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8 Hours. It is the most I can get a way with without things getting out of control. I think 6 or 7 hours would be ideal, but I want to see my tank.
 

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7 hours, no co2 low/med light, ferts.

Sent from my SGH-T889 using Tapatalk
 

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Two ten g tanks..one/w two T8 bulbs @ 7.5 hrs/no Excel light ferts.
One/w two T5 bulbs @ 9.25 hrs with Excel/fairly light ferts
Cultivated algae in both...would you like that only on the rocks or both the wood and rocks ?
 

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Carpe Diem
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10 hours on non-co2 tanks (5)
12 hours on co2 tanks (2)
10 hours on < 2g vases (3)

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Good thread, been struggling what to do with mine.

I run 9 hours with good CO2, 9-6. Problem for me is I get home at 4:30. I don't want to start the lights any later because some sunlight seeps in the room during the day and I don't want that to create extra algae. I don't want to cut down the photo-period because I only have an hour and a half to enjoy the tank. I don't want to increase it more to enjoy it because I'm again worried about algae.

Any recommendations?
 

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Carpe Diem
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Seems to me that sunlight will seep through regardless of when your photo period starts or ends and you have to account for it regardless. I run all my tanks on timers, from either noon or 2pm till midnight. Most people have the free time in the evenings anyways.

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Seems to me that sunlight will seep through regardless of when your photo period starts or ends and you have to account for it regardless. I run all my tanks on timers, from either noon or 2pm till midnight. Most people have the free time in the evenings anyways.

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Do you think it would be reasonable to cut the photoperiod to only 8 hours, say from noon till 8pm, even if that increases the time there is (significant, my blinds are horrible) from 7-noon as opposed to just 7-9? Because I would *love* to do that, just always figured that would be bad for the tank.
 

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Carpe Diem
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Ok. Lets try this from another angle: you have sunshine from 7am to noon. Lets ignore seasons. Your tank gets that sunshine. Period. If you do not move the tank or get better blinds or cover the tank with a blanket, it gets the sunshine. Assume you go all green :) and never turn on your aquarium lights. If you want a healthy tank (good plant growth. no algae, etc), the plants need proportional supply of food / building material to keep up with the amount of energy (sunlight) they receive. So, that's your step number one. If your tap water + fish waste + leftover fish food + decaying plant matter + gas exchange provide more food then the plants can absorb (normally unlikely) you probably want to lower it. How? More water changes, RO, feed less, add more plants, etc etc.

On the other end, if your plants do not have enough food (more likely) you want to supplement it externally, I.e. co2 and appropriate ferts.

In any case, good tank management: plant load, fish load, cleaning, etc are given tasks.

So, once you 'balance' the tank with existing sunlight you are all set and happy and can enjoy it when the sun shines through and you are home.

But we have a problem: the sunshine and your presence at home do not overlap. OR the amount of sunshine is not enough to sustain decent plant growth.

This is where the step number 2 comes to the rescue. Namely, we turn the lights on. If you have to supplement the tank to handle the sunshine, then you need to supplement proportionally more to account for each minute the lights are on? How much? That depends on the amount and 'quality' of energy your specific lights add to the equation.

Am I making any sense?

Back to practical: 7 to noon = ~ 5 hours of unqualified photo period (we don't know how much sunshine gets filtered, how much of the tank is in the light, etc). Say you increase the total photo period to 9 hours: lights on at 4 pm, off at 8 pm. Watch the tank for 2 - 4 weeks add / subtract co2 + ferts + flow + surface agitation until fish and plants are fine and no / minimal algae. Then add another hour (lights off at 9 pm), repeat the process above. Repeat as sensible.

My $0.05 :)

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on 11:30am> off 3:00pm = 3.5 hrs
(siesta) 1.5 hrs
on 4:30> off 10pm = 5.3 hrs

I originally set my timer to have a 3 hr siesta then I read that they were useless in controlling algae so I set it to have a 1.5 hr time out period for a total of 9 hrs.
 
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