Vacation Food

Eskielvr

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My 5 gallon Betta tank is too small for an automatic feeder and I'm trying to figure out what to do while we're on vacation. I bought a 3 day weekend vacation tablet and dropped it in, just to see how much comes out and if my Betta will eat it, and I still don't know if he ate it or if it just dissolved in the water and got caught in the filter.

I bought those 7 day "Betta" feeders that will feed him for a week and dropped it in the tank to see what would happen, and the snail I just purchased yesterday has been sitting on top of it for most of the day, though it didn't get all the food out of it. I dropped in a huge piece of flake food for the snail and the Betta ate it. :-\ But, he did notice the food block afterwards. I'm just wondering if that's enough food for both him and the snail. I don't think my aquarium has enough left over food to contain the snail, so I'm considering feeding it with those for a while. (Again I don't know how much I need for the snail since I don't know how much it eats during the day.)

I'd like to not have to worry about someone else feeding him too much while I'm away. If he was able to be kept in my bigger tank I wouldn't have to worry so much about it. (Of course, I don't know if my other fish even used those feeder blocks.) What I might end up doing is sticking the blocks in the water, but still have someone periodically give them some food in addition. Any other suggestions that may be better?
 

0morrokh

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How long are you going to be gone? If you're away for a week or less they should be fine without food. I have left my fish this long and they were all great. A mature tank will have plenty of little critters and algae everywhere for the fishies to eat.
 

chickadee

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I had to go to the hospital unexpectedly and was there for 5 days and no one even checked my tanks while I was there. The fish were all ready for a water change and glad to see their mommy and the little food container in her hand but they were fine and the tanks were totally algae free ;D.

Unless you are going to be gone for a week or more, I would not worry too much. You can feed them right as you leave and if you are worried about the length of time you can put a block in there to get them through the first few days and then you will still have 5 days or so after the block is gone.

Rose
 
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Eskielvr

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Ok, thanks. I'll only be gone for 2 days. I knew 1 day is good because I used to fast them 1 day a week but haven't been doing that. The little guy always seems half starved.

Later this year I'll be gone for 2 weeks. I've found 14 day blocks and used them last year (but I didn't have my Betta then). I have filters running on all my tanks but my 20 and 5 gallon doesn't have air stones so I didn't know if it'd get circulated good enough or not. Also, I don't know if my fish were eating from the blocks. Surely they would though, wouldn't they?
 

Phloxface

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I used those blocks in my tank when I had all my females together for a few days and only one fish nibbled it once in a while. The others didn't even know it WAS food. I wouldn't trust it feeding them for two weeks. If you only go for 2 days it's just fine for him to go without food for that long.
For your longer vacation see if you can get someone, like a neighbour to come in even every second or third day if they don't have time and feed him. Just make SURE they know that they CANNOT overfeed him to compensate. Constipation is far more dangerous than not eating for a couple days!
 
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Eskielvr

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Phloxface said:
Just make SURE they know that they CANNOT overfeed him to compensate. Constipation is far more dangerous than not eating for a couple days!
I know, that's why I'd rather not have anyone come in at all. My one friend offered to feed them, and I told her I'm still trying to figure out how much I need to feed him and she said "I'll figure it out!". Uh, no, this is why I need to know how much to feed. (I've found 6-8 pellets of Attison's food is the right amount.) Also in the past, I've told her, I'm leaving on this day, so you don't need to come until the next day. Actually you could even come the day after. And she replied "That's ok, I'll come today." I say "But I've already fed them, there's nothing to do until they need fed, tomorrow." But she insisted on coming the day I left. I didn't really like that. But my husband said at least she's coming to feed them.

I'd just rather not have to have anyone come over at all now if I can.
 

Phloxface

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It does need to be someone you trust absolutely to follow your directions exactly! Too many people think everything you say is nonsense and will overfeed them. There are just so many people unfortunately who think they always know better.
Maybe a professional service can take care of him. Look in the phone book or ask at a vet's office or pet shop.
 

emilai333

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I guess I'm lucky that I have people I can really trust to follow my directions exactly - my grandparents fish-sit for me. I give them written directions and a demonstration (its probably not necessary to be that in depth but once in a while there have been miscommunications in my family resulting in some problems), and my grandmas are so afraid of having to tell me that one of my pets didn't make it that they won't go one letter off my instructions. My friends are the same way; my roommate took the community tank home over Christmas break and when one of the tetras got dropsy, she called me twice daily through the ordeal to make sure she was doing things right.

Do you have any neighbors who you could have help you out? Neighbor kids usually are happy to take care of pets - I traded pet care up and down my street as a kid. If they are old enough that you can explain exactly how much to feed the fish, then tell them to feed daily and if they accidentally miss a day its no big deal. If there is a younger kid, you can talk to the parents. If you find the right age range and a responsible kid, give them ten bucks and they'll be happy to do whatever you ask - take in your mail, for example. It should be cheaper than a professional service.

Good luck!
 

0morrokh

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I have heard of this trick to prevent the person from overfeeding...get out the correct amount of food for each day and put it in a separate plastic bag for each day, and clearly label it for the day it is to be fed. (You might want to only have them feed once every day or every other day, to further cut down on the risk of overfeeding.) That way they just dump in the contents of the bag...and you don't even have to tell them where the food is so there's no chance of them overfeeding.
 
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Eskielvr

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You know, I wanted to do that, but I just wish I could find some itty bitty containers or capsules to put it in, so I don't have these big, huge (well, huge in comparison to fish food) sandwhich bags laying around. But, if I can't find anything else I'll probably resort to that.
 

chickadee

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You could get a pill minder at the pharmacy and "set up" the meals in the proper day slots for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. and most have a few slots for each day so you could even set it up with more than one meal a day if you have someone who will come that often. They would only open one little door of the thing at a time and dump it into the tank.

Even something on the order of the link below, but from a local pharmacy or Walmart or so would be ideal.

Rose
 
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Eskielvr

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Oh, that would work perfectly! Why don't I ever think of this stuff? I'm just not very creative, lol Thanks again!
 

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