how long to leave lights on? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-28-2006, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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how long to leave lights on?

I typically turn on my lights in the morning when i wake up and shut them off when i go to bed. This means they are on for as much as 14 hours a day (though often less).

Should I be turning them off earlier in the evening? Am i possibly harming my fish? There are plenty of plants for them to hide under and a "cave" as well, so I figured it couldnt be too bad for them.

I have very little algae growth and 3 otos so i thought leaving the light on would be good for them at least (i give them algae wafers as well, however.)

my plants and fish all seem healthy. nitrates ~10ppm.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 01:27 AM
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i leave my lights on that long too. and if i have a new plant that i want to settle in, i leave them on 24 hours. i've not had problems, i doubt you will either.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 01:32 AM
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Planted tanks like stability so it is very common to have the lights on a timer. Let the tank be on in the morning, off a few hours mid day and back on at night.

Moved to Tucson.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 01:45 AM
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Most leave lights on (a timer) for 10-12 hours. Most use uninterrupted lighting. This works, and seems most natural. But other ways work too.

If your plants start to close up and your fish can't stop yawning it might be an indication that they want to sleep now.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 04:10 PM
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Yes BlueRam, that is the best way to enjoy a planted tank when you are away for work/school. And it is on timer, it is sure to be stable and consistent each day. All my tanks are set that way, with a break of 3-4 hours in the midday (they still can get auxiliary room though) and inhabitants looks OK so far.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 08:50 PM
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The idea of a long lights off rest period in the middle of the day has been pretty well debunked, as I recall. The last I read on the subject from folks who seem to know is that an 8 to 10 hour lights on period is best, possibly with a brighter light period of a couple of hours somewhere near the early middle of the day. The primary beneficiary of longer light periods is algae.

Hoppy
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 09:03 PM
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The "siesta" for algae control is falling out of favor. However splitting time for better viewing hours is stilling going strong.

..But I want a tank that is good to look at, not optimized for growing conditions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy
The idea of a long lights off rest period in the middle of the day has been pretty well debunked, as I recall.

Moved to Tucson.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 09:29 PM
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I keep mine on 10-12 hours depending on the amount of natural sunlight the tank gets that day.

Plants are growing very fast and great.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 09:42 PM
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If your lights are on a timer you can set them to come on when you are at work, then go off long after you are back home. This provides you the time to enjoy the tank while at home, but doesn't overly extend the viewing time.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2006, 04:06 PM
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Plants and fish need a normal daylight scheduele just like we have so i usally keep my lights on for 12 hours from 9 to 9

"Next time we talk, Don't say anything"
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2006, 05:11 PM
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I was using a 12 hour lighting period until it was pointed out that some plants will fold up their leaves after about 10 hours, signaling that 10 hours is their preference. And, in nature, most aquatic plants will be growing where part of the day is spent in deep shade, reducing the effective lighting period. I'm still not at all sure that 12 hours is excessive, but I'm using 10 hours now, hoping the plants will have a better environment and the algae a poorer environment.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2006, 05:34 PM
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I will run my tanks as low as 6 hours depending on what is in the tank. Currently I am running two new setups 6 hours during the week and 8 hours on weekends. I have seen no ill effects. I will more then likely bump them to 7 during the week and 9 on weekends in a few weeks after the tanks are a bit more established.

jB
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2006, 07:59 PM
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Would you guys say 7 1/2 hours is to short a period? I have an AH 55 watt bright kit with a 6700 k bulb.

Dan

20 Gallon High
A H 55 Watt 6700 k Bulb
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2006, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ds11375
Would you guys say 7 1/2 hours is to short a period? I have an AH 55 watt bright kit with a 6700 k bulb.

Dan
I wouldn't say it is too short a period. I would say that you could increase it to 10 hours if you wanted to, but if you don't, that's fine too.

Hoppy
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2006, 08:18 PM
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Ok tks Hoppy. I'll try to increase it slowly. I'm just getting ove a bout off BBA. Something in my tank is out of whack and I'm still trying to figure out what it is.

Dan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy
I wouldn't say it is too short a period. I would say that you could increase it to 10 hours if you wanted to, but if you don't, that's fine too.

20 Gallon High
A H 55 Watt 6700 k Bulb
EHEIM 2215
50 Watt Heater
Hagen ladder - DIY 2 liter
Eco complete(2 bag)

http://www.plantedtank.net/tankprofiles/35/
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