Should I Turn off My Fish Tank Light at Night? Aquarium Lighting Guide

Creating a natural environment for aquarium fishes is important for their health and aquarium lights plays an important role in this process. A lot of people have been asking about “Should I turn off my fish tank light at night?” and this is a common question. Keeping the right amount of light and for the right period of time is one thing every fishkeeper should know because it affects your fish a lot.

Should I turn off my fish tank light at night?

If you are searching for such questions about fish tank lights, then you are at the right place because in this blog post we tried to answer every such question about tank lights. So, let’s get started.

See Also: Fish Floating On The Side But Not Dead? Causes And Cures

Should I Turn off My Fish Tank Light at Night?

Yes, fish tank lights should be turned off at night because fishes are aquatic creatures and in their natural habitat there is day and night so mimicking just the same is best for fishes. Also, fish do need to sleep just as we do and if the lights are turned on all the time they won’t be able to differentiate between day and night. Excess light is harmful to your fish and causes stress in their eyes which can ultimately lead to a lack of sleep and appetite. 

How Long Should Aquarium Lights Be on?

Both plants and fish need some time in the dark as it’s their natural habitat and a lot of people have this misconception that turning on the light all the time would be beneficial for their plant’s growth in the fish tanks. Tank lights should be turned on at a maximum of 12 hours a day and the safest way to decide how long should you turn on tank lights is by starting with 8 hours of light and if you didn’t see any algae growth and change in behaviour of your fish you can increase it by 1 hour, but make sure you don’t exceed more than 12 hours. 

Aquarium lights

Effects of too much light in your fish tank?

There are two major effects that are harmful to your fish if your aquarium lights are turned on all the time:

Stress to fish

Keeping the natural conditions is most likely recommended but if you are keeping your tank lights on all the time then in no time you will start noticing your fish is going through stress, your fish can lose their appetite and start to hide in search of a dark place to sleep and even have a fight with other fishes in the tank. These things can also become the reason for the death of your fish.

Algae growth

If you think that live plants will prevent algae growth in your tank even when the tank lights are turned on all the time then you’re wrong. If there’s light in your tank all the time you will soon notice strings of algae growing in your tank because light promotes their growth, so if you start seeing algae growth in your tank then it’s time to reduce the time you keep your aquarium lights turned on. 

Do fish need darkness to sleep?

No, fish do not need darkness to sleep but if the lights are kept on all the time it will cause stress to their eyes and also, fishes are active in the daytime which means light and they sleep at night. However, some fishes also get active when you suddenly turn off lights because they panic and the best solution to this is to keep the dim light of your room turned on for at least an hour after you turn off aquarium lights.

How to regulate lights in aquariums?

Turning on and off lights manually is a hectic task and is not possible for everyone in this busy world. Here are two methods to regulate your aquarium lights:

Using a timer

Regulating aquarium lights using timer

A timer is the best way to regulate your tank lights, using a timer you can set the tank lights to turn on/off automatically for the number of hours you want. 

Use Ambient blue light 

abmient blue light for fish tank

Ambient blue lights are dim blue coloured lights that do not affect the fishes and plants even at night and also prevents algae growth in your tank. 

Closure | Should I turn off my fish tank light at night?

Fish tank lights do look good and make your fish’s colour even more appealing but keeping them turned on all the time is harmful to your fish and your tank environment, also it causes algae growth in your fish tank. In this blog post, we have answered about “Should I turn off my fish tank light at night?” and also shared information regarding how long should tank lights be on and how to regulate them. 

If you have any questions regarding tank lights or have a suggestion, let us know in the comment section down below.

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