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3 Easy Tips To Feed Your Fish While On Vacation!

Being a pet owner necessitates extensive preparations for your cherished animals while you are away on vacation. Fish are very low-maintenance pets, so you do not need to bother about toilet breaks or daily walks. Yet, they will still require food while your absence. If you are concerned about how to feed your fish while on vacation, we have you covered. Continue reading "3 Easy Tips To Feed Your Fish While on Vacation!" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) to discover more about your options, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and how to best prepare for your flight.

The 3 Methods For Feeding Your Fish While on Vacation

1. Find a Pet Sitter

The majority of pet owners will hire a pet sitter to care for their pets while they are on vacation. No matter what species of animals you share your home with, they will undoubtedly require care and possibly even supervision while you are away.

Luckily, fish sitting is a rather simple task. They won’t require as much care as a dog or cat, but they will still need to be fed and monitored. Invite a trustworthy friend or member of the family to visit your home while you are away to feed your fish as usual.

You may need to give instructions if they are unfamiliar with their care requirements, but this is the ideal alternative because you won’t have to rely on the automated feeder or the vacation feeder to complete the task. The main disadvantage of choosing a pet sitter is that you will need to hire someone to come into your home and care for your pets if you do not have any friends or family who can assist you.

While though hiring a pet sitter will be more expensive, it may be well worth it if you have additional pets in the home that need to be cared for and would want someone to check on your property and report any suspicious behavior.


  • Offers peace of mind while you’re gone
  • Can take care of all household pets Can monitor your home while you’re abroad
  • Can strictly adhere to your feeding and care instructions


  • Costly if you hire a paid sitter

2. Use an Automatic Feeder

When leaving on vacation, you may also utilize an automated feeder. You are not need to be there for an automated feeder to function, and you may set the timer for a predetermined amount of food to be supplied at the specified intervals.

Automated feeders are simple to operate and inexpensive. If you do not have a reliable pet sitter to come to your home and feed your fish while you are away, this is an excellent option. These may also be used at any time, eliminating the need to manually feed your fish even while you are at home.

The most significant disadvantage of automated feeders is malfunction. A fault may result in the feeder not dispensing any food or dispensing much food at once. If it malfunctions while you are away, your fish will not be fed and you will be unaware.

These feeders can only dispense pelleted or flaked feeds, therefore if your fish consumes other types of food, such as frozen, you cannot use them. Moreover, there is no one to pick up any remains, so the tank will likely require a complete cleaning upon your return.


  • Automatically feeds your fish; no need for human presence
  • Excellent for fish who require many feedings each day
  • May be used at home as well


  • Risk of malfunction
  • Limit food dispensing to flakes or pellets
  • No cleanup for leftovers

3. Try a Vacation Feeder

A vacation feeder is an alternative method for feeding your fish while you are away. They are packaged with meals as either slow-release gel blocks or calcium blocks. These feeders may be purchased for various time periods, including two days for weekend vacations, seven days, and fourteen days.

These food blocks will gradually dissolve in water, releasing the food they contain. As they dissolve slowly, there is no need to worry about too much food being released at once; nevertheless, the calcium blocks will dissolve more quickly in acidic water.

Obviously, you must ensure that the block includes the sort of food that your specific fish requires. Since circulation is required to dissolve the blocks, they cannot be used in tanks with stagnant water and should only be used in tanks with an active filtration system and continuous water movement.

They are most appropriate for tiny fish and tanks with few residents. These blocks may not contain sufficient food to feed larger fish that demand more food or tanks with a huge number of fish, since some may not receive their portions. It is significantly more difficult to estimate the amount of feeder blocks required, and tanks with many fish may require more than one.

Consider that calcium blocks may have an effect on the water’s chemistry. Gel feeders are far less likely to negatively affect water quality.


  • Feeds your fish by dissolving over time
  • No human presence required
  • Ideal for fish that require feeding several times per day
  • Available in 2-day, 7-day, and 14-day durations


  • May affect water quality
  • Fish may reject food
  • Not recommended for larger fish or many species in a single tank
  • Cannot be used unless in a filtered aquarium with consistent water movement

Aquarium Preparation Before Vacation

It’s a good idea to perform some aquarium maintenance before you leave on vacation to guarantee that your aquarium is in good condition throughout your absence. Here are some things you may do to prepare your house for your next trip.

1. Completely Clean the Aquarium

Instead of waiting until you return, you should thoroughly clean the aquarium and do a complete water change before you leave. Whether you hire a pet sitter or an automated feeder, this will be useful.

If you clean the aquarium, it may eliminate the need for your pet sitter to do so, and if they are less skilled, it may be counterproductive to ask them to do so.

Instead, whether you are using an automated feeder or a vacation block, this will guarantee that your water is as clean as possible in the event that the feeder leaves food in the tank.

2. Stock Up on Fish Food

Regardless of whether you have a pet sitter coming to feed your fish, you must have adequate food on hand for your fish while you are away.

If you utilize an automated feeder, you should restock it as necessary. Ensure that you have sufficient vacation blocks for the duration of your absence.

3. Monitor the Water

When replacing the water, be sure to monitor the temperature to ensure that the heater is functioning correctly and that the desired temperature is maintained.

You might also test the water’s pH to ensure that it is suitable for your fish. This should remove any water-related concerns while your absence.

4. Ensure the Feeder is Operating Correctly

If you want to use an automated feeder throughout your vacation, you should begin using it before you leave to ensure that it is functioning correctly. If you waited until just before departure to start the feeder, it may contain an undiagnosed defect that would be detrimental to your fish.

Ensure you are well-versed in its operation and that it is programmed to dispense the correct amount of food at the appropriate intervals. About vacation blocks, it is essential that you test them ahead to ensure that they dissolve correctly, feed the fish appropriately, and do not affect water quality.

5. Instructions for the Pet Sitter

If you have a pet sitter coming to care for your fish and/or other animals while you are away, you should provide them with thorough food and care instructions that they may refer to as necessary.

It is possible that you may not be approachable throughout your vacation, therefore you must ensure that they have precise instructions for completing the task.

Include feeding instructions and a list of things to inspect on the list (temperature, pH, any issues with your fish, and any other necessary information).

Before you depart, it is prudent to give them a complete tour so you can answer any concerns and show them where all the supplies are.

Quick Feeding Tips for Pet Sitters

  • Feed fish daily at the same time.
  • Carefully measure the meal amount.
  • Never give fish more food than they can ingest within two minutes to prevent deterioration.
  • To prevent spoilage, keep flake, pellet, and freeze-dried fish meals cold and dry.


There are three alternatives for feeding your fish while you’re away listed in “3 Easy Tips To Feed Your Fish While on Vacation!” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org): a pet sitter, an automated feeder, and a vacation feeding block.

Each has its own list of advantages and disadvantages, so you must evaluate which choice is best for you and your fish.

Due to the particular nature of fish, you must additionally consider the special care requirements for your species.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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