Caring for Your Fish While on Holiday

As fishkeepers, some of our first thoughts before going away on a holiday, ‘will my fish tank be alright whilst I’m away’? Not to worry, we are here to help you get things in order before your trip so you can have a great time free from any worries about your aquarium at home.

Before you travel

Set an automatic timer for your lights

You will not want to leave your fish in darkness the whole time you are gone, and you also will not want to leave your lights on the whole time! The best way to control fish tank lighting while you are gone is by setting an automatic timer. Not only are automatic aquarium light timers great for holidays, but for everyday use if you have a busy schedule.

Water change and checks

We recommend doing a 10-15% water change a few days before you leave home. Do not perform any larger water changes as this can drastically change your water parameters. It is also a good idea to do some last minute water tests, make sure all your aquarium equipment is in working order (fish tank filter, pumps, thermometer, etc.) and have a look at your fish to make sure they appear physically healthy.

Teach your fish-sitter

If you are going on a nice long holiday, and leaving a friend or family member in charge of your fish tank, make sure they know the diets and feeding schedules of all your fish. If you have multiple species that require different specific foods, make sure they know this. If your aquarium-sitter will be doing a small water change for you while you are away, ensure they have been around before you leave so you can show them exactly what to do. To be safe, it is a good idea to write down instructions as well to be left near the fish tank.

Feeding your fish while away:

Do not feed

If you are gone for a short amount of time (2-5 days) then your fish tank will be perfectly fine without any extra care! Fish can go days without food and still remain healthy – for some species, a period of fasting is even good for their digestive tract.

Automatic feeder

Automatic fish feeders are a handy piece of equipment if you are going away. They are super easy to use – simply fill it, set the times you want it to release food and you’re all set.

Holiday food block

A holiday food grazer is a great way to ensure your fish have the option to eat while you are away without getting somebody to look after them. Most feeders, like the Vitalis 7-day grazer, are good for a week and will not produce extra waste in your tank that will lead to bad water quality. 


If you will be gone on holiday for more than 1 week, it might be a good option to have somebody come in from time to time and check up on your aquarium. They will be able to feed your fish or check to make sure your automatic feeder is working. They will also be able to inspect your water temperature, which is good when you are away during the warmer summer months.

**Fish-sitter tip: If the person looking after your fish is not a fishkeeper themselves, there is a chance that they may overfeed. A great idea is to get a Sun.-Sat. pill box and allocate the proper amount of food inside each of the compartments.

When you return:

Upon your return, the first thing you should probably do is remove any excess food or remove your holiday feeder block. After that, try to do a 10-15% water change as soon as possible. The longer you have been away they more water changes you will have to make before everything is back on track.