Advice for Planted Tank Whilst on Holiday

mjenner

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17 Oct 2008
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111
Location
Chessington, Surrey
Hi Everyone,

I'm just about to restart my Juwel Rio 125 planted tank (120l approx) as a higher-tech planted tank (Pressurised CO2, EI, Aquasoil substrate etc), however I'm planning on going away to South Africa on holiday for approx 3 weeks in about 12 months (getting married) and I don't want it to descend into another algae-filled cess-pool (it did this after our last trip down there about a month ago).

Does anyone have any advice on a maintainance procedure to prevent problems with not changing water and a lack (or reduction) of dosing over that period?

Is there an easy way to transition to a lower-tech maintainance programme for that 3 week period, and does anyone have any tips on surviving with no algae and most plants (and fish)intact? I know it's a long way off but I don't want to get the tank working perfectly (I hope) but knowing all the time that it'll probably all go wrong when I go on holiday.

It's possible I can get the designated feeder to dose the tank once or twice a week (too much to ask to do daily), but it'll be too much to expect someone to change water.... I can't see my 70something year old gran lugging 25l jerry-cans of water about and mixing fresh buckets of water :).

From reading PFK, I think I remember reading that George Farmer has had some issues with this when he's been posted away on business (but I now can't find that issue for advice :( ), and I imagine most people have had similar issues from time to time for a shorter period of time, but I can't seem to find much info on it on the forum (unless I've been using the wrong search terms).

Any ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Matt
 

Egmel

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28 Mar 2008
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Guildford, Surrey, UK
mjenner said:
From reading PFK, I think I remember reading that George Farmer has had some issues with this when he's been posted away on business (but I now can't find that issue for advice :( ),
No personal experience but the article George wrote is here
 

a1Matt

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10 Mar 2008
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Bromley
Light is the main driver for plant growth.
So if you lower the light levels while you are away then you give yourself more room for error.

Then you should lower everything else accordingly.

Light > then Co2 > then macros > then micros.

So I would switch off my CO2, lower my lights and drop my dosing to once a week from daily.

You can set an auto doser to drop macros on one day, micros on another, and fish food inbetween. I have done that successfully before.

If you did this a month before the holiday as well then you would have time to see any eeffect it may have on the tank and be able to tweak the new regime accordingly.

I hope that helps.
 

a1Matt

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10 Mar 2008
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2,497
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Bromley
you also asked about water changes... with the lower dosing, you won't get as much buildup, so can get away with no water changes.
and feeding the fish... if I go away for up to a week I let the fish go hungry. I think this is fine, so reduced feeding over 3 weeks should not present a problem.
 

mjenner

Member
Joined
17 Oct 2008
Messages
111
Location
Chessington, Surrey
Cheers guys, I'm going to look into the auto-dosing, I think I'm going to have to work out the exact values and alterations to my dosing scheme later once I've started dosing and got a schedule sorted out. I guess I'll have to plant with this in mind and remove plants that are high-light and CO2 dependent before I go away and try and keep the fish-load light to reduce waste.

I've got a Fluval 305 on a Rio 125 tank, so hopefully it should be fine without cleaning for 3-4 weeks and I can arrange someone to feed them once a week.

Thanks for your help.

Matt
 

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