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I wanted to add a bit more about why I like dual siestas, but I thought the topic should be separate from the Fluval 3.0 lighting thread.

My dual siesta reasoning is 90% human, and 10% for a little bonus in organic soil Walstad tanks. I am not trying to promote it as a special formula for fish rooms or all tanks.

I rejoined the hobby in 2018, after running marine tanks for a while until 2011, and under-gravel, plastic plant tanks as a kid. I spent a lot of time researching lighting, especially after I setup my first organic soil tank, and started to understand the balancing act between light, decomposition, algae, and plants. The corner case I was trying to solve involved the following:

Organic soil Walstad tanks, bedroom setup, weekday enjoyment vs weekend enjoyment, and algae vs plants.

I wanted to be able to grow my plants, let plants out-compete algae, and see what was happening when I was in the room, without disrupting anything. I could setup a weekday schedule, which was frustrating for weekends, or the opposite. There was no way to do a consistent 6-8 hour schedule without missing a ton of tank-viewing time.

Before we got Fluval Pro Mode, I watched a few of Bentley Pascoe's videoes about using timers to trick the lights into more control points by resetting to midnight on a power-cycle. I also started reading Diana Walstad's book at the same time, where she discusses soil decomposition, CO2, plants, and algae, as well as siestas.

My understanding is that plants ramp up photosynthesis faster than algae, so every slice of darkness-to-light favors the plants for a certain amount of time. In the meantime, with an organic soil substrate, the darkness allows for more production of CO2 from decomposition. The CO2 from decomposition is much lower than CO2 injection, but it is real.

Once we got Pro Mode, I tried to find a way to slice up the time schedule so that I could get the equivalent of 6-8 hours of sustained light in a broken-up format, so I could wake up with my tanks at 07:00, enjoy them throughout the day, and have one hour of 1-2% blue from 21:00-22:00. I am getting 6-8 hours of normal light in 14-15 hours.

That is what I tried to do with those schedules. I had to use triangle peaks rather than sustained peaks, since we don't have enough set points, but if you were to slide those triangles together, and overlap the middle ramp-ups, and ramp-downs, it would look more like a regular 6-8 hour schedule.

I measured the pH changes with my Apex, along with temperature changes. Cheers

 

Apex Dual Siesta.jpg

IMG_1922.PNG.1cb5b226f53c7811c8dd961a29644666.PNG

Edited by Streetwise
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How well would this work with standard cheap on-or-off lights? I have a timer I can schedule. My human waking day runs from 7am to 10pm at least. I don't have time during the workday to enjoy the tanks, so I was thinking a simple split would work, half the light in the morning, half in the evening, a "dim" period in the middle--my apartment gets a fair bit of natural light, most of the tanks benefit from some of that, the fish aren't in a windowless garage or anything, but not enough to grow aquarium plants.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Brandy,
I bought an Apex when I did because the 2018 smart plug market was frustrating, especially if you wanted to use Apple vs Google or Amazon. Now you can do so much with smart plugs for whatever platform you choose.

I focused on getting the time schedule right (see the other thread), and then dialing in power per peak to let plants win over algae. Timing for me, power for plants vs algae. I do this via the FluvalSmart app for my current setup.

Cheers

Edited by Streetwise
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I totally missed that thread, not having a fluval light. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

I really appreciated @StephenP2003's advice to dial in ferts first and add light slowly, something I worked out the hard way I think. Pity my ferts are not automated like my lights, a robot is always more consistent!

So, without power adjustment, this technique is a bit more limited...I really only have raw hours to work with, and distance to water surface. I have heard of lowering light intensity temporarily by altering the height to be further from the water surface, or blocking some LEDs with tape during the start up, but I have never tried that.

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Brandy, let’s say you run eight hours now. You could use a timer to do 2h40m on, siesta, 2h40m on, siesta, 2h40m on, then nighttime. You might even find that with the breaks, you could get away with three hours per photoperiod after testing.

Cheers

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18 hours ago, Streetwise said:

Apex

I looked this bad boy up, because I'd never heard of it and always gotta have all the gadgets. But holy crap, that's a hefty price tag! Looking at the data you can collect and graph though, this might be a long-term wish list item if I ever go saltwater...seems to be touted as a marine gadget given the salinity and ORP probes.

 

Anyways, I have a pretty long photoperiod on my tanks since I work from home (with or without covid) and want to see them. I started off with lots of various color rampups/downs but settled on simplicity.

 

1417172044_Fluvallightsettings.jpg.6ea86a30450aa6cdfbb96999599a77d9.jpg

 

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  • 2 months later...

@Streetwise What's your experience with running your lights on the Siesta schedule? Have you noticed any reduction in algae, any changes in plant growth? Or, mainly the same as a single photoperiod but you get more time to enjoy your tanks?

Hope it's not poor form on my part to bump up an older thread, but sink you linked to it.. 😉 

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@Jessica. When this forum was created, I made an effort to create some FAQ threads that would be useful and avoid drama. I appreciate your reply.

I have been running my dual siesta schedule for about a year. I have achieved stability. I don't think siestas or dual siestas provide amazing gains, but they don't have any down-sides.

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11 hours ago, Jessica. said:

@Streetwise What's your experience with running your lights on the Siesta schedule? Have you noticed any reduction in algae, any changes in plant growth? Or, mainly the same as a single photoperiod but you get more time to enjoy your tanks?

Hope it's not poor form on my part to bump up an older thread, but sink you linked to it.. 😉 

I love it when these previous threads come back to life. A lot has happened since @Streetwise first posted his work on lighting schedules.

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Let me try to follow up with a little more information. I think my schedules have helped with algae balance, but I was tweaking power levels at the same time that I was working on the timing. I did most of this when I had just one tank, so all the subsequent tanks have run the same same schedule from day zero, with power scaled up or down, and they have avoided algae issues that I had to work thru on my first tank. The one exception is the tank in my kitchen/dining room which gets way too much window light, even with blinds and drapes.

Most of my tanks are in my bedroom, and during the months of working at home, it was really nice to be able to wake up with my tanks, and get to enjoy them at night. The nice side-effect is seeing more of my loaches and Otos during the siestas.

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I'm doing the dual siestas and for me it's because i want to see into the tank. I'm having problems with algae but really want this to work because I like the idea of being able to see my plants and critters. I don't have fancy lights but I've heard others have successfully done this with normal lights.

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Here is a better graph to show how the pH changes with the light schedule and photosynthesis over the course of a week. Each crest corresponds to a peak in the light, and the mid-day throughs show the siestas.

1048311356_ScreenShot2020-09-30at22_47_5

Edited by Streetwise
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25 minutes ago, Streetwise said:

Yup. Nighttime is the biggest reset. You know more about biochemistry than I do, so drop some science. I think you mentioned that photosynthesis runs in reverse at night.

As you can see from @Streetwise 's graph above the pH is lowest in the early morning every day. This is because during the nighttime photosynthesis runs in reverse and plants take in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide with the peak build up of CO2 being in the early morning thereby lowering the pH. Once the lights are on the plants begin to photosynthesize and thus begin to consume carbon dioxide and release O2 again.

It is one thing to read about it in books, but to measure it in your own aquarium and see that it not only works in general, but also to confirm that even the triple peaks of the lighting match the triple peaks of the pH is really educational. That alone just about justifies getting the Apex.

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Is there an optimal hour gap to aim for? I currently run lights on my two main tanks on a single timer from 11 am to 11 pm. Both have bearable amounts of algae and good plants growth, both have inert substrate (pool filter sand and black diamond blasting sand). Any marginal benefits beyond adjusting viewing hours? Worth a shot anyway if I report back? 

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