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Old 07-04-2012, 02:41 AM   #1
Zefrik
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Going on vacation, How should I leave my tanks.


I am going on vacation for about 18 days. My grandma is going to be at our house watching the dogs and the fish tanks. I have a couple tanks that I use fertilizers on a regular schedule. Can I skip the dosing to make it easier for my grandma? Or should I pre-measure out ferts and have her throw them in the tank on the days they need to be? There will not be a weekly water change of 50% either. Should I just turn down the lights so it is not so bright and try to put the tanks on autopilot? I need help.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:46 AM   #2
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i wouldn't do ferts, especially if there's not going to be water changes. there's too much possibility that things could go wrong IMO...
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:08 PM   #3
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Put the fish food into a daily pill sorter or similar small container (I use coffee mate creamer containers) so your Grandmother will know to only feed that much once a day. (feed less while you are gone unless you have predatory fish that will eat their tank mates)

Don't forget to bring your grandmother something really nice for staying at home and dealing with all those pets!
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:30 PM   #4
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Dim or raise the lights, cut the photo period to maybe 5 or 6 hours.
Do a water change and dose before you leave.
Do a trim before you leave too and leave any stem plants that you cut floating at the top of the tank to further reduce light and potential algae.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chlorophile View Post
Dim or raise the lights, cut the photo period to maybe 5 or 6 hours.
Do a water change and dose before you leave.
Do a trim before you leave too and leave any stem plants that you cut floating at the top of the tank to further reduce light and potential algae.
+1 on this
remember light is the gas pedal for your tank growth
you could also leave some declorinated water for top offs if you want to as well.
But Chlorophiles suggestions are spot on and exactly what i do on holidays as well. and every thing is always fine when i return.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zefrik View Post
I am going on vacation for about 18 days. My grandma is going to be at our house watching the dogs and the fish tanks. I have a couple tanks that I use fertilizers on a regular schedule. Can I skip the dosing to make it easier for my grandma? Or should I pre-measure out ferts and have her throw them in the tank on the days they need to be? There will not be a weekly water change of 50% either. Should I just turn down the lights so it is not so bright and try to put the tanks on autopilot? I need help.
Hello Z...

Unless you have an experienced tank keeper watch your tanks, it's best to keep things simple. Having someone feed the fish is dangerous at best. I'd suggest you measure out the food and let the grandma do that only. Measure out about half the normal amount, so grannie doesn't feed too much.

There are several things you can do: A couple of weeks prior, start feeding the fish a little more. A couple of days before leaving, stop feeding and give grannie her instructions. Tropical fish can go a couple of weeks without food with no problems.

The day before you leave, do a larger than normal water change and vacuum well if possible. Changing out half the tank volume isn't too much.

I don't do much else when I'm gone, but the most I've ever left my tanks is 2 weeks and there were no problems.

If grannie "has both oars in the water", your tanks should be fine. Just don't ask her to do too much. If possible, it wouldn't hurt to give her the number of the local fish store, if a good one is near. She may not be able to contact you right away if something should happen.

B
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chlorophile View Post
Dim or raise the lights, cut the photo period to maybe 5 or 6 hours.
Do a water change and dose before you leave.
Do a trim before you leave too and leave any stem plants that you cut floating at the top of the tank to further reduce light and potential algae.
Thanks for the tips. I'm about to leave for 3 weeks... this is gonna be rough..
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:38 PM   #8
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The biggest problem I've seen when people leave for vacation is when their tank sitter overfeeds. There is something built into most people that tells them that the meager amount of food we tell them to feed just is not enough. So they overfeed. And you know what that does to the water conditions.

So the most important thing is to make sure grandma understands the importance of not feeding anything more than what you have pre-measured.

The tips on cutting the lights is a very good idea. Plants in the wild go through periods of rain and storms that last for a couple of weeks so this would be no different. It's better to cut the lights than to leave them blazing while the ferts aren't dosed and the water changes aren't being done.

As long as grandma doesn't overfeed, your tank should be fine when you get back. I hope you have a great vacation!
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:13 AM   #9
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Yeah, I have all ready shown her everything. I have food 4 meals pre-measured. I have a whole bunch of 16oz bottles filled with RO water for top offs (don't need to have my grandmother picking up 8lbs jugs of water!). A few few of my tanks are not on timers and I have just told her to turn them on when she wakes up and off before she goes to sleep. These are my lowtech tanks though so I am not too worried about it.

My grandmother is also going to be leaving for one night and I told her to keep the lights off for that day. Will the tanks be okay for 36-48 hours of darkness?
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:28 AM   #10
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You're very considerate of your grandma to use the smaller bottles of water.

Yes, your tank will be fine without light for 48 hours. Not a problem at all.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:16 AM   #11
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I am back! The tanks are not too bad though. Lots of plant growth! I have some major trimming to do tomorrow as well as some algae scrubbing.

I came back to my saltwater tank in a mess though. I am really not having good luck with it as I would like. I am seriously considering to try to find a new home for my clown fish and other livestock. I had a vortech mp10 that stopped working, so my tank has almost no water movement at the moment. I bought a new protein skimmer that is just bubbling salt all over my equipment and the tank just doesn't look good. Corals are just too expensive compared to plants and mixing salt all of the time is a huge PITA! The corals I do have have not shown significant growth and the tank is so hard to evenly light. Not to mention I am always worrying about tiny bits of food getting stuck in the rocks and making the tank look more ugly!
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