Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
Old 12-13-2007, 01:06 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Activist
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 118
Light Timing

I've searched through the forum and read many posts about what type of light to use, bulbs, etc...but I have yet to find one on timing of the lights.

I have a Coralife setup with 2 daytime lights, 2 actinic lights and 4 lunar lights. What would be a good time cycle to put them on? I have a power strip timer so it's just a matter of adjusting the time on it.

If you leave the daylight's on too long, can this foster an increase in algae growth? I think I may have them set to be on too long.

DodgeRT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2007, 05:10 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: philadelphia. PA.
Posts: 2,679
If you have corals you'll want to run all the lights together at least 8-9 hours a day. A 10-12 hour photoperiod is about the average for reefs, and is what I prefer. As far as timing goes, I'd run all the lamps together for 10 hours, w/ an hour of just actinics before and after the daylight lamps come on/go off for a dawn/dusk effect. HTH
PS- If your having algae issues, reducing the photoperiod will help control it. In the mean time you need to manually remove as mush as possible and find the fuel source of the algae. Most commonly it's high levels of PO4 and/or NO3 from overfeeding, using tap water w/ high nutrient levels, etc. Having insufficient flow will also lead to algae issues. How many GPH flow do you have total? What size tank? What type of filtration (if LR how much)? Do you test for PO4? What are your other water parameters- ie PH, SG, ammo., nitrite, nitrate, Alk? How old is the tank?

MT79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2007, 05:42 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
lando's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Savage, MN
Posts: 7,889
I agree with Mike. An overall photoperiod of 10-12hrs is pretty common. Most people have two timers...one for the actinics and one for the daylights and ussually have the actinics come on and shut off about an hour before/after the daylights. You can leave the lunars on 24/7
Some people are like slinkies...they serve no real purpose yet can still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs!:p
Have a great day! Brian
lando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2007, 05:56 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Activist
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 118
Good advice, thanks. I don't have an algae problem now, I just didn't want to cause one by leaving the lights on too long.
DodgeRT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2007, 08:32 AM   #5
AA Team Emeritus
roka64's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,860
Send a message via AIM to roka64 Send a message via Yahoo to roka64
I agree with the rest, but I only keep mine on for 8 hours, but I DO not have a reef tank, right now. I do have a a lot of hitch hiking corals in my 55, but I would trust the experience of the reefers, as my corals are zoas and 2 buttons, which I don't believe need tons of light (right, folks)?
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

Vote for AA
Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
Fishless Cycling
Need more help?
Acronym List

roka64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2007, 01:18 PM   #6
AA Team Emeritus
cmor1701d's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Belle Mead, NJ
Posts: 7,814
I also agree with Mike's post. I just want to add that you should be changing those bulbs at between 6 - 9 months of use. You will notice an increase in algae as they age past that period.
cmor1701d is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2007, 07:58 AM   #7
Community Admin
melosu58's Avatar

Tank of the Month Award
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 37,891
Mike is the man. Good advice on the lighting times. I keep mine on from 10A to 9P.
melosu58 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2007, 01:07 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Posts: 36
I figured I'd add to this instead of starting a new thread.

I have a Coralife Lunar Aqualight with a Actinic/10K/Lunar light built into it.
My plan is to run the Lunar light overnight, the Actinic only for about half an hour in the morning, Actinic/10K combo all day and then Actinic only for about half an hour in the evening before switching to just Lunar light all night.
My question is, what sort of timer do you recommend. I was looking at the Coralife Aqualight Power Center, but it seemed a bit pricey. I'm uncertain if the Coralife Aqualight Digital Power Center can accomplish what I'm trying to do.
What timer would you guys recommend that can control 3 different lights independently?
Infinity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2007, 08:25 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Activist
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 118
This is the timer that I use. It's really not too pricey and does the job very well.


Based on the advice I have received here, I have decided to run my Lunar lights 24/7, the Actinic from 8am - 10am, the white lights from 10am-6pm, and then the Actinic again from 6pm-8pm. This schedule provides a 12 hour period of lighting and I have noticed no increase in algae.
DodgeRT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2007, 12:28 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Activist
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 145
Gotta watch those, if anything touches the dial it could cause it to stick and not rotate properly and strip out the mechanism. So make sure none of your wires will touch the dials.

NoSvOrAx is offline   Reply With Quote


Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Light timing intervals? Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 5 08-23-2006 08:46 PM
light timing question ckmn101 Saltwater Reef Aquaria 5 05-04-2006 10:10 PM
PC timing Loki4711 Saltwater Reef Aquaria 4 04-05-2005 11:54 AM
lights and timing mncspradlin General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 5 12-05-2004 01:18 PM
Timing micaheli Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 2 01-21-2004 04:58 PM

» Photo Contest Winners

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:08 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.