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Old 03-10-2008, 02:16 PM   #1
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Reverse Light cycle possible?

Hey guys and Gals, been getting rdy for a few weeks now to start setting up my new tank. But I just have a random question for the future here.

I have a work situation atm where I am up most of the night, and work or sleep most of the day. SO this got me thinking a bit. Most of the time I would get in front of the fish tank would be at night with the lights off. Not really as much fun. SO I was thinking - would it be possible to reverse the light cycle on the tank? Have the lights run at night, then have moonlights or no lights on during the day? I have the room with the tank pretty much blacked out, So the fish would not be able to tell anything is amiss. You think this would work? Or do they have some internal clock that I am not aware of

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Old 03-10-2008, 05:37 PM   #2
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I really dont know. Never seen a question like this. If you did it would have to be permanant. You could not do it during the week and then change back during the weekend or during vacation. JMO

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Old 03-10-2008, 11:49 PM   #3
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You could do it, especially in a fish only tank. I also think you could modify it the days you were off with no problem.

I used to work a schedule where the hours I worked rotated about every two weeks (6am-2pm/2pm-10pm/10pm-6am) and my days off were irregular (worked 2 or 3 days and was off 2 or 3 days). The lighting periods of my tank(s) were catered to my schedule (predominently on 'after work' whenever that was). Never had any problems in the tank.

Fish may have an internal clock, but also instinctively become active during photoperiods, and inactive during times of darkness (unless they're
nocturnal fish).
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:16 AM   #4
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Kind of agree with melosu58. Seems like it'd be OK if there wasn't a lot of ambient light in the room during the day. Total blackout isn't required, but I wouldn't want too much light in there. Seems like it'd work with corals just fine also. Ambient room light just isn't enough for them to realize it's daylight. Fish will take note though.

Can't speak from experience, but it seems like you wouldn't want to switch back and forth too often. Seems like those "makeup" days that are either really long or really short would cause a bit of stress on the fish. But again - no personal experience with that.
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:42 AM   #5
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There is actually plenty of people I know. That for some reason leave the lights off during the day and only keep them on at night. These, of course, are all for freshwater fish only tanks. I don't know about changing it constantly for the weekends though. Fish stress easily with sudden change in lighting.
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:42 AM   #6
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When you get a new fish you may want to set up a quarantine tank where you can over a couple days or so switch the fish's sleep cycle. I'm just thinking if you get a fish from the LFS that is used to a normal lights on during the day and then just switch its cycle its gonna some something comparable to serious "jet lag". Might put less stress on new fish if you switch it over slowly. Just a thought i had though not sure if there is anything to it.
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:31 AM   #7
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I was in a similar situation when I first started out a few years ago... worked 9am-5pm and had the tank on a timer during the day. Well needless to say looking at a dark tank is no fun. I gradually adjusted the time, 30 minutes each day, until the timer comes on at 5pm and goes out at 11pm.

All my fish (this is a fish only tank) are doing fine and don't seem to act any different.
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:44 PM   #8
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How about a scientific study that says in effect "no problem" ...

"The effects of light on the circadian rhythm in melatonin release from the pineal organ of a teleost, ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis) were investigated in flow-through culture. Under the reversed light–dark (LD) cycle, the melatonin rhythm phase shifted as compared with those under the normal LD cycle. "

The above can be found at ScienceDirect - Brain Research : In vitro photic entrainment of the circadian rhythm in melatonin release from the pineal organ of a teleost, ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis) in flow-through culture
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:47 PM   #9
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Well I am glad to see I am not the only one this has ever effected heh. Anyway, Once I switch the light cycle it will be permanent. Not going to switch it on the weekends or holidays or anything. So I think this can work out.
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:04 PM   #10
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So I just wanted to update this thread a little bit now that I have had some time to put this into action.

First of all, I am happy to say that everything is going great. Fish show no signs of stress what so ever. In fact, everyone seems to be very happy and heathy on there new light cycle.

Once a new fish in introduced to the tank, it takes them only about a day to get used to the new cycle. They wake up the next morning/night and seem very happy and ready to start the day!

any questions or comments feel free to post!

Thanks again everyone

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