To Moonlight or not to Moonlight

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Dcolewizard

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I have done some research into this topic and have read that it can be beneficial if you do it right as it is a more natural way to view fish at night and also help plants if you have them.

I am planning on getting plants later this year after I get out of the rookie stage in my fish career but I do have a few questions.

1) Will adding moonlight help my tank as it is a 55 gallon tank and I just normally shut off the lights when I go to bed.
2) If I do get moonlights or not should I invest in a timer switch to turn on the lights automatically to mimic sunrise/sunset?
3) How would I go a DIY for Moonlights?
4) How bright should it be and how blue should it be?

Thank you!
 

CindiL

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Hi, I can't answer all your questions but I can tell you the timer idea is what I do. They are on moonlight from about 7pm to 11pm and after that the tank lights are off. If you think about moonlight we don't always have a full moon and there are many nights that are totally dark. At 7am they turn back on and at 8am when I feed them I turn on the daylights. I do feel it is a gentle way to end their day and start up the next.

I use Marineland strip lights but I have also used their double bright light. Both take care of the daylight and moonlight.
 
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Dcolewizard

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I am fairly technically inclined so this might be overkill but would adding a dimmer switch so that the light isn't just a bright light turning on all at once but rather that it gradually brightens up. would be beneficial or practical?
 

CindiL

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I love that idea. If you have the skills, go for it
 

Ohiotank

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I use my moonlight but it is more for me than the plants. I do run the blue when the white and red are on because plants need that spectrum. When you get plants I would get a timer because consistency is the key, you need to balance your light ferts and co2 even in a low tech tank or you will be dealing with algae. The moonlights are a nice look for an hour or two before bed!!!

 

macca

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Apparently a blue moonlight help some fish spawn.
Personally, I've always added a blue moonlight to my tanks on a timer. Pair it with a white sandy substrate to give the tank a totally different dimension at night.
 
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