Back form my 3-week vacation - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2005, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Back form my 3-week vacation

Well, sadly we had to leave family and friends in Hawaii to return to the real world back home. Before we left I set up dosing pumps on all my tanks and set them all on auto-pilot. I'm happy to report that, with the exception of a lot of overgrowth all went will in my absence.

Upon our return I immediately noticed that the water level in my 125g tank was about 4" low and that the tops of quite a few java ferns had been burned by the lights. Further investigation revelaed that the dosing pumps I had set up for the tank failed to run for almost the entire three week period. Apparently the timer I used to run the pumps malfunctioned a couple of days into the trip and reset itself with no scheduled run times.

Surpisingly, the only odd thing I noticed in the tank was an explosion of baby ramshorn snails on my Bolbitis. Seeing this made me look for my Dwarf Puffer, which was nowhere to be found. I chalked him up as a casualty of the vacation. The following morning I set about cleaning my Fluval 304 filter (which was running at a trickle) and as I'm pouring it out into a bucket out pops the puffer... still alive and in good health. The only time when it possibly could have been sucked into the filter was the day before I left on vacation (while I was cleaning out the siphon strainer) so it survived off the snail population in the filter for three weeks! He is now back in the tank seemingly none the worse for wear.

The snippets of Ricca I left in my 40g tank before we left has turned into a square foot mat and has engulfed all the HC that I left floating. Also, the Cladophora that I was painstakingly removing from the HC was not completely excised so it too has grown back with a vengence. Finally the P. gayi is everywhere and needs to be yanked...again. This tank has been running for about 18 months now so its time to tear it down and reset it with a more HC-friendly substrate.

Finally, my 20g tank looks to be in much the same shape that I left it in save for the overgrowth of Najas grass and micranthemoides. Sadly, my male Apisto cacatuoides died the day before we left and I have yet to spot either of the two females. On a brighter note I did see a Cherry Red Shrimp (who's population has been in major decline as the Apistos grew). And of course, the Endlers are still multiplying.

—Bill

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2005, 06:28 PM
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Welcome back! I'm glad your tanks did fine while you were on vaca. I'm especillay glad to hear about the dwarf puffer. Those are the cutey ptooties!
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2005, 07:02 PM
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welcome back, Bill. Do you think the dosing pump malfunction was caused by a brief power outage, so the timer forgot its settings? I thought those digital timers usually have battery backups.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2005, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shalu
welcome back, Bill. Do you think the dosing pump malfunction was caused by a brief power outage, so the timer forgot its settings? I thought those digital timers usually have battery backups.
I don't know what caused the failure. I do know that it was working during my three week test period and also the day before we left. the other two timers worked fine so it may just be a faulty timer. I have had it for a while and the LCD display is going flakey on me (not all the characters display) so I just need to replace it.

—Bill

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2005, 07:30 PM
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Hey Bill, welcome back. I feel your pain with the claudophora . Ever since I learned it can't be controlled by nutrients I am always on the look out for the stray filament which I will pluck out. About a month ago when I was doing some pruning I discovered a small tangle of it caught in between some Hottonia. I sat there for 20 minutes pulling out strands ot it. I do believe I got it all, though.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2005, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bharada
Further investigation revelaed that the dosing pumps I had set up for the tank failed to run for almost the entire three week period. Apparently the timer I used to run the pumps malfunctioned a couple of days into the trip and reset itself with no scheduled run times.

Surpisingly, the only odd thing I noticed in the tank was an explosion of baby ramshorn snails on my Bolbitis.
So... do you think the dosing pumps were/are a necessary/wise investment?


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 12:03 AM
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Welcome back! Glad to hear the puffer's ok!

John P.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wasserpest
So... do you think the dosing pumps were/are a necessary/wise investment?
I don't know what to think. After reading other's accounts of coming home to algae-infested tanks when not fertilizing a tank while on vacation I would lean toward playing it safe. I just need to replace the faulty timer (which I reset upon returning and is now working fine again ) before we ever leave again. The next thing I need to do is recalculate the pump run times so that I can dose non-diluted solutions now that I'm home to deal with evaporation.

—Bill

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 02:56 PM
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Major bummer that your male died. Those fish are pricey, and not easy to obtain.

I find it intriguing that you can have a surviving cherry shrimp population in a tank with those cichilds. I would have figured that the fish would have eaten every one of them. Must have good hiding spots.

I have been toying with buying a doser for long vacations. The longest I've been gone is a 2-weeker. I usually just overdose before I go. As long as I keep things reasonable (20-30ppm NO3 and 1ppm PO4), the tank has looked fine when I got home.

And I see you have a BREEDING stock of endlers!! MY LFS has carried males for years, but never any females. If you ever get to populated, drop me a PM. I'd love to take some of those off your hands. Buy or Trade.

Ted

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Ted,
Yeah, I was bummed when I had to scoop his body out...especially since he was starting to color up so nicely. I still need to clear out the overgrowth in the tank and see if both females are still around. The Apistos seemed to leave the shrimp alone for the most part while I was hand feeding, but one I switched to an auto-feeder (and the daily food supply was reduced) they might have gone on some hunting expiditions.

If you can wait until Fall I'd be happy to ship you a bag of Endler females and fry. I originally got them from a friend last summer and they've been breeding so fast that I've started throwing the excess fish into my pond.

If you take a look at the Fauna page on my website you can see the pattern my male Endlers have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unirdna
Major bummer that your male died. Those fish are pricey, and not easy to obtain.

I find it intriguing that you can have a surviving cherry shrimp population in a tank with those cichilds. I would have figured that the fish would have eaten every one of them. Must have good hiding spots.

I have been toying with buying a doser for long vacations. The longest I've been gone is a 2-weeker. I usually just overdose before I go. As long as I keep things reasonable (20-30ppm NO3 and 1ppm PO4), the tank has looked fine when I got home.

And I see you have a BREEDING stock of endlers!! MY LFS has carried males for years, but never any females. If you ever get to populated, drop me a PM. I'd love to take some of those off your hands. Buy or Trade.

Ted

—Bill

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-05-2005, 11:57 PM
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Bill,

I just spent about 1/2 hour looking through your web page. How I never saw this before (considering you have 1200+ posts) is beyond me. I know we have crossed paths on many threads .

In any event....wow! Not only the aqaria and fauna, but the photo quality as well. Your endlers are perfect. I would very much like some of that strain come this fall. I have a 30g tank with only shrimps, and they would be perfect in there. The 20g where the ender's live is one of the most natural scapes I've ever seen. Really nice work .

Ted

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unirdna
...The 20g where the ender's live is one of the most natural scapes I've ever seen. Really nice work .
Well, one man's natural 'scape is another man's unmaintained jungle . But thanks for all the kind words.

I did see one of the female Apistos yesterday. It's strange that the male nearly quadrupled in size during the time that I had it (it was ~3" when it died) while the females are still under 1".

—Bill

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 05:47 PM
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I feel your pain about the apisto's, my male borelli just died too. I got some Dicrossus filamentosus from ocean aquarium to replace them. If you want to replace the apistos you may want to check ocean aquarium out they have many interesting fish right now. BTW how was hawaii, i'll be finally going back in the winter.
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