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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've recently setup a 72 gallon bowfront in an effort to start my first planted tank.

I'm currently running a 48" finnex planted+ for a total of 8 hours a day. I have that broken up into 4 hours in the morning and then 4 hours at night (with about 6 hours of "darkness" during the day where the tank gets ambient light from the surrounding room but the finnex is off).

Is there any disadvantage to breaking up the light cycle like that? Should I change it up so that the light is on for a straight 8 hours instead?
 

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A lot of people break up their photo period the way you are doing it. As I understand it, algae doesn't like the break in the photo period while plants are able to adapt to it better. In the end, it's just one of the many ways that people combat algae. Personally, I also use an 8 hour photo period but break it up into 2 and 6 hour blocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I honestly never looked at it from an algae perspective. I would just rather the lights are on while I am home and able to enjoy. Otherwise the lights would be on while I'm at work and only the cat would get to stare the tank (as she is surely devising a way to get in there for a snack!)
 

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I honestly never looked at it from an algae perspective. I would just rather the lights are on while I am home and able to enjoy. Otherwise the lights would be on while I'm at work and only the cat would get to stare the tank (as she is surely devising a way to get in there for a snack!)
I think most people split their photo period for the same reason, but I believe it does also help your plants win the battle against algae.
 

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I split my lights when I had a small algae issue. I then Google'd "siesta aquarium" and found out that it does absolutely nothing to control algae. I now just sit back and enjoy my split photo period. 12:30-11:00 pm with 2 hr siesta in between.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So long as I'm not messing with the fish's or plants' internal cycles I'm going to keep doing it. If it combats some algae issues thats a great unintended byproduct!
 

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I run my Finnex Planted+ for one hour in the morning 7am-8am. So my family can see the tank at breakfast time, before going to school and work. Then the lights go on from 5pm - 8pm, the time everyone is home and when the lights go out, its bed time. The weekends the tank run from 10am-8pm. All handled by a digital timer, bought from Amazon, for under $10.



As you can see the plants are doing well, the fish are happy, and active. That with only 4 hours of light a weekday (longer on the weekends). I decided to only run the lights on my tank while my family or myself were home.
 
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