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is this a requirement for a healthy reef? i have MH lights on from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 9 p.m., i have an actinic light that comes on for about an hour. when it shuts off, my tank is in total darkness. i also have a little bitty moon light that i used before i got the bigger actinic. would it be ok to leave the little bitty moonlight on all night or does my tank need to be in total darkness for a number of hours? the little bitty one just casts a very faint shadow over the rock formation. my brittle star only comes out at night. would leaving this on disturb him? i asked but he refuses to answer me! :roll:
 

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Total darkness is not bad for the tank. My light schedule for MH used to be:

Actinics on @ 12:00 pm and stay on through
Metal Halides on @ 2:00 pm and
Metal Halides turn off @ 8:00 pm and
Actinics turn off @ 10:00 pm. The tank would be in total darkness until
Moonlights turn on @ midnight and turn off @ 6:00 am

There is a school of thought that says corals will do best if given a period of total darkness.
 
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