How to Care for Aquarium Fish While on Vacation

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It can be difficult to find care for pets when you are out of town. Aquarium fish require very little care. They don't need to be walked, fed, or let out for the toilet every day. These are the four ways we recommend to ensure your fish are happy and healthy when you're gone.

Before you leave...

A few days before you leave, give your fish tank a thorough cleaning. Perform a partial water change and vacuum the substrate using an aquarium siphon. If necessary, clean the filter. It is important to do the tank maintenance 48 hours ahead of time so you can observe your fish and ensure everything is working properly before you go. Some fish keepers forget to turn on the filter again or make water changes in the right order, leaving their fish in an awkward situation. Make sure to clean your aquarium at least a day before you leave so that you have enough time to check on your fish, water parameters, and equipment. Click here to buy the best aquarium for your loved fishes.

Method 1: Don't Feed your Fish

The easiest way to avoid feeding your fish is to leave it alone if you are only going for a few days. Although this may seem harsh, remember that wild fish have to find their food and they are not guaranteed a daily meal. Your fish will be able to survive for up to seven days without food if they are healthy.

We have over a decade of experience in treating fish. This method is not recommended if you have baby fish and they require regular meals or you are away for more than one week.

Method 2: Install an auto feeder

If your situation fits one of those special cases, then an automatic fish food dispenser is your best friend. You can fill the feeder with either flakes or pellets and program the feeding times each day. Finally, mount the feeder on the aquarium rim. To ensure that the feeder is working correctly and it's dropping the right amount of food, test it several days before you leave. We recommend feeding your fish only enough food to last you the trip. Fish waste builds up faster when there isn't much food. Aquarium Co-Op's Auto Feeder can be used up to four times per day, and it comes with a rechargeable lithium battery that can last up to 3 to 6 months.

Method 3: Locate a pet sitter

There are pros and cons to asking family, friends, or hired pet sitters to look after your fish. Your pet sitter will be able to let you know if your fish is sick and can send you videos and pictures to assist with problem-solving. They might also be able, if needed, to maintain the tank and top off water. Pet sitters may not be as familiar with aquariums and can cause more harm than good.

Overfeeding can lead to poor water quality and possibly death. A pillbox with the correct amount of food can be used to provide the best nutrition for your pet. The pet sitter should remind them that they cannot make up lost days by giving excess food from previous days. Fish are not able to finish extra meals so any excess food ends up polluting their water. Skip the old containers and only eat the food that has been assigned to you for the rest of the days. You can also use frozen foods instead of fish flakes or pellets. They are often packaged in cubes that make it easy to measure for each tank.

It is a good idea to ask your pet sitter for frozen food instead of dry food. The fish will eat it quickly and there is less waste. You can also label your fish tanks to make it easier for your pet sitter to know how many frozen foods each aquarium needs.

Method 4: Picky Eaters can use live foods

If you are going to be away for longer than a week, it is impossible to find a pet sitter. Your fish will not eat pellet food from an auto feeder. We have some ideas that may work. You can also seed your tank with freshwater food such as snails, blackworms, and daphnia if the fish won't eat frozen or live foods. You can make live foods last longer by placing them in a floating container. The hole should be small enough to prevent fish from getting inside but large enough so that food can crawl out or swim out. Daphnia, tiny swimming crustaceans, are used to feed fry and other small fish.

We don't recommend vacation feeder blocks or other time-release banquet blocks. They can be used to add calcium to your fish and invertebrates' diets, but they have the potential to cause ammonia spikes or algae blooms if they are used during vacations. This is because they often dissolve into tiny particles that the larger fish cannot eat.

These four tips should be helpful in your preparations for your next business or holiday trip. Happy fish-keeping and safe travels!

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