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How long can fish go without food?


oakes
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Due to unforeseen circumstances my wife & i have to go away for 7-10 days. Is it safe to leave them without food this long? We live in a rural area and while there is a neighbour i could call on at short notice it's not as easy as just popping next door. I have mainly Americans, and b/n's. I have left them for several days before but i'm thinking 10 days might be stretching it.

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How big/old are the fish?

The bn's are fully grown, except for one about 6-8 months old. The cichlids vary, many fully or almost fully grown such as angels, festivum, firemouth etc. The smallest/youngest i have is a gold severum about 4-5cm.

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I have feeders that have about 14 days of pellets for my tanks. On the other hand when I went away for two weeks (Cook Islands, nice) and when I came back one them did not work at all (the canister was just as full as when I left). I had no losses. The tank has 6 rasbora, 2 largish (14cm geos), catfish and large (10cm) clown loaches.

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Adult fish will last a lot longer without food than young fish. As a suggestion of what to do if going away for 10 days-give all fish a decent feed, do a big water change before going,drop tank temps to 26, ration out maybe 2 feeds for the adults and at least 4-5 for the young(this way your neighbour won't overfeed,which is worse than underfeeding),tell neighbour to feed young every 2 days and adults on say day 3 and day 7.

Just make sure that each feed for each day and tank is put into seperate containers and even though you might of told your neighbour write it down for them also as not all people are fish savvy.(this i learnt when i ran a neighbour through what and how much to feed each tank,came home to a little bit of an overfeeding situation,luckily no deaths though).

HTH.

Edited by chevguy
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I have feeders that have about 14 days of pellets for my tanks. On the other hand when I went away for two weeks (Cook Islands, nice) and when I came back one them did not work at all (the canister was just as full as when I left). I had no losses. The tank has 6 rasbora, 2 largish (14cm geos), catfish and large (10cm) clown loaches.

I had the exact same thing happen to me except over 12 days. (Whitsundays, not as nice as the Cook Islands, but still nice :p ) The food I had in the feeder, expanded with the moisture from the tank. The whole thing went all the way around, never dropped a thing. :(

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Holding females can hold for a long time. But often they do eat, even with eggs, and at the end of their term look at how hollow their tummy is (and in addition female cichlids have evolved to do this - not males or non-mouth brooding fish). I'm sure a human can go for 2 weeks without food too, but that is as unacceptable as it is for our fish.

If you're going away for 3-5 days, fish being cold blooded, I personally have no issues with a 3-4 day abstinence. Weighed up the dangers with getting a non-fish person in to feed compared to missing a few days food, there are more life threatening problems with strangers looking after your fish than not eating.

Longer than that and you may be better off just proportioning out food lots with explicit instructions to the friends to feed the lots as proportioned.

In your situation I really be looking at getting a fish feeder. To counter the problem mentioned above about the food becoming damp and not falling out of the container. This has happened because moisture evaporating from the tank has entered the auto feeder - different designs will be better or worse for this, but what you can do is organise the feeder to feed into a funnel which cannels the food to the tank, but allows the auto-feeder to be further from the tank/humidity.

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Get your friend to feed them after 5 days.

B/nose you can leave a veg feed for and there tank will be clean when you return.

Large fish / adults are fine for 5+ days.

Fry are not able to cope with this long.

Left mine for 5/7 days,, an better than having someone that does not have fish feed them, overfeed them and come home to pea soup in your tank.

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