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Daylight Savings Challenge For Saltwater Aquarium Enthusiasts

Daylight Savings Time is Coming

Sunday is Daylight Savings, which means you are supposed to adjust your clock by one hour. Don’t just set your clock–take the Daylight Savings Aquarium Challenge

aquarium clock

A quick history lesson about Daylight Savings

The concept of daylight savings was first popularized by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 as a notion to lower the cost of light by taking advantage of the squandered early morning hours of sunlight. Ironically, lamps may have been fueled by whale oil back then, so Ben Franklin may have been a marine environmentalist and we never knew it. Ben Franklin is also from Philly, which makes him awesome, just like cheese steaks and me (just cheesy).

Completely unrelated stuff because I’m hungry (and also from Philadelphia)

As a side-bar here, mostly because I’ll probably never have the opportunity to impart my cheese steak wisdom again. If the sandwich is called a steak and cheese (note the order of the words) or a “Philly” cheese steak, it probably isn’t any good–get something else from the menu.


I thought it would be interesting this week to try and take Franklin’s idea and apply it to our hobby. But rather than set your lights forward or backward by one hour, what I thought would be interesting is if we all agree to adjust our timers to turn off 30 minutes earlier. Just simply dial back the amount of light you bombard your tank with by a small amount and see if it makes a difference. I bet it won’t make a (noticeable) difference on the stability (or growth) of your tank—but it will make a small difference in the cost of light for your aquarium and on the environment.

Take the Daylight Savings Aquarium Challenge for Saltwater Aquarium Enthusiasts

Does your tank NEED all the light you zap it with each day? How do you know? Do you want to take the challenge with me? Leave a comment and let me know. We can all report back in a few weeks and then again before the next Daylight Savings (fall back one hour) and showcase our results. Obviously don’t take this challenge if you’ve already carefully calculated the photo period for your tank, but if you’re like me and you just ‘arbitrarily’ have the lights set at 12 hours on and 12 hours off (which is the recommended regimen by Borneman in Aquarium Corals), take the daylight savings challenge and see if you can save a whale…or at least a little bit of electricity.






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