Advice for leaving the tank in the hands of - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Advice for leaving the tank in the hands of

someone that has never had a tank?

I will be leaving in a few days to go overseas for a few weeks. My in-laws will be staying in and watching the house, dogs, and tank.

I have the CO2 and lights on a timer. I will clean the filter and do a large water change the day before heading out.

I am scared to leave them ferts to dose and and thinking about cutting back the CO2 and photoperiod a bit.

I will leave them instructions to feed the fish at 1/2 the dose I normally feed as most people tend to overfeed.

Anything I am missing?

I bought a few extra otos for the tank. Might pick up a few more snails and a few shrimp too.

75g 3 T8s 2x OD, XP3, pres. CO2,
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 07:45 PM
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How about setting up those little daily medicine boxes for your ferts (if you dose dry) and food? You can then measure out everything in advance and hopefully just opening one of those 'days' would be easy enough for your caretaker.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think my help is even that competent. I am sure we will lose 50% of the houseplants. I tell them not to water and they do anyways. Hence, half the rate of fish food for the tank because I know they will think the fish are starving if I don't have them feed often.

This is almost worse than leaving the tank all alone, lol.

75g 3 T8s 2x OD, XP3, pres. CO2,
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 07:51 PM
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When ever I leave town I lean the load out a week in advance. Then after that no dosing of anything. Then I cross my fingers while Im gone. Ive done this many times with no ill affects.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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I run pretty lean to start with and don't have the brightest lights, so hopefully it'll be OK then. I have mostly crypts, vals, swords, anubias, and ferns - so no high maintenance stem plants.

I might shove a few root tabs in tonight while I am around for a few more days as I don't want to worry about green water while I am gone should something leach.

I haven't had the best results leaving my reef tank with them so was hoping this one might be more stable.

75g 3 T8s 2x OD, XP3, pres. CO2,
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 09:52 PM
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Don't let them have any food. People just don't understand not to dump the whole can of food in there.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 11:28 PM
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i like using the medicine containers, or plastic baggies if you have to. Then once you have filled them up remove the food so they can't feed any extra. If its only for a few days you could just not even worry about it. Feed your fish good and throw in a double or triple dose of ferts and call it good.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2008, 11:39 PM
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For the food, you can get some really nice auto-feeders that can handle weeks at a time. Maybe switch over to some of the Flourish products and a clearly marked syringe or measuring spoon, or even the cap of the bottle for the ferts.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the suggestions.

fishscale- I think you know my inlaws, lol.

I think I have them trained on the food. They think they are giving the full amount, but I really start them at 1/4 (1/2 as much 1/2 as often as I normally feed) knowing they overfeed.

An autofeeder might be nice, but I didn't think this through too well as I was busy tinkering trying to get everything balanced well and don't have a lot of time before I leave to order something. I may run to one of the better LFS and see if there is anything that might make things easier in terms of dosing or feeding.

If I'm feeling lucky, I may go ahead and mix some dilute liquid fert solutions in small individual containers that I can label with dates. Then, if I get a lot of blank stares, I'm going to toss them and cross my fingers and rely on the root tabs and fish waste to get me through.

I'm going to be gone ~3 weeks. It ought to be interesting when I get back. Somehow, I see an algae battle and a lot of water changes in my future.

Last time I went away this long, my reef tank was filled with floating anemones and stinking fish when I came home. No more salt in my future, vacations were too stressful. This is the first test on the planted tank, I hope it fares better.

75g 3 T8s 2x OD, XP3, pres. CO2,
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 01:46 AM
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I have a friend that housesits, knows absolutely nothing about fish but has managed to avoid killing anything in the 3 years she's stayed at our house. I always just convert the tank to low-tech while I'm gone, turning off CO2, most of my lights and skipping the ferts. I've been away for over two weeks, without a problem.

I sympathize with your salt experience. I had a saltwater tank several years back and after a 10 day vacation in the hands of a clueless friend, I came back to a disgusting, goo-filled tank, thanks to a large anemone that had died at least 5 days before I returned. I too will never do salt again.


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