Leaving my tank for a week - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-11-2014, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
Leaving my tank for a week

My first vacation since setting up my first tank is coming up shortly. The tank is fully cycled and appears stable. I'll do a water change right before we leave and again when we return. Lights are on timers. I'm just wondering now what to do about feeding and heating.

(a) Feeding. The tank is stocked with Zebra Danios, Red Phantom Tetras, and Rosie Tetras. They don't have a special diet at this stage... just a variety of flakes. Will they do well (individually and as a community) with one of those time-release blocks of food, or do I need to arrange for someone to feed them daily? If yes on the time-release option, what products do you recommend?

(b) Heating. The worst of the winter is likely behind us, but I'm wondering what reasonable precautions I can take in the event of a power failure. For example, is it worth adding a battery-powered heater in the tank with its thermostat set a few degrees lower than the main heater (so that it only goes on if the main heater quits)?

Any other tips on how to prepare the tank for an extended absence?
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-11-2014, 01:40 PM
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How long will you be gone?
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post #3 of 14 Old 03-11-2014, 01:45 PM
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I don't do ANYTHING to prepare my tanks for extended leaves. They'll be just fine.

As it turns out, this week is the only week I will be home this month. My fish will eat for 6-7 days this month.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-11-2014, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
Oops. Meant to say that I'll be gone for seven days.
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-11-2014, 03:18 PM
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Do you water change before you go and when you get home. They'll be fine (:
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-11-2014, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
So no food for a week?

Although the time release feeding "blocks" and "gels" seem like a good idea, I am seeing mixed reviews of certain ones (like fish are dying for some poor folks). What are the dangers associated with these products?
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-11-2014, 03:49 PM
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No food. FAAAAAAAAR more can go wrong trying to keep them fed than leaving them be. It takes several months for healthy fish to starve to death so a week is a walk in the park.
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125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-11-2014, 03:54 PM
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Agree totally with the others, your fish will be fine without food for a week.

The feeding blocks start to decompose over the course of seven days and will place an extra load on the filter as well as putting excess nutrients in the water column as they dissolve. In my opinion, far better not to use them and for the fish to go without.
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-11-2014, 05:41 PM
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Agree. I've left my fish for weeks without food and they've been just fine. There's a lot of microscopic food int he aquarium that they munch on.

Those blocks decompose and can add a lot of ammonia/organics into the tank, which is why people have come home to a tank full of dead fish.

I know it can feel weird at first not to be feeding them (unlike a dog or cat where you have to arrange for all of their care while you're away) but fish can go a very, very long time without eating and be a-okay.

As to the heating, I don't think it's something you should really worry about, even if it does happen the tank temp shouldn't drop low enough to do any harm.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-11-2014, 07:24 PM
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I'll also agree that they will be fine. I know more reassurance will always help, so you don't worry while you're away.

"He situates himself in relation to time. He takes his place in it. He admits that he stands at a certain point on a curve that he acknowledges having to travel to its end. He belongs to time, and by the horror that seizes him, he recognizes his worst enemy. Tomorrow, he was longing for tomorrow, whereas everything in him ought to reject it."
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