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Old 03-25-2014, 08:31 PM   #1 
TheSplishSplashery
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4 hours on 4 hours off continuous lighting rotation?

I work part time graveyard shifts a few nights a week and don't maintain too good a schedule for myself. I just bought a timer for my aquarium lights to help the plants and fish at least maintain a set schedule. I want the lights to be on when I'm awake which is usually during the middle of the night, but I also don't want to miss out on the lighting when I'm in class all day (or have it on when I'm trying to sleep on my nights that I don't work and have class the next day) so I'm debating what schedule to put my fish on. The tank lights honestly don't bother me when I have to sleep during the day, only on the off days when I have to be in bed earlier in the night (for me that's 2am). I've heard that 12 hours on 12 hours off is pretty standard, but that it might increase algae growth so I don't really want to do that. I've also heard of a continuous rotation of 4 hours on 4 off. The 4 on 4 off seems like it would work best for me, but I could also work with the lights being on from 2pm to 2am as well. It's in the middle of my average sleep and awake times and my tank gets a little indirect lighting from the window in the room. Does anyone have any experience keeping plants and bettas happy on a 4 on 4 off schedule?
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:13 PM   #2 
Blue Fish
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I believe it would be fine for any live plants, but I'd worry about how this might affect your fish. I'm not sure how that cycle would do for them healthwise.

I've done the 12 on/12 off for about a year now, and other than some hair algae (about the easiest stuff to get rid of, really, I just fish out the clumps every couple of weeks, it doesn't seem to attach to badly to the plants at that early stage) I haven't had an algae problem. You can also keep some snails if you're really worried about it. :)
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:48 AM   #3 
TheSplishSplashery
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Thanks for the input :) I've decided to go with the 12 hour cycle, 2pm to 2am.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:36 PM   #4 
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Yeah, my guys have a weird 12/12 schedule too...and occasionally it bleeds over into something like 16/14...but they seem to do okay with it. :) They're pretty adaptable, and the plants don't care. :)

I'm a PRN (on call) at two hospitals, so sometimes I work nights...sometimes I work days...sometimes I go in at 5am, other times I'm in at 11am...sometimes I work ten days straight, other times I'm off for a month...it makes for a weird life for all of us, but so far no-one seems to get too bent out of shape about it. :)

Good luck to you!
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