aquarium maintenance

How to Arrange a Vacation Sitter for Your Saltwater Aquarium

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  1. Kevin says:

    I’d recommend just portioning out everything that needs to go in the tank daily/weekly, including the top off water if that isn’t automated. Just take all the room for error out of it. And I’d clean all the pumps and whatnot that become clogged from time to time a few days before leaving so the chance of that happening while your away is as low as possible.

  2. Jeff Kurtz says:

    All good advice, Kevin! I especially like your recommendation for cleaning the pumps, etc. “a few days before leaving.” I’ve learned the hard way not to postpone this chore until the last day. According to Murphy’s Law, pumps prefer to break down late in the evening (when no stores are open) and when you absolutely must depart early the following morning.

  3. Angela says:

    To make things simpler, the fewer things a helper has to do, the better. Ironically, the most important tasks can be automated, leaving your helper very little to do, other than to check to make sure things are running properly. The major tasks that can easily be automated are: Topping off the tank, feeding and turning the lights on and off. Thanks for the post and keep posting!

  4. Jeff Kurtz says:

    So true, Angela. Even the little chores that are second nature to us aquarists can be confusing to tank sitters. The more you can automate, the better!

  5. Paul Baldassano says:

    I recently went to Hawaii for two weeks so I bought an extension cable for the camera on my computer that reached my tank. I could see my tank from Hawaii and the tank sitter could aim the camera at anything she had a question on. It worked out great and I could tell the pumps were running, the lights were on and the water level was correct.

  6. Jeff Kurtz says:

    That’s excellent advice, Paul! I wish I would have thought of that last summer when I was in Florida and my father-in-law, who was aquarium-sitting for me at the time, was trying to describe a problem with one of my tanks over the phone. Turns out the return pump died, but he had a hard time explaining what he was seeing. I could have diagnosed the problem in a second with a simple visual.

  7. Paul Baldassano says:

    Jeff, sometimes when I go away to a tropical place I bring the fish with me as they love to visit their old haunts and re connect with their good friends.

  8. "Caribbean Chris" Aldrich says:

    I’m sure they appreciate the trip back home, ha!

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