It’s always a smart move to check on the condition of your fish tanks before you go on an extended vacation. Even when you’re not in the tank, they can still be sick or injured from lack of care. Whether you’re going on a cruise ship around Europe or taking a short break away, there are a lot of things you can do to make sure your precious finned friends are healthy when you return.
One of the most important things you can do is to change the water in your tanks. Most aquariums are designed with a certain percentage of salt water. The saltier the water, the more vibrant the fish. If you’re going to be on vacation for a couple of days, change the water in your tanks before you leave. As with any living creature, regular water changes are essential for healthy fish. With tropical fish in particular, you’ll need to do this more frequently. Just remember to change the water thoroughly and give the tank a good 10 minutes to settle down before you put the next tank cover on.
What About Food?
Most aquarium owners who are mindful of their finned friends’ health will ensure their tanks are well-stocked with live food for the fish. There are several different live foods you can get for your tropical fish, and usually there is something for every size and age group. A lot of fish keepers find it convenient to buy prefilled frozen food kits, which they just pop in the water and start feeding their fish. It’s no secret that frozen fish is easier to feed, so it’s often the first thing people want to do when they get their tanks set up again after a long absence.
There are a couple of notable exceptions to the rule that live food is essential for healthy fish. One is the convict fish. These are fish that have been raised by humans and have forgotten how to eat normally. We feed them dog food and watch as they feast on mice and rats.
The other exception is the breadfish. These fish are omnivorous, which means they will eat just about anything. You can buy live breadfish as an inexpensive and convenient alternative to feeding your aquarium with expensive and sometimes environmentally unfriendly meat substitutes. Just make sure you don’t feed them any old food – they have specific tastes and prefer things such as cake crumbs and pasta pieces.
How Long Does It Take For Fish To Grow?
One of the most difficult things about owning a fish tank is knowing how long it takes for the fish to reach maturity. It is not uncommon for tropical fish to reach sexual maturity at five or six years of age. They grow rapidly, and once they’ve reached their full size, it can be difficult to determine whether they are still underage or not. Some fish keepers have had problems with their fish growing too fast and getting sick from over-feeding. It is always advisable to feed your fish regularly, but don’t give them any large food items, as this could potentially cause digestion problems further down the line.
Some tropical fish, such as the platyfish, grow extremely fast – doubling in size in just a year. The clownfish, on the other hand, can take up to four years to reach mature size. If you’re planning on breeding your fish, it’s important to establish their growth rate so you know how much space you have for the offspring. Mature fish are known to eat a lot, so if you’re going to be leaving them alone for a couple of hours, make sure there’s enough food in your tank for them to eat during that time. Otherwise, you’re going to end up with an undernourished fish that will suffer the consequences. And who wants to end up with a grouchy, undernourished fish tank companion? Nobody. That’s who.
Is It Safe To Leave My Fish Unattended?
Even when you’re not on vacation, there are times when you need to leave your fish unattended. It is not uncommon for people to leave their house for a couple of hours and not come back to find their pet fish have eaten all of their furniture. One of the most important things you can do is establish a routine for feeding your fish in case you have to leave them unattended for any reason. Develop a feeding schedule with your local pet store so you know precisely what to feed your fish each week. Most stores have a weekly flyer with the list of what’s on offer that week, so you don’t have to worry about running out of food while you’re away. This is especially important if you have special dietary needs for your pet fish or if they are allergic to certain vegetables or fruits.
Some fish, such as the clownfish, are very territorial and will attack anything that comes near their tank. Even though they’re docile around people they trust, it’s still best not to leave them unattended for too long. When you do leave them alone, put up some decorations to create the illusion of an occupied tank so they don’t go crazy when you’re not around. These decorations will also help keep the mice out of your tank.
As you can see, there are several things you need to consider when preparing for your trip. Changing the water in your tank is one of the utmost importance, as the fresh water will help keep the saltwater out and prevent any potential problems from arising. If you’re going on a cruise ship, be sure to book a few days in advance so you can ensure you have your seat assignment and make the most out of your time on vacation. And don’t forget about the breadfish as an affordable and eco-friendly alternative to feeding your fish with meat! Good luck out there.