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Old 02-22-2006, 07:01 PM   #1
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Wonder if it can be done

Hello. I have just started up my 50 gallon saltwater aquarium recently. Everything is going smoothly. However I do wonder how I can get the aquarium to take care of itself for a while like when I go on vacations or if I deploy (military).

My tank has a gravity fed filter system. Basically, there is a part of the aquarium that is lower than the others and the water spills into a part of the tank where it then goes through some pipe down to where the filter pad is. Down there is where my pump is and it pumps the water back up through a tube that leads back into the aquarium.

I do have an auto feeder. Thing is that to feed the fish, I have to put the flakes into the water and let them soak for a few seconds so they don't float on top and go where the water flows down into the filter before the fish can get to them.

Also, I have the water pretty warm (about 75-78 degrees). Water evaporates pretty quickly and I have to add some water everyday. There are no leaks on the tubes either.

I was just wondering if there was anything I could do help the aquarium maintain itself so I don't have to have a neighbor or friend go to my apartment everyday.

I'm not about to deploy soon and my next vacation will be in the city where I live. But I would like to work this out before the ball gets dropped.

I can get pics of my setup later so you can all see what I mean. Thanks in advance for your help.

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Old 02-22-2006, 07:05 PM   #2
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It will be hard not to get someone to look in on it. Sometimes lines bust or equipement shorts or any number of things can happen. Water top off will be a biggie as will PWC`s.

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Old 02-22-2006, 07:22 PM   #3
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No. There's no way to keep it running the term of a deployment unassisted by people. It'll evaporate to the point of being well below your filtration system. Not to mention the depletion of chemicals/minerals by the animals inside it will amount to a slow nutritional starvation. Even with a water top off, there's no way to ensure things will survive without even infrequent pwc's. I can tell you... I was military too, until recently when I got medically retired, and in just a space of one JRTC, I had my stable 1.5 year old system crash, and it's still on recovery. And that was WITH somebody checking on it every few days. All it took was the ballasts burning out on half my lighting and the nitrates going unchecked from overfeeding and no pwc's. Algal bloom doesn't even COVER what happened. Then take in consideration power failures, equipment failures, short outs, unexpected deaths of fish which can cause ammonia overloads... you're better off either finding a care taker or just breaking the system down while you're gone. Maybe you could keep it up for a two week vacation with auto top off, but it won't last longer than that. Maybe somebody here can prove me wrong, there's technology for **** near anything these days.
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Old 02-22-2006, 07:34 PM   #4
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I agree with you
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