Staggering light times - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-04-2004, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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does anyone stagger their lights on, such that they turn on for a few hours and then shut off when they aren't home, then turn on again for a total of 12 hours?

I've heard of doing this, but not much about planted tanks, seems to me like it would disrupt the process of photosynthesis.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-04-2004, 01:46 PM
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i have heard of this before, but as you said, not for the planted tanks. i agree that i think it would disrupt the photosynthesis.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-04-2004, 01:53 PM
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Bad idea. Helps algae hurts plants.

I do stagger the second bank of lights so that for most of the day the tank gets 1.8 wpg, but for 6 hours the second bank comes on for 3.6 wpg.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-04-2004, 05:34 PM
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I do stagger the second bank of lights so that for most of the day the tank gets 1.8 wpg, but for 6 hours the second bank comes on for 3.6 wpg.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I do similar.

Ken
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonapersona
Bad idea. Helps algae hurts plants.

I do stagger the second bank of lights so that for most of the day the tank gets 1.8 wpg, but for 6 hours the second bank comes on for 3.6 wpg.
You have it backwards. algae is very very photo sensitive...if it's light cycle is interupted for more than a couple of hours, it can't grow.
Plants, however, are able to store nutrients, and do fine on cloudy days without sun.

Having a 'siesta time' for your lights should inhibit algae, while leaving your plants relatively unaffected.

I myself run 12 hours of 110watts, non-stop, with 6 hours in the middle of the full 220watts.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
You have it backwards. algae is very very photo sensitive...if it's light cycle is interupted for more than a couple of hours, it can't grow.
Plants, however, are able to store nutrients, and do fine on cloudy days without sun.

Having a 'siesta time' for your lights should inhibit algae, while leaving your plants relatively unaffected.
This is what I have heard also, but haven't seen any tests done to show either way.

[rant]
For a hobby so scientific, I would like to see the magazine's or such do experiments to prove things like this one way or another instead of knowledge through heresey. Do you know what I mean?
[/rant]
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 09:04 PM
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I'm sure that Tom Barr has done this experiment, I'll go search the APD to see if there is any hard data.

My understanding of this is that algae is much less dependant on the light cycle, able to start and stop instantaneousely, while plants have a true cycle of active and not active and having the lights on and off rapidly seriously delays their ability to photosynthesize. But, let me also drag out Kasselmans book and see if there is any data there.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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thanks very much, I appreciate all the help guys
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonapersona
I'm sure that Tom Barr has done this experiment, I'll go search the APD to see if there is any hard data.

My understanding of this is that algae is much less dependant on the light cycle, able to start and stop instantaneousely, while plants have a true cycle of active and not active and having the lights on and off rapidly seriously delays their ability to photosynthesize. But, let me also drag out Kasselmans book and see if there is any data there.
Sounds interesting, let us know what you find.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 12:04 AM
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So far on APD, searching "siesta" seems best, but only a few comments, questions, few answers. George Booth saying it didn't hurt the algae but he lost a good plant. Tom Barr saying, essentially, that it is much wiser to attack the problem of why you have algae in the first place, get the balance right and you won't have the problem. One person saying it helped with the algae but certain plants were unhappy. It was apparently promoted by Denerle at some point long ago. You'd think if it worked, we'd have heard about it.

that's all the time I'm going to devote to the search.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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I just wanted to know, because I would like to enjoy the tank at night hours, so if I staggered the times and shut of fthe light when I wasn't around I would accomplish that.

anyways, that's cool I don't mind not seeing them at late hours, I much rather see healthy awesome plants

thanks very much
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 04:40 AM
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Here's a blurb from Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants by Peter Hiscock

Plants are able to regulate the rate of photosynthesis realtively easy, and quickly reposond to changes in light conditions. In other words, they do not take long to warm up and start photosynthesizing once there is sufficient light. However, algae are not as biologically advanced as plants and need a long and relatively uninterrupted period of light to function properly. It is possible to combat algae in the aquarium and creating a "siesta" period.

...

If the aquarium receives 5-6 hours of lighting followed by 2-3 hours of darkness and then another 5-6 hours of light, the plants will be relatively unaffected

...

but algae growth rates will be significantly reduced and may even start to die back.
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
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hmmm.... I like the sound of that maybe I'll give it a go for a week

thanks so much!
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 07:46 PM
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thanks pedietz. I have Hiscock's book at home, but I'm always posting here from work. I'm not much of a fan of Tom Barr.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 09:55 PM
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I stagger my lights. 130W, with fan go on at 11:00am. The second 130W go on at 11:30am. I run 260W until 7:30pm. Then the set of light without the fan go off leaving 130W for the next half hour. At 8:00pm all lights and fans are off.

I am not a big believer in the "siesta" idea. I want to run all of my watts over the aquarium for the longest time period.

Mike

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