Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by dbl, May 2, 2016.
That is my goal to get to where I can take a weeks vacation and not have human interaction.
I am away from my tank mon-fri almost every week.
Apex made the difference for me. A few things that Apex does that allows me to be away:
Logs. Aside from the obvious temp + ph letting me know things are "ok" and have been "ok" I have logs on my ATO outlet, so I can check if it is running appropriately and not off a long time or on a long time or short-cycling a lot.
That brings me to #2 - Alerts. Alert me if the PH gets too low, or temperature is too low OR high, or if the ATO runs longer than it should, or if the water level in the return is too low, or too high, and when the ATO reservoir needs refilling
Finally - Automation. There are plenty of automated fish feeders on the market, but again, none that give me a "I ran" log or that I can update their program remotely (I'm going to be away longer than expected, better slow down the feeding so they don't run out, etc) A second one goes with the ATO reservoir alarm - Once everything is verified to be working properly, I hit a button and the apex automatically refills it. At worst, it saves me carying buckets, at best it allows me to be away for longer periods without running out.
Presently the limiting factor for how long I can be away is the skimmer overflowing.
Remember most people have some sort of smart phone. Down load FaceTime or some app where you can have the sitter point the camera to the tank and you can explain better what to do visually. If you go out of country, download apps where you can call your sitter for free or use that video app to communicate. Remember that most international restaurants/hotels have free WiFi and now you can communicate using those apps.
Another thing I make sure of is to have a decent amount of crabs and shrimps in the tank. I do this so that the crabs and shrimp will consume anything that may die in the tank before it has a chance to rot and pollute the tank possibly crashing the tank.
Thank you for nice details !
In addition to everything previously mentioned:
I add 100 saltwater ghost shrimp to my tank (every summer the day before leaving for 3 weeks).
Helps me feel better.
This list and all the additional comments look good.
My biggest concern is always the possible power outage.
Good to have a friend, or service, on standby.
Awesome information, especially now in the summer time! I just wonder what battery I could use in case of the outage- home generator is not an option. What do you recommend?
I've made a little vid about how i prepare my reef for vacation, including my checklist;
here is the link
I’m halfway through this training exercise. I think these are critical spousal skills!
Great thread. I believe I have most covered, Apex setup, Apex feeder, ATO with 10 gallons and video feed through Apex. I'm trying to decide if I should leave my return pump plugged into the EB8 or a regular output. Plugged into EB8 I can see if its drawing power but if EB8 fails, I'm screwed. What do most folks do?
I personally leave it plugged in and monitored by Apex. I have it programmed to alert me in case of a power failure. Let's face it, if the EB8 fails, you're going to have issues anyway with whatever else is plugged in to it.
This one is easy...leave it plugged into the EB8. It is many times more reliable than a pump. If you have your Apex programmed to turn your return pump off because of leaks or other emergencies, then you should have a tank buddy who can come over in the event of an emergency resulting in the return pump getting turned off. No matter how much you automate, you eventually need a human in the loop!
Makes sense. I don’t have a leak detect for my Apex yet but I guess I better plan on getting one.
It may be the most valuable Apex accessory
Not sure I could have said better.
Do you setup the sensor around the sump?
I certainly do. I have one positioned on either side of the sump. One is also placed near my skimmate locker as well since I had a bad habit of letting it overflow prior to installing a float switch that shuts down the skimmer if it's triggered.
With Apex you can check parameters, with camera you observe what is going with the tank, but if you are hundred miles away from home and something happened, then what? The best protection while you away to have someone available co come over in your house and check your tank at least every other day. Ask me how I know this.
MasterFlex peristaltic pump shorted, which killed circuit where my EB8 was on. Very expensive mistake.
Im gonna be gone from my tank for about 9 days next month, this is what Ive done (unfortunately no apex system):
1. had electrician install a dedicated 20 amp circuit (my tank electronics tripped the circuit breaker)
2. bought a APC 1500v battery and hooked up a wavepump to it (runs about 4.5 hours on the battery)
3. Setup a webcam so I can see the tank from my phone
4. bought a tailgater portable generator
5. Will have a tank sitter come check on the tank every other day.
Hopefully this will suffice.
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