Blood Parrots - What to use when going on Holiday for a few days?

americanninja

Can someone with Blood Parrots please share what they have had success with (food wise) when they have gone on holiday. What worked well to keep your fish feed and healthy/happy?

I hope someone with experience with blood parrots can share their tips/techniques. I also want to share my experience to help others avoid any casualties.

My Experience:

I recently went on a 3 night / 4 day holiday. It was the first time leaving my fish home alone. I usually feed them once a day. I have 2 blood parrots (5" and 3"), 1 lace catfish (2"), and a green terror (3"). I bought one of those 3-day fish food packs made by Top Fin. There are 4 white plaster-looking things in the shape of seashells. The package says that one item feeds 5-10 medium size fish for 3 days. So I assumed, 3 of these would be enough for my fish.

On Tuesday morning I feed a large amount of food to the fish (a mix of flakes, pellets, and blood worms). I then placed 3 of these fish food things in the tank and left on holiday. I came back Friday evening around 8pm. I was a bit horrified when I came in and noticed that my two blood parrots were laying on the bottom of the substrate breathing very slowly and what seemed as though, attempting not to move or use any energy. The smaller blood parrot was almost horizontal (maybe at an angle of around 15 degrees). This freaked me out, as they looked like they were on the their death bed.

I immediately took 3 samples of water to test ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. All came back fine (0, 0, and 20). I thought to do a water change anyway, so I did a 30-40% water change and added prime and stressguard. The 3 food blocks were no where to be found. I immediately placed some fish flakes into the tank. They floating by the blood parrots without much of a look, they still looked dazed, and they were very pale. Not white, but my blood parrots are usually a dark red and bright orange, they were both orangish white. The green terror was swimming (but not his typical self and he was also a white color, not his usual grey with green lines). The lace catfish, appeared to have DOUBLED in size. So I assume he may have ate all the darn fish food.

After I completed the water change, I tried to feed the fish again, but this point in time, the blood parrots were moving around the tank, still a bit lethargic, but they showed interest to eat. I had dumped an entire blood worm cube in the tank. Which floated around for a while, with the fish taking no interest, but then after about 10 minutes, they started to eat on it. Slowly they moved more, and then I began adding some pellets and fish flakes. They started eating. I then just keep feeding as much as they would eat over a period of around 5-10 minutes. At this point, their bellies seemed full and I felt a bit more relaxed. I left the light on for a bit longer and noticed their color start to return. The next morning, they appeared back to their usual self, swimming, and vibrant colors (both the BPs and the GT).

So here are my takeaways. I'm hoping others can provide some comments and confirm some of these.

1.) I'm not sure who ate the Top Fin food, but if they did, it seems very low quality, as their colors were all off. I usually feed Hikari pellets, Omega One Pellets/flakes and hikari blood worms.

2.) The recommended amount was definitely NOT enough. Again, no idea how long they lasted nor who ate them.

3.) Did the blood parrots eat any of the topfin fish food? After thinking about the overall situation. I'm wondering if they even ate the top fin food. I started thinking about how the blood parrots eat. They can't close their mouths, so it's very difficult to pick on food. I don't know how these Top Fin fish food blocks work, but I assume the fish has to pick at the block as the material softens and then can eat it. So I had the thought last night, perhaps they couldn't even eat the food. Maybe the lace catfish and green terror were the only ones that were able to eat it (which did look fairly fine when I came home). Hence my question above, on what you all use to feed these fish. I think the next trip we do, I will need to find a friend to stop by and feed them every 2 days.

4.) Could it have just been depression? I have no idea if fish get depressed when the humans are gone, but it was the first time we have been away from the house and perhaps they thought we were gone forever and it wasn't so much the food, but just that they were depressed??

Thanks all!
 

BigManAquatics

My suggestion, a trip that short the fish most likely would have been fine without food.

People do seem to have decent success with automatic food feeders. Blocks seem pretty hit or miss.
 

americanninja

Thanks BigManAquatics! Yes, I will look into those automatic food feeders. I thought a few days would have been nothing as well. Any idea why they seemed so frail and weak upon my return, even though I left those food blocks?
 

BigManAquatics

Thanks BigManAquatics! Yes, I will look into those automatic food feeders. I thought a few days would have been nothing as well. Any idea why they seemed so frail and weak upon my return, even though I left those food blocks?
My main thought was maybe they ate it all at once, honestly.
 

americanninja

Yeah, i don't think I'm gonna mess with those again, or at least I will try to test it out before I go on the holiday to see who and how its consumed. Thanks!
 

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