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Preparing Your Fish Tank For Your Holiday

It’s important to think about what you can do for your underwater pets if you’re planning to leave them on their own for a while.The first thing to be sure of is that you’re not making any major changes at the last minute, even if it seems like an improvement as these changes can have an effect on the system and you won’t be around to monitor them. Changes to avoid before going on holiday include introducing live rock or new fish to the aquarium. You should do everything you can to make sure you’re leaving your fish in a stable environment.

When it comes to maintenance, it’s vital to get anything prepared well in advance.  Things like checking your aquarium air pumps or using a Nutrafin test kit to check your water quality shouldn’t be left until the last minute as you’ll need to address any issues before you leave. Ideally, completing a partial water change should help prevent any water quality problems. Cleaning your protein skimmer will ensure that any food and waste particles are removed, and replacing or cleaning your filter media should keep your marine tank filtration running at its best. Topping up your marine or tropical fish tank with a little extra water to compensate for evaporation might also be a good idea.

You should set up an automatic feeder, or use a floating holiday food block if you have a freshwater aquarium. Again, it’s vital to ensure your feeder works well in advance and not just leave it until the night before you leave. There are a wide variety of automatic feeders on the market, such as the range we have available from our own online aquarium shop, and it’s worth researching the best option for your specific requirements.  

Food blocks break down gradually to control the amount of food available making them a simple to use option, although some fish figure out how to get through them too quickly and others won’t touch them.  

If your aquarium contains fish that require frozen or live foods, you’ll need to enlist the help of a trusted friend or neighbour, provided you give them all the necessary information to continue your normal routine. Written instructions should be provided to explain how many cubes of frozen food should be given each day. As many people will be unfamiliar with the marine system, it is also a good idea to show them how you introduce live food such as copepods and rotifers, as well as explaining what the different parts of the tank are and how to use them. Be very careful with the risk of overfeeding – in fact, it may be a good idea to have them use a smaller amount of food than you usually would while you’re away.