What is an aquarium owner to do when going away for several days, and no one around to feed the fish?
The question is: how long can the fish go without feeding before they’re in danger of starvation? They’re in the habit of getting flake food from me once a day. I read once that they can go for a weekend without being fed, but I was planning a 5-day trip. Should I try harder to persuade a neighbor to drop in and feed them?
You can buy vacation food for them in the pet-store. It’s basically a block of food that dissolves slowly over the course of a few days to keep them feed.
Don’t use this stuff. It looks like a great idea but there’s a good chance that it will make a huge mess out of your tank.
They’ll more than likely be just fine, especially if you feed them more than normal for a few days prior to going away.
What type of fish are these, exactly?
Here is an article pertaining to guppies that may be helpful - http://www.guppyinfo.net/guppyfaq/vacationfeeding.htm
A mixed bunch. A Danio, a couple Rasbora, some Tetras, a Cat, and a big fat Bleeding Heart. I guess I don’t need to worry about feeing the Algae Eater (obviously).
I fed 'em tonight, I’ll feed 'em again in the morning before departing. That should hold 'em.
What kind of a mess? I use this stuff all the time, and I haven’t had any problems with clouding or noticable mess. Just drop a tablet in, and when you get back there’s nothing but a shell-shaped stone left. In fact, I just used some today, as I’m going to be away from home for 5 days.
Also, it’s pretty cheap. I only paid $1.50 for 4 tablets.
[sup]Now that I think about it, I do have an Algae-Eater, and maybe it’s dealing with some of the mess?[/sup]
You feed them on the morning you leave and when you get back they will be fine.
I suppose it’s to late now, but they do make automatice feeders. They hook on to the side of the tank and dump a rationed amount of food into the take on a regular schedule.
I have Oscars and some other LARGE cichlids…I’ve let em go up to 3 weeks with out food. Not a good idea but they do fine.
On the flip side, I’ve put in 200 “feeders” in the tank and had them ALL eaten in 3 days. More typically I feed every 2-3 days.
The white stuff that the food is in is plaster of paris, which can seriously change your pH. Dramatic pH change = seriously stressed or dead fish. There is also the potential for the food to not all be eaten, and start to rot, creating more problems, and they do sometimes make a big cloudy mess.
I know people use them without problems (I guess some brands are different/better than others?), but I’ve heard too many horror stories and IMHO it isn’t worth it. Most fish are hardy enough to go quite a while without food.
And Jomo Mojo, just in case you didn’t know, danios and bleeding heart tetras (and possibly your catfish) are schooling fish. You should get a few more if you have room in your tank.
Your fish should be just fine for a week without food. When you go away, turn the lights off and cover the tank (or as much of it as you can) with a sheet. The darkness will cause them to be less active and use less energy.