Daylight levels and lighting

mrmgeeman

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11 Mar 2019
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Worthing
Hi all,

I was wondering if I should change the time of day I out my lighting on I have it on a timer for 6 hours a day but have this 0900 - 1500 the room is fairly light due to a large window. I was watching George Farmer's you tube channel and he mentioned his lighting was 1600 - 2200 as the room had lots of light from windows and roof lights. Does anyone know the reasons behind this?

Martin
 

Nuno Gomes

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1 Nov 2018
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Portugal
I think it's purely based on how much time you have to enjoy the tank, if you have some natural light during the day that is not strong enough to cause algae issues or grow plants well you can still enjoy the tank during that time and then have your own lights on later in the day when there's no sunlight.
 

Oldguy

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27 Aug 2018
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Gloucestershire, UK
time of day I out my lighting
Welcome to the Green Side.

Length and intensity of photo-period should be related to total nutrient input and type of plants that you have. Have a look at our plantbase

Typical problems arise when light supplied outstrips the CO2 the plants are driven to absorb. Stressed and sick plants lead to algae.

In simple terms more light: more CO2 and trace & macro nutrients will be required by your plants. A short photo period of about 6 to 8hrs per day is normal, but this also depends on light intensity. Also have a look at EI dosing.

Light intensity is very difficult to estimate by eye. We have evolved to compensate for light intensity and to some extent to wavelength.

Most of our aquarium plants are not obligate aquatics and tend to run to the top of the tank to escape from the water and reach the abundant (by comparison) amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Watch your plants, they will never lie. If your plants are growing well, tinker with care but then that's part of the hobby.

Low tech, low lighting, slow growth. High tech, higher lighting, faster growth. High tech, demanding plants (plants that do not like being constantly submerged) tightrope.

We all run different set ups and one size does not fit all. Timing of photo period also depends on when you are around to enjoy your tank.

Keep watching your plants.
 

Edvet

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Lelystad, Netherlands
I would time thew tank lighting with the occurence of the natural light, especially if there''s sun in the room. Or alernatively blackout the windows to match the lighting times with your viewing preferences.
 

zozo

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16 Apr 2015
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Netherlands
Does anyone know the reasons behind this?
Likely is personal experienced over time that this is the best light regime for this setup in this place at this time of year. It also might take some time to find that out. As said above watch your plants and scrutinize the tank for algae and if which sp. is thriving.

I have a fairly heavily planted low tech directly placed under a roof light, running for over 4 years now.. It recieves so much day light for the full day lenght from March till late Octobre i do not need any artificial light. Actualy if its a cloudless day i do not even see a difference if i switch the light on, the natural day light is so intens it outcompeets the artificial lights by intensity, the way my eyes percieve it. In realty if i keep the lights on during this time i ger algae party.. On cloudy days i could switch it on, but i don't, only if i need to work on it. I actualy like it also when it looks darker, in away the light dynamics make it look more natural. And its this dynamic light play in my case that makes it impossible to combine it with a fixed artificial light schedule.

It actualy is algae growth appearing nearing spring time telling me it is time to switch off the lights and let nature take it's own cause.

It is reported by sientific experience that long periodes of low light intensity favors BBA growth.. I can confirm, periodicaly it thrives in this tank and than i need to take mechanical measures to fight and control it on time.

Lots of natural light?.. There aint much in between you love it or you hate it. If you love it you don't mind the extra attention it needs. :thumbup: Than you need to be equaly dynamic in maintenance measures as mother nature is working against you. ;)

Best practice is, you can't have enough plants.. Preferably floaters or emersed growth as well..
 
Last edited:
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As Marcel says, natural light is superior in intensity to artificial light and perhaps not just intensity. I personally have emersed tropical plants flourishing with light mainly from a gloomy window for most of the year, even flowering right now and its been raining for months. The nutrients come into play as well as the same species did not do well on my window sill. The same plants also did worse under only artificial light.

I also have a small tank near the window which does best during summer months. It has never suffered any dominant algae. I also have a tub that gets a window light and had an explosion of stem plants growth during the summer. I only added one stem of ludwiga and one stem of bacopa both planted in a small glass jar as the tub has no substrate. In the end of the summer, after some strong sunlight hitting it, that 80l tub had a plant explosion, not even substrate was involved. Some grew emersed. It's a low tech tub.

I personally think that one should not be afraid of natural light but instead think of ways of utilizing it. It's free and plants grow better in it. The only downside is you can't control it. :p
 

mrmgeeman

New Member
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11 Mar 2019
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2
Location
Worthing
Thanks to everyone for the advice, I have got some better understanding now of how everything works together. As regards a plan I have fluval edge 46L so cannot add floating plants. In the past I have struggled with maintaining it when its heavily planted, I know now I wasn’t doing nearly enough water changes or changing enough water when I did, I plan to re scape adding aquarium soil instead of the inert substrate (it had nutrients in it too) then heavily plant be prepared for lots of water changes and keep on top of the tank in general.. fingers crossed


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
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5,903
George Farmer mentions in the video that CO2 comes on early in the morning re the natural light, with aquarium lights coming on much later (for evening viewing)
He’s also begun using floating plants Salvinia auriculata I believe
 

fishbro

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21 May 2018
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141
Location
UK
I often run my lights in blue mode in the evenings for a few hours just after the main photo period. This helps for extended viewing and the blue light is set to a very very low intensity (5%) to avoid any algae issues, but is enough to just light it up
 

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