Leaving extra regular fish food in your tank when you go on vacation is a recipe for disaster, and you could even wind up killing your goldfish when the uneaten food goes bad. Pick up a slow-release vacation food block, invest in an automatic dispenser or find a fish-loving friend for feeding duties.
Slow-Release Food Blocks
The cheap and easy solution for making sure your fishy friend has permanent room service while you’re on your travels are slow-release food blocks. These are chunks of fish-safe plaster of Paris with embedded food particles that dissolve slowly over several days, releasing small, regular meals. Short-term, or weekend blocks contain 3 to 4 days of food and long-term blocks are good for about two weeks. Food blocks are pretty much foolproof; simply drop one into your goldfish tank and leave it to do its thing.
Automatic fish food dispensers are suitable for flake or pellets, and you can set them to release food up to several times a day. Some brands of fish tank have their own dispenser that fits neatly under the canopy, while other generic feeders clip inside any tank. Mechanical dispensers can be a bit temperamental and don’t always work as expected, so if you do get one, give it a try for a week under supervision to see how accurate it is and make any necessary adjustments to quantities and timings. Don’t stick it on and hope for the best or you could come home to an ugly mess or a ravenous fish.
Find a Fish-loving Friend
Delegating duties to a buddy may sound like a great idea, but unless you’re absolutely sure your fish-feeding friend is clued up and ultra reliable, stick to an automated solution that won’t forget about your little guy or give him too much to eat. An experienced fish-loving friend is the perfect answer to your vacation concerns; if you’re lucky enough to have one of those handy, you shouldn’t have anything to worry out.
Before You Leave
Regardless of how you decide to feed your goldfish while you’re on vacation, make sure your tank is super clean before you go. Change about a third of the water and if you’re away for two weeks or longer, do the same on the day you return home. Don’t be tempted to overfeed your goldfish with an extra pinch or two of fish food before you go; it will most likely still be there a couple of weeks later, lurking in the gravel in the form of a less than attractive layer of sludge.
Alex Burgess has been a professional writer since 1990, specializing in travel, herpetology, lifestyle, fashion, health and fitness. Her work has appeared in various British newspapers, magazines and international online publications. Burgess studied design before working as a journalist in England.