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maligne

Do Fish Need Sun Light?

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I was thinking about this the this week. I need sun light or I get depressed. Here in Canada the winter months can be hard in part because they are dark. I have done a fair bit of scuba diving over seas. Most of the life in the sea lives in the zone that allows the most light to penetrate. So I have to wonder, are my fish depressed? are they lacking something fundamental because they live a life of artificial led light?

Edited by maligne

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Pretty much all of our fish have evolved somewhere where there's light and most of our fish ancestors in the wild have pretty close to a 12hr day. Their circadian rhythm is inherently set to about a 12hr day; however, like us, that can adapt to whatever the day becomes. That all being said, YES, your fish do need at least some daytime. I always use timers on my tanks so that I can be sure they're getting some light during the day... and also some darkness at night (also important) if I forget to turn the light off.

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Absolutely for the fish we keep. Depending on the species more or less. In the wild they can go into the shade or deeper for sunlight and temperature.

Some, probably more then we know, live in complete darkness but you don't have them in your aquarium to often.

As jvision mentioned timers are best.

If they are spawning and producing life healthy offspring I do not think they are depressed,if they are capable of depression.....unhappy possibly, depressed?

Edited by geleen

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There are 2 main categories of fish as I see it - daylight and nocturnal. The 1st ones do best with some amount of light during the day but nocturnals could care less if they get light at all.. These are the ones you hardly ever see in your aquarium during the day but if you happen to turn on the lights after it gets dark you will see them moving around and quite active.

Even some "daylight" fish do prefer low light like frontosas which are captured normally in depths that have no light.

So in answer to the question do fish get depressed when they have little or no natural sunlight I would have to say no. I think it has to do more with minerals and vitamins available in the natural habitat and how the fish adapt to aquarium life. They do sell chemicals that supposedly mimic these naturally occurring minerals and vitamins are effectively absorbed when the fish eat what they normally eat in the wild. I do use these manufactured chemicals but not the amounts they prescribe on the bottles but have noticed in many cases increased breeding and better overall health and appearance of the fish. I don't think you can drop a fish from Lake Malawi (or their decendants) in your tank and expect them to receive the same nutrition as they would get in the lake without some additions to the water and their diets.

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I have just started to buy fish for my new tank. I buy them at late afternoon so that they are finished acclimatizing shortly before the lights go off, currently at 7pm. Once the lights go down and there is just ambient light, but still quite a bit of ambient at this time of year, they relax much more, come out from between the plants and start to explore the tank. Once they are used to the new environment they, at least the species I have so far, don't seem to care much about the light. So I think light does affect their "being at peace" but many are quite tolerant to variable conditions. But species from heavily forested streams that are used to living in the shade may not like bright light. Cardinal tetras are often given as an example but I have seen underwater footage of cardinals in very bright clear water, although that may not be typical. There are also reports that some species need very dim or dark conditions for spawning and viability of the eggs/fry. It all depends on the species, what environment it is adapted to and if it is a generalist that can easily adapt or a specialist that is more picky. In general I am always surprised at how adaptable they are. Like Geleen said, if they are showing natural behaviour and spawning I would expect they are relatively happy and that makes me happy.

I bought one of the LED lights that include both a timer and programmable dimmer (USA Satellite Plus Pro). At "sunrise" the lights go from "nightlight" to 100% "daylight" in 15 minutes and at sunset it happens in reverse. You can define the light intensity and colour spectrum for both the nightlight and daylight settings. I have nightlight set to be completely off, some people like a little blue or white light to simulate the moon. I have daylight set to 100% white (6500K), 100% blue, 100% red, and 0% green, because blue and red are predominantly used for photosynthesis and I like the resulting colour appearance. One reason for getting this light is that at 60 watts it is powerful enough for a planted tank, at least a low-tech planted tank, but if it turns out to be too powerful or you want to temporarily lower the intensity you can do so.

Bart

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On 22/08/2016 at 5:07 PM, biodives said:

I have just started to buy fish for my new tank. I buy them at late afternoon so that they are finished acclimatizing shortly before the lights go off, currently at 7pm. Once the lights go down and there is just ambient light, but still quite a bit of ambient at this time of year, they relax much more, come out from between the plants and start to explore the tank. Once they are used to the new environment they, at least the species I have so far, don't seem to care much about the light. So I think light does affect their "being at peace" but many are quite tolerant to variable conditions. But species from heavily forested streams that are used to living in the shade may not like bright light. Cardinal tetras are often given as an example but I have seen underwater footage of cardinals in very bright clear water, although that may not be typical. There are also reports that some species need very dim or dark conditions for spawning and viability of the eggs/fry. It all depends on the species, what environment it is adapted to and if it is a generalist that can easily adapt or a specialist that is more picky. In general I am always surprised at how adaptable they are. Like Geleen said, if they are showing natural behaviour and spawning I would expect they are relatively happy and that makes me happy.

I bought one of the LED lights that include both a timer and programmable dimmer (USA Satellite Plus Pro). At "sunrise" the lights go from "nightlight" to 100% "daylight" in 15 minutes and at sunset it happens in reverse. You can define the light intensity and colour spectrum for both the nightlight and daylight settings. I have nightlight set to be completely off, some people like a little blue or white light to simulate the moon. I have daylight set to 100% white (6500K), 100% blue, 100% red, and 0% green, because blue and red are predominantly used for photosynthesis and I like the resulting colour appearance. One reason for getting this light is that at 60 watts it is powerful enough for a planted tank, at least a low-tech planted tank, but if it turns out to be too powerful or you want to temporarily lower the intensity you can do so.

Bart

How much did that light set up.cost you? Sounds  perfect for my tank... if it comes fitted for a 10 galllon long tank. (Sorry to post poach)

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The 48" model was Cnd$405 or so. They have shorter models including 2 and 3 foot I believe. Not sure if the shortest one will fit a 20" 10 gallon tank but just check on the internet. The Plus Pro gives out a lot of light and perhaps too much for a 12" tall tank. The Plus model costs considerably less and has about half the light output while retaining the timer, sunrise/sunset, etc. I also now have Aqueon Optibright LED lights that come with timer and sunrise/sunset, and are more affordable. They work well for me on 12" tall tanks and just ok on 16" tall tanks. You have to decide how much light you need based on plant choice. It is nice to have a little too much light and then just dial down the output to what you need and ramp it up/down as your needs change.

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On ‎1‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 0:09 AM, Ayametaylor said:

How much did that light set up.cost you? Sounds  perfect for my tank... if it comes fitted for a 10 galllon long tank. (Sorry to post poach)

I am using the plus pro on two tanks - the 18-24" fits perfectly on my ADA 45P (10 g) and the 24-36" on my 60P (17 g).

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