Vacation Time! Tips for your reef tank.

Kershaw

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I didn't see it mentioned here. But if you get a wifi thermostat for your house heat and Ac. You can help keep your tank at the right temp right from your phone.
 

Doc Holiday

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Another good tip. If its just a few day you don't have to find the fish every day either. Fish can survive quite a while before any lasting effects lack of food. From the point of collection to shipping, to wholesale, to your local fish store, to finally taking prepared food in your tank can be weeks. So don't fret about the feeding.
 

JoeIII

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heck, one of my systems I only feed the fish once every other day even when I am home!
 

briancarterkc

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I only touch my tank once a week except for glass cleaning and "bonus feedings." I'm constantly "dry running" a week away. Gives me great confidence when I leave...and I think the tank is happy not to be fiddled with all the time.
 

Maddlesrain

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This is a great write-up! I may have to get myself a webcam as I'm heading off to college in a couple months and the tank care will be in the hands of my parent's, who aren't familiar with aquarium husbandry in the slightest. Yikes! We often leave the care of our animals in the hands of a house sitter, sometimes for month-long stints, and I typically feel fairly confident about it, however they don't do any sort of cleaning. That's where I'm worried things may go awry. I've been making everything as automatic as possible, lights are all on timers and auto topoff, but feeding and maintenance still have to be done manually and on a regular basis.
 
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AllSignsPointToFish

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I just returned last weekend from my first 9-day stretch away from the tank. Even without reading this article, I had done nearly everything exactly as stated above. I elected to remove the filter socks for the duration of the trip since they usually overflow every 4-5 days.

I put the Apex on in March and in May installed a webcam. These two items did a FANTASTIC job of helping me manage my anxiety over the tank.

It also helps that my neighbor, whom checked on the tank for me, has a marine biology degree!

One thing I might add to the OP's original post: I would not add or purchase any livestock within two months of the trip date. I bought a powder blue tang in May and had to have him in quarantine the entire time I was on my trip...what a pain! I would avoid any major livestock additions in the weeks leading up to the trip, corals and inverts included. There will plenty of time for those once you return! :)
 

briancarterkc

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This is a great write-up! I may have to get myself a webcam as I'm heading off to college in a couple months and the tank care will be in the hands of my parent's, who aren't familiar with aquarium husbandry in the slightest. Yikes! We often leave the care of our animals in the hands of a house sitter, sometimes for month-long stints, and I typically feel fairly confident about it, however they don't do any sort of cleaning. That's where I'm worried things may go awry. I've been making everything as automatic as possible, lights are all on timers and auto topoff, but feeding and maintenance still have to be done manually and on a regular basis.
Eep! 20 years ago I went off to college. Sold off my most sensitive species. Thought my mom, who is an avid gardener, would be able to handle it. Came home to a glass box full of algae, dead coral, and four really fat fish. I don't think a webcam is going to save you. If your parents aren't reefers, you should probably either take it with you or break it down.
 
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Zenlikeyoda

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Wonderful list! I would like to add on (since I live in lovely Cali where power outages are common for vacation season) is to do re-create a power outage with you at home to check what happens to overflow and if everything regulates back to normal once power kicks back in. I have Apex fusion and for the most part all is automated but the first vacation that I was with my family and my spouse at home a power outage occurred and trying to instruct him how to open/close the valves for the over flow to stop the gurgling was hair pulling frustrating... not including there is a safety button on the EB8 power strips that need to be activated and etc. Who ever is at home should be familiar with the equipment! :confused: awesome recommendation to have a R2R member as your call for help.
 

Maddlesrain

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Eep! 20 years ago I went off to college. Sold off my most sensitive species. Thought my mom, who is an avid gardener, would be able to handle it. Came home to a glass box full of algae, dead coral, and four really fat fish. I don't think a webcam is going to save you. If your parents aren't reefers, you should probably either take it with you or break it down.
I don't think I'll be allowed a 180 gallon fish tank in my dorm. lol
The webcam would just be for me to check in on things and be able to point out anything I might be able to notice through the feed, although, I wont be too far away, so I can come check on it personally every-so-often.
Breaking it down is also not in the cards at all... we all enjoy the tank, I'm just the one that keeps it going. I'm going out of town for a little under a month in July, so it'll be the 'trial period' for the rest of the family and the tank. I really hope my reef doesn't meet the same fate yours did!
 

briancarterkc

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I don't think I'll be allowed a 180 gallon fish tank in my dorm. lol
The webcam would just be for me to check in on things and be able to point out anything I might be able to notice through the feed, although, I wont be too far away, so I can come check on it personally every-so-often.
Breaking it down is also not in the cards at all... we all enjoy the tank, I'm just the one that keeps it going. I'm going out of town for a little under a month in July, so it'll be the 'trial period' for the rest of the family and the tank. I really hope my reef doesn't meet the same fate yours did!
Well, my parents couldn't give a darn about the tank. So, if they love it too, you are in better shape.
 

DisneyMatt10

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Awesome tips!

As someone who travels out of town every other weekend, it's nice to have this list to refer to! Looks like the only thing I need is the auto feeder!! :)

Thanks for sharing!
~Matt
 
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JakeK

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We took a two week vacation to South America in June. While I did not have a power outage, my GFCI outlet that all my equipment is plugged into tripped. My webcam and my Ecotech Battery Backup saved my tank and all my fish. I checked the webcam one afternoon and noticed that the tank water level was low and the "on" indicator light on the power strip was out. The last time I had checked the webcam was at least 12 hours earlier. I sent a message on Whatsapp to a friend who has a tank himself. He came over a few hours later after he got off work, called me and we determined that outlet tripped. The MP40 was running on the battery backup for probably 15 hours by the time we got everything turned back on. The water temperature was 68*F, but warmed back up to 77*F after several hours. All fish survived and I only lost 3 pieces of SPS. No other corals lost. Best two investments I've made to the tank.
 
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dbl

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Giving this a little bump as I've noticed a few posts regarding holiday travels.
 

Diesel

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My thanksgiving vacation!

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In a deer blind for 10 days.
 

JoeIII

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Woot, bring me some pig!
I recently started a job that has me travelling during the week, so I had to automate and bullet proof things to the point that my wife could care for the tank 5 days at a time. Only a few steps above being on vacation.

I've found that the 40g frag tank has a lot of trouble when we travel, whereas the 125g display is at its best when we've been away for 4 days or so. The display is pretty self-sufficient, where in the smaller tank there are only a few small fish and even at its lowest setting the automatic feeder grossly overfeeds. I am afraid to leave the small fish unfed while the larger fish have no problem with it. Additionally, the large tank has plenty of rock and sand for natural food to grow on and in, where frag racks don't harbor much life...

Just a few things to think about for those who may be planning their first big trips away from their tanks
 

Diesel

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Woot, bring me some pig!
I recently started a job that has me travelling during the week, so I had to automate and bullet proof things to the point that my wife could care for the tank 5 days at a time. Only a few steps above being on vacation.

I've found that the 40g frag tank has a lot of trouble when we travel, whereas the 125g display is at its best when we've been away for 4 days or so. The display is pretty self-sufficient, where in the smaller tank there are only a few small fish and even at its lowest setting the automatic feeder grossly overfeeds. I am afraid to leave the small fish unfed while the larger fish have no problem with it. Additionally, the large tank has plenty of rock and sand for natural food to grow on and in, where frag racks don't harbor much life...

Just a few things to think about for those who may be planning their first big trips away from their tanks
Deer my friend, compact bow shot deer taste the best!
 

Greaps

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Been on R2R for only a short while, moved over from another forum. I can tell this will be my new home for reef talk.

Yesterday I purchased a nest cam and a nest protect smoke detector.(wireless, email and text alert) My main concern with leaving a tank is possible fire, everything is safely installed(not overloaded) drip loops.

I still worry but being able to get a text alert and live video feed is extremely reassuring.
 

revhtree

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Updated first post with article content and featured again since it's that time of year again!
 
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