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Old 12/28/2007, 08:06 PM   #1
MegsB
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2 weeks away...worried!

well im going away for 2 weeks (wedding/honeymoon in the dominican actually!) and im worried about my reefs! my mothers friend, who knows nill about fish, is watching our tanks (4 reefs from 33-90 gallons) as i dont know anyone with a vehicle who knows fish to help me out, what can i do to prepare my tanks? any info/tips appreciated!

i have an extra heater (new) in case anything happens and it is needed.

i am pre-bagging my fish food (frozen) so it just has to be thawed and dumped in (my poor spoiled corals wont get spot fed while im away).

i will have my 5 gallon jugs of RO water at room temp for top off, and i will indicated a "fill to" line, so the salinity stays the same throughout the top-offs

we are going to try to make our mass jumble of pluggs acessable in case our power should go out (we have a big generator that can run the heaters and a powerhead or two for each tank).

we have an emergency contact #, one of my sort of mentors in the hobby (plus i work in a pet store with very knowledgible saltwater people, so will leave that #).

anything else anyone can think of? i love my reefs (fish, corals, inverts etc) and will worry about them while in away, not to mention we have thousands upon thousands invested in the 4 systems, i just want to be prepared!


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Old 12/28/2007, 08:27 PM   #2
aquawolf
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It sounds to me like you have covered all of the bases very well. Now would be a good time to start concentrating on having a good time at your wedding and on your honeymoon. Congratulations!


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Old 12/28/2007, 09:15 PM   #3
madreefer14
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Man if your tanks get that kind of attention just wait till you have kids!!! Congrats, relax and have a great time!!!


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Old 12/28/2007, 10:57 PM   #4
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I'd give the friend a tour. Show her how to feed, how to top off the tank, and signs of problems to look for.

Write down what you'd like her to check (temp., parts of the system that should be running, how they look when they're running, water level, lights working) and problems she might see (cloudy tank, dead fish, corals in trouble). You might want to have her count fish in each tank at feeding time, if she's willing.

If there's any chance that someone will come over in an emergency, you should have some saltwater mixed and ready, and carbon, amquel etc. easily available.


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Old 12/29/2007, 07:01 AM   #5
MoonInTn
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I'll agree with aquawolf and lotus. Sounds like you've gotten everything pretty well covered, and can think about enjoying yourself. The only thing I can think of is maybe checking the skimmer if you have one. Or checking the cup or anything you have the skimmate running into, for when it would need to be emptied. You still might want to have your mother's friend come over a time or two for an active walkthrough/tour while you're feeding and let them get more aqquainted with your feeding routine and what to check on. Other than that, I think you've got it covered.


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Old 12/29/2007, 08:52 AM   #6
brickbreaker33
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good luck and have a great trip


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Old 12/29/2007, 09:48 AM   #7
llorence
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Pretty good plan. Assume your friend will forget everything you tell her . . . write everything down so she can "refresh" her memory of what she should do. Include a list of things "not to do" like catch up on feeding if she misses a day or two (you don't want her putting in two or three days worth of food at one time).


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Old 12/29/2007, 10:44 AM   #8
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More than show her, let her do it while you watch. Show her how to do the alkalinity test, the most basic, and have her write down the result. Tell her do that every two days, and if it drops to a certain level [you know your tank] tell her call you. Cellphones are a lifesaver with reefsitters. If she's got a written record she can consult she'll be able to explain in numbers what's going on, and you can tell her what to do based on how far you are from getting home.
Your plans are excellent. Prebagging the food means they don't have an accidental spill or an attack of pity-feeding.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 12/29/2007, 11:06 AM   #9
Vinnie71975
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Re: 2 weeks away...worried!

Quote:
Originally posted by MegsB
well im going away for 2 weeks (wedding/honeymoon in the dominican actually!) and im worried about my reefs! my mothers friend, who knows nill about fish, is watching our tanks (4 reefs from 33-90 gallons) as i dont know anyone with a vehicle who knows fish to help me out, what can i do to prepare my tanks? any info/tips appreciated!

i have an extra heater (new) in case anything happens and it is needed.

i am pre-bagging my fish food (frozen) so it just has to be thawed and dumped in (my poor spoiled corals wont get spot fed while im away).

i will have my 5 gallon jugs of RO water at room temp for top off, and i will indicated a "fill to" line, so the salinity stays the same throughout the top-offs

we are going to try to make our mass jumble of pluggs acessable in case our power should go out (we have a big generator that can run the heaters and a powerhead or two for each tank).

we have an emergency contact #, one of my sort of mentors in the hobby (plus i work in a pet store with very knowledgible saltwater people, so will leave that #).

anything else anyone can think of? i love my reefs (fish, corals, inverts etc) and will worry about them while in away, not to mention we have thousands upon thousands invested in the 4 systems, i just want to be prepared!
Im not suggesting this BUT i know a guy who has a 150g tank, he set it up cycled it, added fish and then just "forgot" about it, to the extent that he didnt even feed the fish, another friend who had a similar 150g tank did everything including water changes by the book,the latter kept loseing fish,corals etc when he went to the first guys house and looked at his tank he freaked you couldn't see in the front of the tank(covered in algae) at this point he looked in the top and what he saw shocked him, the water was down about 4 to 6 inches but was perfectly clear and the fish were thriving. They slowly refilled the tank(about 1/2 gallon per day) till it was full ,cleaned the algae off the front and ONLY the front and looking in the tank it is one of the most beautiful thriving tanks i have ever seen!it has NEVER had a water change in 2 years, it now gets topped off weekly, and fed twice per week. the moral of this is that sometimes even though we have good intentions we need to learn to just leave things alone and let nature do its thing! It sounds like your care plan is well though out i wouldn't worry too much shy of the power going out for an extended period of time i think things should be fine! Congrats and enjoy the honeymoon!


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Old 12/29/2007, 11:13 AM   #10
MegsB
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thank you for all the great suggestions, i will deffinatly get together with her and have her watch/help me do a feed, she is going to make her own notes on what to do based on what i tell her (she said it would be easier for he to follow if she writes them)

what is amquel? i have carbon runing on one tank, and extra available. i will def mix up some saltwater in case of emergency (should i run the powerhead in the extra bucket the whole time? or once its mixed can it sit and be ok?)

i wonder if i will get cell phone reception in the dominican (im with bell mobility), as i will bring it if i will.

i will deffinatly have to remember the skimmers, i have on on each tank, so those will need to be emptied every few days.


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Old 12/29/2007, 11:22 AM   #11
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Make her do everything herself, with her own hands, including getting the collection cup re-seated on the skimmers. It's real hard to instruct how to do that via phone.

I'd call Bell Mobility and ask. Be sure your cell is set to handle roaming.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 12/29/2007, 09:18 PM   #12
J-Burns
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You may want to use the vacation blocks for the food. That way you don't have to worry about her dumping in two bags because the fish "look" hungry.


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Old 12/29/2007, 10:07 PM   #13
zhenjw
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SKIMMER SKIMMER SKIMMER. Make sure she understands how to adjust it and what may happen. I hired someone to maintain my tanks for 2 weeks from an LFS that shall-not-be-named. On the LAST DAY of their maintenance they adjusted the skimmer such that it SLOWLY dripped 7 gallons through the floorboards and into the drywall in the lower level over a period of 2 days. Around $1300 in damages. As many gallons as you have...it may cost more in damages than it would for you to replace everything in your tanks if the power goes out.


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Old 12/30/2007, 08:00 AM   #14
zotzer
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Are you a member of a reef club? Might be nice for someone to stand by as "emergency backup" in case there is a problem.

Also, in most areas you can find an aquarium maintenance company that you can hire to come by and thoroughly check on things two or three times while you are gone.

Have a fantastic wedding/honeymoon!!!
Tracy


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Old 12/30/2007, 09:25 AM   #15
MoonInTn
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Mixing up some saltwater may be a good idea. You can mix it up and put it in a sealed container. That way there's no evaporation to let the salinity go up. I've always used five gallon buckets with lids on them. And you can store mixed water like that without having any circulation in them. BUT.....if you add any ph buffer to the water, you will have to provide something for circulation. Also, I don't think I would pop one of the vacation feeders in the tank. They're well known to cause your ammonia/nitrates to go up. Used one of those years ago when we had freshwater tanks and almost had a disaster. Pre-measured amounts of food, and someone feeding them and keeping an eye on them is the best way to go.


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