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

BRS

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

  • Yes

    Votes: 273 53.8%
  • Somewhat

    Votes: 161 31.8%
  • No

    Votes: 67 13.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 6 1.2%

  • Total voters
    507

Bleigh

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I typically have a reefing friend house sit.
 

zalick

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1. Yes, always
2. Person taking care has numbers for local reefer and LFS. Instructions are to call and spend whatever it takes to fix whatever happened.
3. 20years ago a sea apple died overnight, got sucked in power head, and nuked whole tank. Person taking care of it was devastated.
another time the auto feeder dumped a TON of pellets and nuked tank over weekend. Only gone 2 days so nobody watching tank.
 

zoa what

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The moment you realize you're 12hrs from home, Apex is down and you took your very last Xanax yesterday......

Screaming Macaulay Culkin GIF by Home Alone
 

Spinal Compass

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I had a GFCI trip while I was out of town and lost a tank. I had a dear friend watching the tank but the young Eagle Scout didn't know how to reset the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. When I returned he was beside himself. I had the choice to become upset or console my friend who was gracious enough to house sit for me. As a Christian the choice was easy. I hold on to my personal possessions with a lose grip understanding that relationships are far more important. You either own a tank or it owns you. Nothing owns me but my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and it is through trials and tribulation that He refines me. I trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding but in all my ways I acknowledge Him and He directs my path to take a vacation when I need it and then I always put everything in His hands. I lost my son in a car accident on my Birthday in 2007 and trust me when I say that the Lord gives, the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. It is through trials and tribulation that He refines me and when you have been through what I have been through then you learn to mix the bitter with the sweet. My son was named after me and Stephen went to heaven on my 45th Birthday. One day we will be united again but until then I try and live everyday like it is my last day here on earth; I do it in honor of my Lord in whom I trust alone. If 2020 taught us one thing then that's don't be afraid to live life to it's fullest. You either conquer fear or fear conquers you. Wow, that's not what I was planning on saying but I'm thankful that the Lord gave me the words that someone apparently needed to hear.
 

Giancarlo_f

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I do have travel anxiety. I deal with it by having controllers that I use mainly for monitoring and alerts and triggered responses to said alerts. I'm also lucky to have a few friends nearby who love and are good at reefkeeping so I leave the care to them when I'm gone because they understand and care about my tank more than any immediate family ever could haha. It's just different when you have someone who's into the hobby watching over your tank vs. random family/friends.
 

Lady of Babylon

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

Yes. And if I don’t... my husband has it 10 times more than me which then gives me anxiety.

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

Buy really expensive systems that my husband gives me an earful about because I justifiably don’t trust the people (so far just my husband) to watch the tank while I have been out visiting family. I have had someone from my lfs come out once while my husband was panicking. Also created a group on nextdoor called “TANKED!!!” to get the tank keeping community in my area to support each other in cases like this. It’s at 50 members so far after nearly a year, and they are just now starting to post and talk with each other. 2 offered to help with my husband’s last panic frenzy while I was away.

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

Few years ago, my husband over fed my tank and the penn-plax cascade pump clogged... exposing the presence of the micro jellyfish. Husband completely ignored my giant blue tape instructions on bottles and tanks ( had 3 tanks: 20 gallon salt, 5 gallon salt quarantine, & 2.5 gallon brackish)

Then last March one of my small refugiums overfilled, draining the main tank, stopping the siphon to the sump, and destroyed the brand new wood floor behind the tank. My husband was (and still is) so angry and panicked that he couldn’t process my simple instructions for the fix... leading to 7 hours of back to back phone calls of my husband calling me and me repeating myself... I had him use the top off water to refill the tank to get the siphon to the sump working again... which dropped the salinity from 1.025 to 1.021... my golden dwarf well behaved eel and yellow tang were the only casualties of the sudden salinity drop.
 

CRABDADDY

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

I didn't before my last trip, but I do now!

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

I had my brother, who has a few very well kept freshwater tanks feeding my fish and looking after the tank. Gave him the full rundown and texted a specific set of instructions.

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

Two things. The first was when my roommate accidentally dosed 10 times the amount of phytoplankton that I asked him too. Luckily there were no issues! I figured if anything was to be overdosed I was lucky it was phyto! He felt bad, but I assured him it was no big deal. I was happy he was helping at all.

Second was my aquarium heater controller dying sometime after my brother came for the last fish feeding while I was gone. The tank was at 68 degrees when I got back and the controller was in a emergency stop state. Still not sure why that happened. Hasn't happened since. Figures it would happen in the 24 hour period nobody was around! Luckily no fish or inverts died! I did lose a couple sps frags, but all my other corals survived.
 

REEFTIDE

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My sister, mother and brother are all "tank trained" as I like to call it so I can have them swing by the house for my personal tank. They know basic troubleshooting, how to run the RODI, how to properly do a water change and most importantly, how to call me with their findings before doing anything lol
At the shop I have three wonderful employees that can keep tanks better than I ever could lol!
 

BCSreef

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1. Significant anxiety! I'm out of the country up to 3 weeks at a time. Often (pre-Covid) 2-3 times a year.

2. I do the following:
  • I have a GHL controller, so I can monitor many parameters and actions online.
  • Clean everything
  • New tubing or even new pump heads for critical dosers.
  • New or recalibrated probes.
  • Web cams on DT and sump system.
  • I have a large battery backup for the basement return pump.
  • Automatic feeder
  • My son lives 15 min. away as a last resort :)
3. No significant issues!
 

southerntnreefer

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

Of course who doesnt!

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


I have an apex now, but i always keep extra gear laying around for such events. I have a local reefing buddy i can have come over if its too technical for my daughter to fix over the phone for me. I check my apex, and have ato high and low alarms via breakout box, and PH warnings if a doser were to get stuck on it would shut off the outlet and alarm me etc. i also have a float in my ato container to alert of low ato so i can make sure the tank sitter fills it.


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


Not on this tank, but my ATO stuck closed on my old tank while i was gone for like 4 days. Came home to a almost out of water return chamber. I have a different tank sitter now, as not having to fill the bucket at the time every 2 days or at all, was a big warning sign....
 

Ichtha_yo Stuff

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1. Do you have travel anxiety when it comes to your saltwater reef aquarium?
No

2. How do you mitigate problems happening while you're away? What plans or people do you have in place?
1) Faith in god (He never gives me more than I can handle, and has a plan for me.)
2) Camera
3) Fellow reefer to check on tank.

3. What's the worse thing to ever happen while you were away?
Nothing, usually, after I come back things look better than when I left. Hands out of tank. Probably, higher PH due to lower CO2.
 

DivingTheWorld

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I do as much to mitigate issues as I can, but I still have anxiety. If I'm gone a weekend, I don't change a thing. A week and I have to put somethings in place. When I'm gone 4-5 weeks, that's when things get real!

A few of the things I put in place:

Power - Our home is backed up by Tesla powerwalls. I also hardwire my Apex to prevent any possibility of losing connection.

Wifi Thermostat - In case it gets crazy hot during the summer or crazy cold during the winter, I can monitor room and tank temps and adjust the thermostat remotely if needed.

Feeding - We have a pet sitter who stops by every other day and drops in frozen food. I add a floating cone to the tank and she has pre filled bags in which she just pours one in the ring each visit. I DO NOT allow sitters to decide what and how much to feed. I also set up an auto feeder to feed NLS pellets once a day into a separate floating ring.

ATO - I put a brute next to the tank and fill it with more than enough RODI to cover the length of time I'll be gone. I zip tie the tube/cables together as well as to the brute so they can't be bumped off or pulled down by our cat. I also have a backup ATO pump that I just leave on top of the brute. It's an easy swap out should the original stop working.

Auto Waste Collector - I use a waste auto collector for my skimmer. This allows collection of up to a month of skimmate and will automatically shut off my skimmer if it fills up.

Monitoring - I have a camera facing the tank from two different directions so I can see at a moments glance what's going on. I can direct my sitter in realtime if something needs to be fixed.

Labeling - I've labeled all key items under the tank, dosers, ATO, skimmer, top off , etc. Along with the cameras, this helps me direct whomever is watching the tank what to do. Instead of saying, drain that big white and clear thing with the gunk on top, I can just say "skimmer" and they see the label and know what it is.

Remote Testing & Control - The biggest stress anxiety reducer for me has been Alkatronic. When we leave the home, within a day or two CO2 in the house will equalize and the pH goes up and levels off. This in general causes Alk to go down. With my Alkatronic and Apex, I can monitor my Alk and make adjustments to my doser pumps to balance it out. Once balanced it generally stays very steady for the duration of our trip.

Here's some pics of some of the things I do:

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DC Reefer

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I am able to monitor my tanks with the Apex and two of the three have Tridents as well. We also have a house sitter for the tanks, dogs and greenhouse full of orchids. We are generally gone for 10-25 days at a time and have not had any serious tank issues while we were away. I do monitor the tanks daily while away and get the house sitter to address any potential issues before they get out of hand.
 

thewire

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I am planning for a 4 weeks vacation hopefully soon with all the BS Covid. I am planning to have a local member of my club to baby sit my tank in exchange for a nice bottle of whiskey! LOL
I will literally will bring the entire tank to his house lol. It's IM 10 so it's not as bad as moving it
 

Patientman

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...
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.
With the "planned vacations" I am lucky to have a fellow reefer stop in and check/monitor the tank for me. BUT an "unplanned" 5 day hospital stay prompted me to do as "NeonRabbit221B" did … but only about a 4 1/2 pages of instructions and checks. On ecamera (courtesy of my son-in-law who was SUPER nervous while tank sitting one time) that can me moved around for off-site observance with whomever may be in charge while I'm away! Also an Apex … is a help as well! Been lucky … no major problems that anyone had to feel bad over while I've been away … only catastrophes while I WAS home! :rolleyes:
 

LRT

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Some Anxiety for the unknowns like equipment failure and power outage.
Otherwise no it seems like my reef likes getting a break from me every once in awhile. I leave for few days and come home and everything just looks better.
Probably trying to tell me something lol.
 

PBnJOnWheat

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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. Major travel anxiety, two crashes both times. Enough money lost to drive a new car off a cliff for no reason ;Meh

2. Having somebody KNOWLEDGEABLE on standby helps, personally I use a neptune system with trident and a 24/7 camera to keep my eyes on things when I’m out now. Take no chances folks.

3. I went off on a vacation for a month and came back home for a day before having to leave for a business trip within that same day.

Had my ato pump stop working... (kalkwasser+water) the kalkwasser is basically a Ca and alk solution. Anyway I get back the pH is way off the charts because my pumps are spinning air water, (because my ato pump failed) I notice my corals are practically dead, people at home didn’t think anything was wrong... they just heard “weird noises”...... anyway.... So forgetting I had kalkwasser I kick on a new ATO and dump kalkwasser back into my tank. Couple hours later I go back down and BOOM I see everything is even worse, kH and Ca are way off now with the pH skyrocketing now. In a rush I dump vinegar in there to fix the pH because it’s way off AGAIN and in the rush I add too much.... so now my pH has tanked and I can’t get it up (Nice going). I go grab baking soda or powder whichever it was and try forcing that in there.

I couldn’t do a water change because I didn’t have any water and I didn’t have time to sit and wait to make some.

Anyway so I start adding the baking soda/powder I can’t remember which and I can’t raise the pH. Then being that I had a business trip I left promptly thereafter about 3 AM on a 9 hour drive LOL!!! After that while I was away things started to settle more and I had my friend come take all of my half-dead corals out to his frag tank. They did okay in there but most didn’t make it. RIP to all the lives lost ;Blackeye;Dead;Nailbiting;Blackeye

That was the worse of the two... that one was partial user error but it all started with that one pump, which IMO put all the corals and fish down in the first place, I just helped finish the job. And no more kalkwasser.... ever...

encouraging pictures ~>
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Gogol_frag

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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.
Thanks for sharing that AJ. I have to get a Webcam as well. Is there a particular kind that you recommend to work with the Apex? Apex is my soux-reefer. I control it, and it controls my reef :)
 
BRS

What percentage of blue versus white lighting do you think makes the best coral growth combo?

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