Going on Vacation? What should I do with my planted tank???? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Guys,

How do you manage to keep your tanks in control while on vacations?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 07:49 PM
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Not much. I reduce lighting slightly (from 11 hours to 9 hours), add surface agitation (reduces CO2 somewhat but encourages O2 exchange in case of trouble) and feed heavily for a few days before. I can leave up to a week and the fish will be fine. The plants will be a bit overgrown.

- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 08:22 PM
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How about for 11 or 12 days? Just praying the power doesn't go out and resets the timers to be on permanently? :P

Has anyone experience with those white shells that are sold as a long-term fish food? Will they foul up the water? Will one fish get really fat and others starve to death?
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
Has anyone experience with those white shells that are sold as a long-term fish food? Will they foul up the water? Will one fish get really fat and others starve to death?
When I lived in the college dorms (during my formidable years), I had to leave my tank for nearly a month (holiday/winter break). I bought a few, 2-week 'pyramids'. I dropped a couple in before I left, and made arrangements with the hall director to drop a couple more in the tank at the midpoint. Returned to a rotund pleco and tenuous angelfish :roll: . Still don't know if the angels simply didn't care for the food, or if they never got a shot at it. In any event, a one-month electric feeder took care of the problem.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 08:51 PM
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For anything less than a week, I don't bother with "Vacation Food" but if it is going to be more than a week, I've used them before. Like Uni said, some fish are bloated, some are thin. Clown Loaches and peck the heck out of those white shells!

- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 09:38 PM
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My tanks are set up on timers for lights and CO2. The discus tank has a battery powered feeder. It's pretty much in autopilot for a week or less. Any more than that, I have a friend stop over on his way home from work and do one feeding for all the tanks. I've read in the past that if your fish are in excellent shape, they're good for up to 2 weeks without feeding. With a timer for lights, it should be fine. I've done that in years past but now have the friend stop...since there are also 3 collies and a cat that like attention. BTW, they're set up self-feeding and watered for up to a long weekend.

120, pres. CO2, Initial Sticks, PMDD, 330w. CF, Amazon biotope, WILD Discus, "L" Plecos, Cardinals, Rummy Nose, SAE's (I know, SAE's aren't from SA but gosh...!)
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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well I am surprised to know that the fish will be able to stay 2 weeks without food.. but I might drop one of those vacation shells...

I was mainly worried about algae blooming since I won't be dosing nitrates but I guess taking a bulb or 2 will take care of that..

Thanks guys
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 12:08 AM
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don't worry about the fish food. no fish food for two weeks, no problem. I wouldn't put one of those pyramids in there. It's just not worth the trouble. If you're going to be gone for more than a week and a half, then an automatic feeder, although expensive, will be your best bet. However, I wouldn't recommend having a friend stop by to feed. Even after showing them how to do it, you'd be surprised how easily they will forget.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 12:37 AM
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I think the inventors of them vacation "pyramid" foods should be hung by their ~~~ !
Either way you look at them , whether it be as "uneaten" food left to pollute the water or food that has been digested and turned to mulm to pollute the water , its a bad thing. This is NOT a controlled amount of food you normally would have fed in that week or two while you were gone.

You have 3 viable options here...
1) Get a friend or family member to feed once or twice over the time.
2) Buy a feeder (timer)
3) Just go on vacation and have a good time.

Vacation Blocks do more harm then good on an unattended tank , fish will glutton over them quickly and mess up a tank bad. That actually isnt a bad way to learn though... if you have doubts just get yourself one and drop it in the tank while you are home... hehe... watch how the fish abuse these things ! And be sure to resist that water change after only 3 days... LOL

Fish can go incredible amounts of time without feeding, they are not like you and I...
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 12:53 AM
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Check with the LFS and see if they recommend someone to come in and take care of the fish. I have used a recommended person to do so and it works great.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 12:57 AM
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Most people (myself included) would recommend reducing (or at least not increasing) your feedings in the days before you leave, and drop the temperature one or two degrees. You want to slow down their metabolism and not give them so much food to digest, which, of course, would otherwise translate into increased waste production while you're gone.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 01:11 AM
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Depending on where you live, you may have a pet sitting service. We use one for the dog and cats and also the fish. Should be able to locate one by searching the net for pet sitters.

If you decide to have someone feed your fish (either a friend or sitting service), pre-measure selected amounts and put it in a baggie. Mark the date and feeding, i.e. 2-10-04 AM feeding, 2-10-04 PM feeding etc. Leave extra in case you are delayed in returning home (weather delays/airport cancellations, etc). Don't trust someone to give just a pinch of this food or that food. I'm sure the pinch of food I feed is either less or more then the pinch of food you feed.

Also leave specific instructions on how to take care of the various mechanicals of your tank. We once had a friend take care of a pair of breeding Jewel Ciclids. We got home and there was food all over the tank and you couldn't see through the water. The power went out and she couldn't get the filter to start again. We lost all the babies and the mama.

Go through everything with your tank sitter both verbally and in writing. Post the written instructions on the tank so they can easily find them if needed. Have fun on vacation.

Matt

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 01:35 AM
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I make tiny wax paper envelopes for each day and tape them to the front of the tank. I like having someone come look at the tank for a second, to be sure the filters are running (whispers may not come back on after a power outage)
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info guys, well I guess I won't use those pyramids.. I will take a bulb or two out, lower the temp and things should be fine. I am only going for a week anyways...


P.S. I just realized that my fish are going into an inverted cup I put to collect the CO2 bubbles exiting the Hagen diffuser... and they are breathing the CO2 in there... I guess its making them high
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 01:49 AM
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Go to WalMart. They have a battery powered feeder for about $10. The trick with these feeders is filling them with the right food that won't clog the feeder. I've found the perfect food for this feeder. It's called Tetra Tropical Crisps, also sold at WalMart. The flakes are all the same size, like the little paper discs you get from a paper punch. I use this setup on my 29 gallon office tank at work. I fill the feeder about once every 2 weeks. I've tried a lot of different foods in this feeder but the tropical crisps is the only food that flows flawlessly.

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75 gal heavily planted,50/50 Black beauty,Eco-complete substrate, Pressurised CO2 with solenoid, ph controller, AB Reactor 1000, 330 watts 9325K GE PC lighting,Ehiem Liquidoser, 2-Filstar xp3 canisters.
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