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Old 08-06-2013, 03:19 AM   #1
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Best set up for a 6 week vacation?

I recently went away for 6 weeks and left the tanks in my mother's care. She killed one entire tank of fish and some in another. Moved all my bettas around and overfed like the dickens causing nasty algae blooms. What should I do when I have to be away for 6 weeks next summer? I'm doing a summer only grad school program and will have to leave my poor fish in her care for 2 more summers. I do have a friend that can maybe visit my fish once a week but that's it.

Do the automated fish feeders work? What if there is one betta in a tank? Do the feeders feed in such small amounts?
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:43 AM   #2
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Feeding as little as possible will really help while on vacation. Feeding less = better water quality and that's what you want.

If I were you, I'd tell whoever I put in charge of taking care of my fish to only feed once every other to every two days to cut back on waste production (on the Bettas even once every 3-4 days would be perfectly acceptable) and to do 50% water changes once per week.

If you are worried about over feeding, get some zip lock baggies and put one servings worth of food into each bag. Make a separate one for each tank and make as many as possible so that the caretaker will get the idea of a good serving size before having to feed them him/herself.

Also, set out some prime with a syringe, tell whoever that if something comes up and they have to wait a day or two to do water changes that they need to dose some prime just in case. If you don't already have a syringe, it'll be a great investment for conditioner while you're away since eyeballing isn't the most accurate way to do it.


Automatic fish feeders can be okay, but for the most part are junk. They get moldy and nasty pretty quick and aren't very accurate unless you spend a bunch of money on a programmable one. I'd rather just have someone do it for me.
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:18 AM   #3
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Good ideas! While one tank died supposedly due to a heater malfunction, the 29g tank exploded with mystery snails which is why I am trying to sell them now. I can't keep a billion snails! I will definitely bag up the food next time and maybe even write the dates on the food baggies.
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:46 PM   #4
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I had a family member kill a tank also. I then learned telling someone to feed a small amount is a relative term so I separate all the food into ziplock bags. Now when I go on vacation I leave the bags and say one baggie every other day.

If it is for 6 weeks you are going to have to teach someone how to do a water change.
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:55 PM   #5
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I used pill boxes when I went away for food , just put whatever food you choose and write the day on the boxes as necessary ; this way my fish also got a variation in their diet as they normally would. I was going to go the automatic feeder route but did not want to feed the same food all the time and I had a hard time trying to get them to deliver a consistant amount each time.

My local Walmart gives pill boxes for free if you just ask the pharmasist.
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivers2k View Post
I had a family member kill a tank also. I then learned telling someone to feed a small amount is a relative term so I separate all the food into ziplock bags. Now when I go on vacation I leave the bags and say one baggie every other day.

If it is for 6 weeks you are going to have to teach someone how to do a water change.
She knows how to do a water change and knows to add Prime, I think the biggest problem was overfeeding. No matter how many times I said feed the Bettas food that says Betta on it, my mother was dumping in the shrimp pellets that I sometimes feed the corys. Ugh. All good suggestions though, thanks! I never thought about portioning the food out.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:40 PM   #7
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Ooh! a pill box is a much better idea than zip lock baggies! Maybe a bit more expensive to get but much easier to use! I'll have to do that next time
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oohitsae View Post
Ooh! a pill box is a much better idea than zip lock baggies! Maybe a bit more expensive to get but much easier to use! I'll have to do that next time
If you have a walmart ask the pharmacist , they gave a couple to me for free. If not they are not all that bexpensive and they are reusable.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:09 AM   #9
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Color code the food for each tank. And leave a list of things she need to do and look for.

1 feed fish
2 make sure temp is ok

It will be easier for her to do.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:40 AM   #10
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Ooh! a pill box is a much better idea than zip lock baggies! Maybe a bit more expensive to get but much easier to use! I'll have to do that next time
I agree I am stealing that idea. Out with the baggies in with the pillbox.
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