how to take care of fish while on vacation?

Unlike cats, dogs, birds, and rodents, aquarium fish will calmly survive the absence of the owner for 2-3 days and will not even get bored. But, what if you are going on vacation for a week or more and want to take care of fish while on vacation.

How To Take Care Of Fish While On Vacation?

how to take care of fish while on vacation

Fish feeders: good or bad?

The first thing that comes to mind is buying a feeder. With such a device, the fish, at least, will not starve to death. But don’t be in a hurry to rejoice. Simple budget systems can do more harm than good. The dry food placed in them will get wet, deteriorate and change the chemical composition of the water in the tank far from for the better. Calculating the amount of feed for a long absence will be problematic. In addition, you will not be able to control how much your pets will eat, which means you put them at risk of overeating.

In general, if you buy a feeder, then only an automatic one, which will dispense food in portions strictly at the appointed time. At the same time, it must be really high quality and reliable so that you can be 100% confident in its performance. Such a device doesn’t come cheap, but even it’s worth pre-testing before leaving to make sure it functions exactly as you’d expect. Again, these systems are best used if you plan to be away for less than a week.

I’m on a hunger strike!

If the vacation lasts no more than 1-1.5 weeks, calmly leave the wards to their fate. And do not listen to an inner voice that will appeal to your conscience and remind you that we are responsible for those we have tamed. A fasting diet is definitely better than a cheap feeder. The body of adults is designed in such a way that they are able to maintain viability during a long search for food. Indeed, in their natural habitat, food does not fall on the fish from above, like manna from heaven. You need to get it, and hunting is not always successful.

How long can fish survive without food?

The ability to go without food depends on the type of fish. Here are some examples:

  • Cockerels – 4-7 days;
  • Cichlids – up to 2 weeks;
  • Danio Glofish – more than 2 weeks;
  • Goldfish – more than 1 week;
  • Guppy – 1-2 weeks;
  • Tetras – 7-10 days.

Of course, this experiment, if successful, should not inspire you to regularly starve the fish. On the contrary, the more stable the feeding regime, the longer you can, if necessary, leave the inhabitants of the aquarium without breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

If the population of the aquarium is made up of predators, it can be even easier. Before leaving, run a flock of cheap guppies to them, and let your pets hunt them for pleasure.

IMPORTANT! Only absolutely healthy fish tolerate a hunger strike well. You should be alerted if some of your charges are kept apart, while others are actively grabbing food. Also signs of ailment can be skin damage, pressed fins, and lethargy. Sick fish should not be left in a common aquarium in any case. They should not be left unattended at all. But if there is no one to entrust the care of them, and there is no way to change vacation plans, at least put them in a separate tank.

Not a single feed

The problem with parting with silent pets is not only that they are temporarily left without food. If they survive the hunger strike at the very least, then the situation with the water temperature and lighting is more complicated. On the other hand, a modern automatic timer will help you with all this, which will turn the equipment on and off at the right time.

In fact, slight fluctuations in temperature will not cause a lot of stress. However, sharp warming or cooling of the environment will lead to a shock, especially if the temperature indicators go beyond the vital range. In the cold season, a heater with a thermostat comes in handy. And in the heat, the situation will be saved only by an automatic air conditioner in the room or special aquarium coolers.

Ask some one to look after or hire Fish nurse

If your absence lasts more than 2 weeks, it is still not worth leaving the fish to fight for survival on their own. In this case, you cannot do without the involvement of third parties. They can be relatives, friends, or neighbors who will come to your home from time to time and check if everything is in order.

The main problem of such “nannies” is that they do not know all the intricacies of aquarium care. They are happy to feed and overfeed fish, which suffer more from an excess of food than from hunger. Therefore, your task is not only to shift the responsibility for the pets to the temporary caretaker but also to instruct him, as well as carefully prepare the aquarium for your absence.

  • Pack the food into single portions and draw up instructions for the diet. This will help protect your fish from overeating.
  • Clean the aquarium before leaving and change the water. The temporary caretaker is unlikely to want to “clean up”. Although if you have a very small tank, you still have to conduct a small master class and teach the one who will look after the fish how to change the water.
  • Make sure all fish are doing well. If sick individuals are found, transfer them to a separate tank.
  • Check the filter operation, adjust the devices that control the water temperature, set the timer to turn on / off the backlight.
  • Leave the caretaker your contacts, as well as the address of a trusted pet store.

After completing all these recommendations, you can safely go on vacation and not worry about your pets. You have done everything in your power to ensure that they wait for your return in full health.

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