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Old 04-20-2006, 03:23 AM   #1
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Lighting: Simulating Daylight Cycle?

I've been playing with the idea of cycling through several different color temp bulbs over the course of a 12hr photoperiod to simulate a daylight cycle. Obviously the sun doesn't flicker on in the morning, hold the same Kelvin Temp and then just turn off at night.

I'd like to simulate a couple daylight phases in my tank but using 6,700K, 10,000K, and I heard maybe actinic lighting could be usedfor a dusk/dawn period.

Does anyone do this? Do the fish even seem to care? I keep archerfish that look up at the lighting all day long and I thought maybe they'd think it was neat if the day went through phases.

Any insight?
Dave
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:36 AM   #2
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I don't think color temp matters for fish. In fact, a lot of fish tanks have more light than the fish want or need for aesthetic reasons. However, for plants I could see a benefit.
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Old 04-20-2006, 12:03 PM   #3
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actinics are often used for dawn and sunset.

but the fish don't really care much. plants, too, don't care if there's a dawn or dusk phase of lighting. as long as they get 10 solid hours of enough intensity, they're happy.
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:37 PM   #4
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I don't think fish care either, though I feel better when gradually increasing light, be it through staggered lighting or starting the light cycle after the tank gets ambient daylight. I figure its not as stressful for fauna as going from complete darkness to bright light.

I like 5000K for dawn and 5000K+actinic or blue cold cathode for dusk. Overlapping bulbs during transition will increase photosynthesis, and you can limit growth rates while keeping color by controlling the overlapped period (the "noon effect"), so in the end it can be better to just use 6700K and 10000K because its a more pleasant combination than either with 5000K.

If its a custom hood, an incandescent on each side could be neat. Say the left is on for 30 minutes before mixing with the main, then turns off, then for sunset the right incandescent turns on and mixes, then stays on until switching to moonlight. Incandescent (or screw-in CF) is attractive since it won't take up too much real estate in the hood that could be better used for flourescents during the noon or regular photoperiod.

Its a fun thing to mess with and can be cool for the viewer, but for me it lost its novelty after a while. Its also a pain to squeeze in a bunch of timers on one light strip. Definitely neat to watch and can add to the experience of a "natural habitat," especially considering your interest in biotopes, though.

HTH
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Old 04-24-2006, 03:00 PM   #5
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czcz,

I love your idea of using incandescent lighting before mixing with the main lighting, that rules! I think I'm going to put that idea of yours to work. Thank you. I'm going to setup my lighting fixutres first and then decide what would be the best plan of action. My canopy is all custom made and I'm making it extra deep for more head room. I could easily hide all kinds of lighting in there.

Thanks again,
Dave
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Old 04-27-2006, 04:49 AM   #6
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Reef One makes a lighting unit for their Bi-Orb/Ube aquariums which seems to do what you're looking for...with only one plug to plug-in.
http://www.reef-one.com/accessories/led_light-unit.htm

Looks like they use LED's, so maybe your design could use LED's instead of full bulbs. Or you could put a couple of these units under your hood and synchronize your regular light's timer to match the "daylight" period of the ReefOne unit...as the ReefOne unit would not be sufficient for live plants.

Just a thought...there may be other products like this out there, although I haven't yet found any.
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Old 04-27-2006, 06:53 AM   #7
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i think you should add in moonlight too. get the whole shabang in there.
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