how important is a lighting schedule?

  1. Captin P Member Member

    My 55g tank is located directly under two windows and gets lots of indirect sunlight. Will my turning on the lights after 5 every day and leaving them on until around midnight be too much light for the fish? i have African Cichlids from Lake Malwali.
     
  2. Jaysee Fishlore Legend Member

    It's important to have a consistent photo period. my tanks get indirect sunlight - I turn my lights on in the late afternoon/early evening and turn them off when I go to bed, after midnight.
     

  3. Wendy Lubianetsky Well Known Member Member

    Jaysee, I am really good at keeping a schedule on my 2 tanks and my Betta Tank, but the one in the bedroom I fall asleep watching the fish and the light rarely goes out. The are African Mbunas as well. How much damage am I doing?
     

  4. Jaysee Fishlore Legend Member

    I don't really know. Sometimes I leave the lights on too :;dk
     

  5. iZaO Jnr Well Known Member Member

    Fish as you will know are quite adaptable, and will get used to longer photoperiods, but for the best, i would recommend 8 hours photoperiod. Seeing as fish only FULLY function for 8 hours a day, this is usually during that period. It is also dependant though on how much indirect sunlight we are talking about. If it isnt that much, well then it wont cause an issue.

    For Africans i would definetely say 8 hours, maybe 9 but no more. They are very active and are constantly turning over energy into moving, fighting for territory, hiding, swimming away, staying alert (africans REALLY do this more than any other)

    IMO, it is in the best interest of the fish to allow them adequate rest time. Also the darker the room is for this rest, the better.

    @ Wendy - i dont think you're doing damage at all, but like above, rest time for africans is important! If you leave this light on to fall asleep to, adjust the photoperiod of the tank. Switch it on when you climb in bed and off when you go to school/work/wherever.

    But as Jaysee, a consistent photoperiod IS important.
     
  6. iZaO Jnr Well Known Member Member

    Its just rest. Other than that, the plants will not like it and thats only if you have
     
  7. Captin P Member Member

    Awesome! Thanks for the info folks! Just what I was looking for. Consistency is key.
     
  8. Jaysee Fishlore Legend Member

    An article in the fish keeping magazine I get said a 12-14 hour photoperiod is normal for fish.
     
  9. pirahnah3 Fishlore VIP Member

    To me its all about a balance and normality. Once you get the tank to balance out with the competing algae and nutrients and plants (if you have them) and can get things in line you can mess with the lights a bit. In my planted tank they run longer than in my non planted tanks.
     
  10. iZaO Jnr Well Known Member Member

    Thats perfectly understandable. Where i live, in summer, the days are 16 hours of light, about 14 of those being bright hence why it is normal.
     
  11. Echostatic Well Known Member Member

    Lights on a timer are fantastic :)
     
  12. psalm18.2 Fishlore Legend Member

    Without plants, light timing isn't too critical. Whether it's 5 to 14 doesn't matter, neither doees naturl vs fake. Algea will be a concern with too much of a "high" spectrum light.
     
  13. e_watson09 Well Known Member Member

    I also reccomend a timer. We have one on my reef tank and love it. I plan to get timers on the rest of my tanks.
     
  14. iZaO Jnr Well Known Member Member

    Timers are an expensive luxury i cannot afford ;D
     
  15. e_watson09 Well Known Member Member

    I'm right there with you hints I manually turn off 7 out of the 8 tanks I have. I have been saving for a while to upgrade but I doubt it will happen anytime soon. I am my own timer ;)

    I hate having to leave my lights on my planted tanks when I go out of town. Always seems to be algea EVERYWHERE.
     
  16. iZaO Jnr Well Known Member Member

    luckily i have 2 roommates who are very quickly learning tank maintenance ;D...

    Manual just seems to make you more involved in the tank itself anyway.

    As for my roommates, im glad they are learning so quick! :):) Im leaving for Scotland for a couple of months soon! :):)
     
  17. psalm18.2 Fishlore Legend Member

    How much are they? Here in the states they're like $3. I have several.
     
  18. Echostatic Well Known Member Member

    Ya I can't imagine being able to afford several tanks, and not timers.
     
  19. Wendy Lubianetsky Well Known Member Member

    :;otRight now, I can't afford anything ELSE!! I keep adding and adding I need to stop. I bought timers yesterday.
     
  20. Captin P Member Member

    I know the feeling Wendy, and that again everyone! They are really cheap here and i only need one AND Im lazier than i'd like to be so i think its a yes on a timer. :;perfect