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Old 01-22-2006, 12:47 PM   #1
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Blacklight harmful to fish?

Hey folks,

Still waiting patiently for my tank to cycle and was doing some cleaning in my office yesterday and found a 30" blacklight from college. I thought it would be really neat to mount this off the back of the tank for occasional viewing (not extended periods of time, but like 10-20min or so if friends come over, or if I'd like to see whats going on in the dark).

A couple questions:

1. Will this hurt the fish due to the wavelength of light?

2. Can the fish "see" or sense this light?

3. Does any unwanted algae, diatoms, or bacteria thrive on this light?

4. Do any normal plants (java moss, anacharis, hornwort) "like" this light?


What I'm hoping is that it will not harm the fish, optimally the fish can't "see" this light (so some of the nocturnal or more shy species can be observed naturally), and that I can get some really spectacular picture, since different colors will show on the surface of the fish.

Thanks!

justin
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Old 01-22-2006, 01:27 PM   #2
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When my tank was first set up, I had a blacklight as a night light. I added a scattering of "flourescent" colored gravel and some white silk plants. The effect at night was really cool...for a while. Over time, I realised that though some aspects of the scenery looked great under black light. None of the fish "reflected" the black light. Outside of the white plants and glowie gravel.... everything else was dark and shadowy.. especially the fish. I got bored witht the blacklight and switched to a "moonlight" setup. This allows for much better night time viewing.

For what it's worth, in about 2 months I saw no ill effects from the blacklight. A trusted LFS owner, when I asked him about blacklight, said that the only fish that he had seen affected by a blacklight were knifefish. He said it seems to mess up thier sense of direction or something like that. (coughurbanlegendcough)
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Old 01-22-2006, 01:38 PM   #3
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Hmm, that's a shame. I had hoped for some increased striping on the tiger barbs and heightenend color of the cherry barbs. I think I'll just wait to get the fish, plug in the blacklight and hold it up to the tank. If nothing is showing up (i have a ceramic pot, PFS, and will have a couple of live plants), I'll just put the light back in the basement....
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Old 01-22-2006, 01:45 PM   #4
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I hear you, I had hoped that the blue on my Gouramis and Neons would glow under blacklight, and the white fish like Bloodfins and cories would shine like a white t-shirt. None of that was the case. Blue looks black, red looks black, white just looks dark.
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Old 01-22-2006, 06:03 PM   #5
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Glofish danios would be kind of interesting with a blacklight at night. They've been genetically engineered to glow under a black light.
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Old 01-22-2006, 11:08 PM   #6
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I've never tried blacklight before, but I can say that actinic03 (420nm) lighting will bring out blues and purples (at least to my color-blind eyes) in your fish. While it won't work as a night light, mixing in an actinic bulb with your normal bulbs will give you a nice effect. My Ps. demasoni, and Ps. acei just glow under it
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