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Looking after your Aquarium whilst on holiday!

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Hi all, the holiday season is upon us, the kids are finishing school and i should imagine most families will be getting away if only for a few days! Premier Aquatics would like to offer some tips on how to look after your tank during the holidays! At this time of year we have plenty of enquiries and questions on what to do with your fish tank when you go away, we have also seen lots of instances where well intentioned relatives or friends have 'looked after' a fish tank and managed to kill all of the inhabitants due to a lack of knowledge and experience. Lets look at what you can do to make sure that you come back to your fish tank looking its very best after its break from you the owner! In our opinion a tank of well fed adult aquarium fish in a understocked and well filtered tank can go for at least 7 days with no feeding at all, if they are well fed prior to your trip. We would suggest the following routine if you are going away.


1. In the weeks prior to leaving do not add any new stock.

2. Feed well in the weeks before your trip, add in some live or frozen foods if you do not feed these already, don't overfeed and pollute the tank but aim to put a nice rounded stomach on your fish. 3. A few days before your trip, give the tank a good clean, gravel syphon the substrate, trim back plants and give the tank a 50% water change. At the same time check all equipment, wipe down light units and if they are not already on a plug in or electronic timer then add one to come on for 6-8hrs per day. 4. Wipe clean the heater and check that it is in good condition, take a note of the water temperature and alter if needed (Cooler water holds more oxygen so if you can drop the temp 2-3 degrees it can be advantageous. Also clean the thermometer and make sure that it is stuck into an easy to read position if you have anyone visiting to check the tank. 5. Filter, regardless of what type of filter you have, turn it off at the plug, place it in a bowl or on a towel and strip it down for a thorough clean. The filter media should be cleaned in tank water as per usual to avoid killing the beneficial bacteria that it contains. All filter casings and inlets should be cleaned well, i like to use an old toothbrush to scrub the filter casings. Remove the impeller from the housing and give it all a good wipe over and clean, this will ensure that you filter is running at its optimum during your time away and will be able to provide a good flow of oxygenated water around your aquarium and over the filter media. 6. If you are going away for 7 days or less, then you do not need to make any arrangements to have the fish fed, if you have a friend or neighbour coming over and if they are not fish keepers it would be my advise to hide the fish food from them! More fish are lost in the holiday period by a well intentioned but inexperienced friend over feeding the tank than are ever lost by not feeding the tank! So hide that food! 7. If you are going away for longer than a week then it is a good idea to ask someone to feed the fish in your absence, personally i prepare a portion of food slightly smaller than you would normally feed and place this in a small zip lock bag, label the bag with the day you would like it to be fed and again hide the rest of the food! During a two week period i would only ask for the tank to be fed twice, once during the middle of the first week you are away and the second feed half way through the second week. 8. Finally leave a checklist for your fish minder, make it clear and concise and list what they need to check is working when they visit (Filter, water flow, air pump, heater, temp etc) The clearer you, make the instructions the easier they will be for the helper!


Finally you are more than welcome to put my shop number at the bottom of the checklist and your helper can call us at Premier Aquatics in the event of a problem or emergency.. Call us between 11am and 5pm seven days a week on 07725516558 as we are always ready and able to help with any aquatic problem that you may have. Enjoy your holidays! If you dont have a friend or family member to help out, Tetra do a fantastic range of holiday foods! They can be found on our shelves at Premier aquatics :)

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