Recommend a timer for two lights-on periods per day - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Recommend a timer for two lights-on periods per day

Are there any timers out there that will do this? Thanks!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 06:20 PM
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Hi again! I got one at either Lowes or Home Depot (can't recall) that has a ring of tabs that represent 30 minutes each, when the tab is pushed down the lights will go on, and off again when up. I have two 4 hour photo periods which suit my viewing times, and I understand that the plants benefit from this as well! The fish however I think are confused by it, as I still have light from a window for some of that time, just not enough for the plants to get any par value from. The timer was about 7$.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 11:06 PM
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I think most cheap hardware timers can be set with multiple on/off times.


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 12:16 AM
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you can use one timer. You only need two extra tabs and you are set to go
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 01:07 AM
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Something like this will do the trick: Marineland PA0401 Aqua-Timer with 24-hr Cycle, Grounded: Pet Supplies Marineland PA0401 Aqua-Timer with 24-hr Cycle, Grounded: Pet Supplies

The Petsmart near me sells something similar for about $10. I have two of them.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 05:04 AM
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I got the analog Brinks timers from Wal Mart. I can send you a pic of them if you would like. Just make sure you get the one that allows for a grounded plug to be inserted. There are tabs every 30 minutes in the day, so they should cover your multiple lights-on periods. I believe they were either $5 or $6 in the store.
Whatever you do, do NOT get the digital Brinks timers. If the power gets cut, the whole timer resets itself, while the tabbed timers just freeze so you just have to spin them to the current time instead of having to reprogram the entire unit. I had a lengthy discussion with another member on this forum I believe about those vs. the standard tabbed timers, and after convincing him to go for the tabbed timer (he went through a handful of the digital timers), he didn't have any more problems that I am aware of.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 12:06 PM
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There are plenty available out there. I picked one up at my local petsmart that has tabs you push down for every 15 minutes you want the lights on. you can do as many photo periods as you want with 15 minute accuracy and it was only like $10.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 12:42 PM
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I got these from a Hydroponic Shop.

It gives you 8 programs per day. Been running on my Aquaponic System for 8mos. no problems. Over the years I bought dozens of Cheap Timers for aquariums & home lights....all...junk that never last. Don't trust your home electronics to 3rd world knock off trash.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 01:31 PM
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I use the Intermatic DT620 Heavy Duty Indoor Digital Plug-In Timer, from Amazon. It has two outlets, and has multiple on/off times. I have it set for a 5 hour stint in the morning, an afternoon siesta, and 5 more hours in the evening. The two outlets run the lights and CO2 at the same time.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 01:39 PM
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I got a tork mechanical timer from Amazon that seems decent.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 05:15 PM
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Most mechanical timers will. If they have the little tabs you put in, you just need more than two. Some of the ones I bought, even in the same brand, came with extra, some did not, not sure why. With the timers you press down the little tabs, same thing, just press down the tabs in the proper places. I guess my point is that I have used a ton of different timers over the years and I believe they all could be set up like this.

Ironically, I have had more than a few digital timers that don't do this. They either have like 20,000 different ways to set them up and to the second or only one. They are pretty obvious in the labeling, the only reason I have ended up with a few that didn't have multiple settings is I just didn't look at the labeling, thinking they were all the same.
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