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Fitting a photoperiod round my life!

Egmel

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Ok, so I'm working silly hours at the moment and I'm getting to the point where I hardly ever see my tank lights on!

I've got relatively low light levels; 60W over a 125l ~30USG tank and currently they're on for 12 hours a day (8:30am -8:30pm) with a half hour dawn/dusk period included at either end.

My question is... can I alter the lights to have a 6 hour burst when I'm getting up (say 7am - 1pm) and then another 6 hour burst for when I'm back in the evening (say 4:30pm - 10:30pm) or would this be detrimental to my plants?

I just want to see my fish every now and then! :arghh:
 

LondonDragon

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samc said:
yer if you did that ud have something to look foward to when u get home :D
My tank is on from 1pm until 10pm so that I can check the tank a few hours every evening.
 

Simon D

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My photoperiod is 4.30pm to 11.30pm (high lighting so shorter photoperiod). The tank doesn't get much (if any) natural light during the day, so I can enjoy it in the evenings and monitor any changes/problems.
 

Dan Crawford

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I can't see why it would hurt to pop them on for an hour first thing, 7am. It's not good practice but it could work, i can't imagine it would cause any damage as such?
 

Egmel

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LondonDragon said:
Why not do instead 10:30am to 10:30pm?
Because 10:30pm is the estimate of my bedtime if I'm home by then, more and more often these days I'm not home that early! I'd have a better chance if I put them on 6:30am - 6:30pm but then I'm in no mood to relax while watching them as I'm rushing to get out the door!
Dan Crawford said:
I can't see why it would hurt to pop them on for an hour first thing, 7am. It's not good practice but it could work, i can't imagine it would cause any damage as such?
This sounds like a good idea, lights for long enough to say hello and feed them.

I suppose the other option would be a low (say 7w) CF light from 6:30am - 10:30pm, enough to let me see what's going on and feed the fishes but not enough to get the plants/algae up and going.
 

LondonDragon

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I used to set mine to come on for half an hour in the morning before I left for work, never had any issues with that.
Now that I have the auto dosing pump I don't do it anymore, but it worked fine and never had an algae issues.
 

vauxhallmark

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It is difficult. I have my light on from 12:30 to 21:00, so I get the evening view. There are windows with blinds in the room, so it's easy enough to feed the animals and dose the plants. I sometimes worry that the fish are having too long a day (unnatural), but they all seem in great health, and some of them have been in it for years. I don't like the idea of having two photoperiods, but that's not based on any research or knowledge, just a gut feeling that it doesn't replicate a 'real' day.

Let us know what you decide to do, and how it goes.

Mark
 

GreenNeedle

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From when I was working I have mine come on @ 3pm and go off at midnight.

I do have Cold Cathode moonlights too which if I were to work again I could time to come on in the morning and not affect anything :) Maybe some basic light setup like this would be the answer for you

AC
 

Egmel

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SuperColey1 said:
I do have Cold Cathode moonlights too which if I were to work again I could time to come on in the morning and not affect anything :) Maybe some basic light setup like this would be the answer for you
Hmm, I think that might be the answer long term.

I'll try the short morning burst first (I can do it with just 30W rather than the whole 60W)

I'll let you know how I get on.
 

LondonDragon

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Egmel said:
SuperColey1 said:
I do have Cold Cathode moonlights too which if I were to work again I could time to come on in the morning and not affect anything :) Maybe some basic light setup like this would be the answer for you
Hmm, I think that might be the answer long term.
I'll try the short morning burst first (I can do it with just 30W rather than the whole 60W)
I'll let you know how I get on.

One of the cheapest you will find: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Wide-24-Blue-LED- ... 240%3A1318

I used one of this for a while in my Rio, works pretty well. There are some photos in my journal.
 

Egmel

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chris1004

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Hi Helen.

What timers are you using to control your lights?

If it helps I have wired my lights into a central heating programmer which has a +1hr button on either switched output (one for a pair of 54WT5's and one for a 40w T8) so if I wish to view the tank outside of the pre programmed times its just a simple press of the relevant +1hr button and it automatically switches off when the hr is up. Changing the photoperiod and lighting combination is also childs play. The programmer is marked HW and CH obviously origanaly for hot water and cental heating but I tend to think of them as 'high wattage' and 'cosy and homely' (sad but true, LOL). Each of the two outputs from the timer can be set for up to two on/off periods per day and can be used in any combination.

If you do use one like this though first ensure that the timer that you choose can take the load (i.e current) and multiply the tube rated currents by 1.8 to allow for the fact that it is an inductive load.
 

Egmel

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Hi Chris,

I did look at doing that but went with the standard timers. Mainly because I now have CO2, 2 sets of Lights and now Moonlights all on timers. Which means I need 4 channels. I got some nice timers from B&Q which are no wider than a normal plug so I can have them all on one standard 4-way.

Ideally, one day I'll make my own little controller but I just don't have time right now, I'd love to have a control system which sits outside the tank which would allow me to control all the different aspects... it's on my to-do list along with a gazillion other things!
 

chris1004

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My co2 is on a seperate plug in timer and I don't have moolights (yet), but having looked at the link from supercoley I am sorely tempted, so that more than likely means that I will add them at some time (boys and toys and all that, LOL).

The main things that I like about the programmer that I use are the +1hr function, the tidieness (no plugs required), and the ease of use, if I had four outputs to control I think I would seriously consider two programmers. Bought mine from ebay for £8 delivered.
 
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