Aquatics Unlimited: Articles: Lighting Duration
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Lighting Duration

for the week of 8/26/99

Just how long should an aquarium light be kept on each day?

In planted or reef aquariums, 10 to 12 hours should be sufficient to give plants the energy to produce sugars and oxygen by photosynthesis - assuming the light is intense enough as well. Duration cannot be substituted for intensity.

Fish-only tanks can receive shorter periods of illumation; it's really only "necessary" to have enough light to see to eat. However, fish do seem to benefit from consistent day length, resulting in more robust and colorful specimens. Eight to twelve hours of daylight is a good range.

Darkness is beneficial as well; both plants and fish require periods of rest in dimmed or no lighting.

An electric timer is an inexpensive yet reliable way to provide proper day length for both fish and plants.


"Tip of the week" appeared regularly in 1999 and 2000.

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