December 08, 2022
You have pampered your fish and plants, and now it's time for an extended business trip, or an opportunity to pamper yourself with a well-deserved vacation. But what about your aquarium? How can you leave for three days or longer and be sure your aquatic life will be fine when you return? Relax. With the right equipment, and a little help from a friend, things can go smoothly.
What could go wrong while you are away? Here are the top five vacation emergencies you should plan for:
Make sure all five of these potential emergencies are covered
We recommend that you take advantage of the advancements in automated equipment to reduce the amount of manual daily maintenance. Instead of replacing your care, these tools will help you fine-tune your efforts. They will also free you to take time off, and simplify demands on your helper. While there are many excellent devices for automating aquarium functions - dosers, water-fills, alarms, and so on - here are the basics we believe you should have, whether or not you are on vacation.
Stick to your routine
Stress can often take its toll on the immune system of aquarium fish, making them more susceptible to disease. To ensure your fish stay healthy when you're away, minimize their stress levels by keeping feeding, lighting, and all other activities on schedule.
Make sure any necessary maintenance is done well before you leave. Don't wait until the last minute to test the water, clean filters, or do a water change. It is not a good idea to add new fish, plants or structures just prior to departure, or anything else that would increase the bio-load or alter the water chemistry. If anything in your aquarium reacts adversely to these changes, you will not be around to correct them.
Arrange for back-up
As an aquarist, you understand the nitrogen cycle and practice a number of techniques to maintain water quality and equipment. This is a lot to expect from a helper, unless, they too, share your hobby.
The primary role of the helper should be to check that your automated equipment is functioning properly, and to inspect the aquarium for signs of sick or dead fish, removing them immediately. This person will also need to install and engage the back-up equipment should the need arise. Thus, the more your helper knows about aquarium equipment set up, the better.
Ask your helper to check on your aquarium daily, even if you have everything on auto-pilot. If there is any kind of failure, and your friend is an experienced aquarist, he or she can diagnose and correct it. If not, be sure to leave your contact number with your helper, and also the number of a local fish store or professional consultant.
With proper planning, the right equipment, and assistance from a conscientious helper, you will be able to enjoy your time off, and return home to a healthy aquarium and thriving fish.