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Holiday care for planted Tanks

Tom72

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25 Mar 2021
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Leeds
Hi Folks, as we approach the end of school year my mind has been thinking about our 2 week holiday, and what the best strategy is for my planted tanks. I have read somewhere about reducing light to a minimum of an hour / day and stopping CO2 and ferts, so that the tanks go in to a kind of suspension. I have come back to some disasters in the past and the biggest problems I have had to fix is every time I have had to leave and often takes months to fix. Any advice on this will be a great help.
 

PARAGUAY

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13 Nov 2013
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Lancashire
.l had similar so off what l read as advice somewhere? l switched off CO2 , no issue with light because let the floating plants cover, fed as normal riht up to departure day filter clean about a few days before Away about 10 days ironically looked slightly good on return. Be handy if you had someone who could call in every 3 days or so. Just to check things. Majority of fish should be ok l would have thought as long as well fed befoehand
 

ian_m

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25 Jan 2012
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Eastleigh
In 2012 I would have been away for about 5 weeks, 3 weeks away + week either side.

My first pass was to place fish food and measured fertiliser doses in little bottles, labelled for each day away and neighbour drop in and empty one food and one fertiliser bottle per day. Would have left CO2 and lights on but say for only 4 hours per day. In the end the neighbour got "scared" that they might kill the fish & plants, so a fail on that plan.

So I build a ferts auto-dosing pump, along with commercial fish feeder. All was fine when I got back.
DIY Project - DIY dual peristaltic dosing pump with alternate switching.

This is still in use today, but controlled by my PLC aquarium controller.
How to use a PLC to control your fish tank.

Used in 2017 when again I was away for 5 weeks.

When I go on holiday now, I just flip my PLC to "holiday mode" and it reduces light time & intensity (2 tubes only), reduces CO2 injection time, reduces fertiliser amount & reduces no of fish feeds per day. Job done. No worries. To be honest the only issues I do see is when I flip is back to "normal mode" after holiday is algae/BBA starting to appear due the increased light time and intensity. Did start modifying the PLC to increase light/CO2 time "slowly" over a week or two after holiday, but never finished the PLC code. Maybe one day.
 

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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2,265
Location
Nottingham
I have my tank set up for automated water changes and auto dosing anyway, so when I go away, I just add an auto-feeder for the fish, and add an additional 'pump off' period to coincide with the fish feeding time. I also do a maintenance run and decent trim before going.

I went away for a week during the recent half term and all was fine.
 

jamila169

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4 Mar 2021
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165
Location
N Derbyshire
Sans automation (is overkill on my little tanks and I have no undertank dedicated space , they're on a sturdy sideboard ) if we were going anywhere I'd be utilising my son and his girlfriend as house sitters - The dog and cat love him and she's a very experienced marine fishkeeper thanks to her dad spreading the joy of his hobby -so I'd be going the trusted person route
 

MichaelJ

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9 Feb 2021
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603
Location
Minnesota, USA
15ml White HDPE Travel Bottle & Screw Cap - Ampulla - 0161 367 1414

I bought loads of these to use to store food an ferts in.

Still using them, as you can put shampoo, mouthwash and other liquids in when you fly away for short breaks. Flying abroad...any one remember that....
I like this approach. We are going abroad for a couple of weeks in September. I only do ferts after weekly WCs and again midweek (both my tanks are non-CO2). For that trip I am just going to do one weekly dose measured out in small bottles. As for feeding I am thinking perhaps only feeding once a day using my Eheim feeders - I do wish the Eheim would be a little more consistent with the dosing of flake-food.
Cheers,
Michael
 

Aqua360

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15 Feb 2016
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paisley
Something not mentioned is topping up water, you can get cheap adapters and use bottles of RO inverted, at least to combat water levels dropping in the short term.

Longer term, ATO's are superb, I use one for the marine tank but would be just as effective on open top tanks
 

Tom72

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25 Mar 2021
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64
Location
Leeds
Thanks for the great responses, I think longer term I shall look in to the plc. I already have auto dosing and timers on my 200ltr, which has historically had most the problems in the past, so I’m thinking of reducing the photo period to 4hours, half the dosing and CO2. On my 37ltr I’ll do the same just stop ferts, as I know this won’t impact this tank. Perhaps reduce the photo periods gradually over the week before I go away and do the reverse when I return, that could prevent any shocks hopefully.
 
Joined
30 Aug 2020
Messages
346
Location
Bristol
I hide the main food supply, and provide slightly more than I think will be needed and an example measure. To stop over feeding. A barrel of made up water for top ups and a towel for spillage.

Less is more, for these things. Most fish have a lot of visceral fat so are not going to waste away, if they get less food, but if your helper fouls your water they could end up suffering
 
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