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Thread: Going on Holiday for a month

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Melbourne
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    Default Going on Holiday for a month

    Hi Guys,

    If this is the wrong thread sorry..

    I'm going away for a month in just over a week and was hoping someone could recommend a person or service who could drop round to my house once in that period and give my tank a quick water change and clean? I'm located in Footscray in Melbourne.

    Cheers.

  2. #2

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    Give Greg Martin a call @ Aquariums By Design

    https://www.facebook.com/abdmelbourne/

  3. #3

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    A little bit of info for any fish keepers going on holidays.

    Most fish take their body temperature from the surrounding environment (the water). Subsequently they don't need to eat to keep warm, unlike us mammals. The food that fish eat is used to grow and provide energy for them to move about. This basically means fish don't need anywhere near as much food as mammals. The majority of food people consume gets used to keep us warm, or make us buy bigger clothes .

    If you plan on going on holiday simply feed your fish really well for several weeks before you go away. Feed them 3 or 4 times per day and get them to eat as much as they can. This will help the fish gain weight and they can live on the fat reserves while you are away.

    Do lots of water changes and gravel cleans during this time and do a big (75-80%) water change a day or two before you leave. The big water change and complete gravel clean will dilute nutrients and potential disease organisms in the water, leaving a cleaner environment for the fish.
    Make sure any new water going into the tank is free of chlorine/ chloramine and has a similar water chemistry to the tank water.

    If you don't have plants in the tank, add a heap of plants. But make sure they are clean and free of diseases. Most good aquarium stores will have plants in separate tanks on separate systems without fish so they are generally less likely to have disease organisms on them. If you have to get plants from a shop tank, then rinse the plants and put them in a bucket of bleach for a couple of minutes. Then rinse and soak really well to remove the bleach. Then add them to the tank.
    Bleach sold in supermarkets (like White King) has surfactants in it and this needs to be washed off. Surfactants are like soap and help the bleach get onto the surface of objects and stick to them better. You can add some dechlorinator to the bucket of water that you are rinsing/ soaking the plants in after bleaching. But you need to rinse the plants until they no longer smell of bleach.
    You can also use granulated swimming pool chlorine and that does not have surfactants in and the plants will be easier to rinse clean.

    Put your tank lights on timers and have the lights on for 16hours per day. If you have several lights on the tank have one light come on, then 30-60minutes later have the other lights come on. At night turn some of the lights off and then wait 30-60minutes before turning the last light off. If you don't have multiple lights on the tank then have a desk lamp or some other low wattage light (on a timer) come on in the room. Wait 30minutes then have the tank lights come on. Then the desk lamp can go off. At night the desk lamp can come back on and the tank lights can go out. Then 30minutes later the desk lamp can go off. Having one low wattage light come on first reduces the stress on the fish and makes it more natural to them, rather than going from a completely dark room to a brightly lit tank instantly.
    If you don't have a desk lamp simply leave a curtain open so the sunlight can wake the fish up, then the tank lights can come on.
    Having 16hours of light per day will encourage algae and lots of fish will graze on this when there is nothing else to eat. Algae will also absorb nutrients and can help if the filter stops working. When you get back from the holiday you can reduce the lighting period.

    Under these conditions most adult fishes can live for a month or more without any additional food. However, if you have baby or juvenile fishes that are growing, then you need to feed them. Putting the fry into a tank full of plants will often provide them with enough food to survive. A tub of green water also works well. Depending on the size of the fry and the availability of live foods, you can add a heap of baby daphnia or rotifers to the tank and they should provide some food.
    The other option is to get someone in to feed the fry. However, unless the person who comes to feed the fry knows what they are doing, you are probably better off just loading the tank up with plants and hoping some survive.
    Generally if you are planning a holiday, try not to breed the fish just before you go away .

    If you are going on holiday for more than a month, then find a friend of family member who can check in on the fish and make sure everything is working properly. Show them everything tank related and how it works and make sure they know how to restart filters or whatever. And if they have any issues get them to call the petshop you normally use and trust to get some help.

    Finally, do not get any new fish for several weeks before you go on holidays. Plenty of people buy a new fish and add it to their tank, then go on holiday. A few days later and there is whitespot or some other disease running rampant in the tank. No new fish for at least 2 weeks before you go away.
    Last edited by Colin_T; 25-02-18 at 01:02 PM.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2009
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    hey colin gotta disagree with the 16 hours of lighting, honestly better off leaving them in the dark, an untended algae bloom will easily kill all your fish by depleting oxygen

  5. #5
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    Aug 2007
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    Some points:
    ~ A quality auto feeder doesnt cost that much.
    ~ Most plant keepers use timed lights already. I would halve the duration if no ferts will be added whilst away. (Reduce in the time leading up)
    ~ I dont remember the last time a filter failed on me.
    ~ leaving instructions for a non fish friend is a recipe for disaster.
    [sigpic][/sigpic]
    We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
    We borrow it from our Children.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiL View Post
    ~ leaving instructions for a non fish friend is a recipe for disaster.
    +1.

    Never do this. They will overfeed even if there is world famine. They will travel to the end of hell to get more food for your fish. Then they will overfeed.

  7. #7
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    i've had success by doing a short video of how much to feed, and in those videos i went light on how much i put in just in case

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joller View Post
    i've had success by doing a short video of how much to feed, and in those videos i went light on how much i put in just in case
    Ingenious!!

  9. #9
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    Apr 2008
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    Bentley, WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiL View Post
    ~ leaving instructions for a non fish friend is a recipe for disaster.

    I left instruction for a mate a few years back... went away for 2 weeks; middle of the holiday received a phone call from friend's younger brother in panic saying all the fishes are going belly up.... by the time I came back, I probably lost nearly 60% of my large fish stocks.... tank was a mess, nearly an algae soup

    While cleaning up, I probably scooped up nearly a cup full of moldy fish pellets....
    - woah... Fishies

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    South Australia, Adelaide
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    +1.

    Never do this. They will overfeed even if there is world famine. They will travel to the end of hell to get more food for your fish. Then they will overfeed.
    agree with this from experience. on two separate occasions i left to go on holidays and left the same person in charge (no fish experience). After the first los off 70%+ fish in the tank i gave him a second go (thought the first was just bad luck, somethign that happened). Anyway happened again the second time. The reason i know it was over feeding was because i bought a fresh load of food and what should of lasted my around 3 months + was practically depleted within 10 days.

    fully recommend you get yourself timers for lights, co2, dosing etc and auto feeders and automate yourself. This time i also got me an IP camera that will be on the tank during the duration of my next holidy, so i can also log on and look at the fish in real time, just in case...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrKrabs View Post
    agree with this from experience. on two separate occasions i left to go on holidays and left the same person in charge (no fish experience). After the first los off 70%+ fish in the tank i gave him a second go (thought the first was just bad luck, somethign that happened). Anyway happened again the second time. The reason i know it was over feeding was because i bought a fresh load of food and what should of lasted my around 3 months + was practically depleted within 10 days.

    fully recommend you get yourself timers for lights, co2, dosing etc and auto feeders and automate yourself. This time i also got me an IP camera that will be on the tank during the duration of my next holidy, so i can also log on and look at the fish in real time, just in case...
    Dude this is nothing. I've had 100% kill in one day. Someone found the food and fed them without my authority. I was only away for one day FFS!

  12. #12
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    Jul 2017
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    Thats terrible Rebel, very sorry to hear that.. even if people dont really know you would think common sense would prevail when it comes to feeding amounts.

    my major dissapointment the second time around was with two discus i bought (just two marlboro red) and they ended up becoming a pair. They started breeding in the tank and i went out and got gear to start them breeding upon my return.

    wheni got back the female was nearly dead, worst thing was i had to watch her slowly die while the male kept trying to prop her upright and keep her going. When she died the male's reaction was heatbreaking, amazing how much affection these fish can display

  13. #13
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    My method... ask a friend or relative to visit once a week. Put the once week a week food ration in a little plastic bag or urine sample pot. Write on the bag the date or day to be fed. Has been foolproof for me. Better to under feed than overfeed so don’t go crazy on the weekly ration, I used to put in just a normal days ration anyway. Fish will die faster from over feeding than by under feeding and in the life if an adult fish a once a week feed is no big deal. The nice thing is the by feeding once a week water changes were not necessary.

    Cheers
    Im just a little bit crazy

  14. #14

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    I recently went to the states for two weeks, had a non-fish friend house sit. She definitely over-fed as there was a huge snail population boom, substrate has that dusty look to it, and algae was starting to bloom.. but I only lost one otto. It was a new addition to the tank (had been there less than 3 weeks) so it could have died anyway. But miraculously everything else survived! I've spent the last few weekends hand picking out the snails, scrubbing the algae from the leaves and doing gentle water changes and everything is pretty much back to normal. I am honestly amazed since it's such a small tank!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by okitoki View Post

    While cleaning up, I probably scooped up nearly a cup full of moldy fish pellets....
    @CaptainVader, I expected you to come back to this! Perhaps they respected you because of your awesome forum name. :P

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