As per the last post my father has now gone on holiday. I have to be honest I wish I was going with them as I am sure they will have a great time.
Little Joshua is definately going to miss them whilst they are away!
Whilst he is away I am going to be looking after his aquarium for him. I will basically be popping around every couple of days and feeding the fish, topping up the tank with reverse osmosis water, adding the weekly additives and generally making sure that the aquarium is ok.
I know full well that when I get to the house that there will be a piece of notepaper on the table instructing me what to do and when to do it. I have been looking after his reef tank for many years now whilst he is on holiday and every time there is a list waiting for me.
This is not distrust in any way. It is John (or dad as I call him!) ensuring that he has everything clear in his head before he goes. If it makes him feel comfortable then I am fine with it.
If something goes wrong I will deal with it. I wont bother him whilst he is on holiday. I will simply deal with the situation whilst he is away.
We are both luck in these situations where if one of use is away on holiday the other will look after the aquariums, There are, however people who are not lucky like this.
Perhaps you are one of them.
So what do you do in the situation where you do not know anyone who can look after your aquarium whilst you are away.
You need to ensure that you setup the aquarium so that the core aspects of the aquarium will be ok whilst you are away.
By this I mean :
- Install an auto top up unit for the water so that the salinity in the aquarium will not change or worse your sump, if you use one will not run dry.
- Install a UPS onto the system and plug in some core components into it ie. Heater, return pump, skimmer and an aspect of water movement.
- Install an autofeeder to feed the fish whilst you are away.
Of course the best thing to do is to have someone look after it for you. This is not always possible and sometimes not practical.
On my aquarium I have both a UPS and an auto top up unit, however I do not have an autofeeder for the fish. The main reason for this is that my dad feeds them.
Installing an autofeeder does depends upon how long you are away for. If it is only for a couple of days then your fish will probably be ok. You will be surprised as to how much food there actually is in the aquarium.
If you go away for 2 weeks though then it would probably be wise to give them some food.
This is where the autofeeder comes in. Basically these work on a timer basis which you set and when a preset time/day is reached the device opens and some food falls out into the aquarium. They are normally designed for flake food but some do take other types of food as well.
One of the problems with these types of devices is that the flakes can clump together due to moisture getting into the unit and making the flake moist and stick together. This cause the food not to fall out when the device opens therefore your fish get no food. You can get devices however which blow air into the food chamber to prevent clogging.
An autofeeder is by no means a substitute for someone personally feeding the aquarium but as said if this is not possible then it is definately the next best option.
If you do go on holidays I would try your hardest to attempt to find someone who would be willing to look after it whilst you are away.
Perhaps do as my dad does and leave an easy to follow list.