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lighting schedules - impact of extended no light?


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Hello. I'm hoping to pick up my live rock and start cycling next week. I've got a 16G bowfront with 96W powerquad. Just a few questions.


1. During the cycle, should i still turn on the lights for 3-4 hours, or is ambient light sufficient for now.


2. Once snails and crabs are present, do they require extended lighting periods?


3. Once corals are added, and lighting is on a 10-12 hour fixed schedule, how long can most corals survive without light (or just ambient daytime light)? If a bulb blew, are they fine for a day? a few days? I'd assume some corals are obviously less demanding then others, but i'd like a sense of how soon disaster could occur if for some reason the lights were left off and i was not home for a day to turn them on.


The plan is to have everything on a timer. Just want to know all the facts. Thanks.

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Indeed. Assuming everything else is fine, i'd still like to know what the longest period of time most soft corals could go without light before they're in a danger zone.

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the bulb on my tank recently broke while i was away. tank was in the dark for 3 full days. i have minimal soft corals; just a couple of mushrooms, a bit of xenia sp. and some other polyps. they werent very happy, some were closed up and once i got a light back on my shrooms were hyper-extending, they took a few days to start looking normal again, but none died.


im not sure what the 'longest period of time' they could go without light is, but i would say that having no light for any period of time outside your normal photoperiod is a bad thing. i dont know how long it would take for them to go past the point of no return so to speak, but mine survived three days.


i now have spare bulbs on hand (of course i should have had some to start with) so if it ever happens again, it should be just a simple matter of replacing the bulb.


oh and if it does happen while you are away, its probably nicer not to know until you get home. i spent the last 3 days of my holiday stressed about my tank, and stranded on the other side of the country feeling utterly powerless! none of my housemates have a clue about my tank except for telling me that 'nemo's light didnt come on', which made me want to cry. i actually got out the phone book and sourced a spare bulb to take home with me, hoping that it wasnt the ballast that had broken... sorry i know this is a bit of a rant, but it was very frustrating at the time.

i think i was lucky to come out of the whole thing with my tank intact.

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