Going on vacation... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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Going on vacation...

Hi,
I have a question for you all planted tank keepers. What do you do with your planted tanks when going away on vacation? Lets say 10-15 days. And you have no one to take care of it while you are gone.

The reason for this thread is me going away for 15 days and having no one to care for my tank. I have a 180 liter planted tank, co2 on timer, light on timer, I dose ferts almost every other day.
How bad can it bee for the plants if I turn off the lights for 15 days no co2 and no ferts?

The tank:

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 07:02 AM
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If I trust my co2 rig, I would not turn it off. Lights. I won't turn off either but I dim by half at least. As in half the duration or half the intensity or even less. Nutrients are the hardest. I sort of fatten my plants up in the week(s) before. That is, I may dose more frequently to raise the accumulation and hold off the water change until I get back. Or, as some have discovered, its fine to "front load" your weeks worth of dosing. Plus I assume you are auto feeding the fish? Fish food and poop provides macros!

The idea is to lower (not stop) rate of growth and hope the nutrients both already stored by the plant or in the water column lasts until I get back. I've discovered the plants suffer more without the light -- especially in the week or more range. Couple days without light, sure, but longer, they can't feed themselves, their health deteriorates and you end up with a different problem than algae.

And then, I cross my fingers, do a little planted tank dance of blessing, and go enjoy my trip!!

For sure you'll have some algae and maintenance needed but I think you'll pull through okay.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 07:26 AM Thread Starter
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The fish will be fine on auto feeder.
I suppose you also cut the co2 in half if you cut the light period in half?
I was planing on doing my maintenance day before I go. Big water change and than putt ferts for about a week, and cut the light and co2 from 8 hours to 6. Or should I go 4 hours?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 07:50 AM
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So, assuming you have good surface agitation and you're not relying on the plants producing the valuable dissolved oxygen for your fish during the photo period, your co2 levels are probably balancing out nicely every day anyway. As such, reduced or not reduced co2 probably won't matter much. I don't bother. One less thing/timer to fiddle with.

The light, this matters. Its the driver, the gas pedal, the pusher, etc. I'd go 4 hours especially for your longer period away. Slower growth lets your nutrients get used up slower. That's really the reason behind it. You can't have no photosynthesizing and if you photosynthesized so much that you ran out if nutrients, you'll run into algae issues. So that's the fine line to guess on. If you had an autodoser we probably wouldn't be having this conversation, right?

Maintenance before and full weeks dose could work too. And here would be where I count on the "fattening up" of the plants or loading up the substrate to carry over the second week. Probably silly things I think that might matter a little in my head. On maintenance, I'm the lazier type but then again, I have smaller fish. A skipped maintenance does not matter so much for me. I can see with bigger fish, you may want to start with a cleaner slate so that's probably ok if you're comfortable with it.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the answers and suggestions.
Will let know what hapened when I return.....
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all, just eant to update on what has happened to the tank while I was gone.

So I was away for two weeks. And had no one to take care of the tank. I cut the light down to 4 hours and did the same with co2 (5 hours). Did a 50% water change before I went and put about a week worth of ferts in the tank.

I came back this morning and all is well. All of the fish are fine, but ware hungry :-).
Most of the plant are fine. Easy growing ones have no change (anubias, java fern, staurogina repens, amzon sword, lobelia). Some of the more demanding plants have started to show some signs of nutrient deficiency (blyxa japonica, ludwigia palustris, aromatica, pinatiffida).
Gonna do a big water change tonight, do a clean up, get the light and co2 back to normal and start dosing. It should all get back to normal in a couple of weeks.

Thank you all for helping.....
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 12:26 AM
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Hope u had a great time *not* worrying about the tank! Thanks for reporting back too.


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