Vacations and Long Weekends
There are two relatively easy options to feed your fish while you are away on vacation or for a long weekend. One is to find a fish sitter, the other option is to simply let your fish go unfed while you are gone.
Don't Feed Them!
Freshwater fish are quite capable of surviving for several days without a meal. In fact, healthy adult fish can go for a week or two without feeding. That doesn't mean you should routinely skip feedings, however your fish can safely be left without food over a long holiday weekend. However, keep in mind that food is not the only concern when going away.
Get a Timer
Aquarium water temperature should remain fairly constant, and the lights should be turned off at night and on in the morning. Lighting is easy to handle by purchasing an inexpensive basic timer that will turn the aquarium lights on and off once each day. In fact, this is something you can use even when you are at home.
Fish are accustomed to cyclic changes in temperature, but if the change is dramatic the stress will make them susceptible to disease. During summer vacations, set your air conditioning to kick in if the room temperature rises above 80, and your fish will be quite comfortable while you are away. If you do not have air conditioning, it is wise to arrange for someone to come in and check the fish in the event of a heat wave.
Another important factor is the physical condition of your fish. Just before leaving examine them to ensure that none of them appear to be sick. If you notice any abnormalities, consult Bon's before leaving. There is no need to risk coming home to an aquarium of sick or dying fish.
If you are going on an extended vacation (more than a week), you should have someone tend your fish. The most important thing to impress upon your helper is that they should not overfeed your fish. Excess food will foul the aquarium, and can prove lethal. Many fish will "beg" for more food even when they are well fed (Angelfish are notorious for begging), but should not be indulged.
Go to a discount or drug store and purchase an inexpensive plastic pill dispenser - one that has a compartment for each day of the week. The week before you leave, as you feed your fish place the same amount of food in one of the pill compartments. By the end of the week you will have the next week's feedings all prepared for your helper. All they have to do is open the dispenser each day and put the food in the aquarium.
Be sure to provide your fish sitter with a number to reach you, as well as our number, 706-863-9478.
Regardless of whether you have a fish sitter or not, if you prepare ahead of time you can safely go on trips. Here is a handy checklist of things to do before you leave.