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Old 05-05-2015, 08:27 PM   #1
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Odd advice needed

I have only recently stocked my tank, I have 2 true perculas, orange spot goby, Cardinal, 3 peppermint shrimp, bumblebee snails, blue leg hermits, cerith snails, a small Kenya tree and a Mexican turbo.

Water is stable and everyone is happy, but I have just hit an unexpected road block. My daughter (9) is being admitted to a hospital 150 miles away for invasive testing and ultimately brain surgery for epilepsy. Of course, I'll be going with her.

My timing is always impeccable - I have been wanting to set up a marine aquarium for years - 2 weeks after I finally stock the tank, her case is suddenly put before the complex care panel. I can't make this stuff up!

Does anyone have resources that can help me quickly teach my husband and son how to care for the tank in my absence otherwise they might remember to feed them, but beyond that, I am not sure the tank will have any attention.

Would it be better for me to try and find a service to care for the tank in my absence?
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:08 PM   #2
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Take a sharpie and mark the water level on the tank. When I leave my tank for a period of time, I'm more concerned over replacing the water that evaporates than feeding. Ideally I think everyone should have an ATO, but I don't think this would be an option in the time frame you are looking at before such a procedure. But with a mark where one can easily see where the water level should be can provide an easy fix for another family member to dump some ro/di or distilled water into the tank until it hits that mark.
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:09 PM   #3
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Sorry for your bad news and I wish your daughter a speedy recovery. Could they watch some YouTube videos on tank maintenance? Everything I have learnt has come from either this forum or youtube


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Old 05-05-2015, 09:21 PM   #4
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Thanks to both of you...

I didn't even think of water level (funny, I deal with it automatically, but it didn't occur to me this time - other stuff on my mind, I guess).

I was thinking of preparing little containers of food for them so all my son has to do is thaw it and feed them once every other day or so... as it stands, I have no idea how long I will be away. It could be a week, it could be a couple of months. Yikes.

Not sure YouTube videos would do - neither of them are terribly interested in the tanks (they are my passion).

Maybe it is time to call in a favour and have someone on standby just in case this becomes drawn out.
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:25 PM   #5
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I wish you daughter the best of luck and a fast recovery!

The containers for food would be a great idea so they don't overfeed.

If you know exactly how much salt to premix you could put that in a container and say "pour salt in water, stir vigorously, let sit for a while, add to tank" if more than a week you need to make sure water changes are done.


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Old 05-05-2015, 09:45 PM   #6
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Caleb, if I premix 5gal buckets of salinated rodi water, and leave them an empty bucket (take this much out, put this much in) with instructions to warm and aerate the water prior to doing the change, would I be safe to have a sealed bucket sit for a week or two? Then, just leave smaller jugs of rodi for top ups?

Oy. A lot to think about.
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:48 PM   #7
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They'd be fine for that long. I would only aerate and skip warming it.
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:48 PM   #8
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Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm new to saltwater just set up my first tank) but from my understanding once the saltwater is mixed it needs to have a steady flow or it can throw the parameters and salinity out of whack from being stagnant. If you left a powerhead in the buckets to keep it moving then you would just need to make sure they get it to the right temperature.


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Old 05-05-2015, 09:53 PM   #9
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That was what I was thinking, Caleb - but I figured I could mix and get them fully dissolved with a powerhead, then seal them up. Then, 24 hours prior to the water change, drop in a 50W heater and a small powerhead to get it mixed/aerated again...

Hank - I don't need to warm the water before I do a water change? Well, I guess I have been making things harder on myself than necessary for a while now. *facepalm*


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Old 05-05-2015, 09:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RnBMum View Post
That was what I was thinking, Caleb - but I figured I could mix and get them fully dissolved with a powerhead, then seal them up. Then, 24 hours prior to the water change, drop in a 50W heater and a small powerhead to get it mixed/aerated again...

Hank - I don't need to warm the water before I do a water change? Well, I guess I have been making things harder on myself than necessary for a while now. *facepalm*


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I'm right there with you... I learned something today.


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Old 05-05-2015, 09:58 PM   #11
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I don't heat my water change water. After I do a water change, I mix up the next batch and plug in the powerhead I have at the bottom. I toss a lead on top, I don't snap it on just toss it on loose. As Ron Popeil said, set it and forget it.
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Old 05-06-2015, 08:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RnBMum View Post
I have only recently stocked my tank, I have 2 true perculas, orange spot goby, Cardinal, 3 peppermint shrimp, bumblebee snails, blue leg hermits, cerith snails, a small Kenya tree and a Mexican turbo.

Water is stable and everyone is happy, but I have just hit an unexpected road block. My daughter (9) is being admitted to a hospital 150 miles away for invasive testing and ultimately brain surgery for epilepsy. Of course, I'll be going with her.

My timing is always impeccable - I have been wanting to set up a marine aquarium for years - 2 weeks after I finally stock the tank, her case is suddenly put before the complex care panel. I can't make this stuff up!

Does anyone have resources that can help me quickly teach my husband and son how to care for the tank in my absence otherwise they might remember to feed them, but beyond that, I am not sure the tank will have any attention.

Would it be better for me to try and find a service to care for the tank in my absence?
I wish you and your daughter the best! In your position, I would get a 30 gallon plastic garbage can with a lid - maybe with wheels to get it out of the way if needed. I would premix your saltwater and toss in a power head and that's that.

When we went on vacation last summer, I had family take care of my pets. I was anxious about leaving but it all worked out well. I had a sw tank, paludarium, riparium, a cat and a bearded dragon to boot. Everything but the cat was foreign to them. In the fridge, I kept each tank's food in zip lock baggies with instructions written on them with a sharpie. The lizard was kinda complicated so I made a list of things specific to it and just taped it on the tank for quick reference.

I put the lighting on timers so they only needed to visit once a day and didn't need to bother with turning things on and off.

I was only gone for a few days and your situation is different because your absence will be longer. But, I wouldn't overwhelm them at first. Topping off a tank is easy to understand and so are water changes - one bucket out, one bucket in. Feed lightly so the water stays cleaner for longer - if you stress any point, it would be that one. Stick to the basics and broad strokes and they'll do fine. Best of luck!
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:52 PM   #13
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That is really helpful, thank you. As the tank is only 36 gallons, basically filling a trash can with premixed water should do it.

A friend, trying to cheer me up, bought me a coral today (really a sweet thought, but I had no input). Thankfully it is still at the shop - they will hold it for me. That is honestly one of the last things I need right now (if it is even a suitable specimen for my tank).


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