two weeks vacation, nobody to dose EI or change water

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by Jack12, 19 Nov 2014.

  1. Jack12

    Jack12 Member

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    hi all
    I have pressurised CO2 and EI dosing running in a heavy planted tank. Going to be away for two weeks and nobody to do water changes or EI dosing.

    what do u guys suggest so I don't come back to a disaster?
     
  2. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

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  3. Jack12

    Jack12 Member

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    I don't have dosing pumps unfortunately...

    Would double EI dose on the day of departure along with lowering lights intensity and duration but keeping CO2 the same do the trick?
     
  4. brandon429

    brandon429 Member

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    thats a fascinating challenge. if you have no other support devices and we have to use what you have, I i vote lights off the whole time and leave windows open to get ambient sunlight. the plants will not die, they w be stressed and then when you get back you do slow photoperiod ramp ups as in 10 mins on then working up to few hours then all day after a few days.

    I say lessen the command of the system while gone since you arent there to keep the turbo chargers tuned
     
  5. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    If it's any consolation, for reasons I'd rather not go into :D I couldn't get to my tank for just over two weeks and up to that point I was dosing co2 and EI. When I finally got to see it it was in as good a condition as when I left if not better :what:

    If it was me I would probably just reduce the lighting duration and dose the EI just before I left. It's going to be at least a week before the plants notice any difference. I leave my missus to dose my tank when I'm away for the week working and more often than not I'll get back and she has forgot to do anything :facepalm: Doesn't seem to matter that much other than in my head.

    Good thing about EI is that the plants will have reserves and there's a slight excess anyway which will take a fair while to use up. Might even do it some good! If anything, If your co2 is stable then I would just reduce the lighting and maybe get some Osmocote. Freeze in ice cubes and insert into the gravel. This will slow release while your away so the combination of less light and less demand should see the plants through until you're home I reckon.

    But, my first comment still stands.
     
  6. Jack12

    Jack12 Member

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    thanks for your replies
    I will keep CO2 the same
    double dose EI and lower lights slighly
    lets see what happens :)
     
  7. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

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    Hi brandon429,:)
    Can explain more on what you mean by the above. I will find it helpful. Thanks.

    I'm going on a 2 1/2 weeks holiday as well. I have a friend who can feed the fish and EI dose only but only that. He's not so keen on doing the water changes.

    I'm afraid my friend might over feed the fish and so I bought an Eheim auto feeder. I have been testing it out with OceanLife's flakes and the results were not so good. The quantity of food is not consistent. Most of the time there is hardly any flakes being dispensed. The flakes tend to clump together and stick inside the feeder container.:confused:

    I have recently gotten some advice to :
    1. Switch off the Co2 and lights.
    2. Stop EI dosing.
    3. Have the chiller to be at 24C
    4. AND stop feeding the fish for 2 1/2 weeks ( 9 Rummynose and 12 Congo Tetras) :nailbiting:

    I intend to the following:
    Do a 60% water change one day before flying off.
    Switch off the Co2 and lights.
    Stop EI dosing.
    Have the chiller to be at 24C

    I'll ask my friend to feed the fish on alternate days. The quantity flakes to feed is through the use of a very small plastic spoon. I'll instruct my friend to dispense only 1 spoonful only.

    Can I stop the feeding also?

    Any other precautions I should take note off?
    Cheers
     
  8. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

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    Keep us updated. Why don't you post a photo of the tank before you go off and one more after you come back. I'm sure it'll be helpful for many.
    Cheers.
     
  9. Jack12

    Jack12 Member

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    I will post pics before and after, just need to find my camera :)
     
  10. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

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    Cool! Since my method may be different than yours, I'll post some of my photos here as well, if you don't mind.
    The more information there is, the better.
    Cheers
     
  11. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    I'm no pro, that doesn't sound like something I would do. Why starve your plants of everything that is vital to them and expect to come back to healthy plants? It even sounds like recipe for disaster! It's like switching off life support just because you're not there to monitor it.

    Like I mentioned earlier on I didn't do anything at all and it didn't affect things noticeably, however, if I was going on a planned vacation my goal would be to make sure the plants didn't starve to death and send the tank in a downhill spiral.
    We have to bare in mind here that most of us need to be near our tank about 6 days out of 14.
    The co2 is automatic if on a timer/solenoid and if you usually don't have to make any adjustments any other time this isn't going to change.
    EI is dosing unnecessary amounts of ferts(in most cases) check this out and see what levels would be in your tank after 2 weeks even at high uptake rates. The WC @ 50% weekly, again is a nicety but not cast in stone. It's an algae preventer but if your fish are not being fed that much or at all over the period waste build up is reduced so once a fortnight isn't going to kill your tank

    So, my best guess would be to add a little more ferts than usual and reduce your lighting to maybe 5.5/6 hours a day. I hear plants will gorge and put in reserve nutrients when in abundance so like us all they could probably have a diet :) and if you've run EI up to this point they probably will have reserves they can draw on but that isn't probably going to be the case until the latter half of the 2nd week if at all.

    Reduce the demand by reducing lighting(not totally off), give them a little more than usual. If you don't fancy the Osmocote get a commercial root tab which releases slower over a time period in the gravel and give the fast growing stems a clip out before you leave.

    Aim for having the tank tick over while your away rather than switching it off, plants don't want to die we kill them by making them work too hard ;)

    If I was that paranoid about it, which I'm not. Is it worth maybe getting in touch with a CRB checked dog walker/baby sitter or something and paying them half hour of their time to come round your house at the end of week one. Pre-mix all your stuff in a container and ask them to dump it in your tank, lock up and go?

    As for feeding, when I'm away I just do the same with my missus. Put amount of food in a lid of the food tub and say give them same as that every couple of days. Like I say though I get back and she hasn't done a thing :D It's no biggie though.
     
  12. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    *Just had an after thought. If you say are going to knock 2 hours or so off your lighting I would also do the same with the co2.
     
  13. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

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    Hi
    Thanks for your detailed reply. The reply highlighted below is what I got.
    If I were you I would shut off all lights, all feeding and all CO2 for that time. That way, you don't need any friends to do anything. The tank goes into suspended animation. The only thing I would keep running is the chiller and I'd reduce the temperature to 24 or 25 degrees.The plants will lose weight but when you return turn back on the CO2 and they will put weight back on.


    You mean double dose? If so, both Micros and Macros?

    My photo period is now already at 6 hours but with 50% less intensity. Maybe I can bring photoperiod to 5 hours? Is this OK?

    My tank's substrate is ADA's Amazonia aqua soil. I think it can act as a reserve for some time. Right?

    What do you mean by "give them a little more than usual"? I don't get it.

    My Eheim auto feeder failed to dispense food flake ( especially Ocean Nutrition brand) as the flakes tend to clump together. Even today, I thought the fish were fed by the auto feeder but to my surprise they were not.

    So starting today, I testing out with New Life Spectrum brand's food granules at 2 feeds per day at 6 hours interval each. I tested out the quantity on the fish and all food was gone by 15 seconds.:happy:

    But no harm in having it on for the normal 6 hours, right?

    Thank you and have nice weekend ahead.:)
    Cheers.
     
  14. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    Hiya mate, yes knock the lights and co2 off an hour earlier than usual. If you've had advice to knock the lights and co2 off then maybe you should go with that. Then both of us don't have to worry about your tank while you're away :D
    There's probably a crash course in quantum physics and an A level biology reason why this woukd be a good idea but I'm looking at it like this, Dosing EI is not something we have to do or the plants will fail. Its something we do because its a sure fire way of making sure there is an abundance of nutrients. Tested up to unlimited lighting.

    My worry, and I think yours is will the plants run out of nutrients while your away and my best guess is the answer is no they won't. Based on this..
    You are going to put more nutrients into your tank that your plants could possibly consume. Even if they had an uptake rate of 100% (Highly Unlikely) there would be some left over.
    You're not changing any water so there will also be some more added by fish waste /filter etc. (Some people get away with this on its own)
    You're using a nutrient rich substrate which will have absorbed and stored some.
    Your plants have been living with an abundance and will have stored some also.

    Knocking an hour off the lights edges your bets by slowing down the plants and brings the chances of running out back in your favour.
    Could you add twice ei? You could, some people in here do and it would also stop you running out. It could be argued that doing this might speed up growth. Don't know if this would be the case if you knocked the lights off earlier.
    What happens if the plants do run out? Nothing much I wouldn't have thought in that timescale. Some people here deliberateley starve their plants of nitrate to get redder colours for photos without destroying the whole tank.


    EI dosing is everything in excess not the minimum you need. A lot of the problems people experience through lack of nutrients is because they have done it constantly for a while. You will have done this for one week out of 52. In fact week one your tank is going to be no different. Week 2 how much different will it be? Not much I'm guessing. You'd have missed a couple of doses and a water change that's all. If you do 2x50% changes the week before you go on average you haven't even missed a water change.

    The traces may run out because these don't last in the water for too long but they are traces so as long as there's some it'll be ok.
    I don't think you'll run out of macros and if you do it would probably be in the last couple of days (if at all). Worth remembering that if on the last day there's 1ppm of nitrate left in the tank the plants won't ignore it just because its not at EI level. It'll just use it for food like any other time.

    Anyway, that's just my opinion. It could be all wrong :D but I suspect you are going to miss your tank a lot more than its going to miss you ;)

    Tapatalk On Blackberry PlayBook
     
  15. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

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    Hi
    Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately I'm down with a case of bad flu and I'm flying off tomorrow early morning. I have only managed to bring the timer for both lights ( at 40% intensity) and C02 for 5 hours.
    Other than this I can't do much for water change ( the last one was 3 days ago) or EI fertz. I'm not sure what I'll be looking at when I return in 2 weeks time. Hope the best :)
     
  16. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

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    Hi everyone,:)
    I want away on a 21+days trip.
    Before I went away, I could not do any massive water changes apart from the below mentioned:
    Lights at 30% to 40% for 5 hours.
    Co2 for 5 hours.
    Fish feeding 2 times a day via an Eheim auto feeder (fed granule type food as flakes were found to be sticking to the insides of the auto feeder and blocking feeder's opening / fed very small quantity of granules).

    NO DOSING of EI fertilizers or any liquid carbon.

    After my return, these are my observation:

    Fish and shrimps
    All were in top condition. All numbers were accounted for.:joyful:

    Algae :

    Small patch of BBA and green hair algae on wood.:clap:
    Green Spot Algae (GSA) not spread to other areas in tank but neither gone away.:crazy:
    Blue Green Algae (BGA) has gone down.:wave:

    Plants:
    Most plants looked exhausted and less lively.:confused:
    My Limnophila aromatica 'hippuroides' took the most beating. :thumbdown:
    Except for a few stands the rest were all gone. ( please see photo below)
    Monte Carlo (carpet plant) did rather well. I was expecting it to be damaged but surprisingly, most of it survived.:clap:
    The plant that outshined the rest was Ammania sp bonsai. It actually grew many off shoots.o_O

    After my return:
    I did a 50% to 60% water change and still do now twice a week.
    Switched to a clean inline diffuser for Co2.
    Started EI regime. Dosing the same quantity as before the trip.
    Reset the lighting to the normal intensity.
    A few days later replaced all the pre filter pads in my Eheim 2080 & 2075.

    Cheers
    Raffik

    PS: All the photos of the tank was taken at the night of my return. Nothing was touched in the tank.


    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/HOLIDAY-tANK-1_zpsfea92c85.jpg
    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/HOLIDAY-tANK-2_zps0db402c9.jpg
    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/HOLIDAY-tANK-3_zps19fb8f98.jpg
    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/HOLIDAY-tANK-4_zps47745ebb.jpg
    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/DEADLEAVES-ON-POWERHEAD_zps58f53eaf.jpg
     
  17. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    See, nothing to worry about :)
     
    Zak Rafik likes this.
  18. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

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    Or to rephrase it in another way :"I told you so"
    :lol:
     
  19. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    Glad everything worked out. The minimal damage you have there will rectify in no time once you get back into the usual routine.

    I think a lot of the time we all fuss a bit too much about ferts. Stable co2 is far more important but once it's set right you can pretty much leave it alone. When dosing EI I would say that most of us mere mortals are dosing far too much anyway. We often need reminding that EI is a max value not a bare minimum.
     
    Zak Rafik likes this.
  20. naughtymoose

    naughtymoose Member

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    Mmm. So, scientifically, too many variables.

    I forget to 'Feed' my garden plants often. And water them. And remove all the leaves and other stuff that falls on them, causing them to rot etc...
     

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