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Going away for a week; Should I trust other people to feed/look after my fish?

1155 Views 13 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  RWaters
Well, my boyfriend's father died, so we have to head up to IL for the memorial, and he wants to stay up there for about a week or so.

I'm going to rig all my lights to timers for 8 hours a day so I don't have much algae to come home to, I'm thinning out all my floaters, and just refilled my DIY CO2.

I have 8 tanks, half of which are nanos between 1 and 5 gallons.

I'm nervous for my fish, so I was going to buy some dixie cups and masking tape, and put them in a daily order for each tank, properly labeled and ordered.

But I'm still afraid something is going to go terribly wrong. We live with my father and my sister right now as we're saveing up for our own place, and they're both kind of ..forgetful and don't care much about animals.

Their motto is "you can always buy more". And while that's true and all, my fish are kind of expensive, and I would be really sad if they died, even if they were cheap fish. I care about liveing things.

Should I just let my fish fast for the week or so ?

Should I buy those .. vacation cube things,that slowly dissolve or whatever?

My Puffers are going to need to be fed live food, which we have some feeder guppies we've been breeding, but I'm afraid they'll over feed the puffers because it's "cool to watch" =/ .

My boyfriend thinks i'm crazy because I want to set up a webcam live constant feed of my fish tanks while I'm gone so i can monitor them, lol.

An online friend of ours [we play WoW together] said "It's not crazy, It's like a nanny cam. And those are your babies. Your expensive, pretty swimmy babies."

I lol'd irl :p.
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I would try to make it as automated as possible for anyone not in the hobby that you get to help out. If any of your tanks eat flake food go buy an automated food dispenser (about $50 - $60) from your LFS/Petco/Wal-Mart and hook those up. That leaves just the live feeders for them to do, there's not much you can do about that but tell them only put in 'X' amount of the feeders in each tank.

And fasting them for a few days isn't going to hurt them, just tell them to feed them only twice or three times a week at most in case they do overfeed.

- Brad
Yeah, It's why I'm going to put the set amounts for each day [setting it up for every other day feeding ] in the dixie cups, I'm too terrified of over feeding [I've seen what my father does with his angels.. ] and mucking up my water to trust either of them to an open container of fish food lol.

Thanks though :).
Yep, overfeeding is much more likely to become an issue than skipping feeding for a week or two. In normally stocked planted tanks, fish find something to nibble on. I have left my (understocked) tanks alone for four weeks with no issues, fish looked just as happy as they did when I left. The plants did need a good pruning though.
With 8 tanks it can be rather hard to get all of them automatic feeders, but I do swear by them for my tanks. I just got back from a cruise for a week and I used the auto feeder and fed them only once a day very sparingly and came home to clean, healthy tanks. No deaths, no algae everywhere and no cracked glass panes.
Yeah, It's why I'm going to put the set amounts for each day [setting it up for every other day feeding ] in the dixie cups,
That is what I do when I go on vacation.

For a week, I will have someone feed the fish three times a week. Each portion of food is in a single cup. No chance of over-feeding.

I also run only one bank of lights when I am gone.
I use the daily dose medicine containers like these. (see link below) I get a different color for each tank. I either set it right beside the tank or hang a bag on the tank and put it inside. I also mark the name of the tank on each container (ie. 125g, kitchen tank).

For my ferts I get these. You can get them in different colors. They are made for medicines and beads. I get mine in the pharmacy section of my grocery store. I put stickers with the week days on them.

While people can still mess up, they can see if they missed a day and what to put in next. It's all pre-measured and all they have to do is dump it. I have the neighbor kids do it.

The only issues I've had is if they forgot or dumped 2 days to make up for forgetting.
when I read thru I found out my comment was unappropiate so don't bother.
I wouldn't use those vacation things that look like they are made of plaster. Is there someone at your LFS that you trust and you could pay to feed your fish? Definitely err on the side of caution and have someone feed only once every day or two while you are gone. Most fish will be fine without feeding for up to a week but it really depends on the species.
I never have anyone feed my fish if I'm going to be away for a week. Most fish can go that long or longer without being fed, which is preferable to being overfed. I even hide the food, because I don't trust anyone not to overfeed.

If you're worried about them going that long, you could leave pre-measured amounts, but in that case I'd be inclined not to leave food for every single day, but just for several days. I can easily see someone forgetting to feed them one day and dumping in two days portions at once.

I usually reduce the lighting intensity on high light tanks, so they can better weather being neglected for a week.
i would leave one portion of premeasured food. have a friend stop by half way in between when you leave and when you come back. just feed them once. fish can go 3 days without food definattely
i would leave one portion of premeasured food. have a friend stop by half way in between when you leave and when you come back. just feed them once. fish can go 3 days without food definattely
That's exactly what I do.
+1 with lauraLee

If they remember to feed they cant over feed, anf if they forget, no big deal, the fish will easily survive.

OH And Hide the rest of the food, leave no room for error,
remember you cannot make the process idiot proof, because idiots are so ingenious

Your fish will thank you
If I'm going away for one week, I feed just before I leave and as soon as I get back. No problems. However, you've said you'll be gone "about a week or so". In that case, leave one or two dixie cups with appropriate amounts of food. Then you can call your father or sister and ask them to feed the fish - no worries about them forgetting! You can habe t hem do it while you're on the phone if you're unsure they'll do it properly. Good luck.
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