Dual Lighting Periods in One Day?
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:02 PM   #1
TakeTheCann0lis
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Dual Lighting Periods in One Day?


I'm home for an hour in the morning and 4-6 in the evening before I go to bed. I like to look at my fish in during both periods of time. Right now I have my timer to turn on the light at 7am and off at 8am then back on again at 3pm and off at 11pm. Is this going to disturb my fish or plants? As it is, the room that the fish are in has indirect light entering it from 3 windows at sunrise.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:12 PM   #2
vincenz
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There's no harm in doing that at all. The only thing I would change personally is to turn off the lights an hour earlier at night if you're in bed by 6 PM anyway. That way, the fish can get an hour more of darkness at least.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:49 PM   #3
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Very hard to tell how it affects fish. On one hand, if they look happy and healthy one could conclude that they are, and it doesn't bother them. On the other hand, since they can not scream, we won't really ever know.

Personally I would skip the morning period for that reason.

Plants shouldn't be affected except for those with with photoperiodism - short night periods as introduced with a split lighting period might cause them to go generative (flower) or remain vegetative. Most likely, you wont have any issues with plants though.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeTheCann0lis View Post
I'm home for an hour in the morning and 4-6 in the evening before I go to bed. I like to look at my fish in during both periods of time. Right now I have my timer to turn on the light at 7am and off at 8am then back on again at 3pm and off at 11pm. Is this going to disturb my fish or plants? As it is, the room that the fish are in has indirect light entering it from 3 windows at sunrise.
Such a crazy schedule you have. And with the additional sunlight far too long of a potential photoperiod. Plants and fish evolved to experience a consistent diurnal cycle. There might be detrimental health aspects for both plants and fish. Your first and foremost concern is the health of the plants and fish. Right now you have a least a 15 hour period of awake time for the fish from just natural light plus 2.5 hours more of artificial lighting. far to much. Now you could:

1. Have the lights come on later in the day and shut off just before sunset so they will be on when you come home and learn to live with that viewing time slot

2. Remove the tank until you get on a more normal schedule.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:46 PM   #5
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11 is too late. Fish aren't like dogs and cats that nap through the day to make up for being up late with their owner.

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Old 06-08-2012, 10:56 PM   #6
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I use my lights for the plants, and daylight for the fish. My lights come on at 11am, off at 7pm, but there's enough light coming in through the window this time of year to feed the fish in the morning by daylight, and I can still see them after the lights go off at night. I'd think the split lighting would confuse the fish. Plants are probably more tolerant, but animals usually set their internal schedules by light. Abrupt changes in lighting can't be doing them any favors...
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:29 PM   #7
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I have always disliked looking at my tanks without lights so I've maintained a 12 hour photoperiod for that reason with one tank getting 13 hours (my 5g RCS tank). I know many people worry about getting algae with long photoperiods, and that can happen, but it's not always the case. I'm doing this with both, high tech and low tech, tanks so it's not a matter of requiring CO2 or ferts either. One key element is to not use too bright of light unless you are injecting CO2 and dosing ferts.

During the hours in which the lights are off, I still get to enjoy my tanks thanks to moon lights. It's not as much fun as having the lights on, but it's better than seeing a pitch black void. I do keep the moonlights fairly dim, and I have confirmed that the fish are sleeping.

So maybe you can find a 12 hour stretch that would work for you (7am-7pm?) and work to orient the tank to accept the long photoperiod?

Otherwise, I'd skip the 1 hour in the morning since it's just 1 hour and turn the lights on later in the day so you can keep them on a little later at night. On the weekends, check to make sure the fish are still "sleeping in" during the off time in the morning so you can be certain they're able to use that time to actually sleep.
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