Month Long Vacation - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
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Month Long Vacation

We're considering a month long vacation at the end of Spring. What the heck am I going to do with my tank? It's pretty well automated as far as lighting and CO2 go, but what about dosing, water changes and whatnot? I figure I'll buy an auto feeder and just have my neighbor re-load it once a week. I'm also thinking of lowering the amount of light (from 320 to 160watts) while we're away and possibly reducing the photoperiod from 12 to 9 hours.

Any suggestions, recommendations? Have any of you ever left your tanks for that long? How'd you do it? What'd you come back to? Thanks!

Paul

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My old 100 Gallon SeaClear established 11/7/2004. 4 GE Daylight Ultras on IceCap VHO ballasts. 3" Eco-complete substrate. Eheim 2028, pressurized CO2, external reactor. 18 watt Turbo Twist UV.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 07:09 AM
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Sounds scary to think of.

40 gallon SeaClear Acrylic, 192 watt Orbit Lunar PC, Filstar XP2, Filstar XP1, JBJ Regulator, Rhinox 5000 glass co2 diffusor, 9 watt UV sterilizer, Hydor Inline Heater, Pool Filter Sand substrate
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How comes shoppings so stupid, looks at all this stuff I haves, what do I do's with it.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 11:01 AM
 
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I went away for a month this winter and couldn't find anyone I could trust to dose the ferts. CO2, lights and fish food all automated. Closed top so evaporation is not so much of a problem...

I reduced the lighting and the lighting period before going.

Got back to a mess. Most of the crypts had melted away and all the plants were showing deficiencies from mild to severe. Anubias with "rotting holes" in the leaves, some stem plants where the stems were turning to mush, etc. etc.

I'm still trying to get the tank back into balance and its been two months since I got back.

I *will* be investing in an automated dosing system before going away again!

Didn't mean to give you nightmares!

But definately find a way to dose while you're away for that long!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 12:02 PM
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Silent, I haven't dosed for 2 weeks(only 10 ppm K after 10 days) because of some fish spawning, ta boot I put a carbon pad in my canister 2 days ago to get rid any unwanted impurities. I had already lowered my lighting to 8 hrs per day with a blackout every day between 12 and 2.

If you could leave a bottle of Macros and Micros(on different days) in the fridge dated for the nieghbor to dump in after 2 weeks you might be OK, I would try the carbon pad for 4 days before you leave to get the water sparkling clean, because your not going to have any water changes for a month. I would also clean the filters and add new mechanical media.

If it doesn't wotk out you have the perfect excuse to clear out the tank an try something new.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 12:05 PM
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BTW, I didn't reduce my light for the two week period (644w = 4.26 wpg).

Edit: Another thing you might consider is trimming your plants hard, so the will be in shock and not demending any nutrients. I did this two my tank a couple off weeks ago because it was just too over grown, I even pulled up a 'Red Rubin' sword that was 30" tall and peeled off the outer leaves until there were only about 10 left and then replanted it in the same spot. I think this is one of the main reason I got awy without dosing for so long.


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Laith, yes you have given me nightmares , but I appreciate the honest feedback. What kind of dosing system would you recommend?

150, I've thought about a major pruning before leaving as well.

I was also thinking that I could convince a planted tank friend of mine to swing by to do a water change and dose the tank once a week while we're away. That would probably go a long way in averting any major meltdowns.

Paul

"I'd like to think oysters transcend national barriers." - Roger Waters

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My old 100 Gallon SeaClear established 11/7/2004. 4 GE Daylight Ultras on IceCap VHO ballasts. 3" Eco-complete substrate. Eheim 2028, pressurized CO2, external reactor. 18 watt Turbo Twist UV.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-31-2005, 05:31 AM
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I wonder if you could extend a auto feeder by putting it on a timer say to be on for 12 hours a day to cover that month of time and instead of loading it with food, load it with dry ferts. Granted they would be small quantities but just a thought.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-31-2005, 05:47 AM
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That's a bad idea. Dry fert will be ingested by fish.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-31-2005, 09:14 AM
 
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This is the one I'm currently looking at. Can dose micros and macros separately.

http://www.aquazoo24.de/product_info...a63a71dd31b2ea

It's a bit expensive and some people have advised getting a medical peristalic pump for cheaper and adding a timer to it.

But hey if you can get someone you trust to come over and dose *and* do water changes, go for that!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-31-2005, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laith
I went away for a month this winter and couldn't find anyone I could trust to dose the ferts.
Major bummer-of-a-story, Laith. I overcome this problem by mixing up my own PMDD formula, so my tank nanny (mom, friend, etc) can't screw it up. After a while, we all can predict what our tanks will need on a weekly basis; so I just make a few testtubes worth of N,P,K, micros mixture and leave it in the fridge. I also buy frozen blood worms in the cubed forms; this makes it easy to quantify how much they should feed (# of cubes).

Just a few ideas....although, a fert doser would kick butt too

Ted


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