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Old 05-19-2013, 12:12 PM   #1
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Cycling a tank - Vacation question

We have a new 27 gal tank that has basically completed it's fishless cycle. I have been maintaining the ammonia daily with doses of Dr Tim's while we make plans for our future fish. We have delayed in stocking the tank because we're planning a trip out of town for Memorial Day weekend. We'll be gone from early Friday morning until Monday evening. I thought it would be unwise to buy fish and then leave them alone for 3+ days, so we are waiting until after we get home to go fish shopping.

But that still leaves me the problem of maintaining the tank while we're gone. Is it "safe" to just leave it without adding any ammonia for that long? Can I just give it a little extra Dr Tim's before we leave? Or should I just add some pulverized fish food or a frozen shrimp or something? After working so hard and for such a LONG time to get this thing cycled, I don't want to leave and have all my good anaerobes die off.

So, anyone have any advice for me? Do we have to cancel our family trip so I can stay home and babysit my empty aquarium?
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:25 AM   #2
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Go on vacation! Your tank will be fine! Check everything before you leave and make sure the ph is stable. You may want to do a 50%wc just to refresh your buffers and reduce nitrate levels if they are high. Then, right before you leave, just add your normal dose of ammonia. Your tank and your bacteria will be fine. They will NOT die or starve in a couple of days. When you return, check your levels and redose ammonia. That's it! I actually only dose my qt 1-2x a week with ammonia when its empty and I have left it for longer than week with no ammonia without a problem.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlk View Post
Go on vacation! Your tank will be fine! Check everything before you leave and make sure the ph is stable. You may want to do a 50%wc just to refresh your buffers and reduce nitrate levels if they are high. Then, right before you leave, just add your normal dose of ammonia. Your tank and your bacteria will be fine. They will NOT die or starve in a couple of days. When you return, check your levels and redose ammonia. That's it! I actually only dose my qt 1-2x a week with ammonia when its empty and I have left it for longer than week with no ammonia without a problem.
+1

I don't believe it's totally necessary but if you want to just for peace of mind you could add a piece of shrimp or other seafood inside a filter bag or nylon, slow release ammonia
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:59 PM   #4
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Thanks! Three out of four family members came down with a nasty cold, so our vacation plans have been put on hold. But that means we'll be home and can finally start putting FISH in the tank! Whoop!!
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