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How To Feed Betta Fish While On Vacation: 4 Great Ways (With Bonus Tips)

Lindsey Stanton Profile Picture

By Lindsey Stanton

double tail betta fish_Buddy BIGPhotographer, Shutterstock

It’s summer, it’s nice out, and you are looking to go on vacation, or maybe it’s wintertime and you want to go somewhere not quite as freezing cold. Wherever you are going, you obviously cannot take your betta fish with you.

The fish will have to stay at home, but of course, here you will run into the problem of feeding.

Well, there are various solutions to this issue. Yes, your betta fish has to eat while you are gone for whatever number of days. You can do this by getting an automatic feeder that releases food into the tank every day, you can use feeder fish, or get someone else to look after the Betta fish.

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The 4 Ways To Feed Your Betta When You Go On Vacation

Let’s go over the 4 different ways you can ensure that your betta fish gets fed and doesn’t starve while you go on vacation. On a side note, any and all of these solutions only go so far, at least in terms of how long they are effective.

Yeah, they will all work fine if you are just going for few days, but some of them won’t do if you are leaving for an extended vacation.

betta fish
Image Credit: Panpilai Paipa, Shutterstock

1. Get An Automatic Fish Feeder

One of the easiest solutions that you can go with to keep your betta fish fed while you go to a sandy beach is to get an automatic fish feeder. Yes, these will cost a bit of money, especially if you get a high-quality one, but it is well worth the investment considering that your betta will be able to survive while you are gone.

Automatic fish feeders can be programmed to release a certain amount of food into the aquarium at specific intervals or times of the day. Some work with intervals, some just release food once per day, and some can be programmed to release certain amounts at certain times.

These are definitely quite convenient and in case you are wondering how long they last, the good ones can last for weeks. In fact, some of the best automatic fish feeders out there can keep your betta fed for up to 6 weeks.

However, it is not like you can leave your betta alone for 6 weeks just because it is being fed by a machine. Filters still need cleaning, media needs changing, the glass needs scrubbing, the substrate needs vacuuming, water needs to be changed, and waste needs to be removed from the tank.

Water changes need to be done once per week or every 10 days at most, so leaving your Betta fish alone for any longer than that is not recommended.

2. Place Feeder Fish In The Tank

Now, betta fish usually will not eat other fish unless they are newborn fish fry, but this is still an option. If you can get your hands on some newborn fish fry, such as goldfish fry or minnows, putting a good number of them in the tank may keep your betta fish fed for a few days.

However, this does not come without its own set of issues. Sometimes betta fish just won’t eat other fish, even if they are small fry.

Also, the more fish you have in the aquarium, the dirtier the water will get in a limited amount of time. It is not recommended to put too many live worms, shrimp, or other such live animals in the tank with the aim of keeping your Betta fish fed while on vacation.

While these things will keep the betta fish’s stomach full, they can cause some pretty serious water quality issues, and if you are not there to change the water, this can become a huge problem real fast.

green betta
Image Credit: Panpilai Paipa, Shutterstock

3. Put A Food Block Into The Tank

Another common method of keeping a betta fish fed while you go on vacation is to put a feeder block into the aquarium. There are various types of feeder blocks out there, with many being available for tropical fish, specifically betta fish.

These are blocks of food that are compacted together and are designed to dissolve and break apart in the water over time.

You can go with a weekend feeder block, which will last for 2 to 3 days, so if you are going on a weekend trip, this will do fine. There are also vacation fish food blocks out there that can last for up to 14 days.

If you are going on a longer vacation, this is what you need to get. However, fish food blocks do come with some issues of their own, especially the larger ones designed for long vacations.

Fish feeder blocks will make the water dirty. As the food dissolves, breaks apart and is released into the aquarium, a lot of that material will cause cloudy water, it can alter the pH level of the water, and cause ammonia spikes too.

If you are going away for quite a while, make sure your aquarium filter is in top condition and has been cleaned. It will be necessary to keep the water from getting too dirty due to the feeder block.

4. Get Someone Else To Look After Your Betta Fish

feeding fish
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

Without a doubt, the best option to feed your betta fish while you are on vacation is to get someone to come by and look after it, or on the other hand, if you have a small fish tank, you can carefully transport it to a neighbor and have them look after it.

It should be somebody who you trust, somebody you know will not forget to feed your fish and somebody who won’t just throw a bunch of marshmallows into the tank.

As long as it is someone reliable, this is the best option to go with. Just be sure to explain all of the necessary details to whoever is going to be looking after the fish. Provide them with the fish food and explain the feeding schedule to them.

If you are going away for a prolonged period of time, explaining how to clean the tank and change the water is probably a good idea too.

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Tips For Leaving Your Betta Fish While On Vacation

Let’s just go over the most important and basic tips you need to know about if you plan on leaving your fish at home while you go on vacation, especially if you are going for a week or more.

  • Make sure to do a thorough cleaning of the aquarium before you go on vacation. This means cleaning the glass, vacuuming the substrate, and changing the water.
  • Before you go on vacation, make sure to clean or change all filter media so it is operating at maximum efficiency. You will also want to clean your filter, such as the tubing, to make sure that it is working properly. You want the filter to work as well as humanly possible to keep the water crystal clear while you are gone.
  • Yes, fish do like to get some light, but you would be wise to get a timer and set it so that the lights are not on for too long. Although most aquarium lighting systems are pretty safe, they can sometimes short out and cause issues. Keeping them on only for a limited amount of time will help to prevent this.
  • On that same note, be sure to closely inspect any electronics in the tank, such as the filter, a heater, or anything else of the sort. They need to be in top condition so you can be sure that they won’t break down while you are gone.
    betta fish
    Image Credit: Vilasack Southisane, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

So, if you plan on going on vacation, and you have a betta fish, make sure to find a good way to feed it. Whether you use a feeder block, an automatic feeder or you get someone else to look after it, you have to do it right.

Taking the proper precautions and making the necessary preparations is very important here, at least if you want to come home from your vacation to a live and happy betta fish.

Featured Image Credit: Buddy BIGPhotographer, Shutterstock

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