If you are a family with pets, you care about their well-being. Vacation time usually means your pets must stay at home when you go on holidays, and some planning and preparation is required for all of them. When dogs and cats go to a boarding facility, arrangements usually include food, toys, sleep-related items and getting them to the facility and back.

Fish, on the other hand, usually stay home. Therefore, preparing their environment for your absence is necessary. When it comes to your aquarium, the following tips are the basic things to consider before going on vacation:

Fish Have to Eat: Automatic Feeder

• The best food for automatic feeders are the small to medium sized granules or pellets. Indeed, they are the easiest to regulate and adjust, and they tend to be distributed more equally during feeding time.
• Get your fish used to eating granules or pellets to ensure that they will readily eat them while you’re away. To do so, mix in the granules or pellets with their habitual food to acclimate them gradually to granular nutrition (we recommend Fluval Bug Bites).

Controlling light to reduce algae issues and protect your home: Timer for Lights

• Regulating lighting accurately with a timer is one of the best ways to prevent algae growth and is a method of making potential intruders believe that someone is likely home even if you are away.

Aquarium Clean Up: FX Gravel Cleaner, ProVac Gravel Cleaner, Razor+

• Remove as much organic waste as possible using a powered gravel cleaner, a tool designed for this task. Before doing a spot clean with the gravel cleaner, scrub the inside of the glass so that bits of algae can be removed along with debris from the substrate. This improves water quality and further protects your fish during your absence.

Water Change and Conditioners: Tap Water Conditioner, Biological Enhancer, and Biological Cleaner

Doing a slightly higher than average partial water change before going on vacation and using the 3 following water additives ensures clean healthy water conditions while removing dissolved organics and pollutants:
1. A good tap water conditioner reduces the undesirable levels of metals and organic pollutants often contained in tap water.
2. Biological enhancer is a liquid that contains concentrated colonies of nitrifying bacteria that rapidly consume natural biological compounds produced by fish, such as toxic ammonia.
3. Biological Cleaner breaks down organic waste and ensures that your aquarium is populated with a healthy population of beneficial bacteria that will attack organic waste from fish as it is produced.

As an additional benefit, filters will stay cleaner and the water will be oxygenated more effectively.

Filter Maintenance and Filter Media: Mechanical Filter Media (Foam Blocks), Chemical Filter Media (Carbon), and Biological Filter Media (Bio-Max)

• It is recommended to clean your filter about a week before the partial water change and your departure. Rinse and clean bio media using water taken from your aquarium, replace carbon, or use Fluval Total Clear carbon while also rinsing or replacing foam filtration blocks. When reinstalling filter media, make sure to add a dose of Fluval Biological Enhancer to the filter to ensure strong nitrification. Add Biological Cleaner to the aquarium to help build a strong population of heterotrophic species to keep organic accumulations in check while supporting improved dissolved oxygen levels.

Rest assured that by following these tips, your fish will thrive during your vacation and you will return to a happy healthy aquarium! Enjoy your holidays!