Your lighting schedule depends on a couple of factors:
Livestock in tank.
Time you usually view the tank.
For a fish only (FO) or fish only with liverock (FOWLR) tank the lighting is optional and subject to aesthetics. Most fish and liverock have no specific requirements for light.
For reef tanks opinions vary but I have used 10 - 12 Hr's of growth inducing lighting with good results.
Actinics do not aid in coral growth so their times are optional as well. They do bring out the colours though so I usually run them with my 10,000K's. I also find them to be nice for viewing the tank in the evening, as a transition from full light to moonlight.
Sometimes kicking on all the lights at once puts a load on your breakers (big set ups) and scares the fish so you may wish to stagger the start times.
With that being said; here's my current lighting schedule. It is based on the fact that I am usually home in the evenings and view my tank then:
12:00 noon: first bank of 10,000K's on.
12:30 pm: second bank of 10'000K's on.
4:00 pm: actinics on.
10:30 pm: first bank of 10,000K's off.
11:00 pm: second bank of 10,000K's off.
11:45 pm: moonlights on.
12:00 midnight: actinics off.
1:00 am: moonlights off.
The moonlights come on before the actinics go off so there isn't a loss of light in between.
Hope some of this helps. _________________ Intelligence is not having all the answers; it's knowing how to think!
Ideally, you should try to simulate the lighting to that of the sun.
First lights on and off should always be ACTINICS. MOON LIghts can be left on all the time and they can stimulate coral growth and color if you are keeping a reef. You can find through hard searching a timer that simulates the lunar cycle as well. This will get all fish and corals on a perfect schedule. Just note here, clams breed on the lunar cycle and won't do so without it. The only known captive spawn was in a Greenhouse in Pittsburgh PA. Anthony Calfo is the guy and an author, look him up he is a valuble resource and his books are a must!
I personally light my tank with moonlights 24/7 and the actinics come on 2-4 hours before my other lighting. I have Metal Halides which could be similar to that of your 10,000k flourescent bulb but much brighter for my reef and my stony corals needs. The actinics also go off 2-4hours after my daylight bulbs do.
8am actinics on
11 am MH (daylight) on
7pm MH daylight off
9pm actinics off
any questions feel free,
Rick _________________ There is always more to buy! Questions? Feel Free.
Not trying to be too argumentative but one should always be ready to justify their comments on a board where others may or may not have the skill level to evaluate the info offered. The beauty of this hobby is the degree to which it allows individuals to be creative with their set ups yet we should also be careful to differentiate between fact or personal preference. By saying actinics should ALWAYS come on first you are implying a fact. Other than personal preference, which is a valid option but not a must, why should actinics "always" come on first? Is there a reason other than aesthetics (again a valid personal preference) that you run the actinics for 2-4 hours before the main lighting? I know you believe that they aid in coral growth but I believe there is a difference between theory and practice. In practice I know of no one (other than you) that uses actinics for substantial coral growth. Can you provide a link otherwise please.
To begin the post you suggest simulating the effects of the sun but then you say you run the actinics for hours before and after the daylights (I assume to simulate dawn and dusk?). In reality the sun in the tropics is quite intense and the dawn and dusk periods are quite short in comparison to more northern climates so a better lighting regime (simulating the sun) would be a short dawn and dusk sequence and a longer daylight phase to maximize the photosynthetic potential.
Also, why run your moonlights 24/7 if you are advocating mirroring the lunar cycle. You are suggesting two opposing schedules there. Noting that clams only spawn via the lunar cycle then noting that only one person has ever successfully caused them to spawn seems a reach as far as motivation.
Simulating the natural cycles of the sun and moon are popular fads at the moment and a great way to expand in the hobby but certainly not needed for typical reef set ups. The controllers you refer to such as the ProfiLux II by GHL ( http://www.ghl-kl.de ) cost thousands of dollars and, unless one is a marine species breeder, they add nothing but aesthetics to the set up (lighting wise).
Lastly, I could not let this pass as fact: What kind of moonlights do you have that aid in coral growth - are they 1 or 2 watt LED's or something other?
Again, not questioning your personal choices as such, just some of the reasoning suggested as fact. _________________ Intelligence is not having all the answers; it's knowing how to think!
[quote by rick ]Ideally, you should try to simulate the lighting to that of the sun[/quote]
The sentences that follow the introduction go along with the first sentence. This is common sentence and paragraph structure. I did not intend for it to sound as fact, but All sentences should go with the intro and it is written as such.
I mentioned moonlights and lunar cycles and an example but did forget to say something like, "It also may benefit many other things we are unaware of!"
I did not state that LED or Moonlights do all the work, they do help or can help, how much "I DON'T KNOW" but its light is at a spectrum that corals use, so therefore it is beneficial. It does bring out the color so I am sure that it must also help in other ways, how much NOBODY KNOWS.
This hobby is a lot of guessing but if it works, it works, if it doesn't it doesn't, there is still a lot to learn. (everyone I mean) Its a new frontier that up until recently(past 20yrs or so) have been nearly impossible to keep for most.(note most and not all) I can explain and re-explain everything if you so desire, I can even expand upon the universe.
Is there anything else I can restate or expand upon because you like jumping me because I just corrected you about actinic lighting? You can keep an aquarium under nothing but actinics, and yes they will live. I wouldn't recommend it though.
RICK _________________ There is always more to buy! Questions? Feel Free.
I did read the first sentence and then couldn't understand why you went on to describe a personal lighting regime that contradicted it? I wasn't too concerned about your sentence structure or syntax though.
Saying actinics should always be the first lights on sounds like a statement of fact to me. I was merely clarifying whether this was your intention or whether it was just your opinion (still don't know). If it's your opinion - great; if it's fact - back it up.
It was you, not I, who said your moonlights aid in coral growth. I can't help but think that's false. Should I stand aside and allow others following along to believe they do? Before saying so I wanted to clarify the wattage of your moonlights in case I was missing something. Do you know the wattage or was your statement just a wild guess at what's happening?
Did you correct me regarding actinics?
Yes it did bother me when you quoted me and then said "This is not an accurate statement" asserting that my understanding and/or advice was incorrect! Perhaps I'm old fashioned but I don't like people stating I'm wrong when I'm not. If there has been some new discovery regarding the meaningful effect of actinic lighting on coral growth that I'm not aware of I want to know. Since then you've gone from claiming that they do aid coral growth to.. you don't know how much to.. nobody knows how much.. If you aren't sure of their effectiveness why contradict my statement with such certainty? I have a sense that your explanation will follow the drop in the bucket vane ie: that actinics aid in some way much the same way that taping a flashlight onto a stick and aiming it at the tank aids in some way.
Not really much of a correction.
You may also assert that actinics provide needed blue spectrum lighting but 10,000K's also do this so the actinics become somewhat redundant. Julian Sprung in his Algae: a problem solving guide (Pg. 17) states that photo trophic algae utilize light mainly between 400 - 700 nm's so relying on actinics for such a long period may actually do more harm than good in a reef (just an observation to consider).
I didn't ask you to expand upon the universe (I read Douglas Adams and have all the answers to that) - just back up your comments. I notice you haven't provided any links or numbers yet.
You can keep an aquarium under nothing but actinics and they will live? Please specify which coral species "they" are. Again, you are making wild assertions as though they were fact.
If you want to ask me why I run my reef a certain way I will either give you common sense reasons or state that it is my own personal preference and I can differentiate between the two.
Well you have spurred my curiosity a bit and I have enough equipment. I will setup a tank with different frags of sps, lps, and all softies that I have and see how long they will live under the total Actinic lighting scheme.
My intention was not to make you mad or to just throw out guesses or just to reply with garbliegook.
With morning sunshine regardless of where in the world you are the light that penitrates through smog, particles, water, and anything in the air or water is around the 420nm spectrum. Regardless of how long I leave my lights on in the actinic spectrum until the sun is almost directly above the said reef the actinic lighting in the ocean is going to be greater that that of the other spectrums. Yes all spectrums in question 420 through the red spectrum I think near 700 is beneficial for growth in some way.
I do understand the difference between fact and preference and thank you for bringing it to my attention that sometimes I am not clear and I will try harder to make that more noticable to readers.
I don't memorize or reference books in most of my posts because I usually post what has worked for me. Most people don't want a library giving them an answer or they would be looking it up themselves or going to the library for research. Yes that is my opinion. Thus my opinion filled answer.
I will say that other lighting schemes do work well, and depending on species of coral other lighting schemes with different setups can be neccessary. I run my prop tank without actinic suppliments because I run a 400watt MH 20k XM bulb over 7 inches of water and feel/know that it is enough.
On a side note: I have debated whether to eliminate my actinics over one of my tanks and seeing the difference, but I would switch my lighting all together. Currently I have 2 250W 15K XM MH bulbs and 2 48" actinic VHO URI bulbs as actinic suppliments all over a 55gal tank. I know that it is enough light but I do prefer a bluer hue part of the day. I would change if I ever decide to go with 2 400watt 20K XM MH bulbs and be done with it, but I would then have to worry about heat and whether or not I am actually burning the corals from the excessive light. I just am not ready to take that chance as my fixture is not easily accessable for the change.
I thank you for the conversations and enjoy the debate much.
Rick _________________ There is always more to buy! Questions? Feel Free.
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