Lighting Schedule

soniamakowski

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PLEASE READ!!
What would you consider to be a good light schedule for a 10 gallon tank with guppys? And if there anything else I need to know that has to do with lights? I have already bought the lights though so there's no worries in having to recommend me any lights. Any recommendations will help!
 

The Lumpfish Guy

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Do you have plants?
I usually use a 8day 16night. But have trialled 6day 6night which allowed me to have the tank on in the morning before work then again in the evening.
You can have the lights on 24/7 if you want, but the fish will want to eat constantly and you'll grow a load of algae!
While 12 12 seems more natural I personally have had best results with 8 12
 

Koglin

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Hmm..

When figuring out lighting time for your fish, try and google where they are naturally from, then look up the sunrise and sunset times for that area to get an idea of how much light they're naturally exposed to, as a base to go off of, since lighting is a part of your fishes health.

Guppies need 6-8 hrs or rest period a day, so doing 12 hrs of light a day would be fine for them. If you start having algae growth, cut back to 8 on 16 off like @The Lumpfish Guy said, or even 10 on 14 off. Don't forget lighting is just 1 piece of algae growth too.

Do you have plants? If not, it wouldnt be a bad idea to figure out what your wattage per gallon or lumens per litre is, that way if you want to have plants later on you'll know what kind of plants you can get based on what level of lighting you have (also consider water conditions when choosing plants).

Another tip I guess - over time evaporation can cause buildup on lights, so can algae, so every now and then during water change dip a rag into your old tank water and scrub the light clean, helps that crystal clear water shine.

If they're LEDs, over time they will lose their brightness but still work, when you eventually hit that point (way down the road), be sure to replace them to maintain healthy lighting (especially if you have plants at that point).

Hope this helps, I'm still new-ish to the hobby I should warn

=P
 
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soniamakowski

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Do you have plants?
I usually use a 8day 16night. But have trialled 6day 6night which allowed me to have the tank on in the morning before work then again in the evening.
You can have the lights on 24/7 if you want, but the fish will want to eat constantly and you'll grow a load of algae!
While 12 12 seems more natural I personally have had best results with 8 12
Alright, Thank you! And yes I do have a few real plants. :)
 
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soniamakowski

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Hmm..

When figuring out lighting time for your fish, try and google where they are naturally from, then look up the sunrise and sunset times for that area to get an idea of how much light they're naturally exposed to, as a base to go off of, since lighting is a part of your fishes health.

Guppies need 6-8 hrs or rest period a day, so doing 12 hrs of light a day would be fine for them. If you start having algae growth, cut back to 8 on 16 off like @The Lumpfish Guy said, or even 10 on 14 off. Don't forget lighting is just 1 piece of algae growth too.

Do you have plants? If not, it wouldnt be a bad idea to figure out what your wattage per gallon or lumens per litre is, that way if you want to have plants later on you'll know what kind of plants you can get based on what level of lighting you have (also consider water conditions when choosing plants).

Another tip I guess - over time evaporation can cause buildup on lights, so can algae, so every now and then during water change dip a rag into your old tank water and scrub the light clean, helps that crystal clear water shine.

If they're LEDs, over time they will lose their brightness but still work, when you eventually hit that point (way down the road), be sure to replace them to maintain healthy lighting (especially if you have plants at that point).

Hope this helps, I'm still new-ish to the hobby I should warn

=P
Thank you for the response! And I am thinking of getting a plant or 2, when I go to get my guppys. (since I'm still letting my tank run for 2 days or so) and yes I have leds so I'll keep in mind to change them over time!
 

itiwhetu

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I always start with 10 hours, then move it up or down depending on results. Fish have to sleep, so give them plenty of time to do just that.
 

Colin_T

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Most aquarium plants like a bit of light and if you only have the light on for a couple of hours a day, they struggle. If the light doesn't have a high enough wattage they also struggle. Try having the tank lights on for 10-12 hours a day.

If you get lots of green algae then reduce the light by an hour a day and monitor the algae over the next 2 weeks.
If you don't get any green algae on the glass then increase the lighting period by an hour and monitor it.
If you get a small amount of algae then the lighting time is about right.

Some plants will close their leaves up when they have had sufficient light. Ambulia, Hygrophilas and a few others close their top set of leaves first, then the next set and so on down the stem. When you see this happening, wait an hour after the leaves have closed up against the stem and then turn lights off.

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Some good plants to try include Ambulia, Hygrophila polysperma, H. ruba/ rubra, Elodia (during summer, but don't buy it in winter because it falls apart), Hydrilla, common Amazon sword plant, narrow Vallis, Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta).
The Water Sprite normally floats on the surface but can also be planted in the substrate. The other plants should be planted in the gravel.

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If you add an iron based aquarium plant fertiliser, it will help most aquarium plants do well. The liquid iron based fertilisers tend to be better than the tablet forms, although you can push the tablets under the roots of plants and that works well.

I use Sera Florena liquid plant fertiliser but there are other brands too.
Do not bother adding carbon fertiliser to the tank because they are not necessary.

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Stress from tank lights coming on when the room is dark can be an issue. Fish don't have eyelids and don't tolerate going from complete dark to bright light (or vice versa) instantly.

In the morning open the curtains or turn the room light on at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the tank light on. This will reduce the stress on the fish and they won't go from a dark tank to a bright tank instantly.

At night turn the room light on and then turn the tank light off. Wait at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the room light out. This allows the fish to settle down for the night instead of going from a brightly lit tank to complete darkness instantly.
 
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soniamakowski

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Most aquarium plants like a bit of light and if you only have the light on for a couple of hours a day, they struggle. If the light doesn't have a high enough wattage they also struggle. Try having the tank lights on for 10-12 hours a day.

If you get lots of green algae then reduce the light by an hour a day and monitor the algae over the next 2 weeks.
If you don't get any green algae on the glass then increase the lighting period by an hour and monitor it.
If you get a small amount of algae then the lighting time is about right.

Some plants will close their leaves up when they have had sufficient light. Ambulia, Hygrophilas and a few others close their top set of leaves first, then the next set and so on down the stem. When you see this happening, wait an hour after the leaves have closed up against the stem and then turn lights off.

-----------------------
Some good plants to try include Ambulia, Hygrophila polysperma, H. ruba/ rubra, Elodia (during summer, but don't buy it in winter because it falls apart), Hydrilla, common Amazon sword plant, narrow Vallis, Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta).
The Water Sprite normally floats on the surface but can also be planted in the substrate. The other plants should be planted in the gravel.

------------------------
If you add an iron based aquarium plant fertiliser, it will help most aquarium plants do well. The liquid iron based fertilisers tend to be better than the tablet forms, although you can push the tablets under the roots of plants and that works well.

I use Sera Florena liquid plant fertiliser but there are other brands too.
Do not bother adding carbon fertiliser to the tank because they are not necessary.

------------------------
Stress from tank lights coming on when the room is dark can be an issue. Fish don't have eyelids and don't tolerate going from complete dark to bright light (or vice versa) instantly.

In the morning open the curtains or turn the room light on at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the tank light on. This will reduce the stress on the fish and they won't go from a dark tank to a bright tank instantly.

At night turn the room light on and then turn the tank light off. Wait at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the room light out. This allows the fish to settle down for the night instead of going from a brightly lit tank to complete darkness instantly.
Thank you SO much for this descriptive reply! I will be sure to use these tips!
 

hansgruber7

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I have had the best results with lights on between 8-10 hours. It all depends on a number of factors, so just experiment with adjusting lights and ferts until it seems your plants are healthy and your algae is under control.
 

kwi

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(since I'm still letting my tank run for 2 days or so)
Is this a new tank?
Have you read the guide on here to cycling your tank? If only to get a better understanding of what is going on in the tank.
 
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