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Does anyone cover their tank at night?

Printed From: Utah Reefs
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Forum Name: General Discussion
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Printed Date: May 24 2019 at 12:32am
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Topic: Does anyone cover their tank at night?
Posted By: speyside712
Subject: Does anyone cover their tank at night?
Date Posted: October 04 2017 at 12:53pm
Hey guys,
Do any of you guys cover your tank with something at night?

My tank is in my living room where people often are.  After the tank lights go out there are constantly lights going on and off near by (me turning them off, my wife turning them back on LOL), the TV flashing, etc.  I feel like this disturbs my animals and fish when its supposed to be their time to sleep.  I wish there was a way to not interrupt their sleep schedule, but it seems impossible without covering the tank with a blanket at night.

Part of the problem lies in that I want to be able to view the tank during the hours when I am home in the evening, so I have adjusted their lights to be on later than the real daylight schedule outside.  To accomplish this I have sunrise start late at 11am, with night beginning at 10pm.  I run into the problem that light infiltrates the tank much earlier than 11am (from the windows, lights being turned on in the house, etc) and often after 10pm.  The only way I've found to fix this seems to be covering the tank.

I don't mind doing everything in the dark and always keeping the blinds shut when the tank lights are off, but I don't think my wife is very keen on the idea, lol LOL

I don't particularly like covering it, as its ugly and a fire hazard, and I am not home at the correct time to uncover it in the morning due to already leaving for work for the day.  So covering it by hand doesn't appear to be the best solution for me.

Am I the only one in the hobby who worries about stuff like this?  Just curious if other hobbyists have thought about this or have any solutions.  Or if you just let the fish deal with whatever your own sleep schedule is?

Posted By: shaggydoo
Date Posted: October 04 2017 at 1:42pm
I've thought of this, but I'm not considerate enough to make changes. I've always tailored my tank schedule to fit my schedule so I can maximize my viewing time.

60g LPS Cube

Posted By: Shane H
Date Posted: October 04 2017 at 1:45pm
I've never bothered to do this either.  I would suggest to shift the lights-on / lights-off cycle to more closely match your sleep habits.    I typically don't have any lights come on until around 10 or 11 AM.  Then my lights cycle off between 11 PM and midnight.  If we're up later than midnight, I don't worry much about it.

Posted By: knowen87
Date Posted: October 04 2017 at 2:07pm
The amount of light that is actually getting into the tank is probably not that much. I would not be concerned with that. My fish will just find a good cave or crevice. I feel like as long as they have some place to feel safe when they bed down for the night its really not that big of a deal.  

The only time that I think that light and sound might be important is when you are trying to breed fish that may require a routine/ light cycle or some piece and quiet to produce good quality eggs. 

Posted By: Mark Peterson
Date Posted: October 04 2017 at 2:47pm
Originally posted by speyside712 speyside712 wrote:

Hey guys,Am I the only one in the hobby who worries about stuff like this? 
Yes. LOL

I agree with what's been said above. Adjust the photoperiod by extending lights out to midnight and don't worry about it. If the light system, whether fluorescent or simple LED, has multiple power plugs use separate timers to shut off the whites and leave the blues running. That's a common practice. If using fancy controlled LED's, extend the dawn-dusk effect a couple hours or set the moonlight to be much brighter until midnight.

The fish are going to get up with the sun anyway because even indirect sunlight through slits in the blinds is enough to tell them dawn is breaking. Plus they are hungry. Then at night, fish actually start shutting down and tend to start sleeping at sundown, even with the artificial lights on. Have you ever noticed Cardinals sleeping in the daytime? Fish don't have eyelids but they do have a way to partially shut down their optical system. Of course it's never turned off completely. Move around in front of the tank at night and notice the response.

Besides, did you know that covering the tank at night can be harmful? In the dark, the pH drops because algae (Coralline, Zooxanthellae, etc.) switches to taking in O2 and expiring CO2. Nighttime is when it's most critical to have the tank open to the atmosphere for gas exchange. Thumbs Up

Mark  Hug

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Posted By: Adam Blundell
Date Posted: October 04 2017 at 3:56pm
Funny what Shane said above.  

I'm old.  My lights come on at like 6am, but go off around 9pm.  You late night young kids have me beat.


Seaquest Banquet

Posted By: Hogie
Date Posted: October 04 2017 at 3:57pm
you're guy's lights are on a long time...mine come on at noon and go off at 10:30.

Posted By: Corey Price
Date Posted: October 04 2017 at 5:42pm
I've thought about it but never done anything really. I wouldn't put a cover over a tank. It's another hassle. What if you forget about it in the morning?

Posted By: MadReefer
Date Posted: October 04 2017 at 7:48pm
Things adapt. No need.

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