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Old 05-29-2013, 08:54 AM   #1 
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Join Date: May 2013
Care and vacation


I am new to the board and have been thinking about getting a pet for my son. We like the betta's everytime we goto the petstore so I wanted to do a little research before getting one.. I am curious though, what do you all do for your fish when you leave for vacation?

edit: i noticed in alot of the users pictures most of you do not put gravel/rocks in the tank. is this a rule of thumb for bettas or just easier to clean the tank?

Last edited by teckx; 05-29-2013 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:59 AM   #2 
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Denver, Colorado
I have a vacation feeder- you just put the food into it and it will automatically feed your fish every so often for however long. Just make sure you get a good one so you know it is reliable and won't stop working in the middle of your vacation.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:16 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Kentucky
I would only use an automatic feeder if you are going to be away for longer than 1 week, and even then I would be very cautious because it is pretty common for them to malfunction. Fish can easily go 1 week without food, and not feeding also helps keep the tank clean while you are away. Depending on the size of your tank you may need to have someone you trust do water changes while you are gone (The larger the tank the fewer water changes you need to worry about). For my 20 gallon tank I generally do a large % water change right before I leave and have someone do a water change for me while I am gone.

Concerning the lack of gravel in some users' pictures. Most permanent tanks have some type of substrate (gravel or sand), the only tanks that would typically have a bare bottom are hospital tank/quarantine tanks or photography tanks which are temporary containers people will use while taking pictures of their bettas.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:20 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario, CA
Welcome. Depends how long I will be gone as to what I do. A well established tank, depending on tank size, with healthy fish can go 2 wks without a water change. Feeding is a different story, if you have someone you can rely you can have them feed the fish every few days a minimal amount. A lot of people won't use auto feeders or the vacation feeder cubes, there have been lots of bad experiences. As for the substrate, its a personal preference. I use pea gravel in all of my tanks except my QT tank which is bare bottom.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:49 AM   #5 
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Location: the U.S.
I have some little blocks that can be nibbled on for up to a week. Welcome to the forum!
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:05 PM   #6 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Australia
I would never use those little blocks. They can easily foul the water and fish are likely to overfeed on them. Automatic feeders are also risky, as they can malfunction and either stop working or just dump heaps of food into the tank. Unless you are going away for more than a week, just don't feed them. If you are going away for more than that, I'd arrange for someone to come in and feed them every three days.

As for substrate, it's a personal choice. Bare-bottomed tanks are pretty easy to clean, but so is substrate. It's up to you. :)
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:41 PM   #7 
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Iowa
I am a frequent traveler. When I am gone I have hired my cousin to check in on my pets once a day. It's nice too, because she can let me know how everyone is doing, and if I am missing them send me pictures. If I didn't have my cousin I would likely hire a trusted friend to do it.

As for my tanks, all have gravel except for the one hospital and one QT tank I have up. I used to have gavel in my hospital and QT tanks, but if a fish was sick it was a pain to clean so I'd just throw it away. I realized it would be much easier to just leave the tank empty.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:46 PM   #8 
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Denver, Colorado
Okay, so I have a question: my parents are divorced and I'm only with my fish Sunday through Wednesday. Would it be better to just not feed them Thursday through Saturday EVERY WEEK rather than try to set up an automatic feeder?
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:11 PM   #9 
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Kentucky
I don't really feel like not feeding 3 days/week long term is a good idea. I would say just ask someone to feed the fish 2 out of the 3 days when you are away.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:16 PM   #10 
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Brigantine, NJ
I do not feed my fish when I go away. There are FAR too many things that can go wrong, and since I over feed they could stand to lose a little girth

It takes a LONG time for a fish to starve to death. After reading posts about how fish will die without food for a week or two, I decided to do an experiment. I placed a fish in a barren 10 gallon. I cut the experiment short after 3 months. I know I know, I'm terrible and cruel....but I think spreading misinformation is worse, and it was done in the pursuit of knowledge.

I don't see anything wrong with not feeding the fish on weekends. That's pretty much my standard operating procedure - my tanks frequently go 2-3 days without being fed. in fact, i don't think they have been fed since friday night. Tomorrow I'm going away for a few days so i should probably feed them. There are things in the tank for the fish to snack on while you are away - the aquarium is far from devoid of food.

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