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Figuring Out The Lighting Schedule Help

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Sokonomi, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. SokonomiValued MemberMember

    Im installing my first tank, and I was hoping to summon the wisdom of some seasoned fishkeepers regarding light cycles.

    My tank is a heavily planted 20 gallon one, with a nice CO2 injection, and, admittedly sketchy lighting.
    That last bit is why id like some of you to take a critical (but kind..!) look at this setup.

    The fish stock is still up in the cloud (kuhli loaches, rasboras, shrimp, and the odd gourami, probably),
    but the plants are a basic array of java fern, java moss, cryptocoryne, anubia, and ludwigia.
    All of those are low light plants,so that might soften the necessity for a fancy light a bit.

    So the lighting ive got planned..
    The main light is a standard Juwel novalux 8 watt white LED tube that came with the tank,
    accompanied by two 50cm strips of tubed RGB 5050 LEDs, IP67 waterproof, 60 LEDs, about 15 watts total.
    I've got experience soldering and waterproofing these strips, so a little DIY is no problem.
    I plan on running it all with a TC420 LED controller which can fade all 4 channels separately,
    and has a time schedule with 30 minute intervals, which hopefully can get me some sunrise/set action.

    Its no 1000 dollar suspended 150 watt Kessel system,
    but hey, atleast its not a fishbowl with a desk light? :shy:

    On most days I will be awake at 8:00am, go to work at 10:00am,
    return for lunch between 12:00 and 1pm and leave again,
    return at 4:00pm, and turn in for bed around midnight.

    So the question then; What should my time schedule look like?

    If I had to guess, it would look like this;
    Sunrise happens between 9 and 10am.
    Daylight time builds slowly and peaks at 3pm.
    Sunset happens between 7 and 8pm.
    Moonlight time between 8 and 11pm.
    Lights fade out slowly at 11pm until off at midnight.

    This means 2 hours of twilight, 3 hours of moonlight and 10 hours of daylight.
    I kinda feel like this is too much, but im not sure if the dimmer light counts as photosynth time.
    What do you guys think?
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  2. oldsalt777Well Known MemberMember

    Hello So...

    Low light plants don't require a CO2 system. They'll do fine with a couple of florescent 32 watt, T8 bulbs and just the fertilizers the fish provide. Tropical aquarium plants are used to long hours of daylight and you can set your lights on a timer for 12 hours on and 12 off. The cost for a basic set up like this is about $40.00.

  3. imbaWell Known MemberMember

    For the plants you want to grow, I think you can skip the Co2. Maybe save that money and spend it on a proper led light for plants?

    The light on period is going to be too long imo. You might face algae issues.

    I have a 20g with very similar plants too, but I only have 6 hrs of total light on a day. 3 in the morning, 3 at night. If your setup, I'd probably do, 1 hr twilight, 1 hr moonlight and 5 hrs daylight and see to start and see how u go from there.