How long is too long to run your lights on your saltwater reef aquarium?

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How long is too long to run your aqaurium lights?

  • More than 6 hours

    Votes: 7 0.8%
  • More than 7 hours

    Votes: 22 2.6%
  • More than 8 hours

    Votes: 64 7.6%
  • More than 9 hours

    Votes: 75 9.0%
  • More than 10 hours

    Votes: 183 21.9%
  • More than 11 hours

    Votes: 97 11.6%
  • 12+ Hours

    Votes: 364 43.5%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 25 3.0%

  • Total voters
    837

James_O

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nature sez

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I keep my freshwater tank lights on for 14 hours a day. Never had any algae issues. o_O
 

BCSreef

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8:30 AM - 10:00 PM

Ramp up to 3:00 PM peak and down to zero at 10:00 PM. Lights are bright for about 6-8 hours with a very brief peak. Basically an inverted, rounded "V".

Dips of 20% occasionally to simulate clouds.

A little bluer early and late.

Similar to what happens in the summer season on many natural reefs.

Corals seem to like it.
 

CrimsonTide

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My lights come on at 10am and ramp up for 1.5hrs and go off at 11pm ramp down 1.5hrs. I mainly run blues and uv with the about half intensity white for about 3 hrs in the middle. The tank has to go off at 11pm or my fish get restless they like their sleep more than I do. I am not sure what a good time limit is but I know the fish are trained that 11pm the lights better be off.
 

rtparty

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Not enough details to answer the question. Are we talking full power? Ramp up and ramp down? Big difference between a 16 hour run time at full blast and 16 hours of run time with 6 hours of super low ramp up and 6 hours of super low ramp down
 

madweazl

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6 T5s running 11h and 4 Kessil A360s running 12 hours over a 150g. I've always run a 12 hour light cycle.
 

blasterman

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I run my lights in the morning for an hour oscillating at a frequency of Joan Baez songs. I then slowly ramp up my UV Leds according to algorithms painted on the tomb walls of Egyptian pharaohs.

Then for two hours I use a program that replicates the dance floor in Saturday Night Fever emulating surface ripples on wild reefs based on a 1000 year weather pattern summary.

I then ramp down my light while synching them to Yanni music while running just the reds which helps stimulate the corbamite pigments according to Dana Riddle.

I used to run my halides for 12 hours on a lamp timer and it grew great coral, but not sure how I survived without today's programming capabilities.
 

ylreefer

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1x noopsyche k7 from 1000-2200 blue only
2x Radion xr30 1100-2200 ramp up and down each way for 1 hr.

Held in place by an ATI t5 unit which is just a expensive hanging rack lol

So 9hrs on full daylight (70%) for radions.

But don't follow me I recently lost all my Sps
 

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WVNed

The fish are staring at me with hungry eyes.
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Let me put it this way. Halides and classic T5 ballasts didn't have the capability for programmed ramps, almost always ran all on or off and we grew corals fine.
I turn the blue T5s on at 7am. Add the white ones at 8am. Add the halides at 10 am
Halides off at 7pm, White T5 at 8 and all off at 9.
The fixtures have 10 cords on 4 smartplugs for timers run by my phone.
 

Bleigh

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Some of y'all have grumpy fish because they never get enough down time and the others have too much energy because they don't get enough day light! HA! When it comes to lighting your reef tank what is a good balance of time, on and off, for the fish and the coral? Let's talk about it!

1. How long do you run your lights on your reef tank?

2. How long do you think is too long for the lights to be on?


image via goldy.singh.aquagold and Orphek
OR3_LED_Bars_reef_tank.jpg
Off topic. Is that goldy’s tank? I thought he only had freshwater?
 

PodRespektor

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Dang. I must be the only night owl on here.

haven’t upgraded my lights yet so no ramping but I go lights on full at 2 pm, just whites and greens at around 10 usually, blues at 11 or 12 and lights out at 1a or 2a.

real night owl hours. Who up?

PS. Tank is in my bedroom and I have curtains that block all light til noon. They get plenty of down time
 

frcarvajal

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8 bulb ATI with 2 XHO reefbrites running 12 hours total light cycle. Reefbrites from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM. 2 T5 bulb from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM and all the T5 full blast from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
 
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M Stein

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According to Red Sea corals need about 12 hours of light.
You can shorten the time by upping the par, but why would you. Overly bright lights will ruin the look of the tank and besides you want to keep the lights on for as long as possible for viewing.
 

Treefer32

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I'm amazed at how long people run lights. makes me question is there too short a time?

I run my LEDs 3 AI Hydra 52s from 9:10 am to 8:30 pm. with a 2 hour ramp up and 2 hour ramp down time. So stead on is 11:30 to 6:30 pm or 7 hours with 4 hours spent ramping up and down. for a total of 11 hours on.

I have 4 T5 HO aquatic life (80 watt bulbs) that run: Noon to 8 Pm for a total of 8 hours.

I don't know what is best for coral growth... With that lighting I get plenty of algae growth on my glass daily. . .
 

Mike from TN

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Cheap black box over my Evo.
Blues start to ramp at 5:30am, whites start to ramp at 10:30am then ramp down at 3:30pm. Blues ramp down at 8:15pm. Only 15 minutes of ramp time on my light and controller. ;)
 
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