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Vacation and Algae (BBA in particular)

794 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Dongo

I will be on holiday for ~3weeks. A few months ago I setup my tank (30gal, 30"Lx12"Wx18"D) with 4 T8 18w lights, CO2 injection and EI dosed ferts. Looking through some old posts, the suggestions for leaving your tank if you don't have someone to continue the normal schedule appears to be:

Reduce light intensity to half (raise lights or turn off some bulbs).
Reduce photoperiod to 4-6 hours.
Do a water change a few days before leaving and stop EI dosing.
Turn off CO2.

I have been fighting a mild BBA problem, I have got it to the point where I have a slow growth, mainly through increasing the CO2 levels.

I was wondering why the suggestion is to turn of the CO2? Is it to avoid excess CO2 levels as the plants will be using less CO2 given the reduced light and ferts? My fear is that I will return to an algae farm, particularly BBA. I believe by reducing the light duration and intesity as well as removing the ferts algae shouldn't be a problem?

Also, if you have any suggestions to the above steps, please let me know.


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My guess is that turning off the CO2 is to avoid having a problem that will kill your fish. If you have good quality regulators/controllers I don't think this should be an issue. I always leave my CO2 on.

I usually reduce the wattage and/or the photoperiod and that is all. I have automatic feeders on all my tanks, which I use all the time (that way I know what they do). Of course, when I am home I feed newly hatched brine shrimp and frozen blood worms every day and the for vacation fish just have to go without. Plants go without dosing as well. Usually I only go away for 1 to 2 weeks. It seems to be okay.
I was wondering why the suggestion is to turn of the CO2?
I think it is to help slow down growth. If you drop the intensity and photoperiod enough plus cut ferts and CO2 your plants will go into more of a holding pattern than exhibiting their normal rate of growth. Less growth also means you won't have overgrown plants shading other plants.
Thanks for the help guys.

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