How do you sort out EI when you go on holidays?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Fert Dosing' started by ghostsword, 5 Mar 2010.

  1. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

    Messages:
    3,443
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Thanks to Ceg4048 I stand corrected regarding the water changes reason, I really believed that we must do it to nutrient build up, but we must do it to keep the water clean of detritus and organic waste.

    So in theory if one halved the EI dosing on a tank and didn't do any water changes for a month, but had a large external filter, not much problems would be encountered, right?

    Reason I am asking is that I am going away for a month, and it would be tricky to ask someone to do water changes on the tank, it is easier to just leave food, dosing and lights on automatic.

    I could always decrease the light period and stop dosing altogether, mimicking a winter period for the plants.

    How do you sort it out when you go on holidays?

    Don't want to come back home with my plants all messed up. :)
     
  2. Mr T

    Mr T Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Nr Wroxham, Norfolk
    Have a quick read of the journal I posted last night.
    http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=10198
    I'm often away for months and have been keeping fish successfully for nearly a decade. I recently set up a planted tank and it's mostly automated to alleviate such worries. I belive however that using the EI method your fert concentrations are pretty high (if I understand what I've read over the past few weeks properly!) so it may be worth diluting them a little. I'm sure others far more experienced than me can set you straight!

    Tesco
     
  3. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

    Messages:
    3,443
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Many thanks Mr.T.

    Your tank setup looks very good, and the dosing pumps really interesting, I will look into that.

    So a pipe goes from the bottle to the pump and another from the pump to the tank? Can we choose how much to dispense? If so, this will sort out half my problems, and as I got a 1200L an hour filter to work on a 120L tank, this should delay the water changes.

    I only got 15 fish anyway, 10 of them neons, and lots of shrimp, so that should minimise the organic load.

    I have until August to plan for it, so any help is appreciated.
     
  4. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,298
    Location:
    London
    You place one end of the air line tube above the water line and the other inside the bottle, you place the pump on a timer, it doses 2ml per minute according to Tesco, so you set the timer to dose how many minutes of the solution you require, I have done this in the past its just finding a reliable pump that is the problem, I will be looking into these pumps.
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    Have a read through Paulo's thread on building an auto doser here:

    viewtopic.php?f=20&t=5024

    Long read, but lot's of input from folks trying it :)
     
  6. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

    Messages:
    3,443
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Thanks.. I will check it out.

    I will first look for something off the shelf, I am not very fond of diy kit around my tank, especially when I am way from it. :)
     
  7. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    I would turn off any CO2, lower the amount of time the light is on for each day, and lower the light levels themselves.
    If the holiday is 3 weeks or less then just leave the tank as is no food or ferts!

    That is my way, but a search should bring up a few threads on this topic (I know they are on here somewhere!).
     
  8. Mr T

    Mr T Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Nr Wroxham, Norfolk
    Just added some more on the pumps I use in my journal.

    Tesco
     
  9. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    Messages:
    1,949
    Sediment rich ferts, ADA AS soil, worm castings etc, these provide some backup for when you forget to dose or are away for a few weeks.

    You still need someone to add water for evaporation etc, feed fish etc, so having a small pill box for the ferts/traces next to the tank once, 2x a week is plenty.

    Raise the lights, reduce it etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

    Messages:
    3,443
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Thanks,

    I think that what I will do is allow the water to drop a bit, will try to mimic a period of draught on the tank, after all, plants are meant to use reserves, there aren't ferts on their natural habitat all year around.

    Will still leave CO2 going in, and as I only have 15 fish at max on the 100L tank, they should be ok being fed every two days.

    Fish isn't the issue, as I have left them before for month and a half with an automatic feeder, I just fear algae messing up my plants.
     
  11. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
    I just try to reduce the demands for ferts whilst I am away, so I start from the source of demand by reducing light intensity and duration. CO2 duration is also adjusted to suit the new photoperiod. I usually settle on a four hour photoperiod at half light. As soon as I get back, I give the tank a good clean out and large water change, then it is straight back to normal lighting and ferts.

    Dave.
     
  12. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

    Messages:
    3,443
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Many thanks Dave, so just 4 hours will be good.. :)

    Perfect..
     

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