Going away for 3 months - some advice?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Rob13, 26 May 2016.

  1. Rob13

    Rob13 MASA Contributor

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    Hi everyone,

    I have been given the opportunity to undertake an internship at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Germany for 3 months. I obviously do not want to shut my tank down and have somehow roped my younger brother and girlfriend into helping me with the upkeep while I am a way.

    My question is, what can members who have travelled a lot tell me to do/look out for on extended stays away from your tank?

    My plan/ideas are as follows:

    1) As it stands, I do about a 10-15% WC every week (450L system) and would get my bro to do a WC every second week while I am away. I am going to purchase a 500L drum to mix on salt water that will be left standing (with a flow pump and two heaters to combat the cold winter) so that he just needs to tap it back into the sump once he has removed water.
    2) Regarding feeding, I usually feed twice a day (flakes in the morning and frozen in the evening). I would throw a bunch of foods into a blender and then try and put these back into the frozen food tray and hopefully leave my gf with the job of defrosting and then feeding a cube in the evening. Anyway to improve/better this?
    3) I will buy enough supplements so that my automatic doser can do its thing and will make my gf top up the bottles once a month.
    4) I have a UPS that runs my return pump for about 8-10 hours.
    5) Other general maintenance will include asking my brother to empty the skimmer cup once a week, rinsing out the filter sock once a week, changing the carbon once a month and to send me photos to view my coral.

    Any other ideas or things that I should consider? Am I asking too much of people who may not know their way around a marine tank?

    Thanks a lot!
     
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  3. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    Usually when we go away we just print exact instructions. Also labelling the equipment helps, just normal stickers will do. Non reefers generally don't know the names.
     
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  4. hotdog83

    hotdog83 Clone Fish

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    Maybe get an old phone (android can do auto answer on Skype) or wifi camera so you can watch your tank remotely every now and then.
     
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  5. Rob13

    Rob13 Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    I have labelled most of my equipment and am running tutorials for my brother every day until I leave. Good idea on the instructions, I will make sure I print a detailed 'how to' list.

    Was looking at that QEye gadget but is outside my budget - great idea on the old phone @hotdog83! I will see if I can get hold of an old android device. Where and how would you position this?
     
  6. NJH

    NJH

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    Make sure you have freshwater topup. Alot of evaporation in winter. The saltwater in the container - make sure that the sg remains stable to account for evaporation.
     
    Last edited: 26 May 2016
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  7. NJH

    NJH

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    And your brother will have to clean the skimmer neck as well.
     
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  8. hotdog83

    hotdog83 Clone Fish

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    I put mine in front of tank, and plugged in permanently, plus you get an app that sms'es you (or your brother) if power trips/comes on again. Skype is just a bit buggy sometimes, but works most of the time.
     
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  9. Rob13

    Rob13 Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Yeah thanks! My bro knows how to use the RO machine so will mix on about 100L a week and will check the chamber's level every 7 days or so.

    What could be the best way of doing this? I will obviously teach them how to use the refractometer... I am just worried that they add too much RO water and then dilute the salt content and do not want to leave the job of mixing/adding more salt for them...

    What app is this? Thanks for the suggestion @hotdog83! Will be looking for a way of doing this this weekend!
     
  10. NJH

    NJH

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    Is the container sealed or can you somehow seal it to limit evaporation or eliminate it completely?
     
  11. Rob13

    Rob13 Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    It will be a sealed vertical JoJo drum as in the link below.

    http://www.jojotanks.co.za/products/verticaltanks/vertical-small-detail

    What would be the best way to try and eliminate it completely? Or do you think this drum would suffice?
     
  12. NJH

    NJH

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    Depends how well it seals up. I do not know the jojo tank at all.
     
  13. Rob13

    Rob13 Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Only going this route because I am getting a good price on the drum. Do you know of a specific drum that you would suggest for the purposes of eliminating evaporation?
     
  14. NJH

    NJH

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    No unfortunately not. Perhaps check with the manufacturer if it seals properly?
     
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  15. Rob13

    Rob13 Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    I will give them a call tomorrow! Thanks @NJH!

    Just hope I can do enough to keep the tank running for 3 months while I'm away. Thanks for all the replies thus far.
     
  16. NJH

    NJH

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    Good luck!
     
  17. RossK

    RossK

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    We use software called JumiCam. Got it setup on an old laptop and using a few USB webcams. You can see footage from four different webcams, so we can see the tank, sump etc.
     
    Last edited: 26 May 2016
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  18. Express Reef

    Express Reef

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    Jojo tank will work 100%
     
  19. EFJ

    EFJ MASA Contributor

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    @Rob13 I would rather see if a fellow reefer close by can help out by just checking once a week on your tank and to assist your brother if there is an issue. Also maybe get Seneye with WIFI box, that way you can monitor your tank anywhere in the world from the net.
     
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  20. Express Reef

    Express Reef

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    Jojo tank will work 100%
     
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  21. Nella

    Nella

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    maybe also get him on Masa specifically on this thread where he can ask advice and post pics if need be....
     
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