Travel Anxiety? Do you have it and how do you remedy it?

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Do you have travel anxiety when it comes to your saltwater reef aquarium?

  • Yes

    Votes: 273 53.7%
  • Somewhat

    Votes: 162 31.9%
  • No

    Votes: 67 13.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 6 1.2%

  • Total voters
    508

revhtree

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No matter how prepared you are it seems like it never fails that when you're "out of town" something is going to go wrong with your reef tank. It could be a GFCI trips, a pump quits working, a fish quits eating, the ATO runs out of water, it could be so many things. If there's going to be a problem it seems like it's going to happen while you are traveling. Or maybe it's just me? Meh. Let's talk about it today!

1. Do you have travel anxiety when it comes to your saltwater reef aquarium?

2. How do you mitigate problems happening while you're away? What plans or people do you have in place?

3. What's the worse thing to ever happen while you were away?



travel anxiety.jpg
 

Sharkbait19

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Sometimes-- my largest concern is my pistol shrimp messing things up while I'm gone, and me not being there to save my frags. Another concern is brown jelly disease. If it happens to one lps while I'm gone, then the whole lot will go down with it.

Typically I just ask a family member to take pics of the tank each day and send it, and then I can point out if something needs to be done.
 

James_O

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1. Do you have travel anxiety when it comes to your saltwater reef aquarium?

2. How do you mitigate problems happening while you're away? What plans or people do you have in place?

3. What's the worse thing to ever happen while you were away?
Can’t speak for my saltwater tank yet, but definitely for freshwater:

1) Yes, definitely

2) I like to get updates from the people taking care of my tanks/fish.

3) My second Betta died, due to an ammonia spike from over feeding.
 

Azedenkae

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1. No :D
2. I make sure that my tank can survive for however long I am away by making sure before I go I set it up and 'mock' leaving it alone for said duration to see if it is still okay. Also, trained the fish to accept pellets so I can just use an auto-feeder. But yeah, mocking leaving the tank for the duration gives me the peace of mind.
3. The water in the back filtration chamber lowered to the point where the heater was being somewhat exposed. Luckily I caught it just in time.
 

Gogol_frag

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No matter how prepared you are it seems like it never fails that when you're "out of town" something is going to go wrong with your reef tank. It could be a GFCI trips, a pump quits working, a fish quits eating, the ATO runs out of water, it could be so many things. If there's going to be a problem it seems like it's going to happen while you are traveling. Or maybe it's just me? Meh. Let's talk about it today!

1. Do you have travel anxiety when it comes to your saltwater reef aquarium?

2. How do you mitigate problems happening while you're away? What plans or people do you have in place?

3. What's the worse thing to ever happen while

No matter how prepared you are it seems like it never fails that when you're "out of town" something is going to go wrong with your reef tank. It could be a GFCI trips, a pump quits working, a fish quits eating, the ATO runs out of water, it could be so many things. If there's going to be a problem it seems like it's going to happen while you are traveling. Or maybe it's just me? Meh. Let's talk about it today!

1. Do you have travel anxiety when it comes to your saltwater reef aquarium?

2. How do you mitigate problems happening while you're away? What plans or people do you have in place?

3. What's the worse thing to ever happen while you were away?



travel anxiety.jpg
you were away?


travel anxiety.jpg

I have travel-anxiety, more like travel apprehension than anxiety. Both my wife and I have travelling-jobs (thank God for Covid that travelling's out). We also like to get out of the house (twice or thrice annually) and stay in the mountains or beaches or another country.

My overall plan on dealing with this is a combination of automation and stress test - as in automate the living daylights out of my reef (or living actinic-lights if you prefer) and observe the automated reef play out with periods of non-intereferance - for two weeks, three weeks etc. - while we are at the house.

Steps taken were:
  1. Have automation and monitoring as central to the planning, and not an after-thought. - my Apex and Jebao Doser were the first purchases, even before my aquarium.
  2. Feed-live (for long-term sustenance), I used to do this during my prior reef-rodeo as well.
  3. Have a stance that automation is not meant to replace you (the reefer) but introduce stability in the system.
  4. Realize that we are fighting against nature- so keep things as natural as possible - no siphons (which meant no sumps), minimal external additions, plentiful reef-building blocks (planktons and bacteria)
  5. Observe the automation play out, for months, so that you can fine-tune before heading for a vacation
  6. So far, my plankton creation and dosing is automated for a month of non-intereferance. I add Fertilizer once a month.
  7. Testing every major element is automated (yes even Ammonia) except for Nitrate and Phosphate is automated ( I can't believe that no one has cracked those two tests - so annoying!!!)
  8. All food is autofed/autodosed
  9. Kalkwasser is my calcium/Alkalinity dosing media of choice, which is automatically introduced using my Tunze 3155 ATO
  10. Run biological filters for 24×7×365 - this includes Algae Scrubbers, the bacteria, and the Tisbe pods
  11. Run artifical filters sparingly (skimmers, carbon, GFO, filter pads)
I am still getting into the rhythm, and best-laid plans go awry. Hence I have travel-anxiety/apprehension :p

- Gogol
 
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AJsReef

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1. Mild, really depends where I'm traveling. If its for work, I'll think of my tank more than traveling for fun ha.


2. Automate everything I possibly can, even to the point that at home I really only have to feed my fish. Water changes and dosing is all automatic and designed to run for 14+ days no intervention. Plus webcams in the display and sump for ease of mind.


3. Years ago, pre controllers, had a ATO get stuck and rapidly fill my sump. Luckily, had a webcam and somehow noticed the issue. Friend was close by and able to fix before a flood.
 

NeonRabbit221B

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1. Yes, badly
2. I have a 6 page document of instructions for fish sitter for trouble shooting, feeding instructions and testing instructions. I have cords labeled, reef-pi notifies me of issues and have cameras setup around the tank for a visual checkup. I check and PM pumps the week before I go and do a walk through with them the day before.
3. ATO pump failed one time and an ongoing dino fight one vacation requiring some daily maintenance
 

Saltysocks

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1.) A big fat yes lol

2.) I actually have my mom stop over and feed the tank luckily she's retired. When I go away the tank goes on an only pellet feed once a day routine. I portion out everyday I'll be gone and but it into one of those weekly pill dividers. Halfway through the week I leave I note in the pills divider to refill the ato.

3) so far nothing, but I'm going away again in 3 months so I'm already getting anxious
 

ca1ore

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1. Do you have travel anxiety when it comes to your saltwater reef aquarium?

I always worried about power outages when away .... so I got a whole-house standby generator and now I worry a lot less.

2. How do you mitigate problems happening while you're away? What plans or people do you have in place?

The aforementioned generator .... plus I have a fellow reefer 'on call' just in case. I am able to check in with my tank via apex, though if the communications lines are down that doen't help.

3. What's the worse thing to ever happen while you were away?

Back in 2009, boiler failed when I was away. House dropped to an ambient of 40 degrees and my heat capacity could not keep up. A difficult thing to mitigate against so i went with Garp logic. Fish were fine, but most of the corals died - maybe temp or maybe stress = bleaching = killed by the lights.
 
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Afaylenerich88

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Always hire a professional or someone you know and trust that has been around the tank to watch it for you the money you would lose is worth the money you would spend
 

Saltysocks

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1.) A big fat yes lol

2.) I actually have my mom stop over and feed the tank luckily she's retired. When I go away the tank goes on an only pellet feed once a day routine. I portion out everyday I'll be gone and but it into one of those weekly pill dividers. Halfway through the week I leave I note in the pills divider to refill the ato.

3) so far nothing, but I'm going away again in 3 months so I'm already getting anxious
I should add, I onlt fill the ato halfway before leaving (dependingon how long I'll be gone) so if a flood occurs it won't be a severe
 

College_Reefer

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I don't have travel anxiety because I know what I got myself into with it. I am a college student so on breaks, etc. I have to leave my tank for 3-6 weeks sometimes to fend for itself. The first time I did it, I worried but I have invested in good equipment, hooked up an apex, purchased battery backups because dorm power is iffy sometimes during storms down here in Florida so I have done all I can to make it the best possible situation when leaving my tank. Like I always say, it is what it is and it has always worked out for me (going on 3 years of dorm room tanks).
 

walloutlet

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Somewhat have anxiety... I have pretty good and well tested automation and alerting now and have a strict do not change anything 1 week out other than to ensure the basic maintenance is done such as skimmer cup emptied, ATO topped off, dosing chemicals topped up, AWC clean full and AWC dirty emptied. I've also setup a WYZE camera that I can stream to visually see my tank and zoom in. Lastly, have someone that I can call to get hands on if needed.

Biggest source of anxiety for me is something mechanical failing, those are things that are extremely tough to solve for remotely and to walk most people through. Couldn't imagine asking someone to dismantle a return pump to clean it and install my spare one.
 

Fennel

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No matter how prepared you are it seems like it never fails that when you're "out of town" something is going to go wrong with your reef tank. It could be a GFCI trips, a pump quits working, a fish quits eating, the ATO runs out of water, it could be so many things. If there's going to be a problem it seems like it's going to happen while you are traveling. Or maybe it's just me? Meh. Let's talk about it today!

1. Do you have travel anxiety when it comes to your saltwater reef aquarium?

2. How do you mitigate problems happening while you're away? What plans or people do you have in place?

3. What's the worse thing to ever happen while you were away?



travel anxiety.jpg
Just started with the hobby.. so I don't want to miss anything. Small open tank. A ferret, 3 cats and two dogs, I don't get out much anyway, but the tank is something else to anticipate coming home to. Of course I worry..
 

Calm Blue Ocean

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There is always at least one adult home. But that one time...we just had to go to town for a few hours and we got home to find the pump chamber almost dry on my nano, and spitting bubbles into the display. Filter floss clogged. And that was just a few hours!

We haven't had a vacation since starting this whole reef tank thing. :eek:
 

littlebeard

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1. Do you have travel anxiety when it comes to your saltwater reef aquarium?
Yes!

2. How do you mitigate problems happening while you're away? What plans or people do you have in place?

I'm still trying to master this. Hired a house sitter this time to watch dog/cat/fish/coral. Did a DIY temp/ph monitoring system that will call me if it has not sent a message within 10 minutes or a parameter is out of wack! It does work! ask my wife why my aquarium is calling me at 3 am when the internet went down.

3. What's the worse thing to ever happen while you were away?

I broke the golden rule of not changing anything before vacation. I added a cheapy pump to my ATO to help my nephew watching my tank. Tank was only a few months old and I was manually topping off and I didn't have any equipment to monitor. The cheap pump flipped my gfci. Power went out, no air was added and about 12-16 hours later all my fish had died. Lost a yellow tang, right before the hawaiian ban :(
 

Waboss

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1. Do you have travel anxiety when it comes to your saltwater reef aquarium? Negative

2. How do you mitigate problems happening while you're away? What plans or people do you have in place?
Controller that let's me monitor critical systems (if configured correctly of course), which includes testing "critical" parameters, leak detectors with automation set up for alerting and actions, and cameras on the display tank, sump area, and behind the tank. Oh, and an ATO reservoir that can accommodate the evaporation for the length of the trip as well as a buffer time of at least a few day.

3. What's the worse thing to ever happen while you were away? So far, my skimmer pump dying while was away, which is the grand scheme of things, wasn't the worst thing that could happen.
 

Fish Think Pink

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No matter how prepared you are it seems like it never fails that when you're "out of town" something is going to go wrong with your reef tank. It could be a GFCI trips, a pump quits working, a fish quits eating, the ATO runs out of water, it could be so many things. If there's going to be a problem it seems like it's going to happen while you are traveling. Or maybe it's just me? Meh. Let's talk about it today!

1. Do you have travel anxiety when it comes to your saltwater reef aquarium?

2. How do you mitigate problems happening while you're away? What plans or people do you have in place?

3. What's the worse thing to ever happen while you were away?



travel anxiety.jpg
1) Yes
2) significant other who knows lots about saltwater tank is primary alternate
3) 3 peppermint shrimp died and 2 neon blue gobies "disappeared" during 6 day trip.... Averages nearly 1 loss per day :( very sad

Peppermint shrimp were scheduled to move out of DT to QT or sump for eating our hammers, but they weren't caught before I left. QT had been up and running and salinity wasn't confirmed before move... evaporation had raised salinity high enough to kill shrimp.

Food was suddenly restricted despite my strong instructions to maintain 2x daily feedings. After several days, blue gobies 'disappeared' ... suspect crab ate them but unknown. Feeding normally for tank resumed after that, but gobies didn't reappear even with thawed fish eggs
 
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WHAT DOES THE TERM "GOOD WATER QUALITY" MEAN TO YOU?

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