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Old 12-27-2016, 07:04 PM   #1
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vacation - what to do?

Have a fairly new 29G. Cycled, water parameters staying good. We have 5 platies, 6 ghost shrimp, and 6 Serpae Tetras. One platy is pregnant and may have fry before we leave on Jan 14. We are going on an 8-day vacation and I'm not sure what to do. As far as water changes, I've been doing a 30% PWC once weekly, so I figure an extra day while we're gone won't hurt. Maybe do 40-50% instead before we leave? Feeding. I feed them twice a day and they do eat it all within a minute or two. This makes me wonder if I don't give them enough at one time. The ghost shrimp do a pretty good job cleaning up the fairly small amounts leftover. We have a catsitter who will feed fish as part of their work. My thought was to have her feed them only once a day, or even every other day, to keep the tank cleaner...but if they're used to twice a day, what should I do? I alternate between pellet food and dried bloodworms. Plus the platies nibble algae at times.
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Old 12-27-2016, 08:40 PM   #2
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It's always okay to under feed. You could ask her to feed them once every other day. Maybe give her an actual quantified portion size (like a teaspoon or one frozen block). People who don't keep fish feed fish too much. Period.
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:59 PM   #3
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I purchased a mechanical vacation feeder. I can use my preferred food, program the number of times/day they get fed, and how much they get to eat.

Something similar to this:



I put flake and small pellets in it. It feeds twice a day, an hour after the lights come on, and an hour before they go off. Pretty easy to dial in the right amount of food dispensed... Make (2) light feedings daily...

As for water changes before vacation... Try to get the Nitrates down to 5ppm or so... not in one go. A weekly 20% water change does this on my tank... Doing a huge water change stresses the fish too, so it's a double edged sword. With light feedings, the Nitrates won't build as quickly.
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:45 AM   #4
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I'd have the sitter feed every other day. You might even leave already measured portions of food for him or her.
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Old 12-28-2016, 09:26 AM   #5
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Except for the fry you can leave them without food for 8 days no problem. Fry need to be fed pretty often. If you aren't concerned about keeping the fry, but concerned about your fish I'd tell the sitter to feed them once while you are gone. Once as in once total, not once daily. I had a sitter dump a month's worth of food within a week once.
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Old 12-28-2016, 12:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcfly View Post
I purchased a mechanical vacation feeder. I can use my preferred food, program the number of times/day they get fed, and how much they get to eat.

Something similar to this:



I put flake and small pellets in it. It feeds twice a day, an hour after the lights come on, and an hour before they go off. Pretty easy to dial in the right amount of food dispensed... Make (2) light feedings daily...

As for water changes before vacation... Try to get the Nitrates down to 5ppm or so... not in one go. A weekly 20% water change does this on my tank... Doing a huge water change stresses the fish too, so it's a double edged sword. With light feedings, the Nitrates won't build as quickly.
Well, my nitrates are 10-20 ppm out of the tap, but I can get it down to about that. They never exceed 40ppm though.
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Old 12-28-2016, 12:40 PM   #7
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Well, my nitrates are 10-20 ppm out of the tap, but I can get it down to about that. They never exceed 40ppm though.
Nitrates are far less harmful than made out to be on here. The fish will be fine. I had fish live in water with nitrates in the 80 ppm range on a regular basis and thrive.
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:50 PM   #8
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For the pet sitter, use on of those week long pill organizers, it's helpful to prefill with the amount you want on the days you want so they can just pop the top and dump.

As to the fry, I'd say you'll have some when they get back, they tend to pick at little stuff growing in the tank too, not just the food you put in for them.

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Old 12-28-2016, 11:54 PM   #9
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Feeding every other day is fine. Sometimes when traveling i'll go days without feeding. fish do pretty good, especially if live plants and established aquarium provide enough carry over feed til i can return.
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Old 01-01-2017, 02:08 PM   #10
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Nitrates are far less harmful than made out to be on here. The fish will be fine. I had fish live in water with nitrates in the 80 ppm range on a regular basis and thrive.
Agreed that Nitrates are the least dangerous toxin in the tank, and fish can adapt to higher Nitrates gradually, (high nitrates and high % water changes are both over rated here, but as it's better for the fish, it's not battle worth fighting) as for me, it's a personal preference to have higher quality water. My rainbows show best color with high water quality.
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