3-4 week vacation
I know it's not ideal, but would it be safe to go 3-4 weeks without changing the water? I could have someone come feed the fish every couple of days with pre-measured amounts, but I'm not really sure if I would want to burden them/ trust them to do a water change. What do you all think?
I think most tanks would be quite toxic after that length of time.
8 tanks running now:
1x 220 gallon, 2x55 gallon, 1x40 gallon long, 1x29 gallon, 1x20 gallon long, 1x5.5 gallon, 1x2 gallon
Gouramis, barbs, rasboras, plecos, corys, tetras, fancy guppies, swordtails, ottos, rainbow shark, upside-down catfish, snails, and Max and Sparkles the bettas.
I faced the same situation, except I was going away on business for almost 8 weeks. I couldn't find anyone (that knew enough about fish and that I could trust) to do water changes. What I did was massive wc's on all the tanks before leaving to get nitrates as low as possible. Cleaned all filters. Have my friend coming over to feed only twice a week. Tanks are all heavily planted, lights on timers, and I stuffed the filters on the large tanks with purigen and chemi-pure. The light feedings should help greatly decrease the bioload and the plants should take up a lot of the nitrates.
Now I'm still away on business and don't know what kind of shape the tanks will be in when I get home, but my friend reports they're all doing well. She doesn't know much about fish, but she's a smart person and would freak out and let me know if any fish were having trouble. She's also topping off with dechlor water.
It was the best I could do, I've got my fingers crossed it worked.
Originally Posted by i_am_511
how heavily stocked is your tank? The heavier the stocking, the greater the chance there will be a problem.
300 gallon mega tank
: build in progress
75 gallon community tank
: tetras, danios, corys, platies, otos, pearl gouramis, bristlenose pleco, assassin snails, red cherry shrimp, bamboo shrimp
70 gallon growout tank: clown loaches, sailfin pleco
60 gallon goldfish tank: fancy goldfish
29 gallon frog tank / 10 gallon tadpole tank
: 1 leopard frog, 1 tadpole
10 gallon and 5.5 gallon betta tanks: 1 male betta each, sometimes snails
Make sure they at least know how to top off the water and add dechlorinator to it.
How often do you currently do WC's and what is a typical reading on nitrates before a WC? This may give you an idea of what to expect.
Cutting down to feeding 2-3 times a week will also help.
I have let my tank go for at least 4 weeks without a water change. The fish have been fine every time. occasionally, I just dont have time to do more than feed the little guys.
I think if tanks without water changes for four weeks were toxic there would be about 98% fewer fishkeepers. I think most people who have fish do water changes at about that frequency to begin with, many much longer.
As others have said, this could depend on your current stocking, feeding (both now and while on vacation), etc.
If you have a few bristlenose plecos, feed lightly, and do extra water changes before and after I don't think there will be much of an issue.
There is also the option of looking into a professional aquarium maintenance company. The store I was running did service as well and we had numerous clients that we never heard from except for vacations. Obviously it is not free, but it is a good way to rely on someone who knows what they are doing to care for your scaled friends.
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