Lighting schedule for your tank, What do you do, and why?

Discussion in 'Propagation' started by Roc, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. Roc

    Roc Guest

    So on another forum we were discussing this topic, and I thought I would bring it up here. Not all options are mine as I have copied some posts from the other forum for back ground.

    I was running my lights on this schedule:

    2 x Blue + on at 6:45AM
    2 X Aquablue special 1 X Pure Actinic on at 9:00Am (the Blue + say on with them)
    2 X Aquablue special 1 X Pure Actinic off at 6:00PM
    2 x Blue + off at 7:30PM

    Then a member posed this theory "I dont know about running lights on longer for better growth for corals. I've read that shorter periods of light, 6 hours, is best. And using supplemental lighting for longer periods. I used to run mine for 10 hours. Right now I run mine for 6 hours..all 10 bulbs, and two bulbs for 12. Check out the TOTM on RC, he was the last person I read about shorter periods of light. In a natural setting, Intense light occures for maybe 1-2 hours in the day, any other time its less. When you have your metal halides on, thats the most intense lighting your corals can get. So compared to the natural settings, you in a sense are giving the coral 6,8,10,12 hours of intense lighting. BTW, since I lowered my lighting times to 6 hours, my PL has gone from 3 branches, to pushing 6 branches, in 3 weeks." To which someone else posted this "I don't think running light longer is going to help you much other than maybe stressing out your corals more, if any. The host coral can only take so much food from the zooxanthalae before it poison it. This is much more apparent in LPS than in SPS so that's even more dangerous. In addition, without real data, I don't think you're saving much anyway even if you do go with longer light period. Your power consumption is not much between your light and your heaters. If anything, I am willing to go out on a limb to say that your heaters maybe using less power than your light."


    With that in mind I switched my lighting schedule to this:

    2 x Blue + on at 10:00AM
    2 X Aquablue special 1 X Pure Actinic on at 12:00PM (the Blue + say on with them)
    2 X Aquablue special 1 X Pure Actinic off at 6:00PM
    2 x Blue + off at 7:30PM


    What do you guys think?
     
  2. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I think it's a good idea, even though the tropics (where corals normally live) has much brighter and longer lighting levels than here, the sun is not directly over head pounding on them for 8-10 hours a day like many refers have with their setups.

    Here's my lighting program
    If Time > 08:00 Then T5A ON
    If Time > 19:00 Then T5A OFF
    If Time > 09:30 Then T5B ON
    If Time > 18:00 Then T5B OFF
    If Time > 10:30 Then MH0 ON
    If Time > 16:00 Then MH0 OFF

    Basically the halides are only on for 5.5 hours a day, I initially would love to split it up even more and have the halides be staggered unfortunately crappy electronic ballast that's filled with epoxy, so I can't get in there and wire up another power cord to turn them on individually.
     
  3. Roc

    Roc Guest

    Mike, what bulbs are you running with the T5's?
     
  4. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    ATi blue plus and UVL super actinic (they're the ones on longer)
     
  5. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    1:00 T-5's on
    1:30 MH L on
    2:30 MH R on
    8:30 MH L off
    9:30 MH R off
    10:00 T-5's off
     
  6. cwolfus

    cwolfus Past President

    4pm - T-5's come on
    1am - T-5's go off

    Why? I am very cost conscious with the regular inputs for my tank, especially electricity. I don't run a chiller and look for ways to maximize the heat side effects so I can minimize use of my heaters. Running lights in a the late afternoon keeps the tank cooler during the hottest parts of the day and warmer at night when the tank otherwise cools down. It also has the side benefit of having the lights on in the evenings and night when the family and I are able to enjoy it.
     
  7. Roc

    Roc Guest

    [quote author=cwolfus link=topic=6076.msg76979#msg76979 date=1232999531]
    4pm - T-5's come on
    1am - T-5's go off

    Why? I am very cost conscious with the regular inputs for my tank, especially electricity. I don't run a chiller and look for ways to maximize the heat side effects so I can minimize use of my heaters. Running lights in a the late afternoon keeps the tank cooler during the hottest parts of the day and warmer at night when the tank otherwise cools down. It also has the side benefit of having the lights on in the evenings and night when the family and I are able to enjoy it.

    [/quote]

    So you seem to be running 9 hours a day, have you ever tried running 6, and did you see any difference in your growth?
     
  8. zambavi

    zambavi Guest

    1pm 2 x T12 Actinics on
    5pm MH L on
    6pm MH R on
    6:15pm 2 x T12 Actinics off
    10:45pm 2 x T12 Actinics on
    11pm MH L off
    12pm MH R off
    1am 2 x T12 Actinics off

    ...mostly to to keep the hot lights off during the heat of the day and on in the cool of the evening to cut down on how much my heaters and chiller have to work respectively. Also I'm around to see the tank each day from around 5pm to 1am so that's when I like to have the lights on.
     
  9. Roc

    Roc Guest

    Looks like for the most part you guys are running 6-7 hours. Maybe I had mine for way to long in the past, as I was running them like 10+ hours a day
     
  10. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    Its a tough call between energy savings (especially as PGE moves to peak hour rates), heat side effects as Charles speaks of, and wanting to actually be home when your lights are on.
     
  11. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Depends where you live to how useful the night schedule would be, if it gets too hot or too cold then it could very well be useful, I'd say most would do it mostly for the viewing aspect of their tanks if they work all day (why put all the pretty expensive lights on the tank when you can't see it?? :D)

    Lowering the hours by a couple hours per day on lets say 500 watts of lights will only remove 30kWh per month from your bill, which only translates to about $10 a month even at the highest of tiers, so I wouldn't drop it THAT much. But I do stick by my guns that the "super bright" time doesn't need to be terribly long, however if you only have halides over a tank this can be a problem.

    Bryan, is PG&E moving towards Time of Use rates as the norm? I plan on being the old fart with his gun on his porch if they try to stick one of those "sends the info home" meters that PG&E got the OK for, simply because of this ToU fear they'll impose.
     
  12. Dyngoe

    Dyngoe Guest

    I recently switched my schedule to run late night to early morning.

    I have my actinics on from 11:30-9:30
    First set of daylights from 12:30-8:30
    Main daylights from 1:30-7:30

    I opted for this because the room the tank is in is my semi-outside office. It is an attached room without it's own heating/cooling. At night it can get quite cold in there so I use the lighting at night to keep the room warm and lower heater activity. We'll see at the end of January if it helped with my electrical use. The only drawback is that during the day I only have indirect sunlight to view the tank.
     
  13. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I wonder if the lack of darkness will have any adverse impacts on that though Matt.
     
  14. zambavi

    zambavi Guest

    [quote author=sfsuphysics link=topic=6076.msg76995#msg76995 date=1233006164]
    I wonder if the lack of darkness will have any adverse impacts on that though Matt.

    [/quote]

    I've wondered about this also... my tank only has about 6 hours of complete dark and another 6 hours of semi dark
     
  15. DurTBear

    DurTBear Guest

    3pm - actinic T5's go on
    4pm - MH light goes on
    11pm - MH light goes off
    12am - actinic T5's go off
    Moonlights are on from 12am to 3pm.

    The only reason I have my lighting schedule the way it is is so I can view the tank when I am home.
     
  16. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    [quote author=sfsuphysics link=topic=6076.msg76987#msg76987 date=1233004696]

    Bryan, is PG&E moving towards Time of Use rates as the norm? I plan on being the old fart with his gun on his porch if they try to stick one of those "sends the info home" meters that PG&E got the OK for, simply because of this ToU fear they'll impose.

    [/quote]

    That is my understanding. Hence the reason they have started installing the Smart meters all over town. They just did mine and are in the process of doing my whole neighborhood. Burlingame tends to be the test case for lots of different things. From what I have heard from one of my accounting buddies that works there is they are moving toward different rates depending on the time of day you use your power.
     
  17. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Wow, making me want to go solar more and more every day.

    Love how they came out with the facade of saying they'd save so much money from not requiring meter readers to go around to each house, and they can better diagnose problems as they arise because the meter calls home every 15 minutes or something... either way I saw it for the sham that it was.
     
  18. Roc

    Roc Guest

    [quote author=sfsuphysics link=topic=6076.msg76995#msg76995 date=1233006164]
    I wonder if the lack of darkness will have any adverse impacts on that though Matt.

    [/quote]

    I have been told by several ppl that indirect light will have little to no effect of coral growth, it's really only direct sunlight can could change things.
     
  19. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    [quote author=Roc link=topic=6076.msg77018#msg77018 date=1233011973]
    [quote author=sfsuphysics link=topic=6076.msg76995#msg76995 date=1233006164]
    I wonder if the lack of darkness will have any adverse impacts on that though Matt.

    [/quote]

    I have been told by several ppl that indirect light will have little to no effect of coral growth, it's really only direct sunlight can could change things.
    [/quote]

    Explain this anomoly to me then.

    My tank lights go out at 10pm (primarily cause I do target feeding of my LPS around 10:30). If the room is dark nearly all of the LPS corals will have sweepers out by 10:30, however, if I am in the back room watching TV with the lights on, many times the sweepers won't come out on everything until about a half an hour after I turn the room lights out.
     
  20. Roc

    Roc Guest

    [quote author=seminolecpa link=topic=6076.msg77031#msg77031 date=1233014530]
    [quote author=Roc link=topic=6076.msg77018#msg77018 date=1233011973]
    [quote author=sfsuphysics link=topic=6076.msg76995#msg76995 date=1233006164]
    I wonder if the lack of darkness will have any adverse impacts on that though Matt.

    [/quote]



    I have been told by several ppl that indirect light will have little to no effect of coral growth, it's really only direct sunlight can could change things.
    [/quote]

    Explain this anomoly to me then.

    My tank lights go out at 10pm (primarily cause I do target feeding of my LPS around 10:30). If the room is dark nearly all of the LPS corals will have sweepers out by 10:30, however, if I am in the back room watching TV with the lights on, many times the sweepers won't come out on everything until about a half an hour after I turn the room lights out.
    [/quote]

    Honestly I can't, nor can I explain why my candy canes and acans send out sweepers during the middle of my light cycyle when normally it is a night thing. I don't know that is does or doesn't effect them, as I said I was just repeating what some other ppl (who noramly seem to know what they are taking about) said
     

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