11 day vacation - what to do? (plants only) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-20-2014, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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11 day vacation - what to do? (plants only)

Hi all,

I'm going on an 11 day cruise in July and am wondering what most of you do when you go away for more than a few days?
I haven't had it set up for too long, so no fish yet

Right now, it's on approximately 10 hr photo period, with CO2 turning on/off with the lights. I dose daily: Day 1 - macros, Day 2 - micros, Day 3 - macros, Day 4 - micros, etc.
I usually do about one water change per week (50% or so).

This is a smaller tank (60P), so roughly 17-18g.

Should I turn the photo period/CO2 down to like 2-3 hrs per day, just to keep it alive, but not require much nutrients?
Should I dump a little extra macros/micros in there before I go, to help compensate for NO ferts for 11 days?

Suggestions please!

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-20-2014, 08:42 PM
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Starting to see a lot of these vacation threads popping up again, guess its that time of year!!

The best solution is to have a friend come and take care of your aquariums. Just have them over before you leave for your cruise and teach them how to do everything, its usually a good idea to cook them dinner or at least get some beers =D. Then write instructions in as much details as possible. Also include directions on what to do in case of emergencies, for example, it water is too hot unplug heater.

If you wanted to go ahead an automate your tank you could do that as well. You would just need a couple dosing pumps and a few timers and you will be set. Since you have plants only you wouldn't have to worry about losing any fish, so with the dosing pumps and timers for the pumps and lights you will be set. You can do a full EI dosing and do a water change every two weeks, so you would be okay leaving and not doing a water change. I would suggest that you do a 75% water change the day before you leave, or day of if you are leaving at night, then a 50% water change the day you get back.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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hmm. We might have someone who can come over once or twice while we're gone, but I'm sure it wouldn't be much more than that.
I have no automated anything, aside from a timer for the lights & CO2 solenoid.

Tank Size: 60p (~17g)
Lighting: BuildMyLED "10,000K planted" (regular, not the XB series)
Photo period: 10 hrs/day

I'm not looking for growth while I'm gone....I just don't want a complete disaster.

Would a light/Co2 reduction work (down from 10 hrs/day to about 2-3 hrs/day)?
Keep in mind that, at most, it may only be macro/micro dosed once or twice in about 12 days.

I'll do a big water change and dose ferts the day (or night before) I go.

Has anyone out there done anything similar?
How did it work out?

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 06:16 AM
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Just reduce your photo period to maybe 8-9 hours on. That's enough to sustain plant growth and keep them happy.

Going without a water change, or ferts, for 11 days will be no big deal. Your plants may look a little bit unhappy with you after 11 days of no ferts, but they should be perfectly fine.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 07:46 AM
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And my lights are only 7.5 hrs regularly so I'd say 7-8 hrs.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 12:56 PM
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 01:17 PM
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Ask your LFS or pond maintenance stores if they, or someone they know, offers tank/aquarium/pond maintenance. Have someone knowledgeable, and accountable, come in once or twice to check on things if you don't have any friends or family that you can trust not to over dose.


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 01:27 PM
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I have dosed 5-7 days' of ferts at once with FAR better results than trying to throttle everything back. I would do a big water change the day before, add enough macros to last five days and when you leave and add enough micros to last five days. Have a friend come over in the middle of the week and top off and add macros and you should be good to go.

We have this idea that algae will explode if we overdose our tanks with ferts. Time and time again, and on these forums, we see that it's the opposite- not enough ferts and algae thrives.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 01:36 PM
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11 days is really not that much. You can consolidate some of the dosing. I travel frequently (Italy & Turkey this week, Poland next week) and have my wife care for the tanks while I'm away. She likes to look at them but she's done exactly 0 water changes for the tanks since we got married.

The trick is to try to prevent shortages of nutrients. Set up your dosing in some pill containers. Then you can ask a friend to stop by 3-4 times to water the plants, make sure you weren't robbed, and dump a few days of fertilizer at a time into the tank. E.I. is set up to maintain a constant level of nutrients in the tank. As long as you maintain this within reason you won't come home to an algae bomb, just a jungle.

I've even left DIY CO2 running while I've been away for 2 weeks. The tanks looked better when I returned then ever before. I guess because I wasn't messing with them.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies! Since the tank was fairly recently setup and fighting pond snail and minor algae outbreak, I'm certainly glad it's still a few weeks until we go.
I'm thinking I may drop the lighting down just a little, say 8 or 9 hours and put ferts for 5-6 days in when I leave, along with a GOOD water change. Then, our friend can just come in and top it off while adding a macro/micro mixture I'll make up.

I bet the water level will be really low. It's open top and it drops a good 1/4" - 1/2" per day. All the more reason to have somebody come by a couple times.



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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 01:11 PM
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Just leave the lights and co2 off while you're gone. Do a very large water change, and dose mac/mic sparingly. When you're back, another large WC and back to photo period and dosing.

My 25 gallon cube garden:

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