If you have fish but are planning a holiday, or travel a lot for work, it can be a worry trying to work out how to care for them and ensure they are fed and looked after while you are away. However, there are a few different options available.
Whether you are booking a weekend away or a long summer holiday abroad, your fish will still need some kind of care and attention while you are away, so check out our tips here for how to make sure your fish thrive while you are away.
It is worth understanding that most adult aquarium based fish can survive without receiving extra food for around two to three days. Fish which are either carnivorous or eat both plants and meat can last even longer – up to two weeks without extra food. That’s not to say we are encouraging you to leave your fish unattended for weeks but it is part of understanding the attention they will need while you are away.
The larger the fish, the longer they can survive on their own – baby fish need feeding daily so this will need to be taken into account as well. So if you have adult fish you could safely leave them for a long weekend without causing any harm.
However, there are some steps which you should take before you head off on that trip away. We caught up our friends from Aquacadabra.com and they gave us a few tips and preparations you can make before you leave to help give your fish the best chance possible of survival:
1. Test your water:
Check the water quality – you need to use a testing kit to look at the nitrate levels, ph and hardness to make sure it’s all good. Replace some of the water in the tank to keep it fresh and topped up and make sure the temperature is right.
If you are going to be away a longer time then you need to bear in mind any temperature changes which might happen in the house, like heating coming on or air conditioning, and make sure the fish tank heating is adjusted accordingly.
2. Check your filters:
Make sure the filters are all clear and free of debris – if necessary replace them with fresh filtration material so you can rest assured they will all be in full working order while you are away. The last thing you want is to come back to a tank full of polluted water.
3. Check your lighting:
Make sure your lighting is set up properly – having less light during the day will actually slow their metabolism meaning your fish need to eat less while you are away, which might help. Make sure the bulbs are all in good working order and check all the power supply connections.
4. Check your fish health:
Make sure your fish are all healthy and fine before you go – if any look sick or unwell you should remove them from the tank before you leave to prevent spread of any illness while you are away.
5. Feed the fish before you go:
If you are going on a short break, feed the fish before you go and in the week before you leave increase the protein and fat in their diet but make sure you don’t overfeed as you will end up polluting the tank.
However, if you are going away for a longer trip and don’t want to leave the fish without food or unattended then here are few other tips to think about and sort out before you go on holiday to make sure they are okay:
6. Use an automatic feeder:
If you are using an automatic feeder or a feeding block then check they are all working properly and the fish are responding to them, before you go. Feeding blocks can affect the water if you filter systems aren’t working properly so do a last check once you’ve added it into the tank.
If your fish eat algae then don’t clean the tank before you go as they can feed on it for themselves but if your fish are carnivorous then give the tank a good clean before you go to make sure the tank doesn’t become overgrown while you are away.
8. Fish carer:
If someone is looking after your fish while you are away then write out instructions for them so they understand what needs to be done and leave the details of a nearby aquatic pet shop if they were to need any advice.
Going on holiday needn’t become a trauma just because you own a fish tank so think ahead and make a few preparations and everything should be fine and you will come back rested from a lovely holiday to a healthy fish tank.