View Full Version : RCS and ten-day fast?

06-28-2011, 02:38 PM
I know fish can go for up to ten days without food and be fine. But, what about invertebrates like Red Cherry Shrimp? Do they need to feed more often? Mine just eat whatever leftover fish food falls their way, and they also sometimes scavange the substrate for bits and pieces the fish have missed. Can my RCS go the full ten days we'll be away without fresh food being offered? Should I put in a piece of feeder block for them, if not for the fish?

-- mermaidwannabe

06-28-2011, 02:42 PM
is this a planted tank? I should think that between leftover food, algae, dead plant matter, and biofilm, the shrimp should have plenty to eat.

If the fish get too hungry, though, the shrimp might start looking tastier to them...

06-28-2011, 03:06 PM
I wouldn't let fish go 10 days without food. Its irrelevent whether or not they can go that long,they shouldn't have to. Get an auto feeder .

06-28-2011, 04:00 PM
I wouldn't let fish go 10 days without food. Its irrelevent whether or not they can go that long,they shouldn't have to. Get an auto feeder .

I agree. There are plenty of inexpensive battery operated autofeeders on the market that anyone planning a 10 or more day trip should be able to purchase one. Also, if I recall, you used the feeder blocks last time and they messed up your water. I have heard enough stories about feeder blocks causing problems that I would never use one, nor would I ever recommend that anyone else did. I went out of state to work for 30 days a couple years ago and had autofeeders on three tanks. All of my fish not only survived, but appeared to be in perfect health when I came home. I also had light timers set to keep the plants healthy. The plants helped keep the water quality great. Nitrate levels were between 5 and 10 after 30 days.

06-28-2011, 04:13 PM
Or just see if a friend could come over every few days and feed the fish for ya. A neighbor or someone you trust....

06-28-2011, 04:38 PM
Hmmm. This is different than what I was previously told about fish being able to fast for up to ten days. Anyway, I don't like doing that, even if they'll be fine. Especially the dojos, who are accustomed to getting treats.

Don't have an auto-feeder, and I've heard that they can malfunction and not dispense food properly. We're leaving tomorrow, and haven't got time to stop at LFS to get one. Not sure I could trust it if I got it.

There is biofilm for the shrimp and some live plants -- no algae, though.

Guess I'll have to go with the feeder block and do a massive water change when I return. I was thinking of splitting it into pieces and only putting a small portion into the tank, so that everyone is at least fed something.

I have minimal plants -- one Anubias nana, several mossballs, and several floating plants. In the past, the floaters and mossballs got by with ambient room light. Not sure about the Anubias -- I'll make sure plenty of light comes in through the windows. Just hope it doesn't get too warm...

I'll check with our neighbor. Hubby really doesn't want anyone in the house while we're gone. If he agrees to it this time, I'll have the neighbor come in instead of using the feeder block.

I'm doing a massive water change today, before we go.

This is all I have, right now ...

-- mermaid

06-28-2011, 05:07 PM
How is this different than you have been previously told? Smaug simply said that he would not and I agreed.

Putting nothing in the tank would be the next best alternative instead of using a feeder block which you have seen first hand how they effect the water quality.

I was unaware that you were waiting until the last minute to plan this and don't have time to get an autofeeder.

As far as autofeeders malfunctioning, any component of your setup can malfunction. This includes heaters, filters etc... I don't see this as a reason to not use them.

06-28-2011, 06:04 PM
How would the Anubias nana do with just ambient room light? This is my first time having one of those ...

-- mermaid

06-28-2011, 08:41 PM
I have over a dozen small shrimp tanks, different types of shrimp, not just red cherry shrimp. Every few months I go away with 2-3 weeks at a time, I don't feed the tanks at all for that time period that I'm gone. Never had anything bad happen. One thing I do which I think helps is I don't wipe the algae off the sides of the sides of the tank for a few weeks before I leave. That way there is some algae in the tank for the shrimp to feed off of. Also there is some plants of some sort in every tank. If the tank is bare, a handful of java moss in each tank works rather well.

06-28-2011, 08:47 PM
Thanks, folks.

I went into town to our local garden center / feed store. They have a limited selection of aquarium supplies (no fish). I found a different kind of feeder block there -- not the white plaster type I used before, but the gel type. I'm only going to put in enough for seven days. That should tide them over nicely.

I'll see how that kind works. It isn't supposed to cloud the water or affect pH, but they all say that.

If that works well without affecting water quality too much, gel may be the answer over ugly white plaster.

I have more plants, now, so maybe the nitrates will stay lower, this time.

-- mermaid

06-28-2011, 09:23 PM
post deleted by smaug

06-28-2011, 11:02 PM
Oh, and next trip to the LFS, I will be looking into the automatic feeders.

Which kind / brand do you folks recommend as being the easiest to use and set, and most reliable?

-- Mermaid

06-29-2011, 01:04 PM
Before I shut down the computer for ten days, here's the latest:

Yesterday, I did an 85% water change. This morning, I broke one of those gel blocks into two pieces and put half of it into the tank. That should give everyone something to eat without being too obnoxious to my water quality.

When we return, I'll be doing another 85% water change.

Meanwhile, light stays off and ambient room light will illuminate the tank during the day.

Next trip to LFS -- automatic feeder.

See ya all later ...

-- mermaid

06-29-2011, 01:30 PM
good luck, hope everything works out, I'm sure it will

06-29-2011, 03:28 PM
There is a type I saw that has individual compartments that dump at set times. In this way you can be sure of exact prtions.

Wild Turkey
06-29-2011, 04:32 PM
Shrimp will be more than fine more ten days ime. They feed mostly on biofilm which is growing in the tank whether you are there or not.

06-29-2011, 05:57 PM
I understand there are fish in there too WT. But as mentioned earlier,fish consider shrimp as a food item so I suppose they wont go unfed afterall. :jaws:

Wild Turkey
06-29-2011, 07:56 PM
Mmmmmm Shrimp. :18:

Yea im sure they will eat some after a few days. Fish should be fine imo but I think its more of an issue for them definitely.

07-02-2011, 05:51 PM
I agree with korith, most any well balanced tank that is not overpopulated can easily go 10 days with no feed, especially red cherry shrimp. However, I would not include that with not using the lights, put them on a timer. Without lights the whole system will quickly go down hill. Bits of algae, refuse and biofilm will keep them happy. When you get back they will look at you and say, 'what, you were gone? Hadn't noticed.'

07-11-2011, 12:02 AM
And the news is good.

Everyone looks healthy, no diatoms anywhere, water quality still good. I did a couple of tests and there's no ammonia and the nitrates are still a respectable 20ppm.

All the live plants look good, too, including the Anubias nana. No yellow leaves.

Haven't seen any of my shrimp, but that's not unusual. They mostly hide, anyway.

There was some normal evaporation, and I've just topped off the tank. Tomorrow, I do another 70-80% water change, and I'll be vacumming the gravel, too. I can imagine that prefilter sponge needs wringing out, bigtime! Will also rinse the basket media.

We did have a storm and a power outage while we were away, but it apparently wasn't long enough to kill off much of my BB. The airstone would have run on a battery for up to 24 hours, but the filter would have stopped, altogether. As far as I can see, it is functioning normally.

When I first broke off pieces of the gel feeder block and dropped them into the tank, one of my little dojos pushed a piece of it into his cave and tucked it into a far corner, as if to say, "These goodies are MINE!"

I'll bet the trates didn't rise too high because of (a the 85% water change I did before leaving, and b) the additional live plants I now have in the tank.

No sign of the gel feeder pieces. They must have completely dissolved.

There was natural sunlight coming into the room through two windows, so the plants still got some. The temperature was sitting at around 72-74 when I checked it, and may have been holding steady there the entire time we were gone. If it stormed, the air was probably kept cooler.

So, everybody's okay. I will still be getting an automatic feeder for the future. I just had so much on my plate before leaving that I was scrambling toward the end, and there just wasn't time to go to the LFS.

-- mermaidwannabe

Lady Hobbs
07-11-2011, 12:47 AM
Shrimp will be fine. A couple algae pellets dropped in the tank will last a few days, as well. But I would never let my fish go 10 days without food, either. In my recent week in FL, I had someone pop in and feed the fish twice.

Wild Turkey
07-11-2011, 02:59 PM
Glad to hear everything went according to plan! thumbs2: