Archived message board.
Hi. I have a question about florescent hood lighting. If
it is daytime and there is natural light coming in the room
is there any reason to have the light in the hood on as well?
Or is natural light perfectly fine? I'm wondering if I should
leave my hood light on all day or just use it from dusk until
I go to bed. Thanks for any help you can give me. PS- I have
plastic plants in my tank.
- Hmm... in this case, since you only have plastic plants,
there is no need for a hooded light at all. I personally prefer
it, even before I had plants in my tank. It is more aesthetically
pleasing and more natural looking to have light coming from
over head the tank. But if you don't want to waste electricity,
then that should be fine too. It's all really preference in
your case. It's only crucial to have overhead lighting if
you have live plants. Be sure that your tank doesn't get too
much direct sunlight or even too much indirect sunlight or
else you will have green algae problems. One other thing:
Fish need a stable day and night cycle. Stability in their
environment includes many factors and the day and night cycle
is often overlooked by fish keepers. Leaving the light off
during the day and only allowing light to come from the sides
does not give fish very natural living conditions. Putting
the hood on a timer that leaves the light on for 10-12 hours
a day is sufficient to provide such stability. Happy fish
- So you would recommend keeping the light on all day just
to have a stable day and night cycle? This seems to contradict
what you said earlier about how you don't even need a hood
light if you don't have live plants. I'm confused, which is
- Fred their really is nothing wrong with natural light...just
not full on direct sunlight...or you will cook your fish...with
a little indirect sunlight you should be fine...it's just
that with straight plastic plants as Iboy mentioned you may
get lots of algae in there...however,if your tank is receiving
plenty of natural indirect light..and you are happy how things
look..then your regular(natural) day and night cycle should
take care of things...so you don't really need a hood light...
- Does florescent light from a hood light help cause algae
to form? Or is it only natural light that contributes to algae
growth? If you have algae without using a hood light what
can you do? Thanks again.
- Fred where there is light and nutrients ..It will come..
Everyone gets algae..it's a natural occurring process in your
tank...there are many type and many causes...the key is to
balance all things in your tank,like light,nutrients and water
conditions to give you what you want...an algae free zone....but
everyone battles it in one form or another throughout the
tanks life cycle...as far as what can you do about it...well
again you have to look at all those delicately balanced little
things that are going on in your tank...sometimes it's easy,
sometimes it can be very frustrating...without getting into
your tank simply moving it out of the area of high natural
light may help....
- Well, I guess I can see where I was unclear, so let me be
more concise. You don't have to leave the light on all day,
it is up to you and your aesthetic preferences. But it is
recommended you do so, and make it a regular length of 10-12
hours, so that your fish will lead more normal life. You will
get algae in your tank no matter what, as Jeff has said. It's
just part of the normal aquatic ecosystem. Not having hood
lighting and only having ambient light from indirect sun will
even cause the growth of brown algae and diatoms. Sorry about
the earlier ambiguity, but to finally wrap it up I would encourage
you to leave the light on during the day, leaving it on for
about 10-12 hours.
- Okay. Thank you very much for your advice. I'll start leaving
the light on more often and for longer. Now I'll have to try
to get rid of my algae:-)) Thanks again.
- Fred, what kind of algae do you have...brown, green, hair,
peasoup water? How you rid your tank of algae depends on the
type. If it is brown, you want more light, but the right kind.
If it is green, you want less. And if you have your tank sitting
where direct sunlight hits it, you will have a very hard time
getting rid of the green. I think it was mentioned above,
but also if in direct sunlight, the temperature of the tank
will fluctuate and this is very stressful for the fish. Certain
fish like certain algae's and if we know what type of fish
you are keeping, we can maybe suggest a species that will
help you out with getting rid of it.
- Hmmmmmmm. Well, I can't really tell what color it is. The
stuff on the plants looks brown but I can't really tell what
color the stuff on the side of the tank is. It looks like
it is greenish-brown. All I got for fish are some tetras.
So do you think I need MORE light? It would seem that since
it's spring my tank would naturally be getting MORE light
than it did when it was first set up (in the winter). I'm
99% sure that my tank receives no direct sunlight. I don't
think that is the problem. Thanks.
- Sounds like you don't have "too" big a problem with the
algae, just your everyday run of the mill algae that shows
up in a good tank. It is all very normal in the best of water
conditions and it doesn't appear too much/too little light
is causing major problems for you. On the plants, the easiest
way is to just clean them. If the algae is very hard to remove,
you can use a very mild solution of bleach water to clean
and kill any algae left behind and it will take a little longer
for it to grow back. Don't use Soap of any kind. Or another
good possibility for your tank with this kind of algae is
to find some otto cats. They are very good for cleaning the
leaves of the plants because they are small and will remove
a good bit of the algae from the glass. They also will get
along just fine with your tetras. I looked back but didn't
see the size of your tank. If it is big enough, a pleco will
work wonders on the glass. They are not much for the brown
algae, however, and many varieties grow to be quite large.
Some varieties stay on the small side so this may be an option
for you. A note of caution: If using the bleachwater method,
make sure that it is mild as the bleach will fade your plants.
Also make sure that you rinse really well and then dip in
a solution of "conditioned" water to remove the rest of the
chlorine before putting them back in your tank. Tanks should
be kept out of direct sunlight for the various reasons noted
above. But the fish do really need the advantages of the light.
I usually turn my lights on about 8 a.m. and turn off when
I go to bed, and this is no set time. If the green algae looks
like it is getting out of hand, I keep the lights off for
a couple of days. If the brown algae is becoming a nuisance,
I keep the lights on for longer periods. I hope I have not
confused you, but if I have not made myself clear, just let
- Okay. Thank you. It just seems that having to clean my plants
every week because of algae is excessive. It takes forever
to take out all the plants and scrub them by hand to get off
the algae; I have to go leaf by leaf! My tank is only 10 gallons.
Would an otto cat be okay for my tank? It would be cool to
have a cat of some kind but I don't want it to be/get too
big. Thanks again.
- An otto will do just fine in a 10g. I have one in my 10g
and I haven't seen a hint of algae in that tank for many months
now. I know it's there cause he has a huge belly. Just remember
with a Otto...A fat Otto is a happy Otto. Rose