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J .

PLEASE HELP! Lighting schedule for beginner

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J .

I bought a 12 gallon jbj nano tank from craigslist. The previous owner had it for about 2yrs and I transported it with all the livestock (2 fish, 2 mushroom corals, 1 xenia). I am really confused on how to change/figure out what my lighting schedule should be. The tank is a JBJ 12 Gallon Nano Cube (https://www.marineandreef.com/JBJ_Nano_Cube_12_Aquarium_JBJ_Nano_Cube_12_G_DX_p/RJB21016.htm?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzP-Q-IfE4AIVLR6tBh1cfwNaEAQYAiABEgLngvD_BwE). It’s lighting has:

  • 2 24W bulbs (Half 10K Day- light/ Half 7100K Actinic Blue and a nightlight LED. 
  • 1 custom blue actinic LED which they installed into the hood

 

 

The thing is that when I got the tank, the previous owner told me they used a cycle of blue actinic LEDs on at 6am for 2 hours then the white/actinic bulbs for 2 hours from 8-10 then blue actinic LEDs from 10-12pm. They’ve been doing this for a while seems to be ok on the corals but I’m not sure if 2 hours of the white/actinic bulbs enough. They were morning people but I want to change the schedule since I get home from work late around 5pm or 6pm so I can enjoy the aquarium in the evening. I was wondering what kind of schedule I can change to so I can have some viewing time of my tank I. The evening? The current schedule of 6 hours seems kind of limited. I was wondering if the current schedule has enough lighting for the tank? I’ve been reading lots of forums and have seen varying time schedules from 8hrs to 12hrs, some people turn on their white fluorescent lights for 4-6 hours during “high noon”, and other different combinations. I guess my main summary of questions would be:

  • How should I schedule my lighting (what combination/when I should turn on my lights/how long each)
  • How should I transition my corals to the new schedule? I have 2 mushroom corals and 1 pulsing xenia. The xenia seems to open up around 9 am and starts to shrink and become fat around 6pm (I believe this is the time I guess they consider sundown). I get home late from work so I was hoping to have at least the actinics around that time to enjoy my tank.

 

Any help is appreciated, I’m still kind of new to reef tanks. thanks in advance

-J

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seabass

My first thought is that the bulbs may need to be replaced (T5 and compact fluorescent bulbs need replaced about every 9 months.  Even though they look perfectly fine, their spectrum changes and can favor algae over corals.

 

You can start your light cycle at any time to accommodate your schedule. I like a relatively short light cycle (8 hours of actinics, with 7 hours of daylights overlapping).

 

Make changes in duration gradually.  However, you can change the start time to whenever you want.  Fish and corals will quickly adjust to their new "time zone".

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