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Old 04-21-2009, 01:59 AM
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Default How many hours do I leave light on reef tank?

I just bought a new reef tank with fishes, inverts, hard and soft corals and a 50/50 coralife light. Now wondering how many hours should I leave the light on reef tank and how long should I turn it off.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:06 AM   #2
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With a 50/50 bulb you should have it on around 8-10 hours. If you start getting algae growth start cutting back on it. Probably better to have separate daylight & actinic bulbs. That way you can have the blue on for 2 hours before & after the daylights (8 hours) to better duplicate actual lighting conditions.
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dealrocker View Post
I just bought a new reef tank with fishes, inverts, hard and soft corals and a 50/50 coralife light. Now wondering how many hours should I leave the light on reef tank and how long should I turn it off.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
you will need more than "a" light to keep corals, is it a new setup or has it been setup and its just new to you?
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Old 04-21-2009, 06:48 AM   #4
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While over lighting plays a major role in algae outbreaks, if you keep your nutrients down length of lighting is not as important. I have my blues on for 12 hrs and all the bulbs on for 7 ish...
I recently saw some pics of a 52 gal or something this Dutch man had, it was incredible but he left the lights on for 15 hrs!!!! BUT again thats where diligence is needed, if you let your PO4 or NO3 start creeping up you will have one hell of an algae bloom if you run the lights that long.

Many people just copy the lighting cycle of the tropics.... or run them anywhere from 8-12hrs.


Good luck!
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:13 AM   #5
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I have two sets of 50/50 10K/Actinic in my Red Sea Max. I cannot control the daylight separately from the actinic so I have mine on for 12 hours 9am to 9pm and no problems with algae. To comment on hydrojeff's statement, there are corals that can be kept under low lighting such as mushrooms, leathers, and zoas. Some corals such as gorgonians do not use light at all (they are difficult to keep alive). What it the wattage and color spectrum of your bulbs? How large is your tank?
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:20 AM   #6
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is it a power compact 50/50 or T5???

i have mine which is a power compact come on at 2:30pm and goes off around 9:45pm
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:24 AM   #7
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Red Sea calls them T5 power compacts 2 x 55W. They are PC lights.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:24 PM   #8
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I know this is an extremely old post but I wanted to add something for future reference.

At the equator the sun is "up" for 12 hours a day every day of the year. Most of (if not, then all) the coral we have in our aquariums comes either from equatorial regions or somewhere near them. This means that, in my mind, 12 hours of lighting is completely reasonable. During summer months these coral will get up 13-14 hours of lighting. The further away from the equator you go the more hours of daylight you will experience per day. (think of 24 hr daylight in Alaska during a certain time of year) And just because the duration of daylight decreases per day during the winter, this doesn't mean that coral wouldn't prefer to have 365 days of 13 hours (or more) of sunlight.

In my opinion, for tropical corals, 12-13 hours of lighting is ideal. If you have algae problems or sensitive livestock then this number will change, clearly, but under ideal conditions this duration of lighting will allow your Zooxanthellae the maximum amount of time to undergo photosynthesis.

Please feel free to correct me if I am overlooking something.
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