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How long to keep lights on?

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by Yarkii, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Yarkii

    Yarkii Fish Fanatic

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    Hello!

    Is there some way to work out how long to keep lights on for a currently-cycling tank? I'm using aragonite & coral sand as substrate (my water is very soft but I want to keep hard water fish), and I've put in some anubias & moss on driftwood, some elodea, bamboo, hairgrass, banana lillies, and a long grassy thing I don't know the name of. I've just popped some slate in there too.

    My lighting is 28W LED (2 x White + 1 x RGB & Blue).

    I have no idea when to use the white lights, when to use the blue light, when to use both together, and when to have it all off.

    Thank you! Any advice would be much appreciated.



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  2. ThePlecoGuy

    ThePlecoGuy New Member

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    Hey

    I would recommend you put both white and blue lights on at the same time and only leave them on for betweeen 6-8 hours. If you leave them on longer, in the long run you will get a lot of algae guild up. The blue light is good for plant growth and also will bring out the colours in your fish more. I have kept fish for a Long time and I found this 6-8 hour rule has worked well for me. Hope this helped.
     
  3. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Fishaholic

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    warning i dont sugarcoat my comments May seem Rude
    8 hours, white & blue lights are just for aesthetics but still are Lights, cause algae growth etc. like I said eight hours is usually the high. Take the bamboo out though, some variations are poisonous. also bamboo grows only half submerged so idk your placement of it, either way not suitable for the avrg. aquarium.
     
  4. Yarkii

    Yarkii Fish Fanatic

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    Thank you.

    I can set it up on a timer for 8 hrs per day, with both lights coming on & going off together.

    :)

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  5. Yarkii

    Yarkii Fish Fanatic

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    Thank you.

    It's weird that they called it bamboo. It doesn't look like the bamboo I'm used to seeing. I'll take it out until I figure out for certain exactly what it is. Thanks for that!

    :)

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    #5 Yarkii, Apr 20, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017 at 8:33 AM
  6. Tyler_Fishman

    Tyler_Fishman Fish Crazy

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    I do not reccomend this... but I keep on my lights from 6:30am/7pm from when it gets light to when it gets dark. I also have DIY CO2 and DIY ferts, this combined makes my plants grow like crazy. There's always new foliage, However it does create a lot of fuzz alage, as this is what high light, CO2 and nutrients will do. I find that my Amazon sword grows one mature leaf every week with this
    And the ozelot sword grows two new leaves a week one mature
    And one still in growth. My crypts grow one new mature leaf every three weeks About. However since the addition of CO2 my plants have been pearling. All you need is a bottle, yeast, sugar, baking soda (optimal), aquarium airline tubing, and an air stone, in just about 20-30 muinutes you get automatic CO2 for up to two months. It's simple and very effective. I set up three on a 10 gallon.
     
  7. Yarkii

    Yarkii Fish Fanatic

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    Ooh. I'm embarrassed to say that I think that might be a little too advanced for me with my first real tank (other than this I've only had a second-hand goldfish tank for a couple of months, which hasn't been a success).

    I'd truly love to have a heavily planted tank, but I'm going to stick with low tech everything, simply because I'm an absolute beginner and fish-keeping is obviously so complex. There are already so many ways that I could stuff it all up!

    Maybe down the track I'll give this a go. Thanks so much!

    :)

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  8. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Fishaholic

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    warning i dont sugarcoat my comments May seem Rude
    there are low tech plants.
    java moss
    Java fern
    java anything
    anubias sp.
    ludwigia
    etc
     
  9. Yarkii

    Yarkii Fish Fanatic

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    Thank you. I'm trawling numerous LFSs, trying to find clean & healthy-looking tanks with plants to buy, then looking for the types I want. I'll add ludwigia to my list. I've never heard of that. :)

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  10. Yarkii

    Yarkii Fish Fanatic

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    I realise I said I'm probably too inexperienced for the DIY CO2, but I am curious. Is there a set of instructions somewhere for the method you used to do this?

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  11. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Keep in mind that there are side issues with any form of supplemental CO2. Aside from the obvious like water parameters (your GH, KH and pH can fluctuate more) there is now consideration being given to the effect on fish directly from CO2 supplementation.

    Natural CO2 will occur more than many realize once the tank is established. The benefit of soil substrates is the iknitial amount of natural CO2, and soil proponents like Diana Walstad admit that after a few months, any non-soil substrate will build up organics equally. My point is, not to try soil (that's yet another set of issues), but that the substrate will produce a lot more natural CO2. CO2 also occurs from the respiration of fish, plants and some species of bacteria, but the primary source is the decomposition of organics in the substrate. The only time this is anywhere near too minimal is when you have intense lighting, such as in high-tech planted tanks, as the natural CO2 gets rapidly used in photosynthesis. Algae will then have a real advantage.

    If you have fish, you want to consider their health before plants needs, especially when the "benefit" is minimal if present at all.

    Byron.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Yarkii

    Yarkii Fish Fanatic

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    Thanks Byron.

    You always make perfect sense to me. You make me realise that there are already more than enough variables to deal with, without adding more. The fish do come first, so I'm happy to keep it low tech.

    Btw, I've started cycling my 220L tank. I ended up using 10kg aragonite and 20kg coral sand. I immediately wished I'd held out a few extra days and made it all aragonite, partly because the aragonite looks nicer (it's a more natural yellowy-white), but also because the particles aren't quite as small. The coral sand particles are 1mm, and they're floating all around the tank. It doesn't look clear because of them.

    The GH and pH have both gone up, but I'm struggling with the different readings from different tests. I wrote about it in a different post. I assume it's best to keep each issue or question separate.

    :)

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  13. StevenF

    StevenF Member

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    Plants use light from the blue, green, yellow, to red on the other end of the spectrum. However they are most efficient at using red and blue light. many people use blue light as moon light (actually moon light is white). I would use the white and supplement with read and blue. That covers all that plants need in terms of lighting.

    Start out with 7 to 8 hours of light per day. adjust the light on time down if algae develops. If algae doesn't appear you can go longer. However check your PH in the morning and just before the lights turn off. IF your plants are growing really well you may see PH increase. if so reduce the light on time or dime the light.

    If changing lighting time does not resolve a algae issue try changing your water change frequency or volume. Many people do a water change once per week with a volume change of 30 to 50%. Personally have found that I get less algae with a small water change once every two weeks.
     
  14. Yarkii

    Yarkii Fish Fanatic

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    Thank you again, Steven.

    By this do you mean use just the white light most of the time, and only sometimes include the RGB + Blue? For how long and when would I also include the RGB + Blue. With the automatic timer, it can only turn the light power on or off, not the individual globes unfortunately.

    I do seem to be having a few different things going on with the plants. I'm trying to upload photos and will show you the various things happening. (1) There is some fluffy off-white growth, mostly noticeable on the piece of driftwood that has been in the tank for the longest time, and on the moss on that piece of driftwood. (2) There are little white specks mostly noticeable on the leaves of the anubia on that same piece of driftwood. At first I thought they were just sand particles, as I am having a problem with fine grains of sand floating around the tank with the push of the filter, but now I am not so sure. (3) There is what looks like a brown algae forming on the leaves of the 'bamboo' at the very top of the tank, under the lights. (Woops - I just remembered that someone advised that I take that plant out!). (4) There is some discolouration and lightening/weakening of some anuria & banana lily leaves, and (5) browning/drying of anubia & banana lily leaf edges, as well as what I assume might be what people call "melting" of the banana lily leaves. I think the order of the photos below got all messed up in the uploading, so I'm sorry if they're not aligned with what I have written here.

    Should I be doing water changes while I am cycling the tank? If so, what do I do about the ammonia; do I just ignore that some of the ammonia will be taken out?
     

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  15. Tyler_Fishman

    Tyler_Fishman Fish Crazy

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    From what I understand, the driftwood fungus happens to everyone who puts in uncured driftwood into their tanks. Plecos seem to like it
     

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