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Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1

    Default Tank Lighting...

    0 Not allowed!
    Another thread made me think about this issue, and I'm curious as to how other people get around it.

    I'm aware that the lights on a tank are meant to be running around 8 hours a day, and that you shouldn't turn them on and off as this can stress the fish.

    So, I turn all the lights on in my tanks and feed all the fish just before I leave for work at around 7.30. This then means that the lights have already been on over 8 hours when I get home at 5, and I'm meant to feed them and turn them straight off... So I never really get to enjoy my fish!

    My new 70gallon tank is in the lounge, and upon turning my tank light off in the early evening my mother promptly turns it right back on. She argues, "what is the point of having fish if the lights are off and you can't see them in the evening when you're home?" She doesn't sleep much and wants to have the lights on until around 11pm when she goes to sleep, and there is no reasoning with her! If I turn the lights off, she just turns them right back on and says that's the rules because it's her house and her power. GRRR. I have managed to compromise with her and get her to have the lights turned off at 8.30ish but even then the lights have been running for 12 hours!

    My question: How do you guys get around the amount of time the light is on while keeping your fish happy AND allowing them to be enjoyed by you? My mother suggested keeping the lights off all day and turning them on in the evening, but that means I'd be feeding them in a dark tank before I leave in the morning (unless I only have the light on when they feed which I thought was a no-no), and they would still not be in a dark room because of sun/lights on during the day so they would not "rest".

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Ypsilanti, Michigan

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    0 Not allowed!
    some people advocate a "split photo-period", ie something like lights on for 4 hours, then off for 4 hours, then on for four hours. This likely gives you more chance to see the fish with the lights on if you're working during the day. Seems to be a lot of debate on whether this is better for plants and worse for algae, or the other way around.

    Personally, my light timer is set from 2:00pm to 10:00pm. The lights are off in the morning when I get up, feed them, and go to work, but there's still enough ambient light for me to see them well enough for the most part. Then the light is on when I get home for several hours, and they get fed again at 9:00 which gives me plenty of time to watch them eat.
    300 gallon mega tank: sailfin pleco, clown loaches, silver dollars, roseline sharks, congo tetras, new world cichlids
    125 gallon office tank: Africian cichlids, synodontis catfih
    75 gallon community tank: bolivian rams, black skirt tetras, dwarf neon rainbowfish, corys, harlequin rasboras, otos, bristlenose and bulldog plecos, assassin snails, various shrimp
    60 gallon goldfish tank: fancy goldfish

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I recently implemented a timer. Same situation here. I want the lights to be on when I'm around to observe them. After all, that's why I have them. Light is on for 1 hour in the morning when I feed them. Then it comes back on at noon for another hour so I can see them at lunch. Then after that it's on from 4 until 10. I have no clue if this is good or bad for the fish. Though I think there's enough ambient light around the tank during the day for them to figure out that "the sun just went behind the cloud" and not mess their sleep patterns up.

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    I have a timer as well. The tank is dark when I leave for work in the morning. I feed a small breakfast with the lights off and then a larger evening meal when the lights are on.
    120 gallon FW bowfront in progress

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks guys. That 2 'til 10 timer idea sounds good to me. Might look into it. :)

  6. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    2 or 3 to 10 works for me. I only feed mine in the evening. I must be mean.

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    I have mine in split periods. I have timers so the lights are on 3 hours before i leave for work, 11:30-1:30pm. And then it turns on again at 6pm-12mn for me to enjoy them when i get back from work at 10:30ish.

    What I do is time the light to turn on just before the sun goes down so that they don't get shocked from being dark then having lights on in a flash. Indirect sunlight or ambient room light should be sufficient for them at most times.
    Da name's Paul. Not Dave. ROFL

    Learn to give and take. That's how things should always work.

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for the input guys. I guess the thing I was wondering is if they get enough time in complete darkness to actually sleep. With tanks being in living areas, the household lights come on at around 7am and the house stays lit til around 11 or so at night, giving them only a few hours of "complete" darkness.

  9. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    keeping it on for 12 hours to much?

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    Was that a question? Yes, keeping it on for that long is really too much. Fish need time to rest and keeping it on that long will also create algae problems.

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