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Auto feeding for 2 weeks?


Brolly33
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I am headed out on vacation for 15 days and thinking about options for feeding the CRS tank while I am gone.

 

It's a mature 12 gallon long. I have solid filtration (Eheim ecco pro 130) with dual sponges on the inlet.

The CRS seem pretty happy and breed quite often.

In a typical week I feed 2 pellets of snowflake + 3 matcheads of Bacter AE + 1 little stick of Azoo Max Breed.

My trip is a few months away, so I have time to experiment.

 

 

I was thinking of just dropping a ton of snowflake in. (or slighly less than a ton...  maybe a metric ton?)

 

I considered one of those little feeder pyramids for about 30 seconds, but I think it will mess with my GH and TDS too much and would overfeed terribly.

 

Considering one of the rotational daily feeders with just a small amount of BacterAE in it.

Maybe I can solder a resistor in to make it rotate once every 3-5 days instead of once a day...

 

I could just let them graze and hope for the best.

 

Other ideas?

 

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@plantdude I have never tried Mulberry leaves before, do you have a favorite supplier? Do you use them the same as Indian Almond leaves (IAL) - boil and drop in?

@bostoneric I have some IAL that I have used from time to time in my shrimp tanks. Thanks for that reminder. I will go that route.

Water evaporation will be substantial, and will push my parameters out of whack as TDS and GH will rise slowly. I loose about 1 gal/week, so 1/6 of total volume loss. I have some float valves around here somewhere and could rig a 5gal on a gravity feed ATO but I worry about the float getting stuck open and coming home to a ruined floor.

If I water change just before leaving and drive my TDS down to about 140, I should still be under 180 in 15 days from evaporate + food. Hmmm. Need to run the test :)

@pokeshrimp sounds like a double snowflake + grazing on IAL is the popular idea. :)

Thanks for the suggestions. Any others?

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I'm a huge fan of Tantora amaranth and ready mulberry leaves. No need to boil either of them. Just drop in the tank. They will float for a while, then sink. My shrimp start eating them upside-down before they've even sunk, but they really swarm them once they're down and a bit softened. They won't foul your water, and you could drop a bunch in before you leave. That along with snowflake should really help.

 

You could also drop in a couple cholla pieces. Shrimp love those too.

 

As for evaporation, you might be able to rig up a slow drip system, or even just cover most of your tank with a piece of plexiglass.

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@plantdude I have never tried Mulberry leaves before, do you have a favorite supplier? Do you use them the same as Indian Almond leaves (IAL) - boil and drop in?

@bostoneric I have some IAL that I have used from time to time in my shrimp tanks. Thanks for that reminder. I will go that route.

Water evaporation will be substantial, and will push my parameters out of whack as TDS and GH will rise slowly. I loose about 1 gal/week, so 1/6 of total volume loss. I have some float valves around here somewhere and could rig a 5gal on a gravity feed ATO but I worry about the float getting stuck open and coming home to a ruined floor.

If I water change just before leaving and drive my TDS down to about 140, I should still be under 180 in 15 days from evaporate + food. Hmmm. Need to run the test :)

@pokeshrimp sounds like a double snowflake + grazing on IAL is the popular idea. :)

Thanks for the suggestions. Any others?

Do you have any friends or family that can add water once a week for you? Have a few gallons of RO water ready.

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Feeding is not a big deal I have gone a month without feeding a single thing and 0 issues.

 

The real issue is evaporation so I would recommend you find a cover for the tank. I would think about going to Lowes and get picture frame glass since it's ultra cheap and they cut it for you. The glass cover even if just temp will cut back on evaporation big time.

 

Or you can be lazy like I was before and toss some saran wrap. Was gone for 2 weeks and had almost no evaporation lol.

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I boiled up an IAL and tucked it away in the corner. So far the shrimp have been unimpressed with it, but I think that will do the trick for my 2 week vacation. Thanks for the wide consensus and suggestions on that topic.

 

Evaporation is an important part of my overall shimp-ecosystem due to it's cooling effect on the tank. 

My AC runs 78F and my tank runs about 75F.

 

Covering the tank will effectivly raise the temprature while maintaining water level and mineral concentrations.

If I cover the tank, I think I should also shut off the CO2, due to much lower O2 exchange (especially if I used saran wrap)

 

If I add an ATO (overall it's an attractive idea) I increase risk of flooding (depending on how sophisticated I get)

If I ATO, I will need an additional reseviour of pure RO for top offs.

If I were to drip ATO with overflow, I would need to drill a hole in the wall for the wastewater. This would have to be done in top secrecy to avoid the wrath-of-spouse.

 

I typically do not top off but instead do a 10% water change once a week.

Start of water change is typically about 150-170TDS

Incoming water is 110-120TDS reconstituted RO (with ferts for the plants)

Post change TDS is usually around 140-150.

 

There are no neighbors close that I would trust with my tank.

I am leaning heavily towards KISS and not do anything about evaporation and simply water change when I get home.

 

(Tank with IAL tucked away)

 

 

 

 

post-367-0-53612400-1456181130_thumb.jpg

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  • 3 months later...

I dropped the CO2 3 weeks ago. Plants still happy. Temperature stable. IAL in place. Filter changed. 

I did a 14 day stretch without feeding or topoff. Water parameters crept up but well within happiness margins. Not even the berried ladies seemed to mind or notice.

 

All set for my trip.   Thanks for the advice.

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6 minutes ago, Brolly33 said:

I dropped the CO2 3 weeks ago. Plants still happy. Temperature stable. IAL in place. Filter changed. 

I did a 14 day stretch without feeding or topoff. Water parameters crept up but well within happiness margins. Not even the berried ladies seemed to mind or notice.

 

All set for my trip.   Thanks for the advice.

I do not have near the advanced tank as yours and I'm going on a week long trip and was wondering what to do. Good to know all is well. Part of my evaporation problem is my cat likes to drink out of our tanks. Luckily, they won't be here while we are gone. 

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After extensive consideration, and a bit of testing, the consensus is to remove the CO2 (done 3 weeks ago) and add an Indian Almond Leaf (IAL).

The IAL grows bio film yumminess for the shrimp to eat. The sponge filter will provide the rest of the "food" while I am gone for 2 weeks.

 

The filter is mature, so no worries about water. My evaporation test showed no ill effects from a 2 week stretch of "do nothing"

 

Good news: "do nothing" seems to work.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Plan executed - results successful. I returned from 15 days away to a happy colony and acceptable water parameters.

 

2 IAL in the tank

2 nuggets of snowflake

Started TDS of 145, ended with 175 due to evaporation.

pH unchanged (thanks control soil)

Nitrates unchanged (thanks plants)

 

 

IMG_9537.JPG

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

15 days totally uncovered -  water loss about 15% of total volume. I started with full (1/16 inch from top) and ended as you see in the screenshot. Here is a closer shot.

I did not measure inches, but I would guess between 2 and 3 inches loss.

 

House temp was sustained 78, as we left the AC on for our trip.

 

 

Post vacation.png

Before.jpg

Edited by Brolly33
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Mulberry break down relatively quickly so will last a week max, catappa is your best bet as that will go for at least two weeks. I would suggest you leave a mixture of leaves including loquat and guava the latter can last over a month together with cholla wood. Of course do a water change just before your leave,

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