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digitalwater20

Going overseas. What can I do with my cichlids?

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Hi everyone, I need your advice and/or suggestions please.  I have a 4ft African Cichlid tank (Mbuna) with about 20 fish of various sizes upto 15 to 20cms of electric yellows, blues, Red empress, Red zebra etc. I will be going overseas for about 7 weeks early December and I am unsure what to do with my fish.  I thought about two ideas: 

1. Get my house sitter to feed my fish every second day and get aquarium service people to come in and do a clean every fortnight (cant trust house sitter to do water changes etc) i think they charge around $30 for a water change. or

2. Give all the fish back to my local pet shop and get a store credit and buy New fish when I come back. The only problem with this is is they value the fish as next to nothing like $10 bucks each when they sell a tiny thing at $30 each when I did this year's ago.

Is there another option? What did you guys do? Really appreciate your thoughts.  Thanks folks.

Rick.

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I sent my fish to a LFS to look after one time for a small fee, but that was for one fish. You have 20 or so fishes, that might not be an option?

Option one might work out better. Feeding every 3 days maybe and maintenance every 2 weeks to cut the costs. or cut it down to every 4 days feeding.. to reduce waste.

 

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6 minutes ago, inkevnito said:

I sent my fish to a LFS to look after one time for a small fee, but that was for one fish. You have 20 or so fishes, that might not be an option?

Option one might work out better. Feeding every 3 days maybe and maintenance every 2 weeks to cut the costs. or cut it down to every 4 days feeding.. to reduce waste.

 

I haven't asked the LFS if they will just look after them.  Didn't think of that. Will call them to check.  I've never been away this long so didn't have to worry in the past. Cutting down on feeding will keep the house sitter happy too. Thanks for the suggestions :)

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any particular brand/model you recommend  Soarer?  I never owned one as I heard stories of them failing to feed or over feed etc.

Thanks inkevnito - if they have a spare tank and can look after them, all will be sorted. x fingers.

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I went over seas for 4 months, left son in law to feed and top up water, no water changes or maintenance, tank  one discus, corries, yo-yos and bristlies. tank two and three colonies of peppermints. Did not lose any fish, pepps even bred, only thing I did was use a measure for food and possibly under fed slightly.

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No water change for 4 months and no fish lost gives me some confidence to keep my fish and get someone to feed and top up water Peter M. Don't think my house sitter will find it too difficult topping up water. Some great tips. Thanks guys! 

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5 hours ago, digitalwater20 said:

No water change for 4 months and no fish lost gives me some confidence to keep my fish and get someone to feed and top up water Peter M. Don't think my house sitter will find it too difficult topping up water. Some great tips. Thanks guys! 

yep had a house sitter when we were away for 6 weeks.  I did a instruction guide for each tank.  what to feed, adding water, lights on and off.  simple stuff really.  I did major water change before we left and all was good when we came home.

each tank had its own instruction leaflet.  not too difficult at all.

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I got some off ebay but they don't hold much food (about half a cup of pellets) and it is only good for about 2-3 weeks on my 6x2x2 with 20 electric yellows before I have to refill it. The only issue I have found is the moisture from my tank made the little door that opens to let the food out gets stuck so I used some hot glue and glued a 5 cent coin on it to add some weight and its perfect now.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Pond-Aquarium-Tank-Timer-Feeding-Digital-LCD-Auto-Automatic-Fish-Food-Feeder-Hot-/191918094538?hash=item2caf35b8ca:g:HWgAAOSwuzRXf2Is

You could turn it down to the smallest setting and get a lot longer out of it before it needs to be refilled.

 

 

 

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There is no reason why you can't get someone to feed the fish every second day so long as they are not babies however you need to make allowances for the metabolism of the fish. If you were to go from feeding the fish twice daily to suddenly once every second day you will create chaos with aggression. You will need to slowly decrease the frequency and rate of feeding to give your fish time to adjust. It is possible. Experiments have been done where Africans were fed once or twice a week and the fish maintained health and kept breeding - BUT - it was done slowly. I am not advocating that in your circumstance. Biggest killer of fish whilst away is overfeeding. If you use an auto feeder test it thoroughly before use and don't buy a cheap one. With prior planning as per above your second day feedings should work fine. Mbuna are masters at finding their own food - they'll suck off sponge filters - algae etc. I purge fish prior to shipping and despite this I always have to take extra steps with mbuna due to the ampunt of waste they create in the bag - despite being purged they find their own food just fine! Not all your fish are mbuna however. If you go with your second option and sell up you could always get in touch with me when you get back - I sell large display males for the prices you mention shops are charging for small juveniles and I can ship to your door. Cheers

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Thanks for the great advice none.  Will start cutting down feeding to once a day over the next couple of months and every second day in the final weeks for them to adjust. I already ruled out the auto feeders. Can't find one that feed alternate days. They are all daily and I have a closed tank with hood etc.

Will surely get in touch when I get back as I do want to add a bit more colour to the tank. Too many yellows now (breeding )..

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