Tank care while away - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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Tank care while away

I'm going to be away from home for 7 days and I'm wondering what you all do so that the tank is still in good shape when you return?

Setup:
Medium light 10 hours per day
EI dosing
Pressurized CO2
Neons, Guppies, Rasborras, Shrimp, Dwarf Frog

For the plants, should I dial back the light since I wont be EI dosing? I can either reduce the photo period or dim the lights.

What about the fish? Do I really need a auto food dispenser?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulbert View Post

Setup:
Medium light 10 hours per day
EI dosing
Pressurized CO2
Neons, Guppies, Rasborras, Shrimp, Dwarf Frog
I travel for 5 days @ a time when camping throughout the summer.
For me CO2 and Lighting is all automated and I leave it alone, photoperiod is only 7 hours.
Double dose macro's and micro's the two alternating days prior to leaving.
The fish and shrimp are fed a normal feeding as I exit the door, they fend for themselves while gone.
When back home I already know PO4 has bottomed out so I hit it heavy 1st day home.

Been doing this for 3 years now and no issues yet.


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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 02:33 AM
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For 7 days, I would recommend just leaving it if there is no really experienced or fully trusted person on hand. The plants may use up the available nutrients at some point but that is not much problem as they just slow a bit. Algea may creep in but that is normally a thing that can happen at any time. The biggest worry when I leave my tanks is that some well-meaning person will come along and decide the fish are hungry and then dump a bunch more than needed. That can create a real hazard due to ammonia spikes which can kill fish before you get back. Fish will not starve in one or two weeks so they are far better off slightly hungry than too much, either from people or feeders. The feeders tend to get moisture, semi-clog and then one day dump about three days worth at once.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 02:52 AM
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@ PlantedRich just about says it all. Less then 2 weeks, just leave things alone. You'll usually be much better off.

There are a few exceptions. If you have fry or other fish that are very demanding and need to be fed everyday, then you will need to make arrangements. Obviously try to find someone else that understands your tanks.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 02:12 PM
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I read this advice somewhere else on this forum and I thought it was excellent. If you do have someone come over to do a feeding or two, pre-measure the food into one of those pill dosing containers that has a separate compartment for each day of the week. Then you can just have them dump in the food for the given day.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 02:38 PM
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Be sure your CO2 tank is full enough! And yeah put the lighting less than 10 hours. Around 7

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 02:55 PM
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I would just leave it alone. Fish are fine up to 2 weeks w/out food. Last time I left fish in someone's care they were fed improperly, even though I left written instructions and measured the food out into smaller-than-normal daily portions in a weekly pill container thing. Time after that I left one tank untouched, on the other one I shortened the photoperiod because I thought the plants would need less light, having less nutrients going in. The tank I didn't change was fine when I came back. The one I had altered the photoperiod on was a mess.

So now I just feed the fish well up until the day I leave, do a decent water change the day before, and if anything at all, have someone come over once or twice while I'm gone- just to make sure no fish have died and the tank hasn't sprung and leak or some disaster like that. In which case I'd hope they would call me.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 06:18 PM
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One other big idea for me is not yet mentioned. Don't do any kind of rearrangement shortly before leaving. Sometimes it is the little things that hurt.
I once left an experienced person to feed and check things once in a while and she had done it several times before. But this time I cleaned the spray bar and decided to turn it upward a bit more to get more surface agitation. BAD move because when I left the water was shooting out under the water and aimed upward. After a few days of evaporation that same spraybar was shooting out above the water and going over the edge! Experienced person in charge called in a bit of panic when she found water all over the floor and the tank half empty!
Water shoots further through air than it does water!! Just hold things steady and try not to create problems ?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 08:05 PM
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For 5 days I would do a water change the day before and fertilize as usual and feed well. That's all.
If away longer I setup an Eheim Everyday Feeder.
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