Fish are great, generally low maintenance pets. You feed them once a day and clean their tank as needed. But what do you do when you go on vacation?
You can buy electronic fish feeders, although I have found them to be tricky to properly operate, and they sometimes malfunction. Besides electronic feeders, here are a few inexpensive options for feeding your fish while you go on vacation. These options are for freshwater fish.
Vacation food blocks ($2.50-$5) have a chalky appearance and are usually in the shape of a shell or some other aquatic themed shape. These feeders are made of fish food and are designed to dissolve slowly over the advertised period of time. These feeders are made by Wardley, Omega One, Topfin, and Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, among others that your pet store may carry.
These feeders are available in 3, 7, and 10 day varieties. They are formulated differently for community tanks, Betta fish, and Goldfish. The package will advise you about how many fish 1 feeder will sustain, and you can adjust the amount you put in your tank accordingly. This type of vacation food requires water circulation to dissolve, so you can only use these food blocks in tanks which have filtration systems. When you get home from vacation, simply remove the leftover food and throw away.
Another variety, which I use in my 40 gallon tank, are TetraVacation and TetraWeekend gel feeders. These gel feeders are available in 5 day and 14 day sizes. They also dissolve slowly in the water, and your fish can eat direct off of these gel feeders as well. Depending on the number and size of fish you have, you can adjust the amount of gel feeders you put in your tank. We tend to put a lot of these gel feeders in our tank when we travel because our giant 14-inch plecotomous LOVES them and chows down.
Water circulation is not required with these gel feeders, since fish can pick food from them. But I recommend always having a filtration system to keep your tank clean and fish healthy. These TetraVacation and TetraWeekend gel feeders are priced at $3.50
Jennifer Kean is a writer and pet-lover who owns two rescue kittens (lifetime cat owner too!) and has a 40 gallon fish tank!