Are you going on a vacation soon or traveling for the holidays? What are your plans for your fish while you're gone? Fortunately, there are numerous simple ways to feed your fish over the holidays and vacations: hire a fish sitter; purchase commercial vacation feeders from your local fish store; or get an automated fish feeder, which may be used on a regular basis anyhow. Finally, you may just stop feeding your fish while you're gone. (Read on before you pass out at that option!)
Vacation feeders are the easiest choice for feeding. They come in two-day (weekend), seven-day, and fourteen-day sizes. There are two primary styles: one in which the meal is embedded in a calcium block and the other in which the food is embedded in a gel. The block progressively dissolves in the water in each scenario, releasing food particles for the fish to consume. Feeder blocks provide a number of advantages, including:
- Supplies food to your fish while you are away for up to 14 days
- Dissolves slowly and releases food periodically as the block gradually dissolves (although the calcium block will dissolve faster in soft, acid water than it will in hard, basic water)
- Includes natural ingredients to meet nutritional requirements of all aquarium fish
- Do not use in a fish bowl or a non-filtered or non-aerated aquarium, as water circulation is required to dissolve the block
- The gel blocks may work better in some water conditions as the gel block is plaster-free and does not cloud water
Ascertain that the quantity of blocks used in the aquarium is sufficient for all of the fish. However, it is preferable to underfeed the fish rather than overfeed them while you are away. The bigger calcium blocks can have an influence on the aquarium water chemistry, especially in soft water. Although gel feeders are less likely to alter water quality, some people claim that their fish refuse to consume them.
Automatic feeders are available in both electric and battery-operated types. They feature timers that can be adjusted to administer the correct amount of food at various intervals throughout the day. The food-holding dispenser's aperture may be adjusted to provide a certain amount of food at each feeding. These are fantastic to use at any time, and if you get one before going on vacation, you can change the schedule and amount of food delivered to ensure that the fish are fed appropriately every day. These work great for feeding your fish while you are away as long as the food dispenser is full before you leave and carries enough food to distribute for the duration of your absence.
You should have someone look after your fish if you are traveling on a long vacation or holiday (more than a week). The most critical message to convey to your assistant is that they should not overfeed your fish. Excess food will contaminate the aquarium and may be fatal. Even when fully fed, many fish may "ask" for more food (Angelfish are known for begging), but this should not be given in to. You should pre-measure each meal in a tiny container or plastic bag to avoid your home sitter from offering too much food.
Use a cheap plastic pill dispenser with a section for each day of the week as one alternative. Place the same quantity of food in one of the pill compartments that you fed your fish the week before you depart. You should have the next week's feedings ready for your assistant by the end of the week. All they have to do each day is open the dispenser and place the food in the appropriate compartment in the tank. Even if you generally feed the fish twice daily, feeding the fish once a day while you are gone will usually suffice. Underfeeding is preferable to overfeeding!
Don't Feed Your Fish
Fish don't have to wait for you to give them a drink because they live in a watery environment. Freshwater fish may go for days without eating if they don't get enough food. Adult fish can survive for a week or two without food. Young fish, on the other hand, lack the fat reserves of adult fish and cannot survive for lengthy periods of time without feeding.
That doesn't imply you should miss feedings on a regular basis, but your fish can do without for a long weekend. When traveling on vacation, bear in mind that eating isn't the only thing to consider. If you are not at home, make sure your filter, water heater, and lights are all in good working order.
Get a Timer
Normally, aquarium lights should be switched off at night and on again in the morning. Using a timer to control lighting is simple. It doesn't have to be sophisticated or expensive as long as it turns the aquarium lights on and off once a day. Set a timer for the light and leave it on all the time. Your fish will then have a constant day/night cycle, and you will have one fewer task to complete each day.
The temperature of the aquarium water should be reasonably consistent. In the nature, fish are used to moderate seasonal temperature fluctuations, but if the shift is abrupt, the stress will render them prone to disease. If the holiday falls during a chilly season, make sure your aquarium heater is operating and don't set your thermostat too low. Tropical fish like water temperatures of 74-78 degrees Fahrenheit and cannot survive below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Set your air conditioning to turn on whenever the room temperature gets over 80 degrees during your summer holidays, and your fish will be OK while you're gone. If you don't have air conditioning, make arrangements for someone to come in and check on your fish during a heat wave.
Fish Physical Condition
Another vital consideration is your fish's physical health. Examine them just before you go for your vacation or vacation to verify that none of them look to be unwell. Before departing, visit a fish store or an aquatic veterinarian if you find any anomalies. Otherwise, you risk returning home to a sick or dying tank.
Make sure the fish sitter has your phone number as well as the phone number for your pet store. Whether you have a fish sitter or not, you may go on excursions securely if you prepare ahead of time. Before you go, make a checklist of the following items:
- a week before you leave
- Completely top off the aquarium with water the day before you leave
- Check the water temperature to verify it's in the proper range
- Check the filter and make sure it's running at full capacity
- Carefully examine all the fish to ensure they are healthy
- If you have a fish sitter, measure food into a dispenser for him or her
- Give your fish sitter your number and the number of the local pet shop
Now go enjoy the holidays!