Aquarium light setup and schedule Question

  1. JoannaB Well Known Member Member

    Hi,

    As previously posted I have a 30 gallon tank with an Eclipse System 3 hood. In this tank thus far I have five Java Fern plants, and six danios (3 of them glofish). Intending to stock more fish gradually (first a bristlenose pleco, then 6 cory cats), and intending to get some Java Moss when getting red cherry shrimp in about 2 months.

    I was wandering whether my current light setup and timer schedule make sense or whether it needs to be improved:

    I have the two light bulbs that come with the Marineland System 3 hood (2x 24" 18watt T8) and those are on a timer on between 8am and 12 noon, and then on again between 4pm and 8pm.

    In addition to that I have a blue LED light, which I turn on when I wake up and turn off when I go to bed. This one does not create much light but is just for aesthetic purposes. Even during the day the blue accent light is kind of cool, and after 8 pm the blue light really makes the glofish shine when everything else is dark.

    My questions are:

    1. Should I replace the light bulbs that came in the hood with better quality ones, and if so what kind? Note: I do not have a lot of plants, but I may choose to get more. I believe that bristlenose pleco and Cory catfish probably will not appreciate brighter light, right? So I assume that if I were to upgrade light it would be for the plants? Also I am concerned that I currently have a brown algea bloom, and I read that this may be due to the kind of light we have - or is it just because it is a relatively new tank?

    2. How often does one need to change fluorescent lightbulbs in aquarium, or does one wait until a lightbulb burns out?

    3. Does my timer schedule make sense? I read somewhere that having 4on-4off-4on-12off schedule for aquarium lights is good, but would like to get confirmation. The transformer (or whatever the box thing is that plugs into electricity) was heating up way too much when I first got the hood, and when I called the customer service they said that it was not intended to stay on all day, so that is when I bought the timer.

    4. Another question is regarding the blue nightlight. I try to remember to always turn it off at night, but am wondering whether it would be a problem to keep it on 24-7? I understand that the fish need a period of darkness too, however many parts of the tank are in darkness when the blue light only is on. I could look up what the night light's brand name is if you need to know that to answer this question.

    Thank you!
     
  2. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    Hello,

    You take 36 / 30 = 1.2 wpg. That's fine for what plants you have.

    The Brown Algae sounds like Diatoms. These are a common occurrence in a newly cycled tank. They will go away on their own with time and patience, just keep the plants wiped off.

    Bulbs need to be replaced every 6-8 months or so.

    Your lighting schedule seems fine to me.