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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going home for the holidays and a friend of mine will be feeding my cats, fish, and plants. I'll be away for 2 weeks, and my friend will be stopping by every other day. So...here's the set up:

47 gallons
54 watts x 3 (catalina T5 HO fixture, but will only be using 2 bulbs)
2x 2L DIY CO2
excel every other day (while I'm away)
ferts every other day (while I'm away), will alternate N, P, K, and trace.

My biggest fear is algae! I think (but not sure) that I might have a touch of green water (could be tannins, but I'm not positive). So, how long should my photoperiod be while I'm away? I don't want my plants to die! I have a lot of high light plants.

Thanks
 

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Fear the Swamp!
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I would cut the ferts to just 1X weekly. This will avoid any issues with unnecessary fert build up leading to algae issues. At that point, you could probably cut the lights back to 4 hours per day. This will keep the plants alive, but won't give algae much chance of taking over while you are gone.
 

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Since you have the Catalina three bulb fixture this is a great opportunity to utilize the single bulb. Especially since you are using DIY CO2 and won't be there for 2 weeks to change out the bottle(s). I would still cut the photoperiod down to four hours while using one bulb and cut your dosing in half. Excel is a good idea as a back up. Those things combined should slow the tank down while still keeping the plants healthy.
 

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Your plants won't die. Growth will slow down.

Is your tank recently set up? Diatoms are common with a new tank setup, there is not much you can do except clean what you can, change water regularly, add some otos and wait it out. The fact that you also mention possibly developing green water (tannins are brown BTW) makes it sound like your tank is not that stable. Seems like all the more reason to slow it down until you can get back to take care of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, I'll give it a go then.

In reference to the diatoms, I have 10 otos (had 5, bought 5 more today). They're adorable.

As for the tannins vs. green water suspicion, the water isn't really green, it's more yellow. That's why I'm not sure. Also, I just set up the CO2 (2nd bottle will be set up tomorrow), so conditions before that very likely contributed to the issue (if it really is green water).

The tank has been set up for 3 months now, and it was seeded with filter media from my super established 125G tank.

I tend to be overly cautious, so I might be imagining the green water issue. Here's a pic for reference (the water doesn't look yellow/green at all in the pic, but it does look a bit cloudy):

 

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I think your plants will be fine within 2 weeks of being gone. If your supplying them already with a EI(over dosing basically) style dosing regime your plants should be fine and have a decent amount of nutrients still in the water. That is why the 50% WC is recommended in EI. Plus plants like to store nutrients as well. With the lower light levels etc they wont be photosynthesizing as much, so they wont use near as much nutrients as your typical photo period day. I don't think two weeks would be long enough to have any serious plant issues.

Notice I said "I think", pesonally I wouldn't worry about it.

Just fill those 2 co2 bottles the day you leave, they typically last about 2 weeks anyways. The only thing I'm worried about is you said that you just started the co2 and haven't added a second bottle yet. I'm not sure what the average 2L puts out, but two may raise the co2 significantly and possibly kill fish. I would not run a co2 experiment and go on vacation for two weeks. If you come back to dead fish, you may blame your friend or have inside thoughts and it's just a bad over all situation. Just a thought, not saying that will happen. I'm sure some multi-bottle user's could chime in for more reassurance.

Nice tank btw!!!
 

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I think your plants will be fine within 2 weeks of being gone. If your supplying them already with a EI(over dosing basically) style dosing regime your plants should be fine and have a decent amount of nutrients still in the water. That is why the 50% WC is recommended in EI. Plus plants like to store nutrients as well. With the lower light levels etc they wont be photosynthesizing as much, so they wont use near as much nutrients as your typical photo period day. I don't think two weeks would be long enough to have any serious plant issues.

Notice I said "I think", pesonally I wouldn't worry about it.

Just fill those 2 co2 bottles the day you leave, they typically last about 2 weeks anyways. The only thing I'm worried about is you said that you just started the co2 and haven't added a second bottle yet. I'm not sure what the average 2L puts out, but two may raise the co2 significantly and possibly kill fish. I would not run a co2 experiment and go on vacation for two weeks. If you come back to dead fish, you may blame your friend or have inside thoughts and it's just a bad over all situation. Just a thought, not saying that will happen. I'm sure some multi-bottle user's could chime in for more reassurance.

I notice HOB filters in the tank. Since they generate surface movement, I wouldn't think the CO will build up to dangerous levels. Especially since it looks like one of the HOBs is the CO2 diffuser as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nice tank btw!!!
Thanks for the compliment :) It's just a collectoritis tank for now. The 2L CO2 puts out no more than 1 bubble per second, so I think 2 bottles will be fine. I have taken all precautions like a check valve and separator. That should keep everything safe.

Yep, 2 HOBs in there. My 'project' is to make enough $$ selling plants to buy a canister. I hope it will eventually work!

I will definitely dose less ferts then. And I will hopefully be pleasantly surprised when I get back.
 
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