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How Long Do You Leave Your Light On For?


amynmitchell

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I just got a new T-5 light fixture with a pink grow light for plants (the wattage is 20, the tank is 30 gallons). I realized before that we had a tendency to turn the light on first thing in the morning, about 9am and then to turn it off around 11pm. We are starting to get some algae growing on things, especially my live plant leaves. I thought my Anubias was dying but it was just covered in algae. I have four wisteria, the anubias, an onion plants, some anarchris, and java moss. And I know have a timer for my light. So, how long should I have it turned on for?

Also, before the timing I was very careful to create a natural sunset and sunrise. We literally have no windows and no natural ligth filtering in at all, so I would turn on lamps a half an hour before the tank light came on and then turn them off a half an hour before I turned the tank light off. If I'm not home and the timer goes off and on is this too "shocking" for them?

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I keep my lights on on all my tanks for 8 hours...Even my SW tank...this way algae is kept down....I will turn on a light in the room then about an hour later turn on theres so they dont get a rude awakening :lol

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That seems right to me. I set my timer for 2pm to 10pm and now I can start feeding them at night. I will miss doing their morning feeding and watching them while I have coffee, but I'm home more at night to enjoy them. Do you think that will be enough light for my plants?

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I am lucky cause both of my tanks get good indirect sunlight thru out the day. So I have timers on both tanks. During weekdays the lights come on in the morning then go off after I leave for work. The lights come on again in the evening & go off about time I head for bed.

It works great!

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That seems right to me. I set my timer for 2pm to 10pm and now I can start feeding them at night. I will miss doing their morning feeding and watching them while I have coffee, but I'm home more at night to enjoy them. Do you think that will be enough light for my plants?

It should be.....just make sure they dont start to get yellow or brown leafs :(

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So now on the other side of things.. Is there a such thing as too little light?? If you don't have plants to worry about, do you NEED a certain amount of light..In the summer the lights make the tanks hot, especially in the smaller tanks. So I don't use the lights all that much. I put them on at feeding time, the fish realize that means the grub is coming..Then I leave it on for a while.. COuld be 2 hours could be 8, but not more than 8.. Is this okay???

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I leave my lights on for 13 hours :D from 7am to 8pm. Why? 1: I like to see my fish longer in the day, especially after a stressful day. 2: They like algae & love munching on them, so more light is needed.

I also don't switch my light on to simulate natural sunrise/sunset. After a few days, they all adapted to it and never show panic if the lights suddenly go on/off.

Edited by d_golem
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I have mine on for 12 hours (9:45am-9:45pm). I have a timer so the lights go off at the right time. When I was manually turning the lights off, they would be on for 14 hours or more. Now I do not have algae build up on the glass. I think as long as the fish are getting some type of light during the day, they should be fine.

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Well my guys get natural sunlight (and tank light) during the day from 7:00am - 8:00pm. I'm sure thats around the normal length anyway out in the wild from sunrise to sunset. As long as my fish are healthy im happy :D

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Wow...everyone has their own preferences which is good to know. I like to watch my fish as much as possible which is why the light ends up being on so long. I just set the timer for eight hours from 2pm to 10:00pm, of course I missed a switch on the timer today so it didn't work so I'll have to see if it works tommorrow. I might up this to ten hours mostly because I like watching them. We'll see how it goes.

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Well i expected everyone's to be different, sometimes mine have light from 6am-til 11pm. i try to keep it consistent as possible. :D I'll have to look into getting one of these timers everyone is talking about :P sure i have one around here somewhere.

Edited by Powerdragon
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My apartment does have windows, but my apartment building is parallel to the direction the sun travels and there are 4 buildings parallel to each other with a heavy garden setting planting between each building, so, the sun is either blocked by the buildings or very filtered by the trees, so I get very little sunlight still in my apartment. I do, of course, get a small amount of indirect light, but I can't even get low light houseplants to grow in my apartment unless they are literally right in front of a window, so I have to say that I, basically, have no substantial light in my apartment. babble, babble...... anyway.

As with any living creature, I think their diurnal/nocturnal habits can be modified with a change of lighting. So, I make the early morning through afternoon be my fishes' "sleeping hours" and they are most awake during the evening and late night hours.

I have my lights on timers. I have two sets of lights. One is daylight with a 50/50 white/actinic bulb setup, and one is moonlight made up of a blue 50 LED light bar. The actinic bulbs are alleged to cause more algae to grow, but there are conflicting arguments on this out there and, as this is all I've ever used, I can't say whether it's true either. But, algae isn't all that bad for tanks anyway. I do get some brown algae, but not an unreasonable amount and, I tell ya!, since I've added Peaches and Tobiko to the tank, that little Tobiko has literally cleaned all the algae off of almost everything! That kid LOVES algae! And, I've read that the moonlight doesn't really affect the fish too much as far as them thinking it's "daylight," so that gives me light for viewing still, but it's an extremely low level lighting impact on the fish.

I have my daylight come on at just before 5:30 p.m., which is when I typically come home from work (when I'm working! I've chosen to be on a work hiatus for a while!). Additionally, the timing of the lights coming on have trained my fish to know that they will be fed at that time. They know that the light coming on means they're going to get fed and they all come running when that light comes on. Anyway, I let the daylight stay on until a little after midnight (that's because the timing got a bit messed up and needs to be corrected as it should go off at midnight!). I have the moonlights timed to come on shortly before the daylights go off. The moonlights stay on until around 4:00 a.m. (even when working, I still am awake until 1 or 2 a.m!)

Man! Was this a long answer to a simple question or what?!!

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My fish can actually see the sunrise.. :D ..seriously.. :) ..so yeah morning I really dont have the lights on..they get plenty of sunlight until 1-2 pm...I have a light in the room which is away from the tank always on...so by the time its sunset..they still have some light in the room..I mean not totally dark...and by that time me or my boyfriend is home...so we switch on the lights for them..which is on until 10 pm... :) ..and then the other light is still ON, so as Koko says they dont get shocked ever ith complete darkness or complete light...when the other light s the only source of light, they slow down and start getting sleepy...after a while they really start sleeping..and thts when we go to bed too.. :) ..so it works out quite well.. :) ..but yeah I dont have plants to worry about..

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I'm going to have to test and see how 2pm to 10pm works out. Except I can't figure out how to make the darn timer work! Has any one used one of these before? It has pins you are supposed to push down to set the time. I can't seem to get the darn thing to turn itself on. It is driving me nuts!

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I was having the algae problem too untill a freind suggested turing the lights on the tank on only when I am at home. I turn them on at around say 7-8 pm when I get home from work and leave them on at night untill I leave for work the next morning. That way I can watch them from my bed ( they are in my bedroom) . I don't leave it one during the day because I am not there to enjoy them. I usually get up and feed them and then turn the tank light off but the table lamp next the tank on so they are getting some light but not the bright tank light on. Sometimes I leave all the lights off so they can rest. I have noticed an improvement of not having or gettig algae.

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I'm not sure if this is true of all tanks, but my light seems to heat up the water (not by a lot, but I can tell a difference) So you might want to check and see if your light heats up the tank too... I'm not saying this is a huge problem, but maybe it could be if you leave the lights on a long time just my 2 cents...

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I've noticed that the lights can heat up the water, but this light being floursecent seems to only make it go up by a degree if that. I have though noticed a HUGE change in algae since switching to 8 hours a day. THe timer is now fixed and there is no more borwn algae on my plastic plants. Yay!

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