The Betta fish, also known as the Siamese fighting fish, is a popular choice for an aquarium pet. Its bright colors and flowing fins make it easy on the eyes, and fun to watch as well. While the Betta fish is a generally low-maintenance pet, you will still need to provide it some care and attention especially before you go on vacation. Before you, take some time to plan the care of your pet with these tips:
- Feeding. Fish can survive for several days without food, which is why they make such low-maintenance pets. Feed your Betta fish as much as it can take right before you leave, and feed it as soon as you get back. It is advisable to feed it a lot of high-protein foods like dried brine shrimp and blood worms, to give it enough energy to survive a three-day weekend trip without feeding. If you plan to go on longer trips, you can opt to use food blocks. Also known as vacation blocks or banquet blocks, these are made from plaster of Paris and will expose more food for your fish while the plaster dissolves in water. Another option for long trips is the automatic feeder: this device dispenses food at a set time for several times a day. Using an automatic feeder is not recommended, because this might pollute the water, and you have no control over the daily intake of your pet. You run the risk of overfeeding your Betta fish. However, if this is the only option, try it out for a few days before leaving.
- Cleaning. Make sure your fish tank is clean and the water is changed before you leave. This will prevent a buildup of algae and other microorganisms, as well as ammonia and other waste products, which could potentially harm or even kill your Betta fish. It is not advisable to change all of the tank’s water at one time. Change only 20% of your tank’s water every day over the span of 3 to 4 days. Make sure that there are no leftover foods because these will promote the breeding of harmful bacteria and decay products. You want to come home to a healthy Betta, not a sickly fish. Make sure that your tank is covered, and equipped with a heater and thermostat to keep your pet warm and cozy while you’re away. It is not enough to depend on ambient light, or your aquarium light, to keep the temperature within acceptable levels.
- Find a friend. The most reliable way is still finding a friend who will look after your fish while you are gone. Make sure you teach him all the essentials of Betta fish care, from feeding to changing the water in the tank. Leave behind written instructions and a mobile number to contact in case anything goes wrong.
Remember that your pet is your responsibility. You cannot just leave your Betta abandoned and alone. Make provisions for your fish’s well-being during your absence. A little care goes a long way in making sure you have your fishy friend to come home to.