How to Keep Your Fish Fed While on Holiday

Date Posted:18 November 2015 


Going Away On Holidays? Need Someone To Feed Your Fish?


I find my customers are so excited to go on their holidays that they forget all about their fish. Then a few weeks before their long awaited trip, it hits them! Who will feed my fish?


The Problem With Having Non-Fishkeepers Feed Your Fish


Many hobbyists believe that it is perfectly acceptable to have a non-fishkeeper feed their fish while they are away on holidays. They usually have the neighbour / friend / Mum / Dad to come in quickly to feed the fish every day.


The problem is not everyone knows how much to feed your fish. You might tell them, only feed them a little pinch of flakes every day. But after your fish eat that pinch of food, they're still hovering at the surface saying Feed Me! Feed Me! and what does that person do? Add another pinch or two of food.


Don't Overfeed Your Fish!


The most common reason for fish dying is overfeeding!


Fish won’t die if they don’t eat for a day or two. Look at African Cichlids, when the mother is holding eggs/babies in her mouth (yes, that's how they raise their young), she won’t eat for 2-3 weeks.


I’m not saying don’t feed your fish for 3 weeks. I’m saying it's better to underfeed than overfeed.


Now let’s go back to that extra pinch or two of food. The fish can’t eat it all. They get overfed and some of the food gets stuck under the rocks or behind the plants. The food begins to break down and ammonia starts to build up. This is where all the problems start.


If your filter can’t break down this leftover food. The water begins to foul. Fish begin to suffocate from the toxic ammonia that's built up in the water and will die one by one. If nothing is done you will have a pretty smelly tank when you get back home.


What To Do When You've Overfed Your Fish For Weeks?


If by any chance you do overfeed your fish, make sure you scoop out the remaining food with a fine net. Quickly do a 25% water change and add some API Ammo Lock and API Stress Coat or Seachem Prime to the water to help detoxify any ammonia that might have built up. Removing the waste quickly will help ensure your fish stay healthy and happy.


What To Do If You're Going Away For A Weekend?


If you're going away for just the weekend you can use API Weekend Pyramid blocks. The block dissolves slowly, releasing food to your fish after a few hours. One pyramid is enough to feed 5 - 10 fish (average 5cm in length) for up to 3 days. It comes in a 4 pack and is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater tanks.


If you're going away for a week or two, try API Vacation Pyramid Fish Feeder. It works the same as the Weekend Pyramid blocks but lasts for up to 14 days. Just make sure you don't use these in a fishbowl or a non-aerated tank.


What To Do If You're Going Away For A Month?


The answer is simple - get an automatic fish feeder. Try the Eheim Everyday Automatic Fish Feeder or Aqua One Dial a Diet Automatic Fish Feeder. They're simple to use and easy to install.


Just fill up the food chamber with flakes, pellets, granules. Set the time on the digital display - it's pretty much like a digital clock. Then program the feeder to dispense the food at the times you want to feed your fish throughout the day.


You can feed your fish up to 4 times a day with the Eheim feeder. But I recommend you use it to feed them once or twice a day whilst you're away.



When Can I Use An Automatic Fish Feeder?


Automatic feeders can prevent overfeeding as you're in control of how much and how frequently the feeder releases food. They're perfect for fish tanks in a busy office as no one has to remember to feed the fish.


They can be used to feed them over weekends or holiday periods when no one's in the office to check on them. They're also great for breeders because sometimes you may want to feed your breeding stock that little bit more to condition them but aren't at home to give them that extra snack.


Don’t come back from that relaxing holiday and come home to a tank of dead fish and having to start all over again. You'd be surprised at how often this happens. So what are you waiting for? Get an automatic feeder today and have peace of mind knowing your fish will be fed and come home to a happy and healthy tank.