be getting during the "siestas"? I know ideally 12 on/ 12 off is a fish's natural day/night cycle. Hopefully your fish are nothing like me and won't become crankmiesters if sleep is disturbed, lol.
LOL I am not up that late by choice I work second shift so I get home around 12:00 then I sit and relax for a while before I go to bed and I would like to watch the fish swim to relax.
One of the tanks get really no light at all but it is in the bedroom so I would probably set it different since my husband has to sleep. The others have soft indirect light pretty much all day.
This "siesta" approach is frequently recommended to eliminate algae problems. How it appears to work is that during photosynthesis in the daylight (= tank light on period) plants use CO2 which in a low-tech (natural) system becomes less and less during the daylight period. Inserting a period of 2-3 hours "darkness" allows CO2 to build up again, so there is more of it for the next "daylight" period. It is said that this does not affect higher plants, provided it is within reason, but algae somehow finds it more difficult.
I say within reason because the plants need that total darkness period, which most authors suggest is around 10 hours daily. This is complete darkness, no daylight and no room lights. The fish also need this to rest up their systems. The usual siesta period is recommended to be 2-4 hours, with 5 hours minimum of light on either side. Which leaves 9-10 hours for the total darkness.
Kym's point about the effect of mini-days on fish is something that I worry about, and so far I have not found any reliable data. I have refrained from trying a "siesta" approach myself for this very reason. My fish are first, the plants are second, so I will not adjust something that may be acceptable to the plants when there is even a slight chance that the fish will be negatively affected. One must remember than many of those who advocate a siesta method are primarily plant-oriented hobbyists.
Ok so I should just keep it as is now which is on at 4:00pm then off at 1:00 which is 9 hours of light is that ok?
If this worries you, as it would me, I would adjust the light period to provide a bit more dark.
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