Going on vacation is something that you look forward to all year. You can’t wait to go out and explore a new environment and have adventures that you’ll remember for a lifetime.
Or perhaps you just want to relax and enjoy your time away from the office. Either way, you will need to figure out certain things at home so you won’t have to worry while you’re gone.
One thing that you need to handle is ensuring that your fish will survive while you’re on vacation. The cichlids in your tank need to be fed, after all.
Continue reading to learn how to feed cichlids while on vacation. This should make it so you understand what the best options are.
How Long Can Cichlids Go Without Eating?
The first thing you’ll want to know is how long cichlids can go without eating. Are these fish going to perish if you don’t feed them for a few days?
A healthy adult cichlid should be able to go without food for up to 10 days. It’s estimated that fish will be fine without food for between 7 and 10 days depending on a variety of factors.
Depending on how long you’re going to be gone, it might be fine to just go on vacation without worrying about the fish. For example, if you’re going to be gone for five or six days, it’d likely be fine to leave without setting up some way to feed the fish.
That being said, it isn’t necessarily great to not feed the fish for so long. Normally, you’d want to feed cichlids three or four times per day.
To keep them in optimal health, it’s best to stick to a normal feeding schedule. If you can’t do this, the cichlids should be hardy enough that they won’t die right away.
You should be able to leave your house for several days without having to worry about the fish dying due to a lack of food. Going without eating for too long could cause the fish some level of stress, though.
1 – Ask for Help
Perhaps the easiest thing to do is to ask someone you trust to help you out. Do you have a family member or a neighbor who could feed your fish for you?
If you have someone who is willing to lend a helping hand, it’d be best for the fish. You can teach your friend or family member how to feed the fish properly.
Typically, you’re supposed to feed cichlids three or four times per day. You might even have a specific schedule that you use to feed the fish.
When you feed the fish, you’re supposed to give them no more than they can eat in 30 seconds. Show your friend or family member how to do this and everything should be fine.
You’ll be able to leave for vacation without having to worry. The fish will get fed by your friend or family member every single day.
If this isn’t convenient for your friend, you might feel bad asking them. In that situation, you might have to look into other options.
2 – Automatic Fish Feeders
Did you know that there are automatic fish feeders on the market that you can buy? You can set up an automatic fish feeding system that will release the food when the time is right.
This is actually fairly simple to set up. They’re electronic devices that you can buy at various pet stores.
Either go out to a local pet store and buy one or order an automatic fish feeder online. No matter what, you’ll have a simple time getting the feeder set up.
For some, using these automatic feeders will be the best route to take. You might even like the idea of using these feeders when you’re home so that you don’t have to bother feeding the fish yourself each time.
Of course, you need to put food in the feeders for them to work. This means that they will only work to feed the fish for a certain period of time.
If you’re going on a very long vacation, you’re likely still going to have to ask someone to help you out. If you’re only going on vacation for a week, you should be able to buy an automatic feeder that will get the job done.
3 – What About Slow-Release Fish Food Blocks?
Another option that you might have heard of is slow-release fish food blocks. The basic idea is that you can put these food blocks in the tank and they will keep feeding your fish while you’re on vacation.
The food block slowly releases food at certain intervals. It’ll keep the fish fed for a period of time while you’re off enjoying yourself.
You could choose to go this route if you want to. However, some enthusiasts say that this isn’t a good idea at all.
Cichlids might not like eating the food that comes from these blocks. The food that comes from the block is different from what the fish normally eat.
It’s also possible that the feeder block will make the fish tank dirty. There could be too much food released into the water and this will cause the water parameters to be thrown off.
Since fish can survive several days without food, it’d probably be better to just wait to feed the cichlids until you get back from your vacation. Most feeder blocks are only designed to feed the fish for around three days anyway.
You should be able to keep your fish healthy while you’re away on vacation. Cichlids are able to survive for a little while without being fed.
So long as your cichlid is a healthy adult fish, it’s going to be able to live for 7 to 10 days without food. If you’re only going to be gone one week, it might be fine to go on vacation without making arrangements to feed the fish.
Of course, you might want to avoid this situation so the fish don’t become stressed. You could ask a friend or family member to feed the fish for you while you’re away.
Another good option is to buy an automatic fish feeder. They don’t cost a lot of cash and they can feed your fish at certain intervals that you’ve chosen.
Slow-release fish food blocks exist as well, but they might not be the best things to use. Make the choice that will make the most sense for your situation.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.