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~SHAWNA~

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I was at my local fish store yesterday browsing, and we got onto the topic of lighting. The backround of the seller is that they know their stuff, and take great pride in the condition of their fish and I have have learned a great deal over the years from this couple. Their opinion of lighting is that it is strictly for the viewing of the fish or if you have live plants, and nothing more. They said that lighting is simply a waste of electricity if you are not in the room as it does nothing at all for the fish.

How we got onto the topic was that I was speaking of my two tanks in my bedroom. My bedroom has no windows, but does have a hallway of windows outside of the door that does provide minimal lighting of the room. I was saying that I was concerned that my fish were not getting enough natural daylight, and perhaps were not growing at the same rate that they would if placed in another room with more natural light. (impossible to say the least, as my house layout would not allow this). They said that fish could live in the dark, and reminded me that there is no light the deeper you go in the ocean.

I am not sure how I feel about this, and I am hoping for more thoughts. How important is lighting?? Could my fish size/health be affected by living their lives in a dimly lit room supplemented only by tank lighting??

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I completely agree with them. Lighting is for our viewing pleasure and for plant growth. The light fish get in the evenings when the light is turned on for our viewing is enough I feel. I just don't think that turning the light on first thing in the morning and leaving it on all day and into the night is necessary. Turn it on when you get home from work and off when you go to bed and that's enough.

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I agree with them, to an extent. My fishtanks are in a basement (so they gets very very little light, if any), and I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving my fish in the dark 24/7.

But if the tank's in a room where it gets moderate, or even somewhat dim light, I see no problem in having the tank lights off. :idont My fish seem to be just fine without natural light.

Edited by Petperson04
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That is true, to a degree - for marine fish and deep lake fish. Even the ocean has a substantial amount of light for many feet down - it is not a dark and desolate place. If it were, could you swim comfortably and take pictures of the beautiful sharks and rays and parrot fish when you scuba?

The modern goldfish is mostly kept in fairly shallow ponds. The best colors of goldfish are produced when the pond/fish have full sunlight to brighten their colors and produce lots of green algae to eat. The fish's immunities seem to be better and stronger in a fish that lives in a pond that is flooded with sunlight each day.

A goldfish that is getting sufficiant food - loads of algae on the side - and has great immunities and solid bright colors is usually very healthy - and grows amazingly well. You simply cannot possibly grow a goldfish as large or as quickly in a tank as in a pond with sunlight. There is something to be said about lighting....sunlight in particular. It is not possible to duplicate the full sun - but some full spectrum lighting can help

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Don't the tank lights help them with sleeping patterns? Like when it gets dark, we go to bed. Wouldn't turning the light on and off every time you enter or exit a room mess with the fish? I know if someone kept turning the lights on and off constantly, my health would drop fast because I wouldn't get enough sleep.

Maybe that's just me, though.

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Don't the tank lights help them with sleeping patterns? Like when it gets dark, we go to bed. Wouldn't turning the light on and off every time you enter or exit a room mess with the fish? I know if someone kept turning the lights on and off constantly, my health would drop fast because I wouldn't get enough sleep.

Maybe that's just me, though.

Constant lighting is certainly not advisable, and turning the light on and off could indeed mess with the fish, but only if there is insufficient light to begin with. Even with moderate-to-low light goldfish usually stay awake during the day. It's when they're sleeping (i.e. at night) that turning the light on can induce stress (I'm usually stressed when suddenly awoken in the middle of the night, so I can relate :) ).

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My fish lights go on in the morning when I feed them. They stay on until I turn them off at night - I extend the days during the summer and give them dramatically shortened hours in the winter. I have rules - once the lights are out, NO ONE turns on a light again in those rooms unless it is an emergency. Most of my fish are in a "fish room" that is a dedicated room for the fish, though.

Turning lights on and off during the day is not good - but turning them on and off when it is dark is a great stressor - imagine if someone kept turning on bright overhead lights in your room when you were sleeping. ARGH!!!

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My fish lights go on in the morning when I feed them. They stay on until I turn them off at night - I extend the days during the summer and give them dramatically shortened hours in the winter. I have rules - once the lights are out, NO ONE turns on a light again in those rooms unless it is an emergency. Most of my fish are in a "fish room" that is a dedicated room for the fish, though.

Turning lights on and off during the day is not good - but turning them on and off when it is dark is a great stressor - imagine if someone kept turning on bright overhead lights in your room when you were sleeping. ARGH!!!

Wow, a photoperiodically matched tank-setup :) . Very nice indeed :D .

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Mine are on timers! They come on when I am up getting ready for work, (that's when I feed them). Then they go off. They get indirect natural light throughout the day. Then the timers turn the lights on again at the time I get home. Then they go off again just before I start getting ready to go to bed.

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I turn the tank lights on when I get up, and they stay on until I go to bed. The goldies and trops also get indirect sunlight during the day. The betta tank is in my bedroom which stays dark, so I definitely would leave his tank light on. As I understand it, fish do need some kind of light for a minimum of 8 hours a day.

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Mine are on timers! They come on when I am up getting ready for work, (that's when I feed them). Then they go off. They get indirect natural light throughout the day. Then the timers turn the lights on again at the time I get home. Then they go off again just before I start getting ready to go to bed.

Mine are on timers too, but the lights only come on when I get home from work. I have daylight lights that are on for 6 1/2 hours, then the moonlights come on and are on for 4 hours. Then all the lights are off until the next evening. My goldies do their heaviest resting from the time the moonlight lights go off and until about noon the next day. Once at this point, the tank gets some indirect sunlight and so they start waking and get more active. I think they're getting a good mix.

And I also use the lights coming on in the evening as the sign that it's dinner time. Once those lights come on, they know it's time to beg!

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Personally I think a tank light is too much light for my fish...even with the florescent light I feel the water tends to warm up a bit...I have a florescent light fixture around 2 feet above my tank..that is the prime source of artificial light for my fish..other than that the room has 2 windows, one is one ceiling to bottom window and the other is a normal window that lets plenty of sunlight in the room...of course the tank is no where close to the windows :rolleyes: ... Coming back to the light fixture..I have the light ON at around 10 in the morning...that one goes OFF at around 7-8 in the evening...another light that is far away from the tank is ON since then, just for me to hang around in the room...until 11 in the night...by then my fish also gets used to partial darkness and hence is very calm and fine when all the lights go OFF...and yes I have the rule too like Daryl...once the light above the aquarium goes off..it does not come back ON unless its an emergency...my boyfriend follows it too.. :D ..

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Gee... this is all so complicated-like... I just turn the light on whenever I get up (noonish) and turn it off around 10ish... I don't have a job or go to school as I am like the live-in maid for my parents since my mom is terminally ill, so I stay up and do my social life (internet) online all night, and wake to do my chores and stuff in the afternoon and evening... I have to stay in the house at all times with my mom because she's pretty ill and can't be left alone at all, so I don't have normal friends and whatnot, so I can have whatever schedule I want and the noon wake up time and things are just fine for my fish and I...

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