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Preparing For The Holidays


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So I'm trying to make sure my tank is all setup and not going to go crazy wrong while I'm gone for 4 weeks. I've asked my roommate to watch my babies while I'm gone and now I'm trying to prepare the food to feed.

I've heard that low protein foods will decrease the amount of ammonia the fish excrete, so I'm proposing this:

Fed one large meal once a week

-- Spirulina flakes

I'm also requesting the light be left off the entire 4 weeks to help keep the temperature down (which gets to about 70C with no incandescent lighting)

Do you guys think the feeding is too stressful? I'm currently feeding everyday with Omega One sinking pellets which are high in protein, but my fish are only about 2" each from nose to tailtip, so will 4 weeks without protein be bad for them?

Bleh, why do I have to leave them behind!? With finals and planning everything out, I'm going nuts :krazy:

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I think 4 weeks is a little long to go with just one week feedings.. I dunno.

The cooler you can get the tank, the better, as it will slow their metabolism, which means they can eat less without bad effects.

Will there be any water changes done?

Can you get pill boxes and put amounts of food for each day in each one?

..I'd go with one feeding every other day of something like frozen bloodworm, as that is low waste as apposed to a pelleted food.

Also put a big bunch of elodea or another plant they like to eat in there, that way they can nibble all the time.

Maybe alternate the bloodworm with peas.

ooh, how many fish in what size tank?

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I agree - a very small meal, spaced out every 2-3 days is FAR better than a large glut of food once a week. A fish can only eat so much - and the rest will just rot, producing waste in the tank. This is exactly what you want to avoid. I also think that the individual doses of food is essential. It is amazing how hard it is not too feed too much to a fish. Measure out what you want done. Mark the feeding days. HIDE the rest of the food.

I think I would go to spirulina as a food staple. It is good, and it is green and will help in stalled digestion. Fish can live for a looooong time on greens. You want something they can find and eat completely - not leaving any waste in the tank to rot.

Are you going to have any water changes?

Cooling the tank down to 16-18C (62-65F) is a good plan (I am sure you mean 70F? not 70C????). If you can go down to 60, all the better.... A fish eats very little and needs very little as it gets cooler. What you do NOT want is the temp bouncing up and down too dramatically. This can spur ich and other opportunisitic problems to pop out.

If you start this feeding regiment BEFORE you leave, you can leave the water in as good of conditon as possible. A recently fed fish will create waste - even though it is fed less after the final "goodbye" feeding.

Do not forget to leave a detailed set of instructions on what to do if various common senerios occur. Make sure the roommate has actually changed the water - and knows how. And save your pennies for a marvelous thank you gift for your mate.

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Heh, sorry, I did mean 70F not C!! It's getting pretty cold, so I'm hoping that it'll drop a little lower while I'm gone, but all I have is a sticky thermometer and it only goes to 68F.

So here's what I have: 3 goldfish, each ~2" incl. tail, 40 gallons, Penguin 100 + 350 = 450 GPH.

Part of the problem I'm having is that my Penguin100 is cycled, but my 350 is new and I'm in the process of transferring bacteria, so I'm SO frightened that something wrong will happen and I'll have a cycle crash. However, as long as my Penguin100 doesn't blow up I think things will be okay.

As far as water changes go, I'm going to ask her to change the 20% of the water once a week, and to make things easier for her I'm going to try to find a python so she doesn't have to lug my buckets around and I'll be leaving some tape to mark the tank's water level. And plus a big bottle of prime.

I still have to get around to typing up some clear instructions.

Truthfully, this whole situation makes me feel like I'm setting myself up as this big fishy weirdo. :P

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It sounds like you are on the right track with writing down the instructions, and I think there is some other good advice here about feedings.

One thing I would definitely stress is if possible, teach your roomate to do the changes and feedings before you leave. I learned the hard way that written instructions, however complete, can be mis-read, misinterpeted or just plain misplaced.

Still have the written directions as back-up, and I like your idea of marking the tank, too.

Also, have you considered Bio-Spira to speed along the cycling of your new filter? It's a little expensive but it may help to establish your cycle before you leave. Might take away some of your stress and worry.

As regards your tank, I personally wouldn't worry about it as long as it is doing ok now and there are no leaks or obvious cracks. If the tank is gonna go, it's gonna go whether you're there or not. So no use worrying too much.

Good Luck!

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