Water changes on a cycled tank

  1. RonDutt Member Member

    So as everyone knows, the holiday season is here. I will be away from home for a month or so and was wondering how long I can go without changing the water?

    I have a home made manual feeder (Internet connected feeder, I can trigger it with a text message or a click of a button :D) so that's not an issue. I have precautions in place to keep it from jamming, dumping too much in, etc. Also have a second feeder thats connected to a Internet connected power strip, so if the main one fails I can turn the secondary on.

    Tank is fully cycled (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 15 nitrate), all the fish area healthy, active, and colorful. They get fed (by hand) twice a day--before work @ 8:30am, and after at 6:30pm (and a algae pellet at 11pm, right before lights out). I decided to avoid changing the water to see if it would affect the fish or water in any way, it's been about 3 weeks and the water tests fine and the fish look as they did a week after I got them (they started looking MUCH better than they did in the crowded tanks at the LFS).
     
  2. Kerber23 Member Member

    Your tank sounds healthy... if you have live plants you could get by for a week or 2... i change mine biweekly
     

  3. Bent72 Member Member

    Depending on the size of your tank and wether or not it's overstocked and your filtration you might just get away with it however i dont know if i would make a regular habit of it but since you have gone 3 weeks already maybe do a nice big water change before you leave and maybe have someone you trust stop by and check on things for ya :;toast
     
  4. couesfanatic Member Member

    How did you setup the online feeder?
     
  5. RonDutt Member Member

    @couesfanatic I play around with writing code and electronics...got bored one day and made a little Linux powered gizmo with Arduino (http://www.arduino.cc/) and some hacking/slashing. Maybe I'll do a write up/how-to but I doubt many people here would bother with it due to the complexity and the cost.

    I have seen tanks that are fully self-sustained (planted tanks), from what I can tell theres nothing special in any of them. I know I wouldn't like to swim in my own urine and feces for more than a second much less a month, but I really don't have an alternative :( I *could* make something to remotely do a water change but too many things can go wrong...I would very much like to come back to a home vs flooded pieces of wood and cement. Not a lot of friends around either to check on things while I'm gone :( Most live 40 or so minutes away.
     
  6. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    If your tank is understocked and has good filtration then it should be ok. Just do a water change before you go. There is also the possability of things going wrong anyways, like the heater or heaters going out. Is there anybody that can house sit for you?