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Old 06-12-2008, 08:59 PM   #1
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Feeding Africans While On Vacation

I have a question about feeding my Mbuna and Peacocks/Haps. We'll be on an extended vacation soon and will be gone for 3 weeks.
We do have someone "watching our place, but they will be here for only about an hour at a time and have absolutely zero knowledge about fish.

What suggestions might anyone have so that when we get back hopefully the fish are all here

Thanks for your input

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Old 06-12-2008, 09:04 PM   #2
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Get one of those pill dispensers and put a feeding in each one for the time you are gone. You can also get a timer for the lights while you are gone.

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Old 06-12-2008, 11:22 PM   #3
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I like Zagz' answer. If it were a tank of tetras I would say leave them with no one feeding. Fish can go an incredible amount of time in a well established tank without feedings. Africans on the other hand need to be dealt with.

I would put individual feedings in containers as Zagz said. And I would go through the procedure with your surrogate feeder, and tell them you will have their head if they screw up. People inevitably do screw up, usually they feel compelled to feed more, especially if the fish eat ravinously like cichlids do, they feel the fish want more.

Also what happens is that when you portion out daily feedings they think they can put 2-3 days worth in at once so they don't have to feed again for 2-3 days.

I have told my customers to plan feedings to be done every third day, and I would differ from Zagz' opinion on the lights. I would leave the lights off. It will keep the fish a little less active, it also is one less thing to go wrong, surrogate feeders love to turn lights on and off, even with timers, and they alway bump into something.

I would keep it as simple as possible and try to minimize the amount of contact your surrogate has with the fish. Communication is key. Good luck.

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Old 06-16-2008, 01:02 PM   #4
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I'd measure out food as well. Buy three of the pill despensors and only give food for a feeding every couple days. The Africans will be fine. Since you will be feeding less there won't be as much of an issue with water quality. You will still come home to higher nitrates but they won't be "as" bad with being fed less.
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:28 AM   #5
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The only additional suggestion I can make is clean your filter and do a partial water change three to four days before you leave. Otherwise, the others have given sound advice. Leave all the lights off, feed sparingly once every three or four days. Everything should be fine when you get back.
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:52 PM   #6
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this is exactly what I've been going through. I got laid off this summer, and my bowfront tank is in my office.. I go over there about once every week and a half and check on the guys, but other than that I had to write instructions down. They were getting overfed badly and I lost a couple fish. Eventually I was able to narrow down the measurement of food so they can't screw up ! I don't blame the guys feeding them.. they're just trying to help.

As for a vacation, I typically get some sandwich bags and dose out my food into them. Print up a schedule if you have any special feeding patterns, and maybe include a few emergency instructions. I say this, because when I did loose the first fish there, they left it in the tank until they got ahold of me. A day later, my levels were all out of whack and I ended up loosing another fish because of it. (Makes me think the fish was in there for a few days, there wasnt much left of this guy, and he was a good 3" or so)

Anyway, good luck !!

EDIT: I just realized how far back this was... sorry !

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