Going Away For Two Weeks. Tank Not Cycled. Help!

  1. Nathanjrb Initiate Member

    Hi folks, as you'll see from my previous thread, I've been trying in vain to get my tank cycled for around 6 weeks now. Unfortunately I'm going on holiday on Saturday. If seems unlikely the tank will be cycled by then. I have no one to look after the fish whilst I'm away.

    For the past week I have been doing regular, almost daily, water changes and the ammonia has still been very high regardless. I have also been using Seachem Stability & Prime for the past three days, having seemingly failed with API Quick Start.

    In the likely event my tank isn't going to cycle in the next couple of days - what steps should I take to avert a disaster upon my return from holiday in two weeks? I have a two week feeding block. Should I do a large water change, dose with prime and hope for the best?

    Thank you... Sad face :(
     
  2. Ken Ooi Member Member

    How many fish are there in the tank now? If they are goldfish I wouldn't worry too much as they are pretty tough. Mine lives outside in a tank with no heater, no pump, no filtration system with only the top cover, and the water isn't cycled anyway. I change 90% water every week end. For tropical fish it might present a more different scenario. If it's live bearers in the tank they could survive the 2 week ordeal. But just how many are there in the tank? The more fish there are the higher the risk. I wouldn't worry too much since not much can be done except hope for the best.
     

  3. Crazy Betta Lady Member Member

    Also how big is the tank? (To add onto Ken Ooi's post)
     
  4. Books&Fish Well Known Member Member

    Without knowing anything more, I would do a big water change (like 80+%) to drop the ammonia down, add Prime to neutralize, wait 24 hours, and dump a bottle of Tetra Safe Start Plus in. Cross your fingers that all will be alive, well, and fully cycled when you return. You'll need to do a major water change when you get back regardless. But begin this process so the dumping of TSS+ is right as you are leaving.

    And don't use those feeder blocks. They cause water quality issues and that would be the exact opposite of what you're trying to accomplish.

    If you have a few extra bucks, get an automatic vacation feeder. They aren't great, but should feed them a solid week or two before humidity affects the dropping of food.

    Amazon.com : EHEIM Everyday Fish Feeder Programmable Automatic Food Dispenser : Pet Self Feeders : Pet Supplies
    This is the one I'll be getting as soon as we actually take a vacation. ;) There are much cheaper ones out there though.
     

  5. Ken Ooi Member Member

    I would agree with that since this would minimize the harmful ammonia and hopefully help to even out the spikes. So I gather you would have a filtration system to harness those beneficial bacteria? These take time to build up so eventually they would multiply enough to break down those harmful substances.

    I tried the feeder blocks but my goldfish refused them. It's a waste of money $7.50 for me equivalent to a canister of fish flakes. I tried the auto feeder when I was on vacation for a week. Don't know if it achieved anything but when I came home there wasn't any fish deaths.
     
  6. Nathanjrb Initiate Member

    Thanks everyone! It's a 23L Fluval Edge tank with 5 tetras, two guppies and one albino Cory. I'm not sure if those auto feeders will work with my tank? I don't have any Tetra safe start just Seachem stability and prime.

    I'm anticipating though not looking forward to the water change in my return, we get in quite late at night. But I'll be doing it immediately. My girlfriend's parents will also be coming back with us so no doubt they will probably think I'm mad when I skip the "welcome to our home" formalities and dive into the fish tank haha.
     
  7. Merryn O'Shea Member Member

    I agree. Definitely get some form of Filter Aid
     

  8. Books&Fish Well Known Member Member

    My point was that you need to get some TSS+. I think it's the only thing that will save your fish while your away. The vacation feeder is optional. If you go without it, I would not feed anything at all then. It's too risky.

    All tanks need a filter. I assumed since OP is currently cycling that he has one. The bottled bacteria will free flow through the tank until the filtration sucks it into the media, where it will stay and grow. The TSS+ is an instant cycle bacteria. You pour it in, wait 2 weeks, and water change. Then you're cycled. Prime and Stability together are an alternative, but with OP being gone, daily Prime and Stability isn't an option.
     
  9. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    I wouldn't bother with an automatic feeder either (and definitely don't use feeder blocks - you'll have ammonia issues for sure). Your fish will be fine two weeks without food, and it's better than risking the autofeeder malfunctioning and dumping food in. Plus, with them not eating, they won't be producing as much waste and this will keep ammonia down.