Maintaining the balancing of channels

Hello. I’m fairly new here. I have had my node set up for about 6 months now and have finally opened up 8 channels this past month.

3 days ago, I had made sure all of my channels were balanced. This morning, I seen there was some action in RTL/Reports, and a few channels were now severely unbalanced. As an OCD I instantly feel the need to correct this and balance them back out myself.

Am I solely responsible for the rebalancing of these channels? Should I wait a day or two to see if the other node operators will fix this on their end and do the rebalancing?

Please advise, thank you.


You get it wrong. There’s no need with this obsession of keeping the channels balanced.
This is the usual mistake all noobs are doing and spending lots of valuable sats in balancing fees.

I run several nodes from 2019 and I barely “balance” channels.
You balance channels ONLy when you need that liquidity on one side or another.
A channel do not have to stay perfectly balanced in order to be able to route txs.
Stop losing money!
Play with channels fees. Increase or decrease the fees (ppm and base fee) in regards where is going your liquidity.
Start watching and observing how your peers are routing through your node, see their habits and then adjust your fees accordingly.

Balancing a channel make sense once. When you open it with a peer and you want to immediately be able to route through that channel. But otherwise, just set low fees leave it for a while to start routing and then slowly increase the fees if you see that your liquidity is going on the other side. That will cost you ZERO sats. Just patience.
Please stop being obsessed with balancing. Anyway thanks for those nice sats you paid for balancing, were coming to me :slight_smile:


Great answer. I had a follow-on question, @DarthCoin - what kind of base fee & ppm do you consider a good rate to change to in order to ‘naturally’ rebalance like this? Any tips?

There’s no special fee to apply. LN is a free market. You will need to start small and slowly increase, watch closely for a while your node when is routing some txs, see from who to who, watch their nodes in what connections they have, who could be possible “router” through your node, things like that.
You are a banker now, you need to “study” your clients now and adapt for their needs.
A basic rule can be: if you want to route more, lower your fees (base fee can be 0 and play with ppm) and raise them when your liquidity goes fast and in large.
The most important graph report is the one in Thunderhub about total liquidity report, on the home page. That shows you how much you can route in one direction or another and also the max and min in 1 tx. That graph have to be kept more or less balanced, it shows you that your node can route weel, no matter which channel.
Why? Because what is draining for a channel will be filling for another, that’s it, so easy.
But remember, this will happen ONLY when your channels are with peers with good connections too, so they can forward well your incoming txs. Otherwise, your txs to be routed will be stuck and rejected.
LN is a living organism, if is not well trained and fed, will not thrive.

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what is a good way to see the routing through our channels, i have looked on ambos and 1ml but where will i see individual sat movements between nodes/channels?

“routing through channels”? If you mean your own channels use thunderhub or rtl to see your own channel activity.

You cannot see activity of other nodes as that is private information. You can only see total capacity of other channels… Not the current state.

There are (paid for) services that probe current liquidity of other nodes.

Ln router

awesome thank you i got it, btw how about adding sats to an already opened channel?

Can’t do that… (not yet, channel splicing is a discussed future enhancement).

Open Ride The Lightning and look under Lightning / Reports to see your Routing transactions

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