View Full Version : Came home to a Sauna! Advice?

06-23-2015, 04:59 AM
I missed the June Meet-up because we went to the Island for a few days while our daughter checked in daily to make sure everything was ok. We had the portable A/C running, auto-feeders, thought everything was covered. But, no.

We came home & the place was like a sauna. The tanks were up to 90F, up from 78F. The A/C was a steamy little furnace. I put ice packs in the tanks while my husband checked out the A/C - turns out our daughter moved it & the ventilation hose popped off so it was re-circulating hot/humid air. We set up fans & opened the doors/windows. Took a while but everything except the leather was ok this morning. And one snail's dead.

Just goes to show that even with the best planning, things can go sideways!

Wondering what you guys do to prepare the tank for when you're away?

06-23-2015, 05:40 AM
Controller has saved me a few times. If you go away then a controller is pretty much a must have. I have my autofeeder controlled by my apex as well and will sometimes dial back the feeding if I am away. I have a fresh batch of saltwater on hand just in case someone has to do a waterchange while I'm away (only for emergencies)

I also have a camera on the tank so I can see what is going on.

Then someone who I can call and walk through some simple things to do to make it work.

06-23-2015, 02:41 PM
Having a controller that you can access information via internet is a really good plan especially if you have a lot of money invested in your aquarium. An internet-accessed video camera is nice too. A professional aquarium care company is really good "insurance" for when something does happen while you're gone.

06-24-2015, 12:16 AM
Sounds like a controller's the way to go. Other great ideas -- feeding a bit less than usual & the extra salt water. We had extra rodi water set aside, but not salt.
And next time, we'll be more careful about who we ask to come in case of emergency!

06-24-2015, 02:09 AM
Wouldn't hurt to make friends with a local reefer who your daughter could call in case of that one-time emergency.
I'm sure there's someone in delta who could help her in a pinch.

06-25-2015, 03:54 PM
We all make mistakes. I'm sure your daughter feels bad about the mishap with the A/C. I still trust my daughter over any controller or other technology (webcams, emails, etc) when I'm away for more than a few days. Controllers can fail as well, power outage comes to mind. It's fine to get an auto email from your web enabled controller telling you something's amiss in your absence, you still need someone to get in there & figure out how to keep things alive. By all means, consider a controller, but absolutely counting on that over a trusted human is no guarantee against Murphy's Law.

06-25-2015, 05:58 PM
Controllers have failed me in the past, once being responsible for a total wipe out. While they offer advantages I don't really see them as offering much increase in terms of reliability. Sometimes it's best to dumb things down, especially important if someone with little experience is watching the tank.

06-25-2015, 11:32 PM
Just to be clear, I was suggesting a controller in addition to having an aquarium company check up on the tank. By no means do I think a controller replaces a human. :lol:

06-27-2015, 02:27 PM
As Mika said - you have to have a human.

I was in California one year and for some reason a powerhead had fallen (when I had Korallias) - I saw it on my webcam and just turned it off.

Another year something got stuck in my herbie - emergency drain had a little trouble keeping up so I had alarms going (it was really only a little water - good thing it is an inwall tank) - but I could talk my Dad into opening the main drain fully open to clear the snail. I couldn't imagine trying to get my Dad to explain to me over the phone what was going wrong, It was much easier to have the controller tell me what is happening.

The funny thing is that over the past 5 years - these are the only 2 problems I've had and they've only happened when I've been away. Darn you Murphy!

06-27-2015, 04:51 PM
I have had 2 near disaster senerios in the last 2-3 years first happened while in Phoenix luckily I have a controller and camera, controller let me know sump was running low also could see the issue with camera . Got on the phone and called a buddy at 12:30 am problem solved. With out controller this would have been found the next day around 3pm all pumps by then would have been dead and possibly livestock. Second was just last month I went camping on my way home I was made aware by apex and my roommate that something was wrong there had been a large flood in garage breakers blown luckily not the breaker apex was on. With my controller still hours from home I shut off most pumps skimmer lights calcium reactor. Having a person is great but my system is pretty complex and hard to explain how to turn stuff off blah blah blah in my opinion investing thousands in a tank and going away with no controller is nuts there's no one I trust with my tank other then feeding and maybe toping up water if for some reason low.