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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I bought some lighting for the 29g I'm setting up. I got the new coralife 30" dual t-5 HO 31 watt ballast. I haven't set it up yet (finals), but I am planning to set it up next week. My question is this:

I'm gone a lot during the day, and i like to turn the tank lights on at night. I enjoy the subtle light, and none of my fish seem to mind. With the new planted tank however, I am concerned that ambient light from windows and whatnot may effect the growth of the plants. Could I set the timer to run say 6pm-6am? Would the plants know the difference?

Thanks...:fish:
 

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Hello all,

I bought some lighting for the 29g I'm setting up. I got the new coralife 30" dual t-5 HO 31 watt ballast. I haven't set it up yet (finals), but I am planning to set it up next week. My question is this:

I'm gone a lot during the day, and i like to turn the tank lights on at night. I enjoy the subtle light, and none of my fish seem to mind. With the new planted tank however, I am concerned that ambient light from windows and whatnot may effect the growth of the plants. Could I set the timer to run say 6pm-6am? Would the plants know the difference?

Thanks...:fish:
It really depends on just how much light is getting to the tank. Plants require a period of "rest", where instead of photosynthetic activity, they are utilizing the energy stored for respiration. If they aren't allowed this period, they will be stressed and will not thrive...ultimately resulting in a failed planted tank.

Similarly, too long of a photoperiod will also result in algae blooms.

If the tank is in a room that is essentially dark during the day, then the plants and fish will not know the difference. In college, my tank was in a room where the only ambient light came from a single window covered up with a blue blanket(classy, right?). It was enough for me to see and move around, but basically dark. The tank ran on a nocturnal schedule.
 

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Plants grow during the "dark" cycle, so although they will adjust to having the on/off schedule changed, they still need to have a reasonable "off" period.

Tommy
 

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I'm currently doing a dry start method on my 120gal... I'm growing HC and HM and I turn on the lights at night (11pm-9am)... I'm doing this to keep the tank moist and warm in the basement when it's cold and the heater is turned a few deg down during sleep hours... So far they are growing nicely... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
how long does this rest period need to be? Even if I set it for a diurnal cycle, the ambient light from lamps, TV, and overhead fluorescent lights will still be on in the room well past night fall. Is that gonna be a problem?
 

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Try it and see. Every tank is a little different.

I suspect in the end you'll be running no more than 8 hours light total with T5HOs, though.

I have my photoperiods on my tanks at home set to be on in the morning when I'm home, go off while I'm at work, and come back on in the evenings till I go to bed.
 
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