Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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yippee 05-14-2009 01:43 AM

Feeding fish while i am on vacation
Hello all. I am faced with quite a dilemma here and would like to know what you guys suggest or have had experience with.

First off, the situation and background. I currently have two tanks running. I have a 10 gallon housing three tiger barbs, two albino cories, and a few snails. I know, three barbs and two cories are not ideal at all. I had five barbs and was planning on adding to them once i got the tank leveled out. One of the barbs died and the other was badly wounded and died. I assume they got into a fight for dominance as they were the largest two. The cories are in a group of two until i get them in their final home where i will up the group significantly. And before i get told the 10 gallon is too small, the barbs are just their until the 55 finishes cycling. The 20 has one male betta, three zebra danios, and one rubber lip plec. (i know, i know.. the plec will be moving to the 55 too). I will be doing a partial water change tomorrow while i prep for the trip and as soon as i get back.

The situation i am faced with is i will be leaving friday to go 6 hours away to my cousins graduation and will not be back until tuesday afternoon/evening. The two peoeple i trust to care for my fish are a) going with me and b) the one i am going to see graduate. I will be able to feed the fish friday morning before leaving but will not be able to feed them agian until i get home tuesday evening. That leaves them home 5 days (more or less). I know this is sort of short notice but i would like to know what would be best for feeding them. One more bit of info before we go into possible solutions - with the barbs i hate not to feed them refularly as they tend to bicker more when they are hungry and i really dont want to come back to torn up or dead fish.

Now, what to do? The feeder blocks, feeder gelatin, automatic feeder, weekly pill container with marked food and hope someone feeds them right, or just flat out dont feed til i get home. Of course i don't want to wait til i get home, if i do i'm almost positive i will have dead fish.

do the feeder blocks work well? I've heard they arent great. I've heard people say they disolve to quickly. do they release enough food for the mentioned fish? do they cloud the water or mess with the water chemistry?

the feeder gelatin is basically like the feeder block but supposed to be nicer, cleaner, and better. True? The only downside i have heard of was either fish ignoring them or tearing them up throughout the tank. Any experience on these? I may buy one and test it if nobody has anything bad to say. See if they'll eat it before i leave.

Automatic feeder - They are prone to malfunctions. I do not have enough time to properly test run them. THe one i want is online only. Any experience with any good brands in person you would suggest?

Pill container - probably the way to go, huh? The only problem is i think my aunt will be feeding the dogs and i don't know that she will be able to feed them morning and night. Normally that would not be a problem but with the barbs i dont want to risk it. THese are my three remaining barbs out of the five. I would really like to keep them. I'm just afraid if they get hungry they will pick each other too much. I'm really concerned about them until i can get them in a bigger tank and group.

LEt me know any personal opinions, or experience (good or bad) you may have.

THanks a TON.

1077 05-14-2009 02:26 AM

I would feed the fish a normal amount of food and no more,
on friday just before you leave. Fish will be fine. Run out and find some artificial plants and cram em in the tank with the barbs if you are concerned with fighting. This will make it easier for the barbs to stay out of each others way.
I have several fish stores that I frequent and they keep their fish for the most part ,in ten to fifteen gal tanks and only feed them once or twice a week to help keep water from deteriorating.
Problem with feeder blocks and auto feeders are too much food released,,, and auto feeders sometimes malfunction. Trust me ,, Your fish will be fine for four days. Don't overfeed them before you leave,, and try not to overfeed them when you return to make up for the time gone. Your fish will thank you .;-)

Tyyrlym 05-14-2009 06:42 AM

Yes, you can leave them and they'll be just fine. They might be hungry when you return but it'll be no real problem. I've gone away for ten days before and the fish only got one small feeding during that time from a relative who stopped by. No fish died, they were just fine.

watts300 05-14-2009 10:19 AM

I agree. There's no reason to fret over 5 days of no food.

Just make sure they've been given a nice lunch before you leave on Friday. None will starve.

yippee 05-14-2009 12:24 PM

It isn't them starving that i am worried about. I know they can make it five days with no food. It's what the barbs will do to each other while i am gone. I may be paranoid, but it seems like every time they have a problem it is when they haven't eaten. when the little one had his tail nipped down to almost nothing they hadn't had anything to eat. recently when (i think) they fought to the death they hadn't had anything to eat. I may be over paranoid in my head but it just seems like every time they go without food i have a problem. I'd really like to be able to keep my remaining three in one piece while i'm gone. I guess i'm being overly cautious in hopes i can keep them from killing each other.

JohnnyD44 05-14-2009 01:32 PM


Originally Posted by 1077 (Post 195363)
Run out and find some artificial plants and cram em in the tank with the barbs if you are concerned with fighting. This will make it easier for the barbs to stay out of each others way..;-)

WHy not try this?

yippee 05-14-2009 01:39 PM

I can but i'm just not sure it will do the trick. i don't have tons of money to go spend on plants but i'll probably buy a few more. I'm just afraid in the small tank it won't be enough to keep them away from each other.

1077 05-15-2009 01:58 AM

Your problem is,,.as you have already noted,, Too small of an environment,,and too few fish. Barbs do best in groups but even then,, there will be a pecking order established with the weaker fish often being bullied. Barbs also need lots of swimming area which you cannot provide at this time.
Larger tank,, more barbs,, = less aggression.

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