My CO2 has been up and running now for a week or so. I've not got money for a solenoid so I'm having to turn it on and off manually. My lighting is currently on for six and a half hours with a one hour break in the middle. What I'd like to know is, now that I'm running CO2, should I scrap the one hour siesta as I don't turn the CO2 off during this time? I'm really keen to hear what other FK members do. Thanks
I don't use CO2 so can't advise on kit and usage in that sense, but on a purely biological level you don't want CO2 pumping into the tank when the lights are off. If the plants aren't fully photosynthesizing (which they won't be with minimal light) there's a danger of the fish suffering an overdose of CO2. I suggest until you can get a proper solenoid and timer kit for the CO2 that you skip the 1 hour break and leave lights on when CO2 is running.
It really depends on the rate you're pupping co2 into the water.
The 'plant growing theory' is that you keep the CO2 running during the siesta to allow CO2 levels to replenish so the plants have an optimal starting point once the lights come back on again. In this plant-bias method the co2 also comes on an hour before lights come on for the same reason. However this is aimed at optimal plant growth and may not be overly great for fish.
I ran a hi-tech planted tank for over a year with high co2 levels and kept the co2 on during the siesta; the plants grew great and i didn't notice anything wrong with the fish. However since moving i've not been able to set up the co2 and i now realise my fish are feeling a lot better for it - i just didn't realise how lethargic they were with the high co2 levels.
i think i'll be turning my co2 down and reducing the lighting but keeping it on over the siesta once i have it set up again.
The optimal lighting period depends on several things, including what plants you're growing, what ferts you're using, whether your using CO2, what you lighting is etc.
Many people that run high tech tanks often only run light for 6-8 hours. On lower tech tanks it tends to be a bit longer. 12-14 hours does sound a bit long, but if you're fish and plants are healthy then, It works for you . I'll be suprised if you don't suffer algae though as running lights for that long might mean that your plants demands for ferts and CO2 outstrips what's in your tank.
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