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Light Cycle question

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PotRoast, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. PotRoast

    PotRoast Well-Known ReefKeeper

    +24 / 0 / -0
    So I have been wondering this for some time. How long should my light cycle be?

    I have mostly sps and a few lps under t-5's. The fixture has eight bulbs. Four are mainly blue, four are hotter.

    Currently the light cycle is 12 hours total. At 11am the four blue/ actinics fire up to start the day. Then an hour later the other lights fire up and supplement them. At 10pm the whites turn off and an hour later the blues turn off. Then the blue LED is on for a couple hours.

    Is this a reasonable light cycle? Can I get away with the whites being on for fewer hours?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. FishBrain Expert Reefkeeper GIRS Member

    New London
    +398 / 6 / -0
    12 hours is a good cycle sounds like your cycle is fine to me.

  3. Eric Experienced Reefkeeper

    West Des Moines, IA
    +33 / 0 / -0

    As with many things lighting related, especially duration, alot depends on how your tank looks, i.e. coloration and growth.

    How long have the lights been on this tank?  Months? More?

    12 hours actinic seems to be the normal with shorter duration for halides, but since you run all T5 you could run the whole fixture for 12 hours.

    Also - the blue LEDS's (moon lights) are often on 24/7 in fixtures, and while you'll see posts swearing that they contribute to spawning, I've never read any hard evidence supporting it.

    I'm running T5 actincs from 7am to 10pm with T5 10k's from 1pm to 9pm - but that's me.  I've run halides in the past and T5's are new to me, and with a new setup and some lighting shock I don't know if this will ultimately be the schedule I stick to.
    Here's one example suggesting you run T5's for 12 hours:
    From this website:
    You may want to visit a very loooong thread on Reef Central specifically dealing with T5's:
    I spent an hour on this thread and NEVER got to the beginning!
    Good luck!
    Got pics?
  4. dzabler

    dzabler Inactive User

    +0 / 0 / -0
    I agree with that it depends how your tank looks. If you are having algae problems then back off on the lighting. Right now I have all t5's on my tank also. My actinics are from 11 to 11 and my whites come on and off an hour after and before. Also my led's are on 24/7. Also if you have a sump/ruge I would run those lights when your main tank is off.

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