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I currently am using custom controllers that set my light intensity to match the solar insolation curve for a point near the equator (see the last figure at the bottom of this page: Solar insolation).

But lately, I've been considering modifying it for the benefit of the animals (various ranitomeya). Specifically having more drawn out morning and evening periods of lower light intensity, since the frogs are definitely more active in lower light conditions.

I do also have 1 or 2 afternoon thunderstorms each that are centered around the misting schedule, and the lights dim slowly but dramatically during these times for about 20 minutes each.

What do you guys do with your lighting setups to strike the best balance between plant growth and activity?
 

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I just try to keep them consistent. 9:30 AM lights on, 9:00 PM lights off. I don't change with time changes. My frogs still have their early morning activity and late afternoon activity, as per their typical circadian rhythm (I keep Ranitomeya as well). I don't find the light intensity seems to impact them in regards to timing (certainly, lights that are too intense make them a little more reclusive in my experience). They are on or off, but I do allow for the morning to have a more natural sunrise with natural light, hence the later "on" time.

I think things like thunderstorms are really for the hobbyist, not the frogs, but I'm not sure they have any negative impact that I know of.
 

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I run roughly 12 hr daylight cycles, no ramping. If it were technologically straightforward to ramp, I would, but I have three or four lighting circuits I'd have to outfit.

Do you notice more early photoperiod and late photoperiod activity with the ramping than without? My frogs definitely are more active early, and then again late, but I have no comparison with most of my frogs to a ramped lighting scheme. (I used to have a ramped light on my leucs and don't notice any difference without it.)

Given that darts are often said to be more common in habitat transition zones -- near rivers, forest/open area boundary, treefall gaps -- having a midday ramp-down or even asymmetrical dimmer time when the sun would be blocked by canopy foliage might be a natural lighting schedule. For example, animals that live on the western bank of a large river would have most intense light in the AM.
 

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I use timers with a ramp up function on most of my tanks, separate ramp timers for each LED light strip on each tank. A bit of a pain to get started and setup but once they're running they're very slick

My Ranitomeya sirensis and Ameerega bassleri are out far more often when the lights are just ramping up or are ramping down town than the rest of the day.
 

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I have a custom LED unit I built with a Storm-X controller and ramping (I have the ramp period on for about an hour) on the top of my rack, on the bottom I have a fixture with no ramping, the frogs do not act any different in my opinion on the top or bottom of the rack. I run 12 on 12 off and flora, fauna are both happy.

Personally, I would spend my lighting budget on making sure I have high CRI lighting, this has gotten much cheaper and the technology much better for LED's over the past few years. This hobby is very visual, I think its nice to have lighting that is natural and accurate in appearance.
 
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