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Old 01/02/2018, 06:15 PM   #1
Str8linespeed
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Dilemma

We have run into a dilemma in the Saltwater tank world. We love the tank and everything about it and hell we are even starting up a 2nd tank in the near future.

This dilemma I speak of is who to have take care of the tank when we go on vacation. Its just not something that can be left unattended for 1 week. Our fish only eat frozen mysis and as much as I've tried different pellet food they want nothing to do with it. So an auto feeder is out.

As much time as I spend with my coworkers, The ones that I know could and have had saltwater tanks, I just dont want them in my house when I not home. I have no close family and my neighbors (who I trust more than my coworkers) I think are intimidated with the tank. I mean heck even every other day to feed them its tough to find someone. Whats the longest amount of days you would go not feeding the fish?

With out causing people to drive out of there way to check the tank what other options are there?


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Old 01/02/2018, 07:16 PM   #2
rjpotts
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Ask your LFS for a company that can do it. Might cost actual money, instead of just coming home to all your beer and frozen pizza gone lol.
If your neighbors are cool and trustworthy, it can't be too hard to teach someone to top off and dump some food in.
I usually pre-rinse food and leave it in the fridge in a little solo cup (shot size).
I'm pretty minimalist, but here's my instruction list:
-make sure this container isn't empty, call me if it is. (Top off)
-dump one shot glass in every other day
-otherwise DFW
-beer in the fridge


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Old 01/02/2018, 07:24 PM   #3
Indymann99
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I would setup an ATO that can go a week, buy an auto feeder (I use the Ehiem) and when your fish get hungry enough they will eat pellet or flake.

An APEX controller helps with YOUR piece of mind as you can check in on the tank.

I go on 10day vacations 2-3 times a year, no problems.

my 0.02


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Old 01/02/2018, 07:31 PM   #4
Str8linespeed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjpotts View Post
Ask your LFS for a company that can do it. Might cost actual money, instead of just coming home to all your beer and frozen pizza gone lol.
If your neighbors are cool and trustworthy, it can't be too hard to teach someone to top off and dump some food in.
I usually pre-rinse food and leave it in the fridge in a little solo cup (shot size).
I'm pretty minimalist, but here's my instruction list:
-make sure this container isn't empty, call me if it is. (Top off)
-dump one shot glass in every other day
-otherwise DFW
-beer in the fridge
I've looked into the LFS who do that sort of work, but call me paranoid, I dont know them at all. I know its there business to do this sort of work, but thats just opening the door to a complete stranger for 1 week. I have to pass on that option.


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Old 01/02/2018, 07:40 PM   #5
Str8linespeed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indymann99 View Post
I would setup an ATO that can go a week, buy an auto feeder (I use the Ehiem) and when your fish get hungry enough they will eat pellet or flake.

An APEX controller helps with YOUR piece of mind as you can check in on the tank.

I go on 10day vacations 2-3 times a year, no problems.

my 0.02
I've got the ATO and a Reef Keeper Elite controller, its really just the food.

Only problem is my Red Sea tank has a hood I would have to figure out how to leave the front lid open and yet have the feeder.. Not a tough problem, but something to look into.



Last edited by Str8linespeed; 01/02/2018 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 01/03/2018, 04:43 AM   #6
tonyjd34
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How long has the tank been set up?
Typically fish can go weeks without you feeding them, especially in a well established tank. Now if you have fish that require frequent feedings like anthias you may want someone to come by once or twice while your gone and everything should be fine. Like others have said, top off is more critical for long vacations.


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Old 01/03/2018, 05:14 AM   #7
homer1475
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjpotts View Post
Ask your LFS for a company that can do it. Might cost actual money, instead of just coming home to all your beer and frozen pizza gone lol.
If your neighbors are cool and trustworthy, it can't be too hard to teach someone to top off and dump some food in.
I usually pre-rinse food and leave it in the fridge in a little solo cup (shot size).
I'm pretty minimalist, but here's my instruction list:
-make sure this container isn't empty, call me if it is. (Top off)
-dump one shot glass in every other day
-otherwise DFW
-beer in the fridge
+1

When I go on vaca I have a friend stop over just to feed and check in on things. I put food in 2oz portion cups with lids(I work in a restiurant so these are always available) in the fridge with instructions to feed one a day, nothing more, nothing less. If any issues arise, or the apex is singing, call me.

Have never had an issue the last 5 times we have gone on vaca.


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Old 01/03/2018, 06:04 AM   #8
on the spot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Str8linespeed View Post
...who to have take care of the tank when we go on vacation...
What you need is a dog.

Once you have a dog you will meet other dog people.

Dog people are reliable people.


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Old 01/03/2018, 08:32 AM   #9
nereefpat
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I think you've been over the three options:

1. Auto-Top-Off + auto feeder. Then let it be.

2. Have a buddy do it

3. Service company

I would use the service company, preferably from a LFS where you have a relationship. It's what they do.


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Old 01/03/2018, 10:34 AM   #10
ReeferNoob4ever
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i have gone without feeding my fish for a week before. They usually just eat the pods and algae when they get super hungry. As long as they are not already on the brink of starving they should be ok. Maybe toss a bag of pods in your fuge (if you have one) or tank at night before you leave and let them feast of them for a while.


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Old 01/03/2018, 10:42 AM   #11
mrsixstrings12
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I just came back from a week away from home. The apex allowed me to set up alerts and alarms for certain situations. I also went with a Wi-Fi camera to allow me to visually check the display AND the sump. My fish luckily eat flake food so I went with an auto feeder. My ATO is a large brute trash can that holds about 45g when full. I came home and everything was okay.

Have you tried freeze dried shrimp? My fish get that a few times a week and love it. You could probably get that to work in an auto feeder.

I'm with you on having people in my house, whether it was a coworker or business. But if all else fails, teach a family member. When I bought my first house, my 120g sat at my parent's in full operation for over a year. They fed the fish and emptied the skimmer cup. Once I moved it to my house, they really contemplated getting a tank of their own!


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Old 01/03/2018, 10:49 AM   #12
squeakymcmurdo
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If your tank is established and your fish are healthy, a week is nothing. Overfeeding by an overzealous friend is much more harmful. Bonus: getting nice and hungry makes it easier to pellet train. My experience with this is FW but when I am trying to convince a fish to take a different type of food, I donít feed for a week. They usually hop right on the gravy train.


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Old 01/03/2018, 04:23 PM   #13
Str8linespeed
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Thank you everyone for the tips.

I do need to get a larger ATO container for when we do leave out of town. My current one only holds 4 gallons. The tank has been set up and running for just over a year. I do feed the fish once per day at the same time, but the longest I have gone is 3 days with out feeding them, when Im out of town for a long weekend. Never any problems. I guess I could do an experiment and stop feeding them for a few days and toss in some pellets or flakes to see what they do. It would be nice to get them off of frozen.

Oh and we do have a dog, and actually last night a couple of the neighbors who dont have dogs actually volunteered to watch the tank for us, and one of the others to watch our dog. Our neighborhood is great and all the neighbors watch out for each other, just a few a afraid of the tank. Probably just if something went wrong. So in the end this worked out well, but I am still going to look into an auto feeder to try out.

As for the controller notifying me if there are any issues. That would not work when we go on vacation. We disconnect from the world. No phones, no computer, usually no TV and if we do watch TV never the news. Its about enjoying our time away and where we went to visit. Its very satisfying actually! If family members or someone needs to get a hold of us we do leave a number to where we are staying.

Thanks again everyone, this site is great!


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Old 01/03/2018, 05:05 PM   #14
Vinny Kreyling
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I worked maintenance & went into empty homes all the time.
You can always interview & see if you are comfortable with the proposal they offer before the next vacation if the neighbors don't work out.


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Old 01/03/2018, 05:12 PM   #15
jurgenph
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4 week vacation...
ATO container large enough to last you thought that time.
one of our neighbours empties our mailbox, and puts it on out table.
i have "pill boxes" with days of the week on it, and fish food in half of the compartments.

last time i didn't do this, and they overfed the tank.

you could lavel some frozen cubes with dates.

but honestly, i don't have anyone feed the tank when i'm out for less than two weeks. the fish will survive they'll find pods and algae to munch on.


J.


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Old 01/04/2018, 07:49 PM   #16
Indymann99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by on the spot View Post
what you need is a dog.

Once you have a dog you will meet other dog people.

Dog people are reliable people.
+1


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Old 01/04/2018, 08:03 PM   #17
Daddi0
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When I leave for a week:
- Cover tank/sump as possible with glass/plex to slow evap.
- R/O only in ATO - no dosing or kalk
- Fish will be fine for a week, Otherwise autofeed dry food (if they get hungry they will eat)
- Pumps and heaters relocated to bottom-ish of tank
- Sump output not too far below water level so no siphon
Cheers! Mark


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Old 01/05/2018, 09:11 AM   #18
reef cuber
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Glad I saw this post! Some good ideas. My parents (over 80 yrs old) come and feed my fish for me, preping food in advance, is a great idea! This way I know she's not over feeding!


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