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Old 07-26-2014, 07:51 AM   #1
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Question Split light times

I was wondering, I have my lights on a timer for about 8 hour day. I get up early and like to work on my tanks or just watch the fish from 5 till 8 in the morning then I do things with the family till 7 at night then I play with my fish again.
My question is would it hurt the plants or fish if I split the timer to be on 4 hrs in the morning and 4 hrs in the evening, so I can enjoy my aquariums during the times I available to spend on them?
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Old 07-26-2014, 08:07 AM   #2
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No it won't at all I have a similar set up but run mine for 5 hours in the morning and then 3 at night.


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Old 07-26-2014, 04:59 PM   #3
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Your Tank Lighting

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Originally Posted by Steve2223 View Post
I was wondering, I have my lights on a timer for about 8 hour day. I get up early and like to work on my tanks or just watch the fish from 5 till 8 in the morning then I do things with the family till 7 at night then I play with my fish again.
My question is would it hurt the plants or fish if I split the timer to be on 4 hrs in the morning and 4 hrs in the evening, so I can enjoy my aquariums during the times I available to spend on them?
Hello Steve...

You're the tank keeper, but aquarium plants are tropical and used to long hours of daylight. To be successful, you need to mimic natural conditions. I have my tank lights on timers set for 12 hours on and 12 off. Similar to what the plants get in the natural places they grow. I would turn the lights on and leave them on for at least 10 hours and as long as 14 to provide the energy the plants need to grow.

B
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Old 07-26-2014, 05:08 PM   #4
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Hello Steve...

You're the tank keeper, but aquarium plants are tropical and used to long hours of daylight. To be successful, you need to mimic natural conditions. I have my tank lights on timers set for 12 hours on and 12 off. Similar to what the plants get in the natural places they grow. I would turn the lights on and leave them on for at least 10 hours and as long as 14 to provide the energy the plants need to grow.

B

Wouldn't this essentially result in algae growth.


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Old 07-26-2014, 05:58 PM   #5
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Lighting and Algae

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Originally Posted by Mattfinn View Post
Wouldn't this essentially result in algae growth.


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Hello Matt...

A lot of tank keepers complain about this. I don't have much algae growth in my planted tanks. Algae thrives in water with high levels of dissolved phosphate from feeding too much flaked food and in water with higher nitrates, mostly from not removing and replacing enough water or doing it often enough.

If you change out half the tank water or more every week and cut back on the flaked food to a little every couple of days, algae doesn't grow very well. Add to that, some floating plants like Hornwort, Anacharis (common water weed) or Pennywort, and there's even less to sustain algae.

Lighting has a part in algae growth, for sure, but if you remove its food, there aren't any nutrients for it to use.

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Old 07-26-2014, 06:08 PM   #6
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Good point my tank is only low tech with root tabs and and diy light that gives me 2-3 watts per gal. I try to keep mine to an 8 hour schedule by because of my hours where I leave for school at 6:45 and don't get home some days till 7 I add half an hour in the morning and 3 hours extra at night just so I can appreciate my tank abit haha. Minimal algae growth too. Little bit off BBA on some leaves but it's seems to be stabilizing. I still have a 4 hour break I think between light shifts.


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Old 07-26-2014, 06:31 PM   #7
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It can be a little confusing for the fish too as they orientate day and night by their light schedule. BBradbury is right in that the tropicals will thrive with longer light conditions so you could set the timer to go from 7 am - 8 pm so you have 13 hours of light and will have an hour of lighting enjoyment. Or you can set them from 7 pm to 8 am which is actually better for you to enjoy. Especially if you observe mostly within that time period, the fish will be very active (assuming they are diurnal) at around the time you are there.

Thats how I would do it atleast.

Plus, energy is less money after 7!

Best of luck, - Raymond
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