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I'm going to be away for two weeks and would appreciate some advice on how
to prepare and take care of my 30-gal. tank during that time. I've looked
through the archives, but haven't found anything very specific.

The fish I can take care of with an automatic feeder.  Right now, the
plants are growing very well, and I think I have finally beaten back a
recent attack of filamentous green algae.  It's a return of the algae that
I'm most concerned about, because I've had it grow prolifically at other
times, when I've been away.  I'm wondering if I can slow everything down
so that neither the plants nor (especially) the algae will grow very much.

1. The lights are now on 10 hours a day.  Should I reduce this to N hours,
where N < 10?  And, if so, what value of N would you recommend?

2. My KH is 5.  I keep the pH controller set at 6.9.  The value drops to
6.6 or 6.5 before the lights come on again.  According to the chart, that
provides a CO2 range between ~18 and ~40 ppm.  (I have been trying to get
rid of the excess CO2 at night, but without much success so far.)  Should
I set the pH controller to a higher value to lower the entire CO2 range
during these two weeks?  If so, what value of pH (max) would you

3. I do not have a means to add nutrients while away.  Normally, I keep
the NO3 between 5 and 10 ppm and the PO4 between 0.5 and 1.0.  The tank
consumes ~1 ppm NO3 and ~0.2 ppm PO4 per day. Should I, perhaps, introduce
a large dose of these (and TMG) before I leave?  If so, how much (in ppm)
of each?

4. Are there other steps I could/should take?

Thanks in advance.

John T. Fitch
E-mail: JTFitch at FitchFamily_com
Web Site: www.fitchfamily.com/aquarium.html