Thoughts on a "rest period" for lighting schedule? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Question Thoughts on a "rest period" for lighting schedule?

I read an article in a book that said that instead of providing light in planted aquariums on 12 hour on / 12 hour off cycles (or cycles that are basically one long off period then one long on period), it's better to do a schedule where there's a "rest period" or "siesta period" in the middle of your "on" cycle. For example, 6 hours on, 2 hours off, 6 hours on, 10 hours off.

I guess this can kind of be thought of as a "rainstorm" period in the middle of the day, but I'm thinking it's probably not good to have it "rain" every day!

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 06:04 PM
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No thought to add, but this topic has peaked my interest. I've heard of the siesta period many times over but not why it is better. Did the author provide ideas why to do it?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 06:08 PM
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It works good to control algae.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 06:54 PM
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Siesta period is mentioned in Peter Hiscock's book "Enciclodedia of Aquarium Plants". Quote:" Plants are able to regulate the rate of photosynthesis relatively easy and quickly respond to changes in light conditions. In other words, they do not take long to warm up and start photosynthesizing once there's sufficient light. However. algae are not as biologically advanced as plants and need a long and relatively uninterrupted period of light to function properly.....If the aquarium reeives 5-6 hours of lighting followed by 2-3 hours of darkness and then another 5-6 hours of light, plants will be relatively unaffected and receive enough light throughout the day, but algae growth rates will be significantly reduced and may even start to die back."
I do follow this routine on both of my planted tanks. It does work as it claims: plants don't mind it, algae does.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 06:55 PM
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Hmm...I have heard that as well somehwere...

perhaps the Kasselman's book i was reading...

I have to go back and check...

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 10:21 PM
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This is mentioned in "Aquarium Atlas", which I am presently reading...
How much Light?
Aquarium lighting should be used independently of daylight and the requirements differ for fish and plants. Fish can "get by" with 8 to ten hours of lights while plants need 12 to 14 hours. The longer period of lighting will not harm fish but less will inhibit plant growth. More intense lights, used for a shorter period, are not as beneficial as the right amount of light used for the proper time. Lighting which remains on too long or is too intense can encourage the growth of green algae and if algae develops in your tank the period of lighting should be reduced. The lighting can be controlled by a timer and to inhibit the growth of algae you can eliminate artifical light for an hour or two at midday. This will not harm either fish or plants.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 11:11 PM
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I will offer a dissenting opinion. I think that setting a siesta is fun to do with timers but will not compensate for otherwise poor conditions like lighting intensity or nutrients. So with out trying to offend anyone, a tank that is algae free with a siesta is likely to be algae free without one as well.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 11:56 PM
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I run a 2 hour "siesta" because it has another advantage other than algae - stretching out the viewing day.

My tank is in a room that is very brightly lit with natural sunlight. So when the sun comes up, may as well click on the lights because it's not exactly dim light any more.

By having a siesta in late afternoon when there is no more light shining into the room, the plants get a reasonable break. And I get to turn the lights on the tank off 2 hours later than I would otherwise - allowing everyone to enjoy viewing the tank into the evening.

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-28-2005, 04:12 AM
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Come to think of it did that for a little bit with my FO tank. I wanted to feed the fish before I went work so the lights would come on for few hours in the morning and then back on again before I came home. I never did have any algae problems (probably not the reason though; who knows ?).
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