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Old 12-07-2013, 04:04 PM   #1
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Leaving my fish for two weeks

I will be leaving my fish for exactly two weeks when I go home for the holidays.

I currently have two tanks (both are planted if that matters):

a 37g tall with a bolivian ram, 5 neon tetras and one bronze cory catfish (yes i know I should not have one alone, I will be restocking when I return)

a 10 gallon with a betta fish

As I have been unable thus far to find someone to babysit my fish, I was wondering what is my best course of action:

(1) I can buy two automatic feeders to feed them while I am gone. I am not worried about nitrate build-up from a lack of water changes for two weeks, I am just afraid of mechanical failure.

OR

(2) I can leave them the two weeks without food. I am afraid they might starve.

What is the best course of action? How much should I currently be feeding them? I normally feed my fish once a day, and I sometimes skip a day a week. How much water should I change out before I leave?

Please advise!
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Old 12-07-2013, 04:11 PM   #2
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I would do the auto feeder, just don't cheap out on it. Once per day, a small amount, especially while you're gone is fine. Make sure to do a good water change before you go and one when you get back. The plants are great, they help keep your water stable.
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Old 12-07-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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I would do the auto feeder, just don't cheap out on it. Once per day, a small amount, especially while you're gone is fine. Make sure to do a good water change before you go and one when you get back. The plants are great, they help keep your water stable.
I was leaning towards taking my chances with not feeding them. Is the two weeks just way too long?
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Old 12-07-2013, 05:01 PM   #4
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I've left mine with out food for a couple weeks at a time, but I felt bad about it the whole time. They were all fine when I got home tho.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:18 PM   #5
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I've left mine with out food for a couple weeks at a time, but I felt bad about it the whole time. They were all fine when I got home tho.
Does it matter the kind of fish? Like neons might need to eat more than rams?
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:41 PM   #6
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If you did go with blocks or feeders I recommend testing before you go to iron out any bugs.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:13 PM   #7
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Personally, I choose the auto-feeder method as I'm not comfortable leaving my fish without food for that long of a period. However, I've read plenty of opinions holding that the fish will be fine for that period (or even longer). However, every aquarium is different, so you may want to consider some level of a test run regardless of what option you choose.

Here's a decent article on aquariums and vacations:

Aquarium Fish and Vacations
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:58 PM   #8
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If you did go with blocks or feeders I recommend testing before you go to iron out any bugs.
Feeder blocks or gels are not advisable. They almost always cause more problems than they are worth. A mechanically auto feeder drops a bit of food at predetermined times. You can fill it with whatever type of food you normally feed. It is still advisable to set it up a bit in advance to test it and adjust the amount its dropping per feed. This is a piece of equipment that you don't want to cheap out on. I've bought cheap ones in the past, they didn't attach well to the tank and kept falling off. It also didn't scoop the large flakes that I was feeding so I had to grind them up before it would feed at all.
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:09 PM   #9
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Feeder blocks or gels are not advisable. They almost always cause more problems than they are worth. A mechanically auto feeder drops a bit of food at predetermined times. You can fill it with whatever type of food you normally feed. It is still advisable to set it up a bit in advance to test it and adjust the amount its dropping per feed. This is a piece of equipment that you don't want to cheap out on. I've bought cheap ones in the past, they didn't attach well to the tank and kept falling off. It also didn't scoop the large flakes that I was feeding so I had to grind them up before it would feed at all.
Thanks for the information. Will have to have another look this weekend as we've had more stores open in our area. Last year I went for a feeder block that was ash with embedded food pellets that were meant to dissolve out at certain rates but my tank flow is much greater this year.
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