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Old 11-10-2013, 08:10 PM   #1
dear_iinsanity
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Light timer?


How important is it to have your lights on a constant schedule? I usually keep mine on about 12-14 hours a day, is that too much?

I'd like to get them on a timer, who makes a good one I can buy?
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:45 PM   #2
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Go to rite aid and buy a timer. Set it for 8 hours.

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Old 11-10-2013, 08:52 PM   #3
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Wal-mart, Home-Depot, LFS, etc.....
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:44 AM   #4
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12-14 hours is not too much.
If you are pretty consistently home to turn it on and off, then do not worry about it.

I found timers were the best solution for me. Not only did it stabilize the hours, but I could also set them to turn off the lights for several hours in the hottest part of the day through the summer.

I use the Intermatic timers that have changed their name, but used to be "Lamp and Appliance" timers. Little pins to put in and take out. Keep the packaging, there is a warranty, and sometimes they will fail. It has been a while since I bought them. They used to come in a heavy duty version and a regular version. The heavy duty was 3-prong, the regular was 2-prong. With my very old house I used a lot of the 2-prong.
I have found these over the years at Home Depot and Ace. I think they could be found in just about any hardware store.

Same company makes an upgraded version for use in low voltage light transformers. These timers are black and are a bit more tolerant of the higher humidity that can be found near an aquarium. If you cannot find them in hardware stores, find an irrigation wholesaler like Ewing, Horizon or John Deere.
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:05 PM   #5
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Is important because the light timer is tied to my CO2. I want my light to be on when my CO2 is on. Of course, sometimes I am not home until late and the light needs to be off, and so as the CO2.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:43 PM   #6
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I really like the coralife digital timer. It has four outlets that are constant on for filter, heater, co2 (if not on a separate timer), and UV (if needed). Two programmable daytime outlets for lights and two programmable nighttime outlets for moonlights or air stones. Right now you could find them for $27. If you really want to get into lighting details you could also program seasonal light periods and dimmers for LED's for sunrise/sunset. It's also less shocking and better for the fish. You'll also notice that plants open and close to the light schedule
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:31 AM   #7
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I really like the coralife digital timer. It has four outlets that are constant on for filter, heater, co2 (if not on a separate timer), and UV (if needed). Two programmable daytime outlets for lights and two programmable nighttime outlets for moonlights or air stones. Right now you could find them for $27. If you really want to get into lighting details you could also program seasonal light periods and dimmers for LED's for sunrise/sunset. It's also less shocking and better for the fish. You'll also notice that plants open and close to the light schedule
Do you need a certain light to do the dimmer? And should I not run my airstone 24/7?
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:36 AM   #8
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I use the homedepot duel digital.... ive heard about some fires with the corallife timers tho I dont know what model ..has something to do with the relay or switch stickimg ..

cool thing about most timers is if your home and need the light on you can bypass the timer with the switch but remember to click ot back ro auto or timer when your done .

my lights and co2 are on 1 timmer and the air pump on a ups with a switch so as the co2 and lights come on the air kicks off and vise versa . I have mine kick the air every 6 hrs for 15 min then off again till the cyxle is done
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Do you need a certain light to do the dimmer? And should I not run my airstone 24/7?
LED units are the ones that can dim. Some can also change color spectrums for really cool sunrise/sunset effects.
Some people run an airstone after their co2 and lights turn off to increase oxygen.
Some people run co2 24/7 and never use an airstone.
With a planted tank you really don't need to run an airstone because the plants create oxygen and the airstone decreases co2. There will be enough oxygen if you create surface agitation with the outflow from a canister or just use an HOB.
I've had my coralife timer for a couple years and never had a problem. I just dumped water on it while doing a WC and fried it though. I thought I blew everything because my tank started strobing. I just ordered another one this weekend for $27
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by BHolmes View Post
LED units are the ones that can dim. Some can also change color spectrums for really cool sunrise/sunset effects.
Some people run an airstone after their co2 and lights turn off to increase oxygen.
Some people run co2 24/7 and never use an airstone.
With a planted tank you really don't need to run an airstone because the plants create oxygen and the airstone decreases co2. There will be enough oxygen if you create surface agitation with the outflow from a canister or just use an HOB.
I've had my coralife timer for a couple years and never had a problem. I just dumped water on it while doing a WC and fried it though. I thought I blew everything because my tank started strobing. I just ordered another one this weekend for $27
I have an AC20 HOB that creates a fair amount of surface agitation, and my ammania gracilis are looking weak and I can't figure out why...could this be the reason? Should I just ditch the airstone completely? I'm not running co2 right now
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:16 AM   #11
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The water that swirls around in the HOB also collects oxygen and out-gasses co2.
Running an airstone is completely up to you. Try removing it from the tank for a month and see what happens
The problem with the ammania gracilis is another story. That could be a combination of other factors. I would post that one in the plants section.
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:48 AM   #12
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I had a coralife dual timer and it crapped out on me within the first month of buying it. The timers just stop working. So save yourself some money and get a homedepot or lowes timer.

As for the ammania gracilis, that's a moderate to high light plant, and it needs a good supply of co2 (25-30 ppm) and other nutrients. And 12-14 hours of lighting is too much. You want to aim for ~ 8-10hrs.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:18 PM   #13
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Might consider surge protector's to plug timer's into.
Recent power surge(not sure why), fried the cheap timer's from Lowe's ,but filter's and light's plugged into power surge protector were fine.
Just sayin.
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:29 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by BHolmes View Post
I really like the coralife digital timer. It has four outlets that are constant on for filter, heater, co2 (if not on a separate timer), and UV (if needed). Two programmable daytime outlets for lights and two programmable nighttime outlets for moonlights or air stones. Right now you could find them for $27. If you really want to get into lighting details you could also program seasonal light periods and dimmers for LED's for sunrise/sunset. It's also less shocking and better for the fish. You'll also notice that plants open and close to the light schedule
+1

I've used this for over a year so far on my 55. Works like a charm and I've had no issues, I use it to run the lights on my grow setup in conjunction with the main lights. You can sometimes find them good and cheap on the bay.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dear_iinsanity View Post
Do you need a certain light to do the dimmer? And should I not run my airstone 24/7?
Current makes an product that works with any 24 volt power supply with LED's. They are coming out with one, if they have not already for 12 volt. However, some LED lights don't have the right plug to use these. I think you can use an adapter to make it work, not sure. I have only seen them for LED. Some T5HO fixtures are dimable but it would be built in.

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Originally Posted by greggg25 View Post
ive heard about some fires with the corallife timers tho I dont know what model ..has something to do with the relay or switch stickimg ..
As far as I know, these are the mechanical ones. I had one way back, one timer stopped working. I kept using it and one day it started smelling like fried electrical. I had no visible smoke or fire but even while it smelled bad, it did not fail, nor trip my GFCI either.

I have to say, I am super over Coarlife as a brand. They make poor quality bulbs, use poor quality ballasts, and top it off with poor reflectors on their lights. My UV is still going but their UV bulbs last about 1/4 the time as an off brand bulb. Combine that with my timer issue and I would never recommend them again. Sorry if that is a rant, I just have had a super bad experience with this brand.




As for needing a timer in general, for all practical purposes I say it's a must. If you don't use CO2, you can get by but even if you have a really consistent schedule, eventually you will go out of town or be away from your tank.
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