This is a discussion on how long? within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; -->
How long can fish go without eating? Would it matter If the lights are kept off? The longest I've gone was about 2 days ...
A good fish should be able to go 2 weeks without food. However, this is very healthy fish and its condition will probably be deteriorated by the end of those two weeks. Most fish should be able to go 5-7 days without food fine. Whenever I'm on vacation, I don't leave any fish food in my tank, and after I come back, all of my frys and fish are fine.
I don't think light really matter. Unless you don't have a timer so the light is on all the time -- in that case, you may want to buy a timer or nix the lights.
As mentioned above, healthy fish can manage for a week or longer without food.
As for the light, do not leave it on, this will absolutely stress out any fish; like us they need a period of darkness to rest each day. Disease outbreaks often occur with constant lighting. If you have no live plants, you could leave the light off and the fish would be fine. If you have plants, you will need a timer (which you should have on planted tanks anyway for consistency in light/dark).
I don't know about you but I have a timer on my tank setup that turns lights on and off at specific times everyday.
Something you might want if your gone for two weeks...
I was EXTREMELY lucky and found the timer at Habitat Restore we have... I work there so I see what goes on the floor before it gets a price tag... and I bought it for a dollar. They can cost you up to 80-100 easily... so keep an eye out on CL or around town and when you go places.
To add to a few posts here from my pers exp:
I had times where my fish (no fry involved) went 10 days w/out food no problem, I never had tried longer then that.
Lights I kept on at a timer and I'm unsure where ya'll live but I buy my timers for ALL my tanks at Walmart or Lowes for anywhere from $8-15 (Lowes usually has them cheaper). Trust me if they cost some 100 bucks I'd NOT have some six timers hooked up in my house LOL
I've been stressing about this too. I'm going on a 10 days vacation in 2 weeks but will actually be 12 for the fish because I take off at 6:00am and return at 11:00pm. I have someone to feed the fish for most of the time (food premeasured out for them), but there will be 5 days where they can't come because they will be on vacation with us. I was worried about the fish going those 5 days without food. It sounds like they will be fine, but I'm still worried. Was thinking of having a neighbor to come feed once or twice in those 5 days but would prefer not to.
P.S. My two timers each costs $9.99. Aaron, are you perhaps reffering to those timers that have like 5 different settings on it? Rsheets won't need anything that advanced for what he/she is going for.
If you're going on vacation, I highly suggest pre-portioning out food. Even live stuff, just put it in a container in the fridge and mark it for the day you want it. Avoid lots of 'complications' that way!