What's a good vacatoin strategy?


Prolific Poster
Jun 23, 2005
I'll be leaving on vacation for 10 days, and my tank will be on its own for that time. What's the best strategy to do the least damage in that time span? I was planning to top of my ferts before I leave to roughly 2-3x the minimum levels, and cutting my lights to 220w over a 180 gallon. CO2 would remain the same. Would this work?

Tom Barr

Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
Re: What's a good vacatoin strategy?

Hire a person to come in a couple of times when you are gone to look after the place and add water for evaporation, add a few ferts(pre measured, add: 1/4 teaspoon of this etc(mix the macro's together for them), and then the traces and they need to come over 2x a week so about every 3 days.
Feed fish.

That should do it.
They need not know a thing about tanks, just need to know how to use the teaspoon and mini turkey baster vial for mls etc.
You can try your routine, I'm betting hair algae(Cladophora) when you get back.

Tom Barr


Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
South Florida
Hi Tom and all,

I have to go out of town unexpectedly this Monday-Friday. My c02 supply (back up tank too!) emptied yesterday. Can't refill both until I return as they are closed on weekends.

My plan:

1. Slight trim (algae covered leaves only in the Wisteria) today. Done.
2. 80% WC today. Done.
3. No c02 or ferts (am on full EI with auto c02) until I return.
4. Reduce light duration from 10 hrs daily to 5 or 6. Tank gets sufficient daylight for fish to see during the day.
5. Friend coming on Wed to check overflows for clogs, top off sump, light feeding.
6. Good feeding today.

Not too heavily planted at the moment, mostly a good section of Wisteria and 3 Java Fern 'trees', with some rocks on the bottom covered with Riccia. I expect the Riccia to suffer the most w/o the C02 esp. Am confident enough will remain to restart as it grows quickly when I get back!

Sound reasonable?

Thanks for your thoughts, though I might not see them until I get back lol...

Tank is also 180 gal.