Two week vacation - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Two week vacation

I think I have a plan put together for my 55 gallon planted tank while on vacation for two weeks. Please give your input and advice if you see anything wrong with my ideas.

Large water change day before leaving-greater than 50 percent
No EI dosing on day of water change
CO2 off on day of water change
Lights set to be on for only four hours a day
Fish will survive two weeks without food just fine

Goal more or less is to put the tank in standbye mode for the two weeks.

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 04:48 PM
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I just went away for 2 weeks myself and had this same issue. I found someone to keep EI dosing my tank, but I did slightly less dose. I reduced my lighting from 100% to 55% but left photoperiod the same. I left co2 running the same also. My thought based on others input was to keep things as close to normal as possible while I was gone. Any time you take away from routine you run risk of algae or dying plants.

I would think your plants would suffer the most in your idea above though, since they will be w/o ferts. Granted their needs would be less with less lighting and no co2, but they may not make it w/o the ferts.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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I won't have anyone to dose ferts for me or to do water changes.

If my understanding of EI concepts are correct, if the plants are not exposed to as much light and CO2 exposure is only that supplied by the fish then there shouldn't be much demand for nutrients. Correct?

I have accepted that fact that the tank will need some work upon my return.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 07:17 PM
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I just got back off of two weeks myself. I just cut my lighting back to 5hrs and left my CO2 adjusted to the 5hr light time. You can reduce it back some, but personally wouldn't cut it. Just depends on your light level, I would think. I didn't concern myself with when I quit dosing or anything, just dose normally up to the day before I left.

This is the way I have done it for 4 times now. Plants/fish never missed a beat. I did have someone come in and feed my fish at my half-way point the last two times.

One thing you have to think about is evaporation. Lower your powerheads or spraybars if you are able.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jrman83 View Post

One thing you have to think about is evaporation. Lower your powerheads or spraybars if you are able.
Couldn't agree more on this point. Two weeks during heating season can be a problem along these lines.

Also, if long vacations are a norm for you, investing in an Eheim auto-feeder may be a good idea. It can be set to suit your needs and may reduce some of the stress over the two weeks. They should survive, but they won't be happy.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I have some planned adjustments in mind to account for the evaporation.

Usually it's just one longer vacation a year. I have read multiple sources indicating that the fish should be perfectly fine for two weeks unfed. We shall see, I guess.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 04:22 AM
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Two weeks is a bit long. One week is no problem. It really depends on the species of fish. Nice fat cichlids can go a month even. Skinny little tetras and rasbora: I wouldn't go more than a week.

One more thing: Lower your temp to 72-73 unless you have species that really need higher temps like neons or discus. Doing this will slow the metabolism of both the fish and plants. This will help them get through two weeks with no ferts and food.
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