5 things to do for your aquarium before you go on vacation
Going on a vacation soon? Follow our extensive guide to make sure your fish have a good stay at-home while you jet-set away.
Try not to ask anyone to maintain your aquarium
We have heard many stories throughout the years about people coming home from vacation and seeing their tank crash with heavy casualties. Eventually, they had to overhaul their tanks just because the person they requested help from did something wrong, eventually resulting in a massive guilt trip.
Asking someone who has no experience to maintain your already established aquarium is a recipe for disaster.
Here’s some tips on what to do when going for a holiday:
1: Use Holiday Food or Automatic Feeders
Holiday Food or Automatic Feeders are the easiest solution to provide food while you are away.
You can decide on getting which depending on:
1) the amount of fish you have
2) the type of fish and
3) the size of your aquarium.
Holiday Foods are mineral blocks that dissolve slowly and release food as fishes peck on them. These come in two sizes, either the 3 or 14-days blocks.
Automatic Feeders are battery-operated machines that dispense food into the aquarium at a fixed time daily. Automatic feeders are preferred as you are able to control the amount of feed, as well as feeding food that your fishes are already having.
Use this if you have:
Tanks bigger than 60cm
Vacation of any length, but especially useful for long vacations
Fishes of any size, but especially useful for those more than 15cm
It is always better to underfeed our fishes during vacation
as excess food in the water will cause catastrophic results in your aquarium.
2: Add Carbon in your filter to keep aquarium clean at all time
Why? You will be going on a vacation and;
Cannot do your regular water changes
Cannot physically monitor your tank
Waste such as ammonia and nitrate in your aquarium starts to increase over time, water quality starts to deteriorate and your fishes’ immune system becomes weak leading to possible disease outbreaks.
Using chemical filtration such as carbon and/or absorbent resins remove ammonia and nitrate constantly. These will help to maintain a low level ammonia and nitrate for a long period when you are away. Just add them into your filter after your maintenance and before you leave for your holiday.
3: Do not attempt to maintain your equipment 1-2 days before your vacation
Besides basic water changes and cleaning glass, do not attempt to maintain your filters or electrical equipment!
Give yourself at least 7 days to do large maintenance like cleaning filter and equipment to ensure you have time to fixed them if anything goes wrong. Believe me, we have seen customers rush to the shop to get a spare part for their filter on the day of their flight.
4: Reduce lighting hours
Excessive lighting given to your aquarium when you are away will result in algae outbreaks. Invest in a simple electrical timer for your lights. The time we recommend below will allow your plants to survive and help prevent uncontrollable algae growth. Your plants growth performance maybe reduced slightly, but you get things under control.
Fish only : Light can be switched off entirely for the whole duration
Lightly planted : Maximum of 2 hours a day
Fully planted aquarium : Maximum of 4 hrs a day.
5: Cooling fan = Water Evaporation
If you have a cooling fan installed on your aquarium, water will evaporate rapidly when you are away. when water level drop too low, some equipment will be unable to work properly.
You can prepare containers of conditioned water (either covered buckets or bottles). As this is a relatively simple task, seeking help from relatives or friends can be done to top up water into your aquarium caused by evaporation.
Add a small marking so your relatives know when to top-up the tank.
Should you be unable to arrange for any help, you can put the fan on a simple electrical timer to switch on the fan only when the tank is hottest, either when the lights are on or at the hottest part of the day.