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I have been trying to figure out a way to go on vacation and make sure there isn't a disaster with the co2 because my housesitter doesn't know a thing about aquariums. We get a good amount of power outages so I can't be sure there isn't going to be a power outage which would screw up my bluetooth run lights and cause them to be out of synch with the co2. So, my question is - if I just turn off the co2 for the 9-14 days that I am gone, is it going to cause problems in my tank and/or my plants?
 

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Disclaimer: I have had mixed success with these methods sometimes worked, sometimes they did not.

Option 1: I am assuming that you do not have an autodoser, if you have you need to also shut it down. Plug out the CO2. Halve the photo period. No Dosing, no water changes. Minimal feeding if you are using a auto feeder or taking help. I take help from a friend and the fishes are fed minimally every alt day.
Option 2: If there is an autodoser, shut it down. Keep the CO2 on as per usual schedule, same about the feeding from Option 1. The Light turn it from auto mode to Manual and also run on a timer, same photo period as usual, in sync with the CO2 schedule. I used a wifi smart strip that connects to my wifi so when the power resumes, the schedules are still in sync. A Manual timer will work fine as well. Since the timer would stop when there is a power outage and resume from the same point when power resumes. Use a UPS for handling short term power outages with no shutdowns. Use root tabs at least a week prior for giving micros. Macros from Feed and Waste, Dose K. Hope for the best.

I blogged my thoughts and procedures I have followed in here: Moving temporarily to hometown, Tanks on remote – Planning thoughts

Good luck.
 

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Mechanical timer works a lot better than fancy bluetooth or digital timer. If you plug in both light and CO2 to the same mechanical timer, the photo and CO2 period will always be synchronized despite repeated power outage. Overtime, as the timer will gain or lose time, it's a simple calibration task to turn the timer wheel to match the true time. Just get rid of the bluetooth and return to the old way, and you will never have to worry about out of sync.
 

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Don't know how high you run the co2, but assuming it's close to the 30ppm line just drop it in half and don't worry about it. Everything will be fine even if lights go out of sync.
In this method we are making sure that rate of co2 injection is not detrimental to fishes in the absence of the following photoperiod that plants will use to remove the co2 from the water column. However if Co2 and photoperiod go out to sync and that to by a lot then co2 related algae will set in quickly.

In some Bluetooth controlled models, when power is tripped and comes back, the internal timer starts at 12 midnight. This is dangerous situation where co2 and photoperiod may be completely poles apart.


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In this method we are making sure that rate of co2 injection is not detrimental to fishes in the absence of the following photoperiod that plants will use to remove the co2 from the water column. However if Co2 and photoperiod go out to sync and that to by a lot then co2 related algae will set in quickly.

In some Bluetooth controlled models, when power is tripped and comes back, the internal timer starts at 12 midnight. This is dangerous situation where co2 and photoperiod may be completely poles apart.


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Ehhhh sorta. I mean lets assume an absolute worst case scenario where the lights and co2 are on absolute opposite schedules and the whole thing happens as soon as the OP walks out the door. There is still the issue that 1) not all co2 will outgas before lights turn back on, and 2) its only going to be this way for at most 2 weeks.

Throw into the mix that more likely there would be some overlap of schedules and/or it would be for even less then 2 weeks and its not a big deal. Easier by far to just drop your bubbles per second and walk away then to try to put your whole tank on a completely new schedule. Either way will work but co2 can go into a tank safely at levels much lower then we typically have it unless the OP is really really maxing everything and has one of the 300+ par at substrate tanks etc. PLUS, for some lights/smart switches things don't start over at midnight. I don't think we know how the OP's lights work? My smart plugs recalibrate with actual time when an internet connection is restored for instance.

Anyway dropping co2 levels will save fish if there is an issue and will have the least impact on plants then other options.
 

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Out of sync is a legitimate concern. At one time I used two timers, one to control light and the other for CO2, so as to achieve early CO2 on and off relative to the photo period. Its my constant struggle to re synchronize two timers from time to time, and at risk if one timer gets stuck when I’m on vacation . So I gave up two timers and plug both to one timer to eliminate out of syn disaster. Contrary to common practice, I haven't noticed any difference in plant health by not following the recommended practice.

Another legitimate concern is CO2 target. The 30 ppm CO2 is a safety threshold to protect live stock, but many interpret it as an operation target. It’s risky if CO2 overshoot the 30 ppm target during ones vacation, so it makes sense to half it during vacation. For me, I don’t attempt to achieve 30 ppm at all time which reduces the risk of over shooting, as any elevation of CO2 above 10 ppm is a significant enhancement over background level of around 3 ppm.
 

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Ehhhh sorta. I mean lets assume an absolute worst case scenario where the lights and co2 are on absolute opposite schedules and the whole thing happens as soon as the OP walks out the door. There is still the issue that 1) not all co2 will outgas before lights turn back on, and 2) its only going to be this way for at most 2 weeks.

Throw into the mix that more likely there would be some overlap of schedules and/or it would be for even less then 2 weeks and its not a big deal. Easier by far to just drop your bubbles per second and walk away then to try to put your whole tank on a completely new schedule. Either way will work but co2 can go into a tank safely at levels much lower then we typically have it unless the OP is really really maxing everything and has one of the 300+ par at substrate tanks etc. PLUS, for some lights/smart switches things don't start over at midnight. I don't think we know how the OP's lights work? My smart plugs recalibrate with actual time when an internet connection is restored for instance.

Anyway dropping co2 levels will save fish if there is an issue and will have the least impact on plants then other options.
Got it. Agree with your view.


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