gone for 5 months - what to do with the tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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gone for 5 months - what to do with the tank

As the title says, I may leave for a long business trip in June, about 5 months. I hope to be able to fly back periodically every 6 weeks or so.

I currently have a 55 gallon high tech tank where I change water every 14 days with a 70% estimated index fertilizer regime. My lights run 4h at 100% and 3h at 40%. 1 PH drop CO2. During those 2 weeks, my TDS goes up about 35-40

I have about 200 crystal red shrimp that are happily breading and frolicking around and a few smaller fish.

Is there a way to adjust my tank to survive for longer periods of time? I'm ok with some algae hitting, I just don't want the shrimp to die. I figured I could let the herpes (duckweed) and frog bit take over and that would keep the TDS in check?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 07:27 PM
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Have you considered getting an Apex or Apex EL for automation, monitoring, and remote control?

Style: Organic potting soil, sand, gravel, wood, plants, moss, snails, shrimp, small fish, dual siestas
Tech : Small tanks, Fluval Plant 3.0 Nano, Top Fin MF10, Eheim Skim 350, Tunze 3161, Neptune Apex EL
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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I do have an apex. It helps.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 01:49 PM
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Why is this even in aquascaping? probably would get more responses in the general forum. Anyway, as a self professed slacker that lets his tank go through fits of water change neglect nearing a month *cough 6 weeks cough* sometimes, I'll point you to what I think is the most important aspect of tank survivability in this scenario: light.

recall from the three pillars theory that light is the gas pedal that drives everything. lessen light, lessen consumption -- from a plant aspect. So, since you smartly asked about this at least 4 months ahead of time, I'd suggest you start practicing now. Lessen the light somehow (let the floaters go wild, lessen the times, whichever) and stretch your water change to 3 weeks and then 4 and so on. You can also recalculate your ferts to stretch that long -- or simply stop adding ferts once you reach your estimated level as your plants will not be consuming them as fast. Don't touch the co2. Just make sure your floaters don't choke out that surface agitation in 6 weeks growth. As for the fauna, since you have nice waste collectors in your shrimp, and "a few smaller fish," it doesn't sound like you have a huge organic load, you might just be able to pull this off as long as you figure out how not to overfeed.

I don't have a picture to go by and you didn't mention what kind of plants you have. So, without more specifics, I believe the above is the general idea. Will sensitive plants suffer? You bet. But at this point, the goal is to keep them alive until you can come back to pamper them. Will tough plants go crazy with no trimming? You bet! It's a great learning experience to see what plants are great for your tank. Are you just raising java fern? Then stop worrying.. those guys survive anything! Just worry about overfeeding the fauna!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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I dont know why i wrote this in the aquascaping forum, my bad. Ill post a picture tomorrow after my maintenance. Generally its very densely planted with plants on the easier side. Thanks for the advice, i will start testing this out.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 09:03 PM
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Why not have an aquarium maintenance company come in every couple weeks to do a water change and general maintenance?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
Why not have an aquarium maintenance company come in every couple weeks to do a water change and general maintenance?
Best idea. But at minimum, a trusted friend you can train over the next several weeks.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-28-2020, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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thanks all great advise. Had no idea about the tank maintenance company possibility.

Bump: thanks all great advise. Had no idea about the tank maintenance company possibility.
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