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Old 07-24-2006, 03:47 PM   #1
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Tips for tank sitters during vacation

I'm leaving for a 2.5 week vacation and am very worried about leaving my tank in the hands of a tanksitter. I asked a friend of mine that lives close by to help out but the problem is that he doesn't have any experience with aquaria.

He has to come every other day to top-off evaporated water and feed the tank. I'm trying to figure out what's the best way to have this done.

I usually thaw my frozen mysis in tank water, rinse in RO/DI water a few times, and then soak in garlic and zoecon for about 30 minutes before feeding. I'm not sure this would be okay for him to do. Would it be possible for me to do the thawing, rinsing and soaking before hand and then refreeeze it so all he has to do is thaw and feed?

As far as corals go, I am mainly worried about my Christmas Tree Coral which is not photosynthetic and needs target feeding. I'm feeding it more often as the trip nears to "build him up" if that's possible at all.


Suggestions??? Any tips that would make tank disaster less likely as far as fish and coral feeding would be appreciated.
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Old 07-24-2006, 04:15 PM   #2
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Having had my tank "sat" a couple times, I do this..
- Pour a bucket of fresh RO/DI water and leave it near the tank. I explain where the waterline should be and supply a measuring cup for the person to use to add water. (Or finally break down and get one of these as I did and just have them swap out the bucket of water as needed.. http://www.marinedepot.com/md_viewIt...product=AQ4513) Make sure to leave enough buckets of water so that they won't run out. Explaining even a simple RO/DI system over the phone can spell trouble.
- Don't use complex foods while away. Either pre measure a supply or provide a way for your friend to measure out a simple flake food mix while your gone. Feeding a couple times a week with flaked food will not hurt your fish *unless* you have something that won't take flake food. I left four or five baggies of flake food (each bag with a premeasured amount) and just told my sitter to fill the feeding cup half full of water then just add one bag of flake food (Explain, if needed, whats in the bag is fish food, not something to smoke ; ). Wait for 15 minutes then slowly add to tank, allowing the fish time to eat. Won't be the best feedings ever, but its better than nothing. Overly complex feeding rituals for someone with no marine experience can spell, you guessed it, problems.
- Contact your sitter every couple days to get the 4-1-1 on your tank. He/she can get a visual on whats going on instead of waiting until you get back. There are some things you can correct while away.
- Always do a good size wc a day or *less* before you go. This ensures a good fresh water supply for as long as can be expected while your gone.
- Replace, not clean, your filter media a day or less before you leave. That way if most of the food just ends up decaying in your filter it won't simply add to the filth already there.
- Leave a shop vac setup for wet operation near by if possible. I know, but if the unthinkable does happen, at least he/she can be your first defense against permanent damage to your crib.
- ALWAYS leave a number for your cell, hotel etc. There is nothing worse than being the sitter and not being able to get help if you need it. You'll have to be somewhat available if you want your sitter to be successful. If you have a good relationship with a LFS you may want to leave a name and number for your sitter to call that will help them in the event they cannot reach you.

Happy holiday!
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Old 07-24-2006, 06:34 PM   #3
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The most important thing is to tell your sitter to leave the beer in the fridge alone!
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Old 07-24-2006, 06:57 PM   #4
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I think it's worth it to hire someone who has experience with marine tanks...probably more of a pain, and almost certainly more expensive, but worth it to have someone there who will recognize a problem....
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Old 07-25-2006, 07:57 PM   #5
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One of my fish doesn't take flake food but only frozen foods. Can I prepare the frozen food ahead of time (i.e., thaw it, rinse in RO/DI, soak in vitamins & garlic) and then REFREEZE it?
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:21 PM   #6
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Enjoy your vacation. My only suggestion (other then the wonderful info already listed here) is to contact a LFS that you have a good relationship with. Let them know you will be out of town and ask if they will be available to help if your friend has any problems. I alwas put mine "on call" when I leave for an extended period of time.
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
and then REFREEZE it?
I'm not 100% sure if you should thaw and refreeze seafood. Some one else might be able to tell you how to do it, if it is possible.
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
One of my fish doesn't take flake food but only frozen foods. Can I prepare the frozen food ahead of time (i.e., thaw it, rinse in RO/DI, soak in vitamins & garlic) and then REFREEZE it?
Yes you can. People actually do that to all of their frozen at once so they don't have to do it daily.
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Old 08-09-2006, 05:45 PM   #9
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I have the same issue but I cannot find anne to come and watch, who knows anything. We had a neighbor come and feed, but I think she overdid it on one tank. I will try to do the LFS thing and see who does SW in our area and wants to make a few bucks, but it's hard here in the valley
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Old 08-10-2006, 09:10 AM   #10
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If your fish will take dry food....

I went away for 2 weeks in July. I made a feeding chart for my tank sitters and taped the proper food portions to the chart as a visual. Nobody overfed.
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