Windowsill lighting
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:00 PM   #1
AguaFria
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Windowsill lighting


Hiya all,

Put a 30 gallon in a curtained windowsill (which probably cuts down 25% of the light), and I get the long photo-period of the day but at what I assume is low-intensity.

Is the best advice to put a thicker curtain on the window and rely on only my lights? Or can I work with supplementing the intensity, either at noon or at the end of the day when the real sun is waning.

That's the theory question. Personally, I can't keep my lights on for 10 hrs a day, the most I can handle is 5hrs or I notice it too much, so I have 2x39Wx36" daylight bulbs going for 5 hrs a day. I was thinking the over-intensity of the 2 was compensating for the number of hours. I had the typical algae outbreak but I think my tank was just 'breaking in' since its a new setup. But am I just going to end up with a green tank beside the windowsill?
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AguaFria View Post
Hiya all,

Put a 30 gallon in a curtained windowsill (which probably cuts down 25% of the light), and I get the long photo-period of the day but at what I assume is low-intensity.

Is the best advice to put a thicker curtain on the window and rely on only my lights? Or can I work with supplementing the intensity, either at noon or at the end of the day when the real sun is waning.

That's the theory question. Personally, I can't keep my lights on for 10 hrs a day, the most I can handle is 5hrs or I notice it too much, so I have 2x39Wx36" daylight bulbs going for 5 hrs a day. I was thinking the over-intensity of the 2 was compensating for the number of hours. I had the typical algae outbreak but I think my tank was just 'breaking in' since its a new setup. But am I just going to end up with a green tank beside the windowsill?
Which direction is the window facing ?
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:06 AM   #3
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The window is southern facing.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:39 PM   #4
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Then you don't need anything more than a small amount of supplemental lighting occasionally. Even on an overcast day the plants in this tank will have ample light. You can do away with one of those lights and run the other when it's severely overcast. Using a curtain will change the color rendering index [CRI] unless the curtain is white. Black window screen adhered to the back of the tank is a better choice because it behaves like a neutral density filter which doesn't change the color rendering index. Direct sunshine in a tank is very nice looking.

My tank is near a east south east facing window and it receives enough light even on an overcast day like today here on the east coast. The algae was likely caused by the intensity of the combined sunlight and artificial light. I remember way back when I ran my tank using a 175w MH light and sunlight. As the sunlight during the fall made it's way onto the tank thus increasing the total amount of light received algae started to grow. The trend reversed itself as the tank stop receiving sunlight.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:36 PM   #5
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Thanks! I live in a sunny locale, so I guess I've over-invested in lights. I'll kick them on for a short 'morning wake-up' at 5-8am for the winters, and maybe use them for viewings in the evening.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:56 AM   #6
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Watch the temps in the tank too - they may rise being in front of a window.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AguaFria View Post
Thanks! I live in a sunny locale, so I guess I've over-invested in lights. I'll kick them on for a short 'morning wake-up' at 5-8am for the winters, and maybe use them for viewings in the evening.
Allow some natural light to enter the tank for a gentle and natural wake up for the fishies and any other critters in the tank before you turn on the light.
During the spring and summer it probably won't be necessary to run light at all. Plants can live just fine by natural light alone during that time.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:02 PM   #8
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Watch the temps in the tank too - they may rise being in front of a window.
+10000
Summer sun is brutal here and can cook your tank in no time.
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