Do you recommend a vacation feeding block? Question 

  • Thread starter

goldiegirl

Valued Member
Messages
126
Reaction score
2
Points
111
Experience
Just started
Hi, all. I'm taking off for a few days, but not long enough to justify buying one of those automatic dispensers. I've seen these vacation feeder blocks at PetSmart, and I've read about them online but can't find very many reviews from people who have actually used them. I have goldfish, and I noticed that the ingredients in the goldfish blocks are the same as the ingredients in the tropical block, so I'm not sure if these are actually healthy for goldfish. Do they cloud the water? Do the fish actual eat them? Do you think they dispense food at a good pace? Are they healthy for goldfish?

Btw, I do know that goldfish can go for a while without food. The concern I have is that mine are tiny babies who eat frequent small meals throughout the day. I'd really feel better knowing they would have something. Thanks for any advice!
 

LyndaB

Fishlore Legend
Messages
12,430
Reaction score
172
Points
383
Experience
More than 10 years
How many days are you going to be away? If it was me, I wouldn't worry much for 3 or 4 days. They'd be fine.

Why do you feed them so often, though? Are they tricking you with that "poor pitiful me" stare?
 

Jaysee

Fishlore Legend
Messages
17,325
Reaction score
249
Points
298
Experience
5 to 10 years
NO vacation feeder blocks!! I wouldn't worry about feeding unless you're goingto be gone for more than a week.
 

Meenu

Fishlore VIP
Messages
7,272
Reaction score
81
Points
283
Experience
1 year
What I've read about them on here is that they are generally bad. They will cloudy the water, and make your water parameters whacky. Not recommended. You are better off not feeding, or having someone else come in to feed.

I've used one a couple of times, many years ago. The first time was fine, but the second time all my fish died.
 

JRDroid

Well Known Member
Messages
2,067
Reaction score
86
Points
143
Experience
3 years
:;aU
Meenu said:
What I've read about them on here is that they are generally bad. They will cloudy the water, and make your water parameters whacky. Not recommended. You are better off not feeding, or having someone else come in to feed.

I've used one a couple of times, many years ago. The first time was fine, but the second time all my fish died.
+1. I once lost a whole tank to a feeder block. If you are not going to be gone long enough for them to starve to death, I would recommended not feeding them over using a feeder block.

Another option (depending on size of your fish and tank temp) is buying some ghost shrimp to put in. If your fish get hungry enough, the shrimp will be a great snack and the shrimp can live off scraps and algae already in the tank.
 
  • Thread starter

goldiegirl

Valued Member
Messages
126
Reaction score
2
Points
111
Experience
Just started
Hey, thanks for all the advice. Things went fine. Question about the ghost shrimp... I have goldfish in a room temperature tank - do you think it would work? Can they carry diseases and do they need to be quarantined? Do you think they would get sucked up in the filters?
 

proudtobeafarmgirl

Valued Member
Messages
231
Reaction score
0
Points
101
Experience
5 to 10 years
I have used the weekend and the holliday feeder blocks with no problems. Did not cloud the water, the rate at which they dissolve relies on water movement and I learned the hard way not to put them right under the filter as I came home after the weekend and the holiday block I put in there was gone and it should have lasted alot longer. I now place them around the tank according to how long I will be gone for. I have used them both for goldfish and my guppies, no problems, no deaths.

A guy in a fish store used them years ago as he had many smaller fish and he did not think they were getting any of the food and put a feeder block in there thinking it would provide for the smaller, shyer fish. He seemed to have good luck and sold fish for years and had many repeat customers - myself included.

I will say that those betta feeder blocks suck - they just kind of "melt" into the gravel and make a mess.
 
  • Thread starter

goldiegirl

Valued Member
Messages
126
Reaction score
2
Points
111
Experience
Just started
To those of you who have lost fish due to feeder blocks, first of all I'm sorry. I also have a question. Do any of you know the actual cause of death of your fish? Was it just high nitrates or some chemical in the blocks themselves that got to them? I'm just asking for future reference, because with the size of my tank and stocking it takes a while for nitrates to build up, and I don't really see that being too huge of a concern for the length of time I'd be gone. I'm really just curious and trying to figure it all out so I can make the best decision for my tanks, and since every case is different, specifics would be helpful if you have time : )
 

Jaysee

Fishlore Legend
Messages
17,325
Reaction score
249
Points
298
Experience
5 to 10 years
I've not lost fish to them, but I've never used them. I just don't feed them while I'm gone. Fish can survive for 2 weeks without food, sometimes more if there are things to eat already in the tank. When I went away for 2 weeks, I put a bunch of ghost shrimp in the tanks.

Sick fish and fry probably won't make it that long without food.
 
  • Thread starter

goldiegirl

Valued Member
Messages
126
Reaction score
2
Points
111
Experience
Just started
Thanks, Jaysee. I'd love to do the ghost shrimp idea, but it's my understanding that they're tropical, and my tank is too cold. I'm also worried that they'd get sucked up in the filters - how do you prevent this?
 

Aquarist

Fishlore Legend
Messages
39,071
Reaction score
333
Points
458
Experience
More than 10 years
Good morning. You may find the above link helpful.
Have fun on your vacation and travel safely.

Ken
 

Jaysee

Fishlore Legend
Messages
17,325
Reaction score
249
Points
298
Experience
5 to 10 years
Ghost shrimp are good swimmers - I don't think you have to worry. As for it being a cooler tank, if you acclimate them well enough I think they'll be fine...at least for the time you;ll be gone.
 

Elodea

Well Known Member
Messages
2,414
Reaction score
51
Points
143
Experience
4 years
Normally the deaths are caused by the vacation blocks dissolving too quickly and making the ammonia in the tank go crazy. Goldfish can survive pretty long without food. If it's just a weekend vacation, I'd say no vacation block. Over a week, get a friend to feed a little bit (put the food in an envelope and hid the can) once every 3 days.
 

chumzhujun

Valued Member
Messages
139
Reaction score
1
Points
103
Experience
1 year
try puting one block in a water ad test the water maybe it works
 

Elodea

Well Known Member
Messages
2,414
Reaction score
51
Points
143
Experience
4 years
Because the block won't get consumed immediately, ammonia won't suddenly rise. It will slowly creep upwards over the course of a week or so.
 
  • Thread starter

goldiegirl

Valued Member
Messages
126
Reaction score
2
Points
111
Experience
Just started
But if your tank is cycled, how would you get ammonia? Wouldn't it go ammonia - nitrite - nitrate, and if there was a problem at all it would be high nitrates?
 

Jaysee

Fishlore Legend
Messages
17,325
Reaction score
249
Points
298
Experience
5 to 10 years
goldiegirl said:
But if your tank is cycled, how would you get ammonia? Wouldn't it go ammonia - nitrite - nitrate, and if there was a problem at all it would be high nitrates?
That depends on the quality of the biological filtration. If you are already approaching the limit of what your filter can handle, then the feeding block can put it over the edge. Also, I imagine fish will consume more food with the block then they otherwise would, causing an initial spike. Again, depending on the biofilter, it may end up plaing catch up all week, which is bad for the fish.

If you took a regular old cycled tank that you fed once a day, and just started feeding several times a day, you'd likely wind up with a mini cycle. In addition to the fish eating all they can is the block breaking down, a potentially lethal 1-2 combo.
 
  • Thread starter

goldiegirl

Valued Member
Messages
126
Reaction score
2
Points
111
Experience
Just started
Good point, Jaysee.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Aquarium Photo Contests

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom