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Thread: Light cycle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    02-03-2010
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    New Braunfels, Texas
    Posts
    988

    Default Light cycle

    So I use to run my light cycle for 5 hours a day with the actinic's coming on 30 min before then turning off 5 min after the main lights come on. The actinics would then come on again 15 min before the main lights went off and the actinics would turn off 30 mins after the main lights went off.

    I then changed the light cycle to run 7 hours a day with the actinics running the same as above. Today I changed it back to the 5 hours a day since I don't get home until 5:30 pm and no one is here to enjoy the tank during the day.

    My question is how long should the tank lights be running so that the corals get what they need? Also what are some light cycle lengths you guys run?

  2. #2

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    Tagging along to see what others run. I do 8 hours a day, actinics 2 hours before and 2 hours after.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    01-16-2012
    Location
    Waikele, Hawaii
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    2,122

    Default

    I've always read six to eight hours for light. I run my actinics an hour before and after my daylights kick in and i leave my actinics running the whole day except for two hours in the middle of the light cycle. I also have moo. Lights that run two hours prior and two hours after. Not including my moonlights i run my light cycle for ten hours with the daylights running for eight hours. I also staggered my cycle to start later in the day cause i normally dont get home until five or six and would like to enjoy my tank as well. Thats just me and it seems to work. But every tank is different. Just have to find your groove.

  4. #4

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    We run ours very long then... the 210g T5 lights are on 10am-11pm and the 2 250 Halides are on from 4-9pm. The 20g has LEDs and runs from 3-11pm. The 140g runs from 12-11pm, with the actinic on all day and the whites 3-9pm. We also have the fuge lights on 24 x 7.
    - Mike and Kristy -

    210g reef tank since 3/15/08; 20g hex reef tank since 1/3/08; 140g FOWLR since 11/2011

    "You're gonna need a bigger boat." Brody (Jaws)



  5. #5

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    been running my actinics from 11am-10pm, MH 1pm-8pm. moon lights 10pm-3am with no issues.
    ReeF mafiA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    02-24-2008
    Location
    San Antonio
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    3,193

    Default

    I'm closer to Mike and Kristy.

    Actinics run for 12 hrs per day. I've been running this light cycle (I always think of Tron when I hear those two words together) for over 15 years with no issues. The only thing I've changed recentr is that I now only run the halides for 5 hrs instead of ten. You've got to keep in mind that corals in the wild only get direct light exposure for only about 5 hrs per day.

    My acro colors went to a whole new level of intensity after I cut back on the halide duration. I also like keeping the 03 lights on for the full duration because they make the coral colors pop.

    There's a lot of options out there on the actual cycles on your lights. 1/2, six dozen, or the other in my opinion. Just try to limit your actinics to 12 hrs per day and your main lights to 8 hrs per day.
    Last edited by CoryDude; Sun, 15th Apr 2012 at 10:41 PM.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    02-10-2009
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    San Antonio, Bulverde Village
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    7,809

    Default

    I guess I should cut back. I run my blue stunners for two hours pre and post the metal halides which had been running 12 hours. I recently cut back to ten hours.

    I guess I can cut them back to five and see what the corals do. I originally put them up at 12 hours because I've only got the one 400 watt bulb over the tank.

    I have two (2 year old) 36" blue and pink T5s running on the same timer as the halides.
    Reefing 210
    Multi-Genera

  8. #8

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    I run my blue stunner strips for 13 hours, 1 MH for 10, 1 for 9.5, the other for 9. In the summer months i will cut an hour off each because of the heat, and go back in the fall.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    02-24-2008
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    San Antonio
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    Alton and Allan, do you ever have problems with the halides on for that long? I just remember having lighter colors on the sps when I ran my 250's from 12pm-10pm.

    Alton, scratch that, I've seen your tank and coral colorization is not a problem with your tank.
    I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.
    Groucho Marx

  10. #10
    Join Date
    02-10-2009
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    San Antonio, Bulverde Village
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    Default

    So that leaves me...

    I don't think I've got any problems with color. But with the one 400, I place the coral directly beneath it that require it. Just the other day I moved a Monti,or something, that had gotten very light. At first I thought it had bleached out but I could still see very pale blue mouths.

    Some of the coral in the middle can't seem to get enough light.

    But then again, I'm a bit of a noob. What I may be seeing may very well be the result of too much light.
    Reefing 210
    Multi-Genera

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