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Plant Clown
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It's for the home page. In this case, it's a really good discussion question. The tank, though, while pretty, doesn't have much in the way of plants, which are what make the photoperiod question relevant. Perhaps a more plant-centric pic might have been a better choice? Again, though, discus are very pretty :)
 

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It can not be the same for all the plants. Some plants use light as a cue, some use darkness. Even the period of time some plants spend in the dark (respiration mode) will make a huge difference in their growth. From the tables and literature I looked at, 8 hours of darkness seems to be about the sweet spot. I would venture, the "higher light" period should be somewhere in excess of 8 hours to about 10 hours, with the rest made up of dusk and dawn, were light would hit water bodies at very oblique angles in nature. Most of the aquarium plants seem to be from the belt around the equator. apart from floating and marginal plants I don't think I have ever seen any aquatic plants in the western cape for instance. I have done quite a bit of freshwater angling....
 

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After well over 50 years of fish-keeping, on & off, I'd have to peg it between 7 and 8 hours daily for most plants, maintained @ high or low tech.
 

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24/7 for a fry grow out tank, at least until they're off BBS, vinegar, banana, walter, &/or micro worm. Then, assuming tropical plant/fish species of equatorial origin, gradually decrease to 12hrs

For temperate species @ Northern hemisphere, e.g. Elodea canadensis, Macropodus ocellatus, etc, ~18hrs late June / early July, ~6hrs late December / early January.

Do temperate plant species "burn out" if not cooled down a few months each year? Many of AquaBid's "US Native Fish" for example will die prematurely if Winter-like conditions are not mimicked.
 

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First, thank you for listening to the community feedback and replacing those articles with themes that we can debate and share our experience about. :proud:

The ideal length of the period will depend from aquarium to aquarium and is hard to find the exact duration that gives maximum returns with minimal adverse effects.

Also it is important to understand that light strength and light duration are not in a simple mathematical relationship; ie. keeping a light at 1/3 strength for 18 hours is not the same as keeping it at full strength for 6 hours.

That being said, I start new aquariums with 6h and then go up. All plants I had survived at this light duration. However I noticed red plants become redder as the light duration increases.

I also suggest 8h is a good spot. 12h would be the top for stronger light.

Some plants will close up when their photoperiod is close to the end (Althernathera, Rotala..). Run a stable photoperiod over a long time. Then start the photoperiod 4 hours later, you will see some plants still close up at the previous closing hour.

Here are another things to consider:

How long does it take for the plants to change their internal clock and adjust to new light schedules?

What is the impact of environmental light ?
 

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24/7 for a fry grow out tank, at least until they're off BBS, vinegar, banana, walter, &/or micro worm. Then, assuming tropical plant/fish species of equatorial origin, gradually decrease to 12hrs

For temperate species @ Northern hemisphere, e.g. Elodea canadensis, Macropodus ocellatus, etc, ~18hrs late June / early July, ~6hrs late December / early January.

Do temperate plant species "burn out" if not cooled down a few months each year? Many of AquaBid's "US Native Fish" for example will die prematurely if Winter-like conditions are not mimicked.
24/7 light for fry? just curious about this why?
 

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Walstad recommends 12-14hrs in her book which I imagine suits the method she made popular.

I tend to run 8-9hrs ongoing for CO2 injected tanks whether medium or high light. I start new tanks at 6hrs and build from there.

Low techs I run from 6hrs to 12hrs depending on the strength of the light, plants in situ etc.
 

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@Kampo

It's one of the 5 tactics used to "power grow" fry, i.e. grow them at the absolute fastest rate possible. I'm not advocating it, but it does have its advantages.

I began noticing differences in fry growth rates over the years while raising fry at tropical latitudes (12hrs), northern latitude during Winter (~6hrs), and northern latitude during Summer (~18hrs). So then I took it a step further and left the lights on 24/7. They consumed more food, even nocturnal/crepuscular species, and grew faster. I don't have scientific supporting data, but it works, I've seen it with my own eyes.
 

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interesting, I was planning a freshwater sump/refugeum that would double as a fry growout tank so interesting idea, good to know if I did extended photoperiod on the refugeum it wouldn't hurt the fry.
 

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so on this topic. I have my first light that can very brightness. is it gonig to cause algea issues to have the tank in "dusk" mode 3 hours on either side of my true photoperiod (prolly 10par or less) and then have full brightness 6-8hrs (30ish par)?
 

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so on this topic. I have my first light that can very brightness. is it gonig to cause algea issues to have the tank in "dusk" mode 3 hours on either side of my true photoperiod (prolly 10par or less) and then have full brightness 6-8hrs (30ish par)?


I have been running this way with my new setup for about 2 months now and have been pretty happy with the results. I do have a larger difference than you are proposing between dawn/dusk and midday - I am running about 10 PAR at dawn, 65 PAR midday, and 5 PAR at dusk. Once I got it dialed in to reasonable levels (was running midday too high at first), I have noticed very little additional algae growth. Now if I can just get rid of the BBA that grew during start up, I should be good.
 

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If you are using an Android or iPhone, try downloading the Tropica application. If you are using a Med to High light and you are just starting up a new tank, the ideal is 6 hours a day for the first 3 weeks. After that you may increase the photo-period to 8 hours. On the 6th week, you could then increase it to up to 10 hours. Hope this helps.
 

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As long as you do not have algae or plant health issues with a longer photoperiod, I would try for as much as 12 hours (more viewing time). I am currently at eight hours in a planted tank set up in January but now that my algae issues have subsided, I will soon increase the photoperiod. My established 600-gallon reef tank was a 12-hour photoperiod with no algae problems.

Mike
 

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so on this topic. I have my first light that can very brightness. is it gonig to cause algea issues to have the tank in "dusk" mode 3 hours on either side of my true photoperiod (prolly 10par or less) and then have full brightness 6-8hrs (30ish par)?
Like the responses above, it will depend on your tank. How tall it is. The nutrients in it. The plants, etc. A lot of different factors.

It's always good to pick a starting point and see what happens as each tank is different. 6-8 hours sounds like a good starting point, especially if you have the dusk like on before and after. You may get algae, you may not. You'd have to adjust accordingly. Good luck!
 

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Wouldn't this depend on the types of plants, how much CO2 is running, lighting, etc? Seems like there wouldn't be a definite answer. Observation of your own aquarium is probably the best gauge.
 
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