Betta Fish Care While You Are On Vacation
When you are planning to go for a week or 2 weeks long vacation. There are several things that you must be aware of.
As I have mentioned in the guide to betta fish food and feeding guide, the betta fish can eat without food for up to 2 weeks without any problems. Because in the wild they are mostly predators on insects.
Sometimes there is an abundant supply of insects such as the mosquito larvae and water bugs.
At times, they have to wait for the right opportunity in obtaining their food.
Normally if the betta fish goes into the 5th and 6th day without food the body will be using the stored reserves. And if it is extended into a week it will go into the starvation mode which is not good.
This will increase stress and will lead to illness. If you are away just for the weekend or at most 5 days to 7 days then it is fine that you can keep your betta fish without food, you just have to feed it well the day that you are leaving.
However, there is some vacation food that is sold in pet stores and can release the nutrients slowly into the water and this is fine. Some vacation food that is sold in the pet stores has different types. 7 days and even 14 days slow-release vacation food.
Sometimes it is also recommended buying small feeder food for the fish like small guppies which is practiced in the old school method. In Asia where there are tons of guppies on the canals, rivers and everywhere then this is the preferred method.
Since the guppies are found in the canals, they are sometimes left in vinegar water containing tanks and then moved to your fish tank. The vinegar is used to disinfect the guppies since they might be carriers of the disease.
There is also another option. If you have a friend or cleaner who comes to your place to watch or organize things while you are away can be instructed to feed your betta every day or every other day when he or she comes to your place.
You can always utilize a small pillbox or just give the betta fish food container and drop 1 or 2 pellets every day to the betta fish.
7 Day Pill Box
If you are very meticulous on the color quality and health of the betta fish, a 7-day pill box is recommended where you place the different type of foods on each day for your beloved betta fish.
Automatic Fish Feeder
If you do not want to inconvenience your friend or anyone goes to your place while you are away then it would be wise to buy an automatic fish feeder.
You have to keep in mind that there is a lot of inexpensive fish feeder and sometimes it may malfunction. It might dispense everything which will lead to water pollution and killing everything inside your fish tank.
It might jam and won’t dispense any fish food thereby, starving all the fishes in the fish tank and risk the chance of killing all of them.
I have a recommended good quality fish feeder.
Fish Tank Water Parameters
You have to make sure that the temperature of the fish tank is properly regulated. As I have mentioned that you absolutely need a heater to regulate the fish tank.
As I have mentioned before that the betta fish normal habitat is in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos or Indonesia. The climate in those countries averages around 22 to 26 degrees Celsius so it is imperative to keep the temperature constant or approximately within those ranges.
I also advise not to buy an inexpensive heater or temperature control device since it might cause some short circuit or improper temperature regulation.
If the water is too cold the betta fish may not be active and it may lead to illness. Their metabolism will be affected and will not be functioning efficiently.
Here are my recommended heater products.
Before you go for your planned vacation, it would be best to clean your aquarium and at least make at 50% change of water.
If you will be going away for 2 weeks then 50% change of water.
If you are just going away for 1 week or over the weekend then just do the 25% water change as you would do weekly.
Your Betta fish secrets ammonia and releases toxic waste into the water. Since the aquarium is a closed environment then you do a 50% or even 80% before you go for a vacation is needed to ensure that the water quality will be taken care of.
You also have to simulate the day and night when you are not around for 1 to 2 weeks.
I’m very sure that you are very familiar with timers since almost everyone uses the timers on lamp tables which are near the entrance to deter would-be vandals house break-ins.
You can program the timer from 9 am to 5 pm light on and from 5 pm to 9 am light off modes.
When you come back from your vacation, you have to check the water condition.
Is the water condition still the same when you left?
Betta Fish close up inspection. Try to feed the betta fish when you get back from vacation. Observe the behavior when you are feeding the betta fish.
Is the betta fish acting normally? Is there no evidence of ick, pots or damaged fins?
Sometimes when you leave your betta fishes with other fish too long like 2 weeks or more, some other fishes will also go into starvation mode and will try to eat anything that moves. Some fish tank mates such as the tiger barb are very notorious for fin nipping when hungry.
Sometimes it the other way around, the betta fish will try to chase the other occupants in the fish tank and try to eat them. Make sure that there are no missing fishes in the fish tank.