Ramping and moonlighting and livestock health.

paperdesk

New member
I've done a number of searches and not found the answer as to whether or not ramping and moonlighting are beneficial to aquarium livestock. I would love to see some data regarding this.

A lot of money is going into highly controllable lighting systems that ramp and provide moonlighting. Do these systems increase livestock health or are they just for aesthetics? The answer to this question will really help new tank owners like myself make more educated lighting choices.

For what it's worth I don't have an opinion on this topic, and have not yet purchased a lighting system for my new tank. Your input is greatly appreciated.
 

Barbelist

New member
IMO the ramping up and down of lights is more for the aqaurist than for the stock....My old MH lights used to ramp up slowly as the bulb reached temperature but switched straight off at the end of the day. My old T5's used to simply switch on and off and nowadays my Kessils also start up and stop straight away....

....my stock is not affected at all by the start up and switch off being instantaneous.

I was only musing this subject today at my LFS and it seems to me that the sunrise/sunset functions are not essential for the wellbeing of our stock - nor are thunderstorms and lightening effects available on certain lights.

Just my thoughts and in no way backed up with science!!
 

Hodge1995

New member
I have had all kinds of lights. I went with the new leds with the sunrise/ sunset and moonlighting. Does it help livestock I have no idea. I think it is personally about creating the closet thing to a natural environment for the inhabitants of my tank , I think that requires the sunrise / sunset. The better you can replicate a natural environment I would think would have to help.
 

ca1ore

Grizzled & Cynical
You are unlikely to find any scientifically valid 'data' on the subject, just lots of anecdotal reports from we reefers. Conceptually, it seems like a worthwhile goal to replicate as closely as possible the natural conditions from which the animals we keep in our tanks come from. Clearly not everything needs to be replicated (since our tanks constrain the animals in a way that is not 'natural'), but it is difficult to know for sure which ones can be compromised and which ones cannot. I think we'd all agree that temperature, water quality and light energy are all things that are critical; flow is important too, as is adequate space, etc. But even the latter two things can be debated, and there is always somebody with a variation on the 'I've successfully kept ___________ without doing ____________'.

Since the technology now exists to ramp lighting up and down, and to replicate the cycle of the moon, I see no reason not to do it. In my tank, as the lights ramp down, I can observe my fish starting to clam down and look for a place to spend the night - it's really rather cool. Does that mean these capabilities are critical for keeping fish and corals - probably not. I kept fish successfully without the capability to ramp. But maybe, in the long run, it is better for the animals.

So, no data, but maybe just common sense.
 

FishN00b83

New member
ca1ore;22760362Since the technology now exists to ramp lighting up and down said:
+1 I've had both the regular on off lights and the sunrise/sunset/moonlight I currently have. the way the fish act during the rising and setting time is really cool. you can definitely notice a shift and watch them look for a place to sleep / act out their morning routine.
 

jda

Dogmatic Dinosaur
If you want to replicate anything, it needs to cooincide with your local light schedule. If you are not starting to ramp up at 06:00 the the ambient light from your house will wake the fish up and get them going. I guess that a totally dark basement, or the like, might be different. My fish are out and ready to eat about 08:00 even though the MH will not come on for 6 or 7 more hours. The sunlight woke them up naturally. The ambient light can also put them to bed naturally if you get your lights off by 20:00, or so, this time of year.

I love how people want to use common sense for some things yet want undoubted proof for others. I am nearly always good with common sense.
 

EllisJuan

New member
In my tank, as the lights ramp down, I can observe my fish starting to clam down and look for a place to spend the night - it's really rather cool.

the way the fish act during the rising and setting time is really cool. you can definitely notice a shift and watch them look for a place to sleep / act out their morning routine.

I was noticing this in my tank the other day and thought about how cool it was. It is something I never really got to observe with my MH/T5 setup. Watching them slow down their swimming patterns and one at a time head to their sleeping quarters is very cool. It is only anecdotal but I would imagine it has to be much more calming/relaxing for the fish.
 

EllisJuan

New member
If you want to replicate anything, it needs to cooincide with your local light schedule. If you are not starting to ramp up at 06:00 the the ambient light from your house will wake the fish up and get them going. I guess that a totally dark basement, or the like, might be different. My fish are out and ready to eat about 08:00 even though the MH will not come on for 6 or 7 more hours. The sunlight woke them up naturally. The ambient light can also put them to bed naturally if you get your lights off by 20:00, or so, this time of year.

I love how people want to use common sense for some things yet want undoubted proof for others. I am nearly always good with common sense.

This is not really the case in my tank. My light schedule does not kick off until 2:30pm. I am sitting in the room right now with the lights on and plenty of ambient light. My Wrasse is still in his cocoon, my Clowns are still wiggling slowly in their nem, my blennies are still in their little bolt holes. The only early riser is my Red Scoot Blenny. He does come out of the sand well before my light cycle kicks in. The tank is for all intents and purposes still asleep.
 

paperdesk

New member
I understand how difficult it may be to find a real study on this subject, and that's why I'm also happy to hear how people feel about it based on personal experience. That being said, if anyone does know of a study that has been done I'd love to see it too.

Ted
 

DrBoxedWine

New member
So i'm starting my SW tank later this summer, so this is based off my freshwater African Cichlid experience. I have 1 tank with a ramp timer, and 1 without. I also went my first 1.5 years in the hobby with no ramp timer at all. and now have a few months with a ramp timer under my belt.

For me, in the AM, ambient light on it's own has the fish up and stirring before the lights kick on. However, if the shades stay closed, and really, just in general, the fish don't get skittish for a few seconds like they do when the lights suddenly beam on. Having such strong lighting right above the tank, probably takes them from relatively dark to pretty much brightest part of the day in an instant. I'm sure it's not a huge deal, and aquarium fish do just fine in tanks without ramp timers, but yeah, they don't all freak out for a sec and dart around.

To me, ramp timers are relatively cheap considering what we spend on the hobby. Current has a few LED ones (i have the double timer), the single is like $30 and the double is like $70. It's probably mostly for aesthetics, but that's a MAJOR part of why I have a fish tank. I think aquariums look freaking amazing and a ramp timer is a relatively cheap way to add a little extra coolness to your tank. Obviously, this is just my opinion, and i'm sure other people think it's unnecessary.

I've asked similar questions around as well, and I do think moonlights don't let them fully go to sleep (and most other posters seem to agree with me on this). I've left mine on all night, and when i've checked at like 3:00 AM the fish are still a little on the active side, moreso than complete darkness. When i get my apex controller and kessils, my plan will be to go from daylight to moonlight around 9:30, and then moonlight to darkness around midnight, so i get the cool moonlight effect and they get complete darkness for a while. All of this will be with ramp timers, of course ;-)
 

paperdesk

New member
I've read the same regarding moonlight, poor fishies have a hard time settling down. The cost difference for me is more like $160 though for a ramping controller.
 

FishN00b83

New member
If you want to replicate anything, it needs to cooincide with your local light schedule. If you are not starting to ramp up at 06:00 the the ambient light from your house will wake the fish up and get them going. I guess that a totally dark basement, or the like, might be different. My fish are out and ready to eat about 08:00 even though the MH will not come on for 6 or 7 more hours. The sunlight woke them up naturally. The ambient light can also put them to bed naturally if you get your lights off by 20:00, or so, this time of year.

I love how people want to use common sense for some things yet want undoubted proof for others. I am nearly always good with common sense.


I don't agree with this. I have my tank in the living room with a huge 6 foot sliding door (12 feet of glass) that faces east. the sun BLASTS in the room every morning, even more so when I open the blinds and nothing wakes up until the lights start to fade on. the same goes for when the lights to out. sunset is 2 hours later then real time and everything is wide awake until the lights are off in the tank.
 

ca1ore

Grizzled & Cynical
I've asked similar questions around as well, and I do think moonlights don't let them fully go to sleep (and most other posters seem to agree with me on this). I've left mine on all night, and when i've checked at like 3:00 AM the fish are still a little on the active side, moreso than complete darkness. When i get my apex controller and kessils, my plan will be to go from daylight to moonlight around 9:30, and then moonlight to darkness around midnight, so i get the cool moonlight effect and they get complete darkness for a while. All of this will be with ramp timers, of course ;-)

Just my opinion (and lots of night dives), but I think most moonlights that we use on our tanks are way too bright. for example, I use the Apex 5 led string over my 7ft 265 and ended up partially blocking 2 of the 5.
 

FishN00b83

New member
Just my opinion (and lots of night dives), but I think most moonlights that we use on our tanks are way too bright. for example, I use the Apex 5 led string over my 7ft 265 and ended up partially blocking 2 of the 5.


yeah I agree, some people have them so bright. I have 3 AI Sols over my 6 foot tank and I have the royal blue set to 2 out of 100. it's just enough for a few corals to glow a bit and that's it.
 

paperdesk

New member
Interesting to hear from a few divers. I also have noticed in all the night dives i have done that at depth it is really really dark. Under certain conditions I imagine it could be different but it never has for me.
 
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