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I'm wondering what kind of lighting schedule you use and how you determine exactly how much light to give to your plants.

I am also curious as to when you switch on your lights, as I am wondering if I should go earlier or later in the day, as mine switch on about noon right now, after my Rotala has already opened up for the day for a few hours earlier. I end mine at 9 or so, so there is plenty of viewing time at night when I am around.

So what do you guys do?
 

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Mine are on a timer, on at 1PM, off at 11PM. You figure most of these plants are tropical in nature, and light/dark periods are probably fairly even in time.
 

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Plants stop photosynthesizing effectively around 14 hours, so that's what I've got mine on (on at noon, off at 2 am--I'm a night owl). CO2 is also on only during this time.
 

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On my 29g, I have a 20w and a 55w PC. The 55w is on for 11 hours, the 20w comes on an hour before and goes out an hour after.

Rest of the tanks are on the 11 hour timer.
 

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Why not ask the plants themselves?

Nyctinasty occurs around 8-9 hours into a high/moderate light tank.
You'll see R wallichii and indica, Red Cabomba, Myriophyllum sp, Limnophilia, and perhaps another 5 or more genera do this.
The vegetative cones close up at night and before your lights go out.
If you've had these plants you would see this occur before your lights go out. Time this peroid.

The plant is saying it's had enough light and it's bedtime.
But different plant species will respond differently to less or more light but this seems to be a nice middle ground.

I leave my lights on for 10 hours.
10-12 sounds good. I do 10 to slow down growth and to save a little on the electric/bulb life, heat added to the tank from the lights.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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10 hours of light a day for my tanks, too. Haven't met a plant yet that asked for more.

As for what time they come on, one tank gets some sunlight, so its light comes on about 9am, but the others come on around 1-2pm so I have plenty of time to hang out with the fishes, do maintenance, or whatnot after I get home from work during the week.
 

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What about split times are they actually an ok idea? I run most my tanks on 9-2 then 3 hr break 5-10/11 - basically so I can have some time with them later in the day. I was told the break is good for preventing algae, as algae works in sustained light, whereas plants can be on and off??
 

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I've noticed exactly what Tom Barr has stated and go with a roughly a 10-11 hr period. I have cheap NO lamps (15w) mixed with high powered PC's on my tanks so I can run a dusk/dawn cycle. I have the cheap 15w's come on first to let the fish adjust their eyes and to simulate a sunrise, run that for about 30 minutes, then let the PC's kick on and run for 10 hrs. Then the PC's kick off and let the 15w's run for 30 more minutes then they click off. Then I have DIY white LED moonlights that come on for a few hrs and turn back off. Leaves the fish a few hrs of total darkness that way as well. Seems to work real well and hasn't bothered any of the fish or changed any of their nocturnal instincts. I just hate to add up how much money I have spent in Heavy Duty Timers around my tanks.. :shock:

Of course this isn't a "TRUE" dusk till dawn cycle since I can't dim/auto control the PC's to change intensity throughout the photoperiod, but it's close enough for poor-man's dusk/dawn cycle.. :) I've noticed running a dusk/dawn cycle gives the fish a good idea of when night is coming. I have a pair of Moliwe's that spawn in my 55g quite frequently, and when the PC kicks off and the dawn cycle is running she will move the fry back to the cave knowing that is about to be dark.

Matt
 

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im running my lights on a time for 10hrs originally was 12 i noticed a lil browning so lowered it to 10 noticed a diffrence in 2 weeks
 

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i am running 2 30w flours for 12hrs a day[1.5w per gal.][oh 40 gal. by the way] and a 3rd 30w flour. for 2hrs in the middle of the cycle[2.25w per gal.] the 3rd bulb i am going to increase the time along with the co2 gradually till i find a good growth rate that i am happy with....the 2 bulbs that are on for 12hrs are 1 coral sea daylight [i think 5500k] and 1 corallife nutra-gro[i think 6700k] the 3rd is another daylight...is this a good mixture or should i make the 3rd a plantgro bulb...or what do you guys use...
my asain ambullia grows fast, as well as my amazon sword and anubius nana[unfortunately i have a columbian ramshorn problem that seem to like eating my rather old/large anubius nana], and java fern......
my dwarf onion, and val. natans are stable but not really growing...[but this also could be due to my recent cynobacteria problem that is almost completely resolved] i want to add java moss which will be fine, but i also want to add dwarf sag or another low to medium light short grass looking species...so i think i may need to up the intensity/duration...
 
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