lighting cycle for reef tank

andy65
  • #1
Our 90gallon tank is running 3 50/50 power compacts light,which is in all about 400 watts.

I would like to make a cycle that is more like what you would find in nature.

I am thinking of something like this:1 light strip would go on at say 6:30 or 7am then the next one would go on at about 10am then the last one would go on at noon,then we go the other way till of of the lights are off and then the moonlight would come on.

the reason I would like to do this is; 1) its a bit more like nature and 2) it will save a bit of money.

What do you guys think,will this work?
 
Tumbleweed
  • #2
Are all the lights the same? For my tank my actinic blue lights turn on at 7am. my 12k PC bulbs turn on at 9am. All lights run all day and then the 12k bulbs turn off at 5pm, followed by the actinic bulbs at 7pm. My moon light bulbs turn on at 7pm and run until midnight. This simulates a day with a dawn and dusk.
 
andy65
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
they are all half actinic half sunlight bulbs.
 
Tumbleweed
  • #4
they are all half actinic half sunlight bulbs.

That is very similiar to what I have. The time frame above would work out well especially if you have live rock or soft coral. if you do not you can cut the times back a little to help with the electrical bill. You could do 10 hours with actinic bulbs and 6 hours with the sun bulbs, followed by the moon lights. The moonlights can be on for as long as you want. All night or just a couple of hours, the don't take much power to run and create almost no heat. Just separate the extra 4 hours of the actinic bulbs to 2 hours before and 2 after, this will simulate dawn and dusk.
 
andy65
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
the only thing is that this is a actinic and a sunlight bulb on each light. They are Power compacts.
 
Tumbleweed
  • #6
sorry I miss understood. So if I understand right you have 3 differnt light housings and the actinic and sunlight bulbs turn on together? They are not seperate.
 
Wolfgang8810
  • #7
it seems like you will run into algae problems with lighting that long. I used to have my actinics go on at 9 to 11 then my halide turned on from 11 to 6 then actinics from 6 to 8 and algae in my tank went crazy! I since sut my lighting back to actinics 12 to 1 halides 1-6 actinics 6-7 and everything seems much happier. especially my montI and zoes.
 
andy65
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Yes, the actinic and sunlight are on one bulb. They are called 50/50 since they are half actinic and half sunlight on one bulb.

We don't have but a bubble algae problem. Everyone else is great. We have TONS of coralline algae on the LR,and when it come to coral it mostly soft coral,zoas,mushrooms and one BIG toadstool.
 
Tumbleweed
  • #9
I am thinking of something like this:1 light strip would go on at say 6:30 or 7am then the next one would go on at about 10am then the last one would go on at noon,then we go the other way till of of the lights are off and then the moonlight would come on.

What do you guys think,will this work?

you could try this method. execp may fade the lights out like you fade them on. Just watch the tank for excessive algae growth and on the fish and coral to see how they are doing.
 
SaleenS7Rs
  • #10
wow lighting is more technical then I thought after reading this thread lol
 

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