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How Long Should Fish Tank Light Stay On?

How Long Should Fish Tank Light Stay On?

The fish tank lights on and off sessions should be balanced. Fish need rest like other living beings, so tank lights should be off at their resting time.  

Tank lights should not stay on all the time. There should also be a transition from bright to dim light and also the off timings.

If you also care a lot about your pet fish and concerned about their aquarium lights, then Whypetfish.com is here to guide you the best.

Here we will share with you that at how much time you should keep the aquarium lights on and at what time they must be off.

Sudden on and off of aquarium lights are bad for the health of your pet fish. Everything about aquarium lights and its on and off-cycle will be here.

So keep reading and go with us further so that you can get the best information. Here we go;

How Long Should Fish Tank Light Stay On?

Here I will share with you a proper guide about fish tank lights cycles of opening and closing.

Keep the fish tank lights on for the recommended 8 to 12 hours, minimize it during the evening timings close tank lights doing night. But there should be one light of your room on so that your fish may not get restless.

There is no doubt that light is crucial for fish life, along with the other aquarium life. No matter either it is a cold water aquarium or freshwater, they both need a proper lighting system in them.

Ten hours of appropriate lightning is a necessity for an aquarium. There are different time requirements for different types of aquariums, which we will discuss further. Have a look at this chart;

Fish Tank Lightning Schedule 

Aquarium type Lightning schedule
An average aquarium 10 hours Daily
Freshwater aquarium with plants 12 hours daily
Coldwater aquarium with plants 8 hours daily
Aquarium with no plants No special requirements but there must be an LED light for your fish.

Does Your Fish Tank Need Light?

Definitely yes, aquarium light is essential for every living being; without it, there is suffocation and restlessness.

Furthermore, the decorated tank looks more beautiful when it is in light. The view seems unique and gives a breathtaking effect to your room where you are keeping that aquarium.

Morally and ethically, it is necessary to provide light to your pet fish. Only in that case, in which your aquarium is in the corridor or at someplace where daylight is coming, no artificial light is required then.

But mostly the aquariums are indoors for safety from other animals, and fish must need artificial light for their living. Fish also have to play and enjoy their life which can be done only in the proper lighting.

They can see their free food clearly and grab the small particles on time when there is enough lightning for them to see everything.

Why is Bright Light Important for Aquarium Fish?

Some sensitive fishes, like goldfish, fade in their color when there is insufficient lighting. So, sufficient light is a must for every fish aquarium.

Make sure that the light is not blazing sharp, but it should be bright like the daylight because fish living in the sea get the day all the time, and small rays of dim moonlight penetrating in the sea at night.

Bright light makes your fish active and healthy. They can grab their small food particles properly. They can play with toys, decorations and with each other too when the lights are on.

Your fish can breathe and breed appropriately in light, hide and protect their eggs from other fish. It can learn tricks and jump out of the water to enjoy their aquarium life fully. 

Why there is a Need to Turn Off Fish Tank Lights?

After all day long, there must be some time for your fish to rest peacefully. So, the tank lights should be off during night time, but there must be a dim light present on in your room, especially if your fish feels restlessness.

Turning the lights off make them relax, silent, and still at there hiding spot or sleeping place. If there is an all-time brightness in the aquarium even in the night time, there are chances of algae growth.

Darkness also has a good and positive impact on your little fish body. Fish gets frustrated when the lights are on even in the night time.

Can I Turn Aquarium Lights Suddenly On After Off Hours?

There should be a transition from darkness to dim light and then bright light. You should not turn all the lights on suddenly.

Because doing this can damage your fish’s eyes and make them bulge. Keep in mind that few of aquarium fishes have natural bulging eyes.

Sudden light on and off is not good, first of all, turn on the light of the room to set the level from darkness to slightly bright. After 5 to 10 minutes, turn all the tank lights on.

Some of the tank lights also come up with the transition phase from dim to bright. These lights are also the best. 

This thing does not irritate the fish otherwise, which goes to stress with sudden brightness darkness. Similarly, for turning off the lights, you should first dim them and then turn them off.

Keep one dim light of your room on. Facilitate your fish with the best and try to provide the best aquarium environment to your sweet pets.

Light Timings for Coldwater Tank 

Coldwater fish do not get enough light even in the sea, and they are used to it. Because of the significant ice layer over the sea surface, the sunlight does not penetrate inside correctly.

Still, the light goes inside, but it is not bright entirely. So providing the same environment to your cold-water fish is completely fine.

Because they might get irritated when light remains on for very long hours, that’s why it is good to provide only 8 hours of light in your cold water tank. But 12 hours of light is also okay if and only if there are sufficient hiding places for them in the aquarium.

Also, try to match that tank lights with the daylight color. You can use the different colored lights during the night timings.

Light Timings for Tropical Tank 

Fish of tropical water belong to rivers, streams, and clear lakes in the warm regions where direct sunlight is coming on water, and the natural sunlight comes all day.

So these fish need a proper 12 hours of light in a tropical aquarium. Provide a complete 12 hours of bright light to your tropical tank fish.  

Try to use the bright white light so that this artificial light can provide an effect of daylight. Do not use other colors of light during daytime except white.

There must be some hiding spots in your aquarium so that your pet fish can take a nap on their hiding spot at any time with comfort, even in the day time.

Light Timings for Tanks with Plants

You know that plants need light to begin the photosynthesis process. They release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide.

The release of oxygen is good for the proper breathing of your pet fish. But this is only possible when there is sufficient light provision to plants.

You may have artificial plants in your fish tank; light is for the live plants. The duration of life depends on the number of live plants you have in your aquarium.

It also depends upon different types of plants because some plants need more light while others need less amount of light.

Plants like an Anubia, Java moss, and Java fern need 8 to 10 hours of regular and low-intensity light to stay healthy and make their nutrition through light. 

While the other aquarium plants need a more extended period of lightning to start the photosynthesis process and stay healthy, they need 12 hours of light during the daytime.

For the planted aquariums, light hours keep changing because, in the sea, sunlight also varies according to season.

Should Tank Lights Remain on During Night?

It is recommended to turn off the tank lights during night time so that your fish can rest properly. If bulbs are ON all time, it can cause excessive algae growth.

Also, the tank looks dirty, and water becomes messy when lights are not off for some specific time.               

Fish also become lazy and dull when fish take no rest. Every time of bright light frustrates them. Plants need a darkness cycle as well.

So, it is good to turn off the lights during the night.

What if Tank Lights Change Water Temperature?

The lights generate heat slowly and change the temperature of water to slightly warm. It is excellent in the winter season but not in summer.

Your tank should be large enough so that light radiations cannot change enough water temperature. Besides this, you should have a chiller in your fish aquarium during hot weather.

This thing is not an issue at all but tries to buy a high-quality light that does not emit so much heat. Still, the light bulbs have a property to emit radiations that produce heat naturally.

There are some of the new and advance light available we do not dissipate heat at all. These are efficient in working and suitable for every type of aquarium.

Which Colors of Light are Used for Fish Aquariums?

Besides the white-colored light, the other available colors are red, blue, and green.

Although there are so many other colors like purple, yellow, etc. but these three are the most common ones used in the home aquariums.

These colors enhance the beauty of ornaments and decorations inside the tank. They provide a bright light that does not get dull.

The colors of decorations and fish both look vibrant and rich when they have these colors of lights in it, especially during the night.

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