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[APD] Re: Lighting -- How many hours in a day?

I would like to stretch out he evening hours so that I can feed the fish at
8 AM and still have time to view them in the evening.  If it was reasonable,
I'd like to have 14 hours of 110 watts on, plus 4 hours of both banks of
lights on, near noon. Each set of lights will be slightly different, so one
will probably be dimmer than the other, one being 6700K from PSL, the other
the GE 9325K bulb. I read recently that doubling up the light during the
day, as in one bank on at 8 and the second bank on at noon, with staggered
off times, might actually benefit the algae more than the plants.

I used to run a few of my tanks on 14 hour light days. I didn't have any trouble doing that, although I run 12 hour days now. I changed a lot of dosing routines and such around the same time so it's hard for me to say for sure what effect the light change alone had on the tank.

Does anyone have any advice to offer? Should I limit the total span of hours
to 11 or 12 hours, or is 14 OK? Is it OK to increase the light near noon for
awhile? Is there any wisdom in starting the lights together for 9 hours,
then shifting one to delay on and off? Or would starting with one bank of
lights only be wiser, then adding the noontime lighting in increasing

12 hours is the usually quoted day length for tropical tanks. Adding an hour shouldn't be any problem. If you overlap some lighting you should be fine, although I would bring in the longer day gradually -- that is don't switch from 12 hour days to 14 hour days in one day. Sudden changes are what always cause problems in my own tanks, but the same change made gradually over a few weeks or months usually isn't a problem.

I am pretty nervous about starting off badly with this tank, as it is in the
den and with the holidays coming, I fear that it could be a huge mess right
as company comes to visit. I'm planning to test the lights and CO2 before
Ann Viverette

If it's a new tank you'll have less to worry about since you won't be disturbing an established tank. Algae blooms have always happened quickly when I mess up lighting in my tanks, so if you do do something your tank doesn't like you should know quickly enough to make a change before you have people looking in your tanks. The gradual dawn/noon/dusk/night cycle is a neat way to run a tank, IMHO. Not sure if the inhabitants really care all that much though either way.


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