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Old 09/12/2017, 09:18 PM   #1
ca1ore
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Your fish will not starve ....

..... If you go on vacation and they do not get fed until you get back. Too many horror stories. Unless I'm going to be gone for more than 10 days NOBODY FEEDS MY FISH, ever ..... Frankly the ATO lasting is a bigger problem. Oh, and the nicer and more well meaning the tank sitter, the greater the chance of a problem. Keep your fish well fed and at a heathy weight, and they'll be just fine. Never lost a fish to vacation starvation in 30 years off reefkeeping.


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Got back into the hobby ..... planned to keep it simple ..... yeah, right ..... clearly I need a new plan! Pet peeve: anemones host clowns; clowns do not host anemones!

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Old 09/13/2017, 05:40 AM   #2
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^^^this x 1000^^^


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Old 09/13/2017, 05:44 AM   #3
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Recently went on vaca for a week.

Never fed the fish the entire time. Came home after a week to everything being just fine. Fish survived on micro fauna, and are actually fatter then when I left them.


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Old 09/13/2017, 06:36 AM   #4
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I know this sounds crazy but I didn't feed fish for almost a whole month in search of 40+ nitrates. Didn't have a single loss and my clowns actually spawned in that time.


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Old 09/13/2017, 08:26 AM   #5
ca1ore
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Originally Posted by homer1475 View Post
Never fed the fish the entire time. Came home after a week to everything being just fine. Fish survived on micro fauna, and are actually fatter then when I left them.
I'm generally fatter after I get back from vacation ........


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Got back into the hobby ..... planned to keep it simple ..... yeah, right ..... clearly I need a new plan! Pet peeve: anemones host clowns; clowns do not host anemones!

Current Tank Info: 265 Reef; 120 refugium; 60 Frag Tank, 30 Introduction tank; multiple QTs
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Old 09/13/2017, 08:32 AM   #6
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Normally, I feed the fish twice a day. When I go on vacation, I prepare plastic cups with pre-portioned food - 1 cup for each day, for the tank keeper to use. I know the fish will be fine without food, but I hate to purposefully starve them.


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Old 09/13/2017, 10:45 AM   #7
Mr. Eel
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Also that may be fine in some peaceful community tanks, but when you have 2 large dwarf puffers a snowflake eel and a lionfish in your tank (plus a tang and a Flame angel) your fish will eat each other.


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Old 09/13/2017, 11:31 AM   #8
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Counter-point: I have lost fish due to not feeding during extended absences. It's a terrible feeling.

I now have an auto-feeder set to feed small amounts of NLS pellets when I am out of town. My tanksitter is told not to touch the food or auto-feeder, and just to visually check that the auto-feeder is displaying the correct time and not flashing a battery warning. Never lost a fish while on vacation after adopting this new procedure.


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Old 09/13/2017, 01:00 PM   #9
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by ca1ore View Post
I'm generally fatter after I get back from vacation ........
This made me spit beer on my keyboard. You owe me a beer.


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Old 09/13/2017, 01:16 PM   #10
ca1ore
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Cracked me up too ......


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Simon

Got back into the hobby ..... planned to keep it simple ..... yeah, right ..... clearly I need a new plan! Pet peeve: anemones host clowns; clowns do not host anemones!

Current Tank Info: 265 Reef; 120 refugium; 60 Frag Tank, 30 Introduction tank; multiple QTs
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Old 09/13/2017, 01:17 PM   #11
ca1ore
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Originally Posted by Rilelen View Post
Counter-point: I have lost fish due to not feeding during extended absences.
Well, as I noted, depends on how extended; but for a typical week long vacation the only reason fish would starve is if they were already starving.


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Simon

Got back into the hobby ..... planned to keep it simple ..... yeah, right ..... clearly I need a new plan! Pet peeve: anemones host clowns; clowns do not host anemones!

Current Tank Info: 265 Reef; 120 refugium; 60 Frag Tank, 30 Introduction tank; multiple QTs
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Old 09/13/2017, 02:55 PM   #12
Tripod1404
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Originally Posted by ca1ore View Post
Well, as I noted, depends on how extended; but for a typical week long vacation the only reason fish would starve is if they were already starving.
I agree, they will only die if they were already starving. Even for a normal human it takes ~3-4 weeks without any food to die from starvation. Now fish are cold blooded and their metabolisms are slower than ours, so assuming it doesn't cause massive aggression within fish, they should not die in at least <1 month, if not more.



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Old 09/13/2017, 04:31 PM   #13
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I'm frequently out of town for 2-4 week periods (travel for work). I suspect it's not starvation directly that has killed fish in the past, but aggression due to food scarcity/fighting over territory. That can end in either injury/death directly or lead fish to hide/be kept away from areas of the tank with microfauna, algae, etc.

There's not a one size fits all solution here. Not all the creatures we keep are equal in their needs. Someone above noted that certain predators might not fare so well, and some fish do need to eat more frequently (e.g., anthias, and I'm increasingly convinced chromis, do better when fed small amounts multiple times a day). I keep octopuses as well in a species-only set-up; they really need to be fed at least every third day, which means frozen food at a minimum (and some only take live). Whether you can leave your tank unfed for a week or two (or longer) depends a lot on what's in it, their physiological needs, and the individual temperaments of your particular critters. As well as your personal comfort level with the level of risk, and considerations of humane treatment. I personally am not comfortable with leaving species that eat continuously throughout the day in the wild unfed for an entire month. Yeah, humans *can* survive weeks without food, but that doesn't make it humane to deprive humans of food for weeks at a time.

For me, the auto-feeder is an easy solution for my main tank that greatly reduces potential harm at very little cost; I make a big effort to get my fish eating pellets or flakes, and feed small doses of NLS pellets regularly (thrown in with their normal frozen fare), so that when I go out of town it's not an issue. The auto-feeder is set to distribute very small amounts of food daily while I'm gone; in years of using them, the only issues I've had are them NOT dispensing food. I've never had an incident of over-dispensing (which would be my one main concern).

The octopuses, of course, require a whole different set of care; luckily, I have a team of friends and co-workers who have graciously allowed me to teach them how to feed frozen on a feeding stick, and who are conscientious about keeping those tanks on absolute lock-down so there are no accidental escapes.


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Old 09/14/2017, 05:25 AM   #14
alton
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My fish are spoiled. Last week I ran out of LRS so I had to fill in with mini mysis and spiralina brine. Although they are eating it, they clean it up and look at me with that "Wheres the Beef Look, because this ain't enough! New order is on its way to SA from LRS, hopefully it comes in this week? My fish in my office only get fed Monday thru Friday, getting more on Friday and Monday's.


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Old 09/14/2017, 11:00 AM   #15
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Does this hold true for Anthias as well?


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Old 09/14/2017, 11:11 AM   #16
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i have a snowflake eel and harlequin tusk in my mixed reef, if i didnt feed for a week, i guarantee some of my smaller wrasses, firefish, etc would be gone. and my tusk would probably kill all my snails and urchins.


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Old 09/14/2017, 01:27 PM   #17
ca1ore
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Does this hold true for Anthias as well?
It does for me. I have 15 anthias in my tank and no vacation starvees chez moi ... ever.


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Simon

Got back into the hobby ..... planned to keep it simple ..... yeah, right ..... clearly I need a new plan! Pet peeve: anemones host clowns; clowns do not host anemones!

Current Tank Info: 265 Reef; 120 refugium; 60 Frag Tank, 30 Introduction tank; multiple QTs
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Old 09/14/2017, 04:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rilelen View Post

For me, the auto-feeder is an easy solution for my main tank that greatly reduces potential harm at very little cost; I make a big effort to get my fish eating pellets or flakes, and feed small doses of NLS pellets regularly (thrown in with their normal frozen fare), so that when I go out of town it's not an issue. The auto-feeder is set to distribute very small amounts of food daily while I'm gone; in years of using them, the only issues I've had are them NOT dispensing food. I've never had an incident of over-dispensing (which would be my one main concern).


What auto-feeder have you had good luck with? It looks like Eheim has one with good reviews.


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Old 09/14/2017, 06:33 PM   #19
Fredfish
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It does for me. I have 15 anthias in my tank and no vacation starvees chez moi ... ever.
That is good to know. I've not fed other fish, both fresh and salt water, while on vacation. I did have a vacation feeder when I kept seahorses though.

I don't like the idea of being tied to a tank during vacations.


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Old 09/14/2017, 06:39 PM   #20
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What auto-feeder have you had good luck with? It looks like Eheim has one with good reviews.
That's the one - the Eheim "Feed-Air" digital automatic feeder. I think I have four or five of them at this point, between my home and office tanks.


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Old 09/14/2017, 08:52 PM   #21
ca1ore
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That is good to know. I've not fed other fish, both fresh and salt water, while on vacation. I did have a vacation feeder when I kept seahorses though.

I don't like the idea of being tied to a tank during vacations.
The key, particularly with frequent feeders like anthias, is to keep them in good condition. Then they will handle a week of fasting easily. If they are on the edge, that week may well do them in.


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Simon

Got back into the hobby ..... planned to keep it simple ..... yeah, right ..... clearly I need a new plan! Pet peeve: anemones host clowns; clowns do not host anemones!

Current Tank Info: 265 Reef; 120 refugium; 60 Frag Tank, 30 Introduction tank; multiple QTs
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Old 09/14/2017, 09:06 PM   #22
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My anthias are nearly bulletproof once they get acclimated to the reef. I do have autofeeder and they all eat NLS pellets three times a day, but they do just fine. I keep the autofeeders on when I leave for vacation, but I don't have anybody feed them any more than that.


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Old 09/15/2017, 12:31 PM   #23
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My anthias are nearly bulletproof once they get acclimated to the reef. I do have autofeeder and they all eat NLS pellets three times a day, but they do just fine. I keep the autofeeders on when I leave for vacation, but I don't have anybody feed them any more than that.
Also they seem to be better adapt to eating large meals fewer times a day after being kept in aquarium for several months. I dont know if their stomachs get larger or if it just a habit change but all the anthias I kept eventually adjusted to eating bigger portions over time.


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Old 09/15/2017, 12:46 PM   #24
ca1ore
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It does depend a lot on what species you're talking about though. the bigger species like lyretails, bartletts, bimacs, even squares do adapt. The smaller species, not so much.


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Simon

Got back into the hobby ..... planned to keep it simple ..... yeah, right ..... clearly I need a new plan! Pet peeve: anemones host clowns; clowns do not host anemones!

Current Tank Info: 265 Reef; 120 refugium; 60 Frag Tank, 30 Introduction tank; multiple QTs
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Old 09/15/2017, 12:47 PM   #25
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you don't keep the same fish as me. some of mine would most likely starve, or be close to starving after 5 days.


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