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I have a question I'm going camping for 3 days and have no one to look after my saltwater tank and I was wondering do leave the lights off and use my heater or not thanks

Hi Isaac:

Nice to meet you sir... those are very good questions.

My recommendation is to put your lights on a timer. You can find a quality light timer at most local fish stores. For a saltwater fish-only aquarium at least 8 hours of light is recommended. For a saltwater coral reef aquarium at least 10 hours of light is recommended.

In regard to your heater, my recommendation is to set it at 76 degrees Fahrenheit, this is the best temperature for most saltwater home aquariums. Almost all good quality aquarium heaters will have a built-in thermostat which automatically turns the heater on and off as needed, to keep the aquarium water at a temperature of approximately 76 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore you shouldn't have any problems with it while away for 3 days.

Thank you for the questions and I wish you the best of luck with all your future aquarium endeavors.


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David Ocreef


Technical saltwater coral reef related aquarium questions are welcome. Coral, invertebrate, and peaceful species of saltwater fish questions are welcome. Questions asked on Saturday and Sunday will be answered the following Monday. REMINDER: Please check the answers pool to see if your question has already been asked and answered. Questions typically are answered within a 48 hour period, however sometimes it may take longer.


I possess over twenty-five years of hands-on experience and knowledge in the ecology of aquariums. Beyond the traditional, I have successfully tested and sustained environments that have been uncharted territories for hobbyists, for decades. I am the first to admit I don't know it all because there will always be something new, amazing, and exciting to learn about, as discoveries are made. It's a hobby one can never outgrow, or grow tired of.

MASNA - Marine Aquarium Society of North America. Director of Orange County Reef Aquatics -

Publications,, and many others.

After High School, my experience and love of marine animals influenced me to take up studies in Marine Biology. Throughout college, I studied Microbiology with an emphasis on Marine Life, as well as numerous other sciences. I continued to advance in this hobby, by building a dozen or more saltwater ecosystems all utilizing Microbes as the major source of my filtration method.

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