How long must the light stay on for fish only tank?

rhys
  • #1
I know this questions has probably been asked a hundred times..but I have just bought a 5 gallon starter fish tank for my son with some guppies and tetras etc but want to know how long should I keep the light on for (15W bulb) ?
 
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sirdarksol
  • #2
Welcome to the forums. Don't worry too much about re-asking the question. If you hang around, you'll want to use the search function, but, as you'll see, it may have been better that you actually posted, as it gave me a couple of questions to ask in return.

8-10 hours.

Also, just how many fish do you have in the tank? A tank can only really handle 1" of fish per gallon. Because of this, a couple of guppies alone would pretty much fill a 5 gallon tank.
And did you "cycle" your tank? (See https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm for a description of the nitrogen cycle and how to guide your tank through it).
I'm really not trying to be preachy. When I was a kid, I lost all of my fish pretty quickly after I loaded my tanks up, and never knew why. I want to give everyone else the chance that I didn't have.

Good luck.
 
rhys
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
its has four fish
 
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sirdarksol
  • #4
So, two guppies and two tetras, or three of one kind, one of the other?
What kind of tetras are they?
 
rhys
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
two of each I am not to sure of what kind my wife is the one kinda taken care of it she just asked that I find out how long the light stays on for.
 
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sirdarksol
  • #6
Fair enough.
I should edit my previous statement a bit. It's not that the 4 fish can't live in a small tank, it's just that they're going to be stressed a bit.
I'd suggest that your wife, if she's taking care of the fish for the most part, should read the beginner's articles on the fishlore website, and come around here (or send you ) with any questions.
Like I said, I've been through the new tank thing a few times. I ended up here earlier this year (late last year?) because I had some problems with my tank (due to me knowing nothing about setting one up), and have learned a ton since I've been here.
 
sgould
  • #7
This is somewhat personal preference, but 8-10 hours is a bit long for my tastes. I think that having the lights on that long might encourage algae growth. I'd go more 6-7. If you want to try the longer time frame, go for it...just keep an eye out and adjust right away if you start to have problems.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #8
our lights are on during a 12-hr time frame, but they do get turned off if the water temp gets to 82. we've only had algae trouble when using fluorescent bulbs but maybe it's because I clean the tanks weekly, i'm not sure.
 
sgould
  • #9
It may have something to do with the water too...the water company here adds phosphate to the water supply, so I am probably just more prone to algae to begin with. Add too much light to the mix and I get an outbreak!
 
sirdarksol
  • #10
It may have something to do with the water too...the water company here adds phosphate to the water supply, so I am probably just more prone to algae to begin with. Add too much light to the mix and I get an outbreak!

Ok, I'm going to go off topic for a second because I have to: Why would your water company add phosphate to the water supply? In MN, it's illegal to add phosphate to nearly anything because of the damage it's done to the rivers and lakes.
 
sgould
  • #11
The municipal pipes, as well as some of the older homes around here have a high lead content, which created a lot of health concerns several years back because of the lead leaching into the water. As I understand it, rather than dig up and replace every water pipe in and around the city, they decided to add phosphate, which supposedly "coats" the insides of the pipes. This is supposed to essentially create a barrier between the water and the pipe so that the lead can't get into the water. Here is a direct quote from the city's web site:

Milwaukee Waterworks adds phosphate to the drinking water to help prevent lead and copper from eroding from home plumbing into the drinking water.
 
Bill
  • #12
I have mine on 12hrs per day but I don't get any algae growth because I only have 1wpg ;D
 
sirdarksol
  • #13
The municipal pipes, as well as some of the older homes around here have a high lead content, which created a lot of health concerns several years back because of the lead leaching into the water. As I understand it, rather than dig up and replace every water pipe in and around the city, they decided to add phosphate, which supposedly "coats" the insides of the pipes. This is supposed to essentially create a barrier between the water and the pipe so that the lead can't get into the water. Here is a direct quote from the city's web site:

Milwaukee Waterworks adds phosphate to the drinking water to help prevent lead and copper from eroding from home plumbing into the drinking water.

Alright, good reason. Protects people and the environment from lead. Thanks for the info.

I swear that my tanks must get more indirect light than it seems like, because two of my tanks have about .5wpg, and have severe algae problems.
 
jsalemi
  • #14
You could be over-feeding your fish; sometimes the organic waste prompts algae to grow. That's one of the reasons why it's handy to have bottom feeders in the tank.
 
Jimold
  • #15
You could be over-feeding your fish; sometimes the organic waste prompts algae to grow. That's one of the reasons why it's handy to have bottom feeders in the tank.

The main "show" fish in my 46 gallon are 2 big angelfish & an african butterflyfish.
But my bottom squad consists of: 3 panda corys, 3 clown loaches, 8 otos, 1 small banjo cat & 1 pleco (5 inch).
It's a great combination of algae eaters and bottom feeders; and my tank stays very clean. Now I know your tank isn't as big as mine, but you get the idea. Generally the sloppier the big fish, the more bottom feeders (corys & loaches). Or, if you have an algae problem, go with more algae eaters (otos & plecos).
 

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