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First off, Hello!

My name is Adam, this is my first post here.

With my work/class schedule I rarely get to enjoy my tank. Sometimes I'm home for only an hour or so in the morning, or only an hour or so at night. I was running a 10 hour light cycle. I should also say its a T5 4 bulb on a 55 full of mainly lps. A few days ago I was trying to think of the best timing to correlate with the time I have at home, and decided to try a 6 hour on, 6 hour off cycle. Everything in my tank is looking great, but I figured I should hop on a forum some ware and find out if there is any known negative effects on livestock running the lights like this.

Thanks for your time!
 

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Watchful Goby
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I personally don't have my daylights come on until about 2:00PM (actinics a couple hours before and after). They don't turn off until 9:00PM, so I get lots of time looking at my tank in the evening. It's only lunars before that.

My coral usually takes about an hour to open up. So if I have on 12 hour photoperiod, only about 11 hours are actually opened corals maximally absorbing light. If you have two 6 hour photoperiods, thats 10 hours of maximal light.

Just food for thought.
 

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My lights initially start to ramp up at 7am and are completely off by 9pm. I personally wouldnt recommend multiple photo periods in the same day as we're doing our best to play god and replicate their natural environment but that being said, you can fire them up and turn them off pretty much whenever you want so you can have them come on at noon and off at midnight if you wanted.
 

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Captain Obvious
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IMO 10hrs is way too long of a light cycle for "main" lighting.

i've done quite a bit of google research on this. my findings are that you need to simulate a 24 hour period for the corals and the fish to set their "internal clocks" to by using timers that automatically turn lights on and off for you.

for fish, they require a regimented 24hr cycle so they know when to sleep and when to be actively seeking food....just like in nature. Just watch the Discovery Channel's Series, Seas Of Life.

for corals, they require the smae regimented 24hr cycle bc they become accustomed to absorbing light during same time each day....and when to feed by extending their tentacles during tank darkness.

the best light cycle i know is for your actinics to turn on first at 12noon. this allows to tank as a whole (fish and coral) to "wake-up" slowly. if the tank went right into main lighting (like 10k or 14k or 20k lighting) its too much of a shock. it would be no different than you lying asleep in bed and then someone turning on all the lights and flying open the curtains, all at the same time, like "BAM! Good Morning!!!" I'm sure your heartbeat would go from 60 to 120 in just seconds.

Once the actinics have been running since 12noon, then my main lighting comes on at 2pm and runs until 8pm.

Six hours of main lighting is all I need. I've read in quite a few web articles that basically say, "running your main lighting more than 6hrs is you just thinking more is better and that's not the case. more lighting could lead to corals changing their color with possible browning".

In nature, corals really only get direct sunlight for six hours from 10am to 4pm when the Sun is directly overhead. Two hours before and three hours after, the Sun is angled in the sky in such a way that corals really only get Sun at a diffused angle from 8am-10am and 4pm to 7pm'ish as diffused actinic lighting.

So I run my main lighting from 2pm to 8pm. Then at 8pm my main lighting goes off but my actinics stay on until 11pm.

The tank is then dark from 11pm to 12noon the next day. During this darkness all my LPS fully extend their tentacles filter feeding during that 13hour period. Much need feeding time for the health of the coral.

As far as the fish, they all have their "internal clocks" set to my timer. They are much less stressed when they can count on my light cycle. I can see them right before 11pm starting to find their favorite sleeping spot in the tank and by the time the actinics go out at 11pm they are "snug" in their favorite spot.

HTH
 
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