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Old 07-28-2013, 08:07 PM   #1
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The Vacation Checklist...

Going to be away for under a week soon and wanted to know if anyone had any tips, advice, etc. for maintaining a healthy tank during that period...I currently have three fancies -- a Red Cap Oranda, Ryukin and Common Fantail -- in a 60 gallon with two HOBs doing filtration duties (see signature).

Normally, I do a weekly 50% water change and midway through the week perform a 15-gallon exchange just for extra protection for the fish; the tank is stable and cycled and I have had no issues really to speak of...


On a routine basis, I feed the little piggies Omega One Goldfish Flakes, New Life Spectrum Small Goldfish Sinking Pellets and occasionally peas (frozen and then microwaved to "cook" them). I figured, the day before we leave on our trip, I would do a large water change (say, 60 to 70 percent) plus make sure the filters' media is in decent or good condition -- as for food, I haven't used the "vacation feeding shells" and related items in quite some time, since I was a boy keeping tropicals with my dad years ago...is there anything else I should be considering here before I go away? What vacation food would be recommended for the three fancies for less than a week's feeding?


Thanks!

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Old 07-29-2013, 11:07 AM   #2
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When I go on vacation the steps I take are.

1.Split up food into daily feeding in zip lock bags.
2. Day before I leave feed in the a.m.
3. Day before I leave do a water change
4. Day I leave I feed right before I leave
5. Turn lights off before I leave (lights are more for us that for fish)
6. Have a trusted person come over every other day to feed fish. Leave written instructions for feeding in a noticeable spot (Kitchen table or taped to tank), this way they can't forget what you told them
7. When I return do water change same day or following day.

I have a young puffer so this year I will be adding some live food (Snails and Shrimp) he can hunt for while I am gone.

The only incident I ever had when on vacation is the person I had taking care of my fish over feed them and actually killed my fish. That is why I use the baggy method. Saying a "small amount of food" is relative to the person reading it.

Ever since dividing up my food and doing a water change before I leave I have had no problems. Hope this helps have fun on vacation.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Rivers2k View Post
When I go on vacation the steps I take are.

1.Split up food into daily feeding in zip lock bags.
2. Day before I leave feed in the a.m.
3. Day before I leave do a water change
4. Day I leave I feed right before I leave
5. Turn lights off before I leave (lights are more for us that for fish)
6. Have a trusted person come over every other day to feed fish. Leave written instructions for feeding in a noticeable spot (Kitchen table or taped to tank), this way they can't forget what you told them
7. When I return do water change same day or following day.

I have a young puffer so this year I will be adding some live food (Snails and Shrimp) he can hunt for while I am gone.

The only incident I ever had when on vacation is the person I had taking care of my fish over feed them and actually killed my fish. That is why I use the baggy method. Saying a "small amount of food" is relative to the person reading it.

Ever since dividing up my food and doing a water change before I leave I have had no problems. Hope this helps have fun on vacation.
Hello Rivers,

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply; unfortunately, we don't have anyone to come and look after our fish when we're away, so I will have to either rely on those vacation feeding blocks/shells etc. or skip feeding them for the less-than-one-week we'll be away (which is what I'm being advised to do on a goldfish forum, but which I also don't know if I agree with).

Okay, so for the water changes -- how big of one should I do the night before we leave...more than the usual 50% which I do weekly? And do you think I will be okay with a vacation food block in the tank...or do you recommend fasting them the whole time we're away?
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:15 PM   #4
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Hello Art...

A couple of weeks before I leave, I feed my fish a little more and a little more often. Two days prior to leaving, I stop all feeding and do an extra large water change. 50 percent of the tank volume is plenty.

Fish can easily go a couple of weeks without food. I have someone come by once a day, to make sure everything is running, but they never feed my fish.

The fish live on their fat reserve and I come home to a clean tank.

Pretty simple.

B
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:02 PM   #5
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Thanks B, as always!

I'm still uncertain about the fasting thing -- but if you had to recommend one of those solid vacation feeders, which one would it be?

And do you think 50% is enough in terms of water change? I will be gone for under a week, but normally I give them a mid-week small exchange, like 15 gallons...
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:35 PM   #6
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Vacation Tank care

Hello again Art...

If you're leaving for less than a week. I wouldn't worry about someone feeding your fish. There would be a slight concern if you were raising fry, but adults will manage with no problem.

Changing out half the tank water is what I do every couple of weeks. A 50 percent flush of pure, treated tap water, will remove a large percentage of dissolved nitrogen in the water and by not feeding the fish while you're gone, the tank water chemistry will be just about perfect.

Your call, though. You're the Head Water Keeper!

B
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:19 PM   #7
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Hello again Art...

If you're leaving for less than a week. I wouldn't worry about someone feeding your fish. There would be a slight concern if you were raising fry, but adults will manage with no problem.
Okay...good to know...

Quote:
Changing out half the tank water is what I do every couple of weeks. A 50 percent flush of pure, treated tap water, will remove a large percentage of dissolved nitrogen in the water and by not feeding the fish while you're gone, the tank water chemistry will be just about perfect.
But where I get confused is that I do a 50% change EVERY WEEK and a mid-week 15-gallon exchange just to keep things extra clean because I am keeping GOLDFISH; how much should I change out the day before I leave based on this?

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You're the Head Water Keeper!
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:04 AM   #8
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Okay...good to know...

But where I get confused is that I do a 50% change EVERY WEEK and a mid-week 15-gallon exchange just to keep things extra clean because I am keeping GOLDFISH; how much should I change out the day before I leave based on this?

Are you doing the 50% WCs every week because tests are showing inhospitable levels of toxins or just because you feel like its necessary because goldfish have a hi bioload?
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
Hello Art...

A couple of weeks before I leave, I feed my fish a little more and a little more often. Two days prior to leaving, I stop all feeding and do an extra large water change. 50 percent of the tank volume is plenty.

Fish can easily go a couple of weeks without food. I have someone come by once a day, to make sure everything is running, but they never feed my fish.

The fish live on their fat reserve and I come home to a clean tank.

Pretty simple.

B
Thats the best way. Your fish are fine without food
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:15 PM   #10
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Are you doing the 50% WCs every week because tests are showing inhospitable levels of toxins or just because you feel like its necessary because goldfish have a hi bioload?
I'm doing it as a routine once the tank was cycled because from what I understand, once a week 50% water changes are good...
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:16 PM   #11
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Thats the best way. Your fish are fine without food
We don't really want to leave them with no food; are there ANY solid type vacation feeders that are recommended at all?
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