1.5 week vacation and tanks on full auto!

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by sfsuphysics, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    My BIL was watching the house... er cats while the wife and I went to Florida, swam with manatees, toured amusement parks, ate so much tasty food we thought we'd be 10 pounds heavier but walking 500 miles a day in the parks for many days seems to have negated all of that... SCORE!

    Anyways, I really don't trust my BIL terribly much, so I decided to go on full auto. Auto-feeder (which I've been using the past couple weeks to see if its enough), auto-top off I've been doing (on one tank), left Jan 3rd came back last night..er this morning (engine problem on plane... great!) and when I got back...

    tank 1 - my "main" tank... the one that has had better days had a bunch of snails on glass, tank was a bit cloudy, entire reservoir of water gone, pump sucking in a tiny amount of air due to low sump. Well snails probably were because the acrylic was covered in diatoms, so mucho food source, one that I've been fairly good at knocking down as of recent (one you nab the hard brown spots its easy to clean off the "dust" unfortunately hard brown is back again *sigh*). Think cloudy came as a result of the kalk precipitate at the bottom of the top off. Also noticed a bit of filamentous brown algae/diatoms or something, not sure where this came from maybe auto-feeder is feeding too much, water change is in the short future regardless. Overall tank was fine, now some elbow grease to get the tank viewable again.

    tank 2- my "anemone" tank... which as of late has been overrun with bubble algae, either way, this one was in worse shape because there is no auto-topoff in place. Unfortunately the pump was running dry for who knows how long, tank temp was absolutely frigid because the heaters are in the sump and not the main tank, but but a bit of a care (top off water) and over night the water running through the sump (pump still worked) everything seems no worse for the wear... anemones still look pissed off though.

    Overall I'm happy I didn't have my magnificent tanks of old because Murphy would make sure worse would happen, and with a few tweaks I can go away on another 2 week vacation, maybe if I can get one of those auto-glass cleaning robots :D

    BTW. if anyone was having a convo with me in another thread I'm sorry I've ignored you, however I've marked all messages as read as there were way too many to read through (I start work tomorrow for crying out loud!)
     
  2. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Next time you leave I'm a good babysitter. Especially for just top off and checking in just around the corner!
     
  3. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Yeah, unfortunately I didn't think about you until I got home. Oh well, no worries I enjoyed my vacation and that was the most important part! Although I found a RBTA in my overflow, not sure how long it's been there but as tiny as it's gotten probably has been a while.
     
  4. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Bummer to hear, but I guess it could have been worse...

    The trick to automation is to test it.
    While you are at home, go for 2 weeks without touching anything, and see what happens.
    Funny - my automation issues were a lot like yours - reservoirs were too small.

    Oh and - The trick to doing that testing often is to simply be lazy and forgetful.
    :)
     
  5. porksmash

    porksmash Guest

    I did the same thing over the holidays. Auto everything, even had the return pump and skimmer turning off while feeding! Unfortunately I was in a rush to leave and doing the final set up the night before...

    When I got home I realized I had plugged the refugium light into the power cord meant for the ATO pump... so basically when the water level got low my light came on. The ATO is set to only run in a 4 hour window each day, so the light would just come on for 4 hours and shut off. Meanwhile the water kept evaporating. By the time I got home the pump was churning air, powerheads near the surface were blowing microbubbles through the entire tank, and the water was room temperature. Everything turned out to be OK though after I started filling it up again.

    Of course once I plugged the ATO pump in the right spot everything has worked perfectly since.
     
  6. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Don't get me wrong, I wasn't really complaining about what would happen. I did under estimate the evaporation on the tank without an ATO as well as my main tank. But other than that everything seems fine, if my stuff can't take the stress mid 60s temps for a short time (I think it may have been 1 day or so) then I don't want it in my tank!

    Florida was actually pretty damn cold for a few of the days, and San Francisco like the rest of the time, however looking at the news here apparently it was cold in this area... Already saw my December power consumption and got freaked a little, those heaters are working overtime!
     
  7. scuba71

    scuba71 Supporting Member

    Sucks to hear Mike. To be honest, I stopped trusting auto anything when I am away, because everything works great when I am at home. The minute I leave, something fails and becomes a disaster.

    Did your corals suffer, any tissue recession?
     
  8. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest


    :lol: I only laugh as I have done something similar :lol:

    I learned after that to not do anything new to my tank without a couple weeks buffer prior to taking a trip.
     

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