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Old 04-15-2010, 06:17 PM   #1 
brancasterr
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Light on or light off?

I've read to many conflicting viewpoints from articles supposedly written by experts on the process of cycling. About half say to keep aquarium lights on and the other half says to keep the tank away from all light if at all possible.

The first claims that light helps the bacteria grow/shortens cycle and the other claims light inhibits bacteria from growing/slowing cycle.

Now I know some bacteria thrive in light while other types do better in the dark. So I don't know which to believe.

Does anyone have any information or advice?

Should I keep them on or keep them off?


Also, I added the ammonia three days ago (kinda overdosed by accident) up to 7 or 8 ppm and it still hasn't gone down by much if any. I can't tell if it has gone down at all because the color chart included with the API test kit is so difficult to read. Especially between 8ppm and 4ppm. Will 8ppm and higher turn the water almost a solid green?
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:54 PM   #2 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brancasterr View Post
I've read to many conflicting viewpoints from articles supposedly written by experts on the process of cycling. About half say to keep aquarium lights on and the other half says to keep the tank away from all light if at all possible.

The first claims that light helps the bacteria grow/shortens cycle and the other claims light inhibits bacteria from growing/slowing cycle.

Now I know some bacteria thrive in light while other types do better in the dark. So I don't know which to believe.

Does anyone have any information or advice?

Should I keep them on or keep them off?


Also, I added the ammonia three days ago (kinda overdosed by accident) up to 7 or 8 ppm and it still hasn't gone down by much if any. I can't tell if it has gone down at all because the color chart included with the API test kit is so difficult to read. Especially between 8ppm and 4ppm. Will 8ppm and higher turn the water almost a solid green?
In my experience, it makes no difference (except, maybe, to your electric bill!). One thing leaving the lights off will do is delay or minimize the algae bloom that often comes at the end of the cycle.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:05 PM   #3 
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Thanks. :) Do you have any knowledge on the API water testing kit?
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:10 PM   #4 
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It's one of the better ones. Were you having any problems with it?
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:15 PM   #5 
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I have the API master kit. I try and test during the day so that I can hold the vial up to the window, viewing it against the sky - when I hold it against the tiny allotted spaces on the chart, I find that too many shadows are cast no matter which way I hold it which skews the results. Sunlight seems the clearest for reading in my experience, as incandescent bulbs are tainted and don't show the colors as naturally (not that the sky isn't blue or anything). I then hold the comparison chart so that it's shown under natural light as well and use my best judgement. It's always going to be a bit hazy and you've just got to sway yourself one way or the other, but more often than not it's pretty easy to determine.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:26 PM   #6 
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Yeah, I was doing the same kittles. I just find it very veryyy hard to distinguish between 8ppm(very dark green) and 4ppm(dark but not too dark green). Do you know if the reading is 8ppm + if the water will turn almost solid green? Maybe my eyes are just retarded. Haha.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:31 PM   #7 
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Essentially, the difference between 4.0 and 8.0 is much less important than the difference between 0 and 1.0. The trade-off for sensitivity in the low range of ammonia levels is that the upper range is going to be less distinguishable. Basically, after a certain level, all that test really knows is "way too much!"
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:36 PM   #8 
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Yeah, I was doing the same kittles. I just find it very veryyy hard to distinguish between 8ppm(very dark green) and 4ppm(dark but not too dark green). Do you know if the reading is 8ppm + if the water will turn almost solid green? Maybe my eyes are just retarded. Haha.
Well in that case... /me whips out API chart.

It really shouldn't matter if it's 4 or 8 ppm, right? Because, either way, your tank will still be cycling in the same fashion, and take the same amount of time, right? And afterward, the higher numbers will become irrelevant because all you need to know is that more than 0ppm is bad news.

I just said the same thing Mister Sparkle said. Handle it.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:41 PM   #9 
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Haha, I guess you're right (both kittles and Mister Sparkle). :P I'm just frustrated because I want to know when my ammonia goes below 4ppm so I can up it back to 4 or 5ppm until the nitrites start to show up. Then I wan't to keep it around 3 ppm until the ammonia and nitrite both read zero in a 24 hour period.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:47 PM   #10 
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I've been having the same problem (not that it's much of one), but I just have it so the color looks closest to 4, then I add a few more drops of ammonia so the level can be between 4 and 5. I'm not sure if 8 is all right because everywhere I've read says to keep the level between 4 and 5 until nitrites show.
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