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Fish Tank Forum • View topic - Holidays and caring for your tank
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Holidays and caring for your tank

If you are new to the hobby.

Holidays and caring for your tank

Postby Mick » Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:33 pm

One of the most worrying aspects of fish keeping is wondering wether your tank is o.k while you are away on your holidays. This is not such a major problem as with a bit of pre-planning, there should be no worries and you can go away knowing that everything will be fine when you return.

Most fish keepers will have a routine worked out for their tank maintenance that is adhered to but just prior to leaving for your holidays it may be best to bring the larger maintenance tasks forward so that they are carried out a week before you go. Cleaning of the filters is a classic example, how many times has the filter been cleaned out and then plays up for a couple of days. This is the last thing you want to happen while you are away so sort out the filters 7 days before you go, this gives them the chance to settle down again and it also gives you the chance to test your water for a few days to make sure they are running efficiently. Just cleaning the impellor and not seating it back properly will cause major problems, you cannot sort this while you are away. Do not add any fish to your tank for at least a month before leaving, you know that the livestock in your tank is fine, adding fresh fish could upset the water parameters and worse still, they could bring a disease into your tank.

Many keepers worry about their fish not getting enough food while they are away, if you are only going for a few days, i.e. a long weekend, the fish will be fine until you return.If you are going for longer there are a couple of choices you can make. Ask a friend or family relative to pop round and feed the fish, show them for a couple of days before you go how much food to add to the tank. If you want to be doubley sure that the fish get the right ammount, pre-measure their daily food intake and label up clearly so that your tank sitter knows which food to add on which day. Another alternative is to invest in an automatic feeder, preset ammounts of food are added and the feeder does the work for you, yet again try this out for a couple of days before you go to make sure it is working properly. Food blocks can be added to the tank but I am not a fan of these, what happens if the fish decide to gorge themselves or worst still what happens if the fish don't eat the block and it breaks down and pollutes the water.

Lighting should be set on timers, these are cheap to purchase and easy to set, use them for a few days before leaving so that you know the lighting pattern is the same as the regular lighting pattern that you normally use.
Perform a large water change a couple of days before you leave and then perform another large water change when you return. This should keep your tank stable and not affect your water parameters.
One thing that must be done in my view is to always leave a contact number with your tank sitter if you have one and also give them details of your local LFS incase you need some advice should something happen that is not expected.

But the most important thing is

:-):
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Re: Holidays and caring for your tank

Postby madhouse » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:38 am

good advice

is it the same for marine's as well tho ?
Karl

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Re: Holidays and caring for your tank

Postby Mick » Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:49 am

I would say yes with your tank being at the stage it is. When all the livestock are in the corals may still need their night feed.
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Re: Holidays and caring for your tank

Postby madhouse » Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:12 pm

meant for a fully stocked tank lol

are marine fish the same as fresh water ones in the respect they will look for food if none is offered
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Re: Holidays and caring for your tank

Postby Mick » Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:12 pm

Less food is added to a marine tank anyway for the fish, at least half the ammount I would add to a tropical tank.
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Re: Holidays and caring for your tank

Postby Seahawk7356 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:27 am

Good read.
Thanks for that. =D
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Re: Holidays and caring for your tank

Postby rosst » Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:19 pm

Good Post; .....I've just gone through the process recently; luckily I've trained my neighbour well + I think she enjoys watching them with a cup of coffee! :lau: ....... I don't bother with feeding if it's less than a week though. - My main worry was with the Heaters packing up (Discus; 86F) but luckily they have all behaved for holiday periods.
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Re: Holidays and caring for your tank

Postby vinboy » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:12 am

Good post.
I always just put enough food dry and frozen together if you like in little pots and freeze them and get
somebody to feed every two to three days is fine plus your water will stay better with less food going into tank.
I have even in past left fish without food for a week and was amazed how great they looked when i come home.
If keeping mbunas like myself put lighting on for 12 to 15 hrs a day and they can feed of alge on rocks simple.
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Re: Holidays and caring for your tank

Postby mucklelass » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:30 pm

I'm going away for a week. The weather looks like it is going to be warm and sunny here on some days. I will partially close the vertical blinds to deflect the worst of the sun, but the room where the fish are does heat up. Consequently, so does the tank water. Heater is set to 23 degrees and water temp was 25-26 one day, till I did a partial water change.

I have noticed that the temperature of the water rises more when the lights are on, even lower down in the water column. Is there any reason why I shouldn't leave the lights OFF while away. There will be enough light through the two windows (south and west facing) to give natural day/night cycles. The plants may suffer a bit, but we have planned additional planting when we return so that may not be a problem.

Tank #1 has corydoras, amano shrimps and neon tetras
Tank #2 has neon tetras and german rams.
Plants are mainly java ferns, anubias and valis.

What do you guys think?
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Re: Holidays and caring for your tank

Postby Jack Middleton » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:13 pm

Microsorum, Anubias and Valliseneria will all be fine without light for a week, just leave the lights off. Tank two should be around 27C anyway due to the Rams.
In the future I wouldn't do water changes to bring the temperature down, a temporary shift of 2-3C is nothing really, it only emulates what happens in the wild.
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