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Old 07-16-2014, 05:07 AM   #1 
itamag
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Dealing with toxins when away

Hey everyone. In about two weeks, I'll be away for 11 days. I have a 3.5 gallon heated and filtered tank, and one betta living in it. Since I'll be away for quite a long period of time, I have to find a solution to the toxins that build up in the tank. I have two possible solutions:

1. Since it's summer now, my tank temperature is steady during the day and is the same as air temperature inside my house. Because of that I can leave a bucket of treated water and have someone change maybe 50% of the water about half way through the time I'm away. This is my least favorite option, as I find it hard to trust someone with my fish. It just seems obvious that something will go wrong .

2. I use Seachem Prime in the tank. Someone here in the forum said that I could have someone drop the normal dosage of Prime in the tank every other day when I'm away to "lock" the ammonia. Could that be a sufficient solution? I didn't quite understand the "ammonia lock" explanation on Seachem's website.

Which do you think is preferrable? Also, if you have any other solution feel free to help

Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:11 AM   #2 
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Your fish can go a week without food.
The best way I've heard of to handle your situation, is to change the water right before you leave. If you have someone who will come in and feed the fish, only do it once or twice while your gone. This will keep the waste down and the water clean enough until you come home. Also make sure the person doesn't overfeed when they do feed it.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:39 AM   #3 
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Oh, and also leave a jug or two of treated water for topping off.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:07 AM   #4 
VivianKJean
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is your tank cycled at all?

Yes, do a water change morning/day you leave. If your tank is cycled do probably around a 75% water change. If it isn't cycled then do an 100% water change.

If you can, I would have someone come and drop one drop of Prime in every day. Have them feed your fish every 3 days. Then the day you come back, do another water change.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:11 AM   #5 
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Will the Prime reduce the ammonia level in the tank, or just temporarily "lock" it? I probably won't be able to have someone come everyday.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:35 AM   #6 
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it won't reduce the levels. What Prime does is turn ammonia into a less toxic form - this will last for about 48 hours. So you do need to have someone come every couple of days.
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Old 07-21-2014, 02:49 AM   #7 
itamag
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I don't know if I'll be able to have someone come and do that every couple of days. Are there any other options? Is my mistrust in letting someone change the water with water that I treated beforehand logical?

Again, Thanks.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:53 AM   #8 
Hallyx
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Prime "binds" or "locks" the ammonia in a special molecule which is harmless to fish. This molecule breaks down in 24 t0 48 hours, so pre-treating refill water is not effective.

VivianKJean's and Mart's suggestions are the best you can do. You might stretch it to 3 days if your fish-sitter only feeds a couple of pellets.

How long has your tank been running? Are you sure it isn't cycled/ You may be home free. A Betta in a cycled tank can easily go 11 days without any maintenance.
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:32 AM   #9 
itamag
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The tank is running for at least 4-5 months with a filter, and was running before that for about a year. I don't understand. Shouldn't Prime turn ammonia into nitrate? If Prime only temporily locks the ammonia, the ammonia level in the tank will rise after two days, and a water changes will ve required every other day. What am I not gettung?
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:58 AM   #10 
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The cycle goes like this - Ammonia to Nitrite to Nitrate.

The only thing that turns Ammonia into nitrite into nitrate is the beneficial bacteria in the tank.

Prime ISN'T bacteria, its a water conditioner that also has chemcials in it that "lock" ammonia into a harmless molecule for a short period of them (24-48 hours). After that time, the Prime wears off and needs to be added again.

if you are unsure if you tank is fully cycled, you can get the API's master freshwater liquid test kit. If you can't afford that, then get just the ammonia and the nitrate test. Do the test, BEFORE a water change. If you tank is cycled, then the ammonia will be at 0 and there might be a low number in the nitrate test.
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