Has anyone tried lowering their lighting?

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Tony
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Re: Has Anyone Tried Lowering Their Lighting?

Postby Tony » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:48 pm

They are from the March imports.

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Re: Has Anyone Tried Lowering Their Lighting?

Postby Philsuma » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:55 pm

I took the lights off my epip tricolor viv for a couple days now and they look like they are out a bit more but nothing monumentally different.

Rich...two things on "posting additional information"

1. Do not use "edit"....just simply throw up another post.

2. When typing long / large amounts of info...wherever..Reef Forums, Car Klub forums...always:

a) Left click, drag and highlight all your work.
b) then right click and select "copy"
c) save this to a Word Doc or notepad ect.

Never hit the send button on anything long / large without clicking, highlighting and saving prior.

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Re: Has Anyone Tried Lowering Their Lighting?

Postby RichFrye » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:17 am

Pics, as per Tony's request.
I would say that due to my camera's 'need' to create light for photos, the vivs will look MUCH brighter than they actually are. If there was no exposure compensation the tanks would probably be too dark to view/not even show up. All of the pictured vivs are producing as we speak.

This is a 160 gallon quepos viv. It is well over 5 feet long and has one T8 over it. It is by far my brightest breeder viv and brightest breeding granny viv. I will be changing out the fixture after a few more plant species take hold. If you look closely you will see a male just inside the door area on the left, on the back wall.
Image



This Baru viv is a 160 under the 160 Quepos viv. It has one single CF bulb from about 8 years ago when they were the rage, not sure on the wattage equivalent. You'll notice it is in the middle of the viv. I have not once seen a granny in direct light here and often find froglets and juvis on either side , in the 'dark'. This is my best breeding granny viv by far. Produces like crazy.
Image




A very simple quepos breeder. 29 hex with one spiral CF which is mostly drown out by the creeping fig.
Image



A 29 tall with a breeding pair of Baru. Indirect spiral CF , half on this tank, half pointed at a neighbor Robalo breeder.
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A nominant 30 gallon custom breeder. One spiral CF indirect also.
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A 15 cube Quepos breeder. No direct light at all. You can see the plants leaning to crave the light. Cans, leaf litter, pothos and breeding/producing healthy offspring. I'm quite positive that if this viv had direct/high light on it there would be no breeding and no sight of the grannies.
Image

And, last , but not ugliest, a nominant 90 gallon with one CF on the left and a very low wattage small, old aquarium light on the right .
Image



The one thing you will notice these all have in common is tons of leaf litter and low light . Much /most in some cases, of my substrate consists of only leaf litter and broken down leaf litter. You will also notice the lack of nice plants in any but the lowest-producing , highest lit 160 Quepos viv...

I have more granny vivs (every granny pair or trio I have is breeding right now, the country has had a great three months of storms , every week...) , but some are not condusive to photos due to the need for a wider angle lens. I think these should give a good representation of my lack of want or need for lights or super exotic plants.


Rich
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


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Re: Has Anyone Tried Lowering Their Lighting?

Postby RarePlantBroker » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:39 am

I originally started experimenting with different lighting types and levels as an attempt to create a "natural light" for my large display vivarium. After some experimentation, I found an arrangement that somewhat mimicked daily shifts in lighting conditions and stimulated plant growth--and set up the same lighting for my vivarium rack(s).

I run from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm a pair of T-5's with 3700k lights, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm I add a pair of T-8's in the 5500k range, and finally between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm I run another pair of T-8's--one in the 6700k range (using UV lights in my display vivarium with a Solacryl top--which had been housing my Bastimentos pumilio's), and the other bulb in this pair is a 10,000k actinic to aid in plant growth. The change in color temperature and light saturation is very similar to the natural color change in lighting based on angle of penetration through canopy, and the increased lighting levels at mid-day also cause a 2-3 degree temperature increase in the higher reaches of my vivariums at mid-day.

While all of my vivariums are not true biotope plantings, I do attempt to mimic the type of terrain and planting for each species. For example, I keep my Azureus in a vivarium with extremely deep leaf litter, a couple of understory plants, and a tree stump with a couple of "shingler" plants. These frogs are out and very active during all but the middle of the day--at which time they retreat into the leaf litter. I have noticed with my Panamanian auratus that they spend the "brightest" portion of the day under the heaviest foliage near the bottom of their 24" high vivarium--and explore the highest reaches during the lower light periods.
Other frogs, however, seem to have a different response. My Ancon Hill's are in a vivarium with a clay background (with drip wall)--and are active throughout the day--and I see the most calling from the males high in the vivarium during mid-day. Similarly, I often see my Basti's out basking in the mid-day light--at the top of their vivarium (on the bromeliads), however the majority of the male's calling is in the early morning hours.
The most interesting response to lighting has been my SI Anthonyi's. When they first entered their permanent vivarium, the males would call from sunrise to sunset. As the vivarium became heavily overgrown (there's a central moving stream that flows into a small pond--the stream became canopied with foliage over 8 months) the males reduced calling, and egg production waned. About two weeks ago, I trimmed the foliage heavily in the vivarium, and replaced two plants--one which was growing too quickly, and one that had expired. The new plants stay smaller and allow more light penetration. Since the "re-landscaping", the males are back to calling continuously during daylight (and beyond if there is ambient light in the room), and the largest clutch of eggs to date is deposited on a leaf over the pond (looks like 14 developing in this clutch). This response doesn't surprise me having seen photos of the open riverine habitat around Santa Isabel in Ecuador.

So, my conclusion is that varying light wave-length and intensity is more appropriate than just a single continuous light source for 12 hours, the amount of foliage determines how much of that light is allowed to penetrate to the "forest floor" of the vivarium, and the individual species/morph of frog (and their natural habitat) will determine their activity in relation to light levels.
Alasdair

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Re: Has Anyone Tried Lowering Their Lighting?

Postby RichFrye » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:17 pm

RarePlantBroker wrote:I originally started experimenting with different lighting types and levels as an attempt to create a "natural light" for my large display vivarium. After some experimentation, I found an arrangement that somewhat mimicked daily shifts in lighting conditions and stimulated plant growth--and set up the same lighting for my vivarium rack(s).


I run from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm a pair of T-5's with 3700k lights, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm I add a pair of T-8's in the 5500k range, and finally between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm I run another pair of T-8's--one in the 6700k range (using UV lights in my display vivarium with a Solacryl top--which had been housing my Bastimentos pumilio's), and the other bulb in this pair is a 10,000k actinic to aid in plant growth. The change in color temperature and light saturation is very similar to the natural color change in lighting based on angle of penetration through canopy, and the increased lighting levels at mid-day also cause a 2-3 degree temperature increase in the higher reaches of my vivariums at mid-day.

While all of my vivariums are not true biotope plantings, I do attempt to mimic the type of terrain and planting for each species. For example, I keep my Azureus in a vivarium with extremely deep leaf litter, a couple of understory plants, and a tree stump with a couple of "shingler" plants. These frogs are out and very active during all but the middle of the day--at which time they retreat into the leaf litter. I have noticed with my Panamanian auratus that they spend the "brightest" portion of the day under the heaviest foliage near the bottom of their 24" high vivarium--and explore the highest reaches during the lower light periods.
Other frogs, however, seem to have a different response. My Ancon Hill's are in a vivarium with a clay background (with drip wall)--and are active throughout the day--and I see the most calling from the males high in the vivarium during mid-day. Similarly, I often see my Basti's out basking in the mid-day light--at the top of their vivarium (on the bromeliads), however the majority of the male's calling is in the early morning hours.
The most interesting response to lighting has been my SI Anthonyi's. When they first entered their permanent vivarium, the males would call from sunrise to sunset. As the vivarium became heavily overgrown (there's a central moving stream that flows into a small pond--the stream became canopied with foliage over 8 months) the males reduced calling, and egg production waned. About two weeks ago, I trimmed the foliage heavily in the vivarium, and replaced two plants--one which was growing too quickly, and one that had expired. The new plants stay smaller and allow more light penetration. Since the "re-landscaping", the males are back to calling continuously during daylight (and beyond if there is ambient light in the room), and the largest clutch of eggs to date is deposited on a leaf over the pond (looks like 14 developing in this clutch). This response doesn't surprise me having seen photos of the open riverine habitat around Santa Isabel in Ecuador.


Al, there have been noted and documented activity and breeding changes when a viv becomes very "heavily overgrown". The males in many species want to see around them to inspect for predators , mates and potential male rivals. A "heavily overgrown" tank does not allow for this open line of sight and thus can stifle breeding.
Again, I'm by no means an expert on all the darts species, but others here have shown more activity with less light on their SI's. How many breeding season have you had you SI's ?
Have you tried less light and less plants yet?
It is also my guess that the basti may be basking in the UV as an aid to vit. D uptake. All things equal , with proper/ hugely varied diet in the wild I would guess the basking happens less often. The calling and breeding in lesser light may indicate the basking as supplementation, not a natural draw to higher light. It's higher photons I contest as not needed nor an aid. UV as supplementation is a totally different matter if there is need for better D uptake.



RarePlantBroker wrote:
So, my conclusion is that varying light wave-length and intensity is more appropriate than just a single continuous light source for 12 hours, the amount of foliage determines how much of that light is allowed to penetrate to the "forest floor" of the vivarium, and the individual species/morph of frog (and their natural habitat) will determine their activity in relation to light levels.


What does "more appropriate " mean? Breeding? Longevity of life? Health of darts? Health of plants?
I absolutely agree that there are different light levels/spectrum's in different dart habitats. And also the amount of foliage makes a difference (if there is too much). Barriers and laying sites , such as leaf litter , wood, rocks, ect. can help with breeding as much as , if not more so when done right , plants.
I would ask if you have ever turned off or down extremely all lights in all vivs for a decent period of time ?
When I trim my vivs I almost always see more activity and breeding . ANY time you change the environment of a long-term viv you will have a better chance of short term breeding. It stresses the frogs. Take a pair of darts and move them into another fully set-up viv and more than likely for the first week or two you will get better breeding.

Rich
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


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Re: Has Anyone Tried Lowering Their Lighting?

Postby Philsuma » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:51 pm

Re-decorated vivarium conditions often triggers breeding. Cutting back plantings or moving things around.

I am def leaning towards the lower light side of things, with an occasional spotlight, UVB or other HO bulb use only sporadically. This animals are amphibians after all. I can't imagine them seeking out bright lights and losing precious water. What if the basking was more of a sign...an indicator....a red flag raised by the animal itself as it seeks to correct an imbalance cause by a poor or improper diet, for instance ?

This is a great discussion...ongoing too.

Not that my wallet would have allowed for the fixture upgrades at this time, but I'm more than ok with staying with my T-12's. Not a problem.

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Re: Has anyone tried lowering their lighting?

Postby RarePlantBroker » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:26 pm

Rich,
My SI's were in a "more open" environment last year when I first moved them into their current vivarium. For the first six months in that vivarium--it was illuminated by a single pair of T-8's in the 6700k range. At that time, I was seeing a new clutch about every 2-3 weeks of 6-10 eggs with about 50% developing. As the foliage grew in, they have shown a preference for depositing eggs on leaves overhanging the pond. The vivarium was grown in quite well by the time I increased the lighting (finally got my all-in-one computer controlled timer in and working). Breeding activity had slowed (partly due to temperature changes over the winter I'm sure), but the frogs activity was also decreased--both before and after changing the lighting with the heavy foliage canopy. After trimming the vivarium--all of the frogs (not just the males) are out in the open (something I never saw when the vivarium had lower light levels--the females would always stay under the plants). The females are out in the open areas (albeit in the lower area of the vivarium), and the males sit constantly atop the foliage.

When I commented that the varying light intensity and spectrum being "more appropriate", I was intending to say more natural. While the length of daylight in equatorial, or near-equatorial latitudes is constant in length--it does vary in both intensity and color spectrum based on the angle of the sun--and the subsequent penetration of both the atmosphere and any canopy. I will state that my time spent in South and Central America was not observing PDF's, but all of the wildlife that I did observe seemed to go into hides or greatly reduce activity during the middle of the day--even below multiple layers of canopy. I have noticed a similar gradient of activity level based on the intensity of light in my vivariums--within certain species of frogs. Frogs that originate in areas with less canopy are more active during the higher light photo period, where other species are less active.

Now, a little about my vivariums--as to my lighting and planting conditions. Over the past 2 to 2 1/2 years, I've moved most of my frogs into vivariums that are at least 24" in height, and moved the lighting a minimum of 6" above the vivariums. Additionally, I've re-planted the majority with a minimum of plants at "ground level"--usually only one or two plants (either ferns or gesneriads), and increased the number of epiphytic or climbing plants growing from tree branches or in the background of the vivarium. This has had the effect of creating more "canopy" in the vivarium, making the lower reaches of the vivariums darker, and keeping the plant growth better above. The males of nearly every species still call from higher perches in the vivarium (my male Leucomelas has kept the same "calling spot" through 3 years and two major plant changes and 3 different lighting experiments).
Alasdair

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Re: Has anyone tried lowering their lighting?

Postby Bill Schwinn » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:50 pm

In all my breeding tanks lighting is kept to a bare minimum. Most tanks have fake plants(Tincs, Azurus, Auratus) Mints and leucs have live plants. I find when all my frogs are courting I leave their lights off, just letting ambient light light them up. I have been doing this for many years with good results. In fact my Auratus have no tank lighting just room lighting. With tank lighting they hide and rarely breed. Bill

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Re: Has anyone tried lowering their lighting?

Postby gary1218 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:20 am

This may be just a coincidence, but.........

I've had the lights out on my tanks now for 2-3 months. Prior to this I only had 2 adult thumbnail tanks where I wasn't getting any calling or breeding. Today I emptied out the broms in all my adult tanks looking for tads. In one of those 2 tanks I found 4 tads, 3 of which already had back legs. In the other tank I found 3 tads and one newly morphed froglet :)

I may be removing the lights from my tanks permanently :)
GARY

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Re: Has anyone tried lowering their lighting?

Postby Philsuma » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:23 pm

Excellent counterpoint thread to increased lighting. It made me think.

It could be, like many other things in life.....the "sweet spot" lies somewhere in the middle.

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Re: Has anyone tried lowering their lighting?

Postby RichFrye » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:53 pm

"The middle sweet spot" would mean there are benefits to lights for our darts. But, there has been no scientific nor annectdotal information to prove this. There are however many instances of proven better breeding , long term to lower lighting. There are actually many more instances where there is an actual answer (black or white) to dart frog husbandry. Especially considering it is based on science and not some sort of 'I'm OK , you're OK,' comphy feeling.
To prove this point, simply look at light levels where actual dart frogs are found...


Darts found on right hand side of pic.
Image

Darts found to the right and lower of the the diffenbachia, below the humming bird nest.
Image

Darts found in that big black hole to the right of the pic.
Image

Toad found in dart habitat. WAY too dark to take without a flashlight's help, and STILL way too dark to get a good pic.
Image

All these foothills are dark, and even more so when clouds engulf the area as pictured.
Image


Light needed or benficial to our darts...I don't think so.
And, I can provide hundreds more in-situ pics to prove the point, if needed.
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


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Re: Has anyone tried lowering their lighting?

Postby Venutus1 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:27 pm

RichFrye wrote:"The middle sweet spot"
Darts found on right hand side of pic.
Image

Darts found to the right and lower of the the diffenbachia, below the humming bird nest.
Image

Darts found in that big black hole to the right of the pic.
Image

Light needed or benficial to our darts...I don't think so.
And, I can provide hundreds more in-situ pics to prove the point, if needed.


Hi Rich,
I would like to know what species of darts were found to the right of that diffenbachia or near that big black hole.
Do you know?
Thanks,
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Re: Has anyone tried lowering their lighting?

Postby RichFrye » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:42 pm

Hi Todd,
Sure I know, I took the pictures and found the frogs. :wink:
Vittatus, auratus, grannies, and two types of rocket frogs. Quite few toads also. All very different in their own way, but in common they all like very, very low light.
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


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Re: Has anyone tried lowering their lighting?

Postby schreff » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:50 pm

Im not going to put a light on my Tarapoto Viv. I've been trying to figure out what light to get. I guess this solves that.

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Re: Has anyone tried lowering their lighting?

Postby Philsuma » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:35 pm

I was in Costa Rica and took some time to actually try and catch some auratus. They ONLY came out when it was very damp or overcast. I never saw them anytime when it was sunny or bright.

and then there's this....

I had a sub adult bastimentos in a vert tank with a pizz poor fishy tank light that was throwing purplish light. I rigged up a 50 watt outdoor spot light - bright, and the very minute I turned it on....the basti came out and sat on broms and leaves in the brightest part of the vivarium. The frog continued to do this - what I can only liken to "basking" on many many other days. In fact, I never saw the frog with the small fish tank light on. With the spot light....It was out constantly.

^^^ Nothing conclusive with either small sampling of the two different scenarios, obviously. Just some reported incidents.

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Re: Has anyone tried lowering their lighting?

Postby Venutus1 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:13 pm

RichFrye wrote:Hi Todd,
Sure I know, I took the pictures and found the frogs. :wink:
Vittatus, auratus, grannies, and two types of rocket frogs. Quite few toads also. All very different in their own way, but in common they all like very, very low light.


Hi Rich,

Could you list for us the species of frogs that spend their time in habitats with the lowest lumen levels? I agree..
Understanding this is key. From a scientific approach, it seems it would be a big help in determining how to set them up.
Now more than ever, this information would be handy to have. Your expertise is greatly appreciated. :)
Thanks!

Todd
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Re: Has anyone tried lowering their lighting?

Postby RichFrye » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:37 am

Hi Todd,
Being that there are about 300 species of darts , no, I don't have a comprehensive list available. I imagine it would take many years to scientifically do so. But, every species I have worked with personally over the last decade (around 40) benefited from lower levels than what I would call 'standardly utilized' lighting.
If it takes a flashlight in the middle of a sunny day to see the frogs in their natural habitat, what does this say ? Lots of pictures say a lot.
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


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Re: Has anyone tried lowering their lighting?

Postby frogs are cool » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:31 am

I use T12 and T8 and have noticed more activity than when using VHO bulbs especially with Galacts. I cant say this is due to the lights or the fact that there is less heat but I'm sure both had to affect the outcome.
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Re: Has anyone tried lowering their lighting?

Postby Dendro_Dave » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:27 pm

I have noticed that my Benedicta especially seem to shun the light more then other frogs. In fact I was using a strategy of shutting the light off for 15min-an hour and then sneaking in there and flipping it back on to catch glimpses of them.

My sisa I'm not sure about...they seem kinda shy, at least as froglets, and they have a lot of good size driftwood pieces to hide under so I'm not sure if it is general shyness or shying from the light. I get a sense more with the benedicta that despite whatever innate shyness there is the light is definitely a factor. Probably in part due to it being a shorter tank, even though it still isn't as well lit as some of my others. They are getting a new viv soon though...so we'll see if they change their behavior. I have been satisfied with their boldness though. I do catch at least one-three out fairly often and have seen all 4 at once a time or two. 1 of them, I think the largest ironically enough seems especially shy.
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Re: Has anyone tried lowering their lighting?

Postby Philsuma » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:14 pm

made this thread a sticky...


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