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Holiday Feeding

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Offline Olivermoran

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Holiday Feeding
« on: May 15, 2016, 08:36:43 PM »
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I am due to go on my hols soon and am going to be away for 7 days.  I have a tropical tank and am planning to buy a feeding block so they can feed when I'm away.   I have in my tank a sucker fish, which I feed him 1 algae tablet a night.  My question is,  how can I make sure he is ok and fed when I'm off as i can't seem to find any algae holiday feeders or anything that can help.  I have no one that could come in and feed them so that is not an option.

Offline fcmf

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Re: Holiday Feeding
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2016, 09:26:42 PM »
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Welcome to the forum. :wave:

An alternative option would be to buy an auto-feeder that drops in the food when away - I can't speak for other brands but the Fishmate auto-feeder which I have certainly would allow algae wafers in them which would drop in as well as other food. For example, it could drop in food for the other fish during the daytime and could drop in an algae wafer late at night for the sucker fish. It has the advantage in that, unlike a feeding block which can "pollute" the tank with too much waste or could be devoured immediately, it drops in food at pre-set times, in whatever way you set it before you leave on holiday.

The following threads in this forum might be helpful:
http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/forums/new-fishkeepers/going-on-holiday/msg15181/#msg15181
http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/forums/fish-food-product-reviews/fish-tank-auto-feeder/msg17921/#msg17921
http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/forums/fish-food-and-feeding/views-on-automatic-feeders-whilst-on-holiday/msg24137/#msg24137
http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/forums/tank-equipment-reviews/automatic-feeders/msg24188/#msg24188

If you have any questions at all specifically about the Fishmate auto-feeder, please do ask, as I'd be happy to answer them given that I have 11 years of experience of using it if ever I've been away. :)


Offline ColinB

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Re: Holiday Feeding
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2016, 07:44:41 AM »
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Just leave them - they'll be fine. I've been away for two weeks before and the tank's been just as good when I got back. No food in = no waste out = no build-up of nitrates. The fish may get a little peckish, but don't feed them anymore than you would normally before you go or when you return. Just go and enjoy your hols.

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Offline Sue

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Re: Holiday Feeding
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2016, 09:54:45 AM »
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A lot of those feeding blocks have chalk as a filler and it is not unheard of for the fishkeeper to return to find the bottom of his tank covered with a layer of white powder, and dead fish. Since you can't tell from looking at them which brands do this, avoid them all.

Offline Olivermoran

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Re: Holiday Feeding
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2016, 04:06:16 PM »
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Surely though, from fish that are feed every day to no feed at all for 7 days, won't this starve the fish and kill them?  ( This is tropical and algae eaters ) is it also ok to leave Tropical fish without feeding?

Offline Sue

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Re: Holiday Feeding
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2016, 04:29:13 PM »
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In the wild fish don't eat every day. Tropical fish have no problems going a week without food. If you have plants, live or fake, they will have a biofilm growing on every surface which fish will eat. And on any rocks, pieces of wood etc (even plastic ones)

Offline Olivermoran

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Re: Holiday Feeding
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2016, 05:15:15 PM »
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I have fake plants but I have a piece of wood in the tank also.  I don't think i'll bother feeding when away then, will leave them to it.  Does the same non-feed rule apply to goldfish as well as I also have a goldfish tank as well as tropical?

Offline Sue

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Re: Holiday Feeding
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2016, 06:47:22 PM »
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Yes, it does.

Offline fcmf

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Re: Holiday Feeding
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2016, 07:04:27 PM »
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Another, alternative option for goldfish - besides the auto-feeder - is to put some live plants in the tank before you leave for them to nibble on eg elodea is one type particularly suitable for goldfish. If you do buy any, then always make sure you buy them from a plant-only tank (rather than plants in among fish), and give them a good rinse before putting them in the tank.

Offline adenann

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Re: Holiday Feeding
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2017, 06:12:12 PM »
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A lot of those feeding blocks have chalk as a filler and it is not unheard of for the fishkeeper to return to find the bottom of his tank covered with a layer of white powder, and dead fish. Since you can't tell from looking at them which brands do this, avoid them all.

 :wave:@Sue
We've got a long weekend coming up soon.  I'm OK with feeding on the Friday morning and then on the afternoon of the following Tuesday.
But, for our Summer holiday  8) we're going for two weeks. Is it viable to not feed for 2 weeks?
Our tank lid isn't suitable to take an external feeder. It's suspended on four clips with a gap of about 3mm all around.
Our normal holiday cover will be away at the same time.
That then, I think,  only leaves the options of starving the fish, all 21 :fishy1: of them, or risking a 2-week block.
I have a plan to try some out well before we go and carefully monitor what goes on. Do you know of any brands that definitely are chalk based?

Has anyone out there used them, with what results and which brand(s)?

Offline Sue

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Re: Holiday Feeding
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2017, 07:20:47 PM »
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Is there anyone who could pop into the house for you while you are away? If there is, the answer is to buy one of those pill dispensers with a section for each day. Put a day's worth of food in each compartment and ask the person to empty one section in the tank. Even if they could only do this two or three times during the week it would help. Hide the food tubs though as some well meaning friends might think you are being a bit mean and give the fish more food - this has been known!

As for food blocks, there might be some good ones, but I've only read of problems with them  :-\

Offline fcmf

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Re: Holiday Feeding
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2017, 07:29:43 PM »
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Hi Adenann,

A couple of additional possibilities for you:
* buy a shorter-length block (eg a weekend block or a week block) which will feed them for some of the time, even if not for the full fortnight; this has the advantage that, if the fish do attack and demolish it early on (as my goldfish did), they'll be so full it won't matter if they end up with no food for the remainder of the time and it also means that there's less likelihood of waste.
* remove the tank lid (if that's possible) and buy a heavy duty condensation tray to put in its place, cut a hole out of that and set an auto-feeder on top of that with the feeding hole just above the cut-out hole; Fishmate's auto-feeder works that way but you'd need to check with @Matt to see whether his brand of auto-feeder would work that way too.

Offline Matt

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Re: Holiday Feeding
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2017, 09:53:50 PM »
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Many feeders can be attached to a plain glass sided tank (and which I think is what you've described albeit with a suspended lid attached).  I always recommnd the Eden auto feeder as it reliably keeps the food dry, an issue with often causes other feeders to fail.  Try taking a look here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eden-57442-EDEN-Fixture-901/dp/B00FAKU3PM/ref=pd_bxgy_199_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=NPTD3YP74N2DTEDQ5K6D

It's not that cheapest option but the only right reliable one I've come across.

Offline Paddyc

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Re: Holiday Feeding
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2017, 07:59:31 AM »
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Can I just point out @Matt the link you posted links to the mounting bracket for the feeder and not the feeder itself. Bracket plus feeder cost is 39.99 from Amazon.

Other online and retail outlets are available  8)

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