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Old 10/21/2020, 04:52 PM   #1
barnaby416
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Join Date: May 2016
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Low maintenance tank for long vacations

According to my plan, I'll be travelling extensively in about 2 years time (should be safe to travel by then). When I say extensively, I mean away from the tank for 3-4 MONTHS at a time! So I have to make a hard decision now on whether to keep this hobby or not, as it will take a new tank at least one year to cycle/mature. Right now I have a small (60 gal) mixed reef with sand, refugium but no skimmer. It is matured with seven fish, automated lighting and dosing (major elements), and the water parameters are stable with 0 nitrate and very low phosphate. I want a new tank (if I keep this hobby) because:
  1. The glass is badly scratched, see below.
  2. From my research, SPS is not suitable for low maintenance tank, so I have to remove them.
  3. I want to go bare bottom, that is suppose to have lower maintenance with good flow.
  4. Since Iím taking the SPS out and go bare bottom, I have to rearrange the rockscape. Too destructive to do all these in the existing tank.
  5. Who doesnít want a bigger tank

While Iím on vacation, I have access to:
  1. Online monitoring, not your typical webcam, but a commercial model with 20x optical zoom, meaning I can spot trouble coral by coral.
  2. Experienced reefer, but I can only rely on him for real emergency.
  3. Inexperienced person, to clean the glass and filter floss may be once a week. He is the one who scratched my tank unknowingly , most probably the glass cleaner picked up sand while he was cleaning it, that is the main reason I want to go bare bottom.
  4. Unlimited ATO.
  5. Auto feeder.
  6. Auto lighting and dosing, probably simplified as there will be no SPS.

With my existing tank I only check water parameters at most every 2 weeks, with minor adjustments to the dosing pumps if necessary. So I imagine with LPS and softy only, it can just run for months. I might have to go with no mechanical filter unless the inexperienced person can come more often.

Has anybody done this? I think it is possible but Iím biased, I really donít want to give away my fish, especially the flame hawk.


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Old 10/21/2020, 06:23 PM   #2
Vinny Kreyling
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You can get a maintenance company to come once a month when away.


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250 gallon mixed reef, 2 Reefbreeder's Photon V 2, RD 3 Speedy 80 Watt, DAS EX-3 Skimmer, MTC mini cal, 2-3/4" Sea Swirls, Aquacontroller & 6 Tunze pumps.
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Old 10/21/2020, 06:39 PM   #3
Sk8r
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i've been gone as long as a month with a reef tank needing a gallon a day topoff. I set up 2 Brute cans of topoff to feed the autotopoff, with an autofeeder, and a friend who switched the topoff pump into the other calcium-stocked Brute of rodi when #1 ran out. Tank thrived. If you could get a pro to come in every month and see to the topoff and refill the feeder it might work. He'd need to bring 30- 60 gal of ro/di with him.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 10/22/2020, 03:27 AM   #4
ckaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny Kreyling View Post
You can get a maintenance company to come once a month when away.

This


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Old 10/23/2020, 12:12 AM   #5
barnaby416
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Well the experienced reefer I mentioned is the owner of a LFS, I suppose I just have to pay him to come once a month, and pray that he doesn't go on vacation at the same time.

The last time I was away for 6 weeks, I removed the filter floss and relied solely on the refugium, and the corals survived. Can I run the tank long-term without mechanical filter?


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Old 10/23/2020, 04:18 AM   #6
Zionas
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I wonder how things would be different for those of you that are apartment dwellers, especially those with suites not on the first floor.


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Old 10/23/2020, 08:53 AM   #7
Vinny Kreyling
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You can run without, many people feel detritus adds to a more "natural" system.
Talk to the owner & tell him you would like him to take care when you are away as a regular customer & will do things yourself when home. Be upfront so you both understand what to expect.


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250 gallon mixed reef, 2 Reefbreeder's Photon V 2, RD 3 Speedy 80 Watt, DAS EX-3 Skimmer, MTC mini cal, 2-3/4" Sea Swirls, Aquacontroller & 6 Tunze pumps.
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Old 10/23/2020, 11:16 AM   #8
Sk8r
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An Eheim autofeeder with Formula One flake will do for most species for a few weeks and assure you have measured daily feeding. Refill is easy without messing with the timer.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 10/23/2020, 01:30 PM   #9
barnaby416
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zionas View Post
I wonder how things would be different for those of you that are apartment dwellers, especially those with suites not on the first floor.
I'm on the 17th floor, and to me apartment has much stronger structure - concrete vs wood floor, so you don't need to brace from underneath no matter how big is your tank (unless in basement). The only limitation is the elevator Also water is included in apartment

I have Marine Pure bio media, as was told to have mechanical filter upstream, any thought on this?


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Old 10/24/2020, 12:10 PM   #10
Gaumless
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Try checking out EcoQube Aquarium, it is a good Self-Cleaning Tank.


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