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How Long can Cichlids Live Without Food?

Cichlids can live without food for a surprisingly long amount of time. Adult cichlids can stand without food for as long as 2 weeks but this is one of those things that you shouldn’t try at home.

This can make them extremely stressful and it weakens their immune system as well.

Therefore, if you are about to go on a 2-week trip, you need to find some solutions to this problem.

Your cichlids need to stay healthy and to be fed so that they look and feel great when you come back. This article will be all about finding those solutions and putting them into practice.

We are going to show you how to prepare your fish tank before you leave. We are also going to suggest some smart devices that will make life easier for your fish without you being at home.

Prepare Your Fish Tank Before Leaving

There are a few things to consider before you go on a vacation when it comes to your home aquarium. You certainly don’t want to leave your fish in a mess before you leave.

After all, the water will get more and more contaminated during that 2-week period even if the filter is running the whole time.

You also won’t be there to perform the regular water changes. If you don’t have anyone to ask to take care of your fish while you are away, there are some pretty good products that can help you. Automatic devices can take care of a large part of the usual tank maintenance.

Next up, we are going to talk about the things you need to do in the aquarium before you leave. Then, we are going to suggest you 3 different products that are useful for everyone who wants to leave their fish for several days or a couple of weeks.

Filter Maintenance

Replace the filter media and do some water cycling. Filter media are the most effective when they are brand new.

Not to mention that a lot of contamination is going to build up in the tank in the course of those 2 weeks. That is a lot for your filter to deal with so you better get it prepared for some hard work.

This is mainly because your fish are going to generate a lot of waste.

The water is going to be filled with nitrite and ammonia, allowing for diseases to be spread and weakening the immune system of your fish. With new filter media, this type of water contamination is not going to be an issue at all.

Water Change

The week before you leave is a very important time period when it comes to tank maintenance. This is when you need to schedule multiple water changes.

Remove 10-20% of the used water and then pour in the same volume of clean water.

This way, you will end up with much less contaminants in the water before you leave.

If the filter is running in the meanwhile, then your fish are going to swim in crystal clear water right before you leave. It is the best way to leave your fish at home because the water quality is only going to get worse while you are not there.

Aquarium Lights on Timer

Your African cichlids want to know when it’s nighttime and daytime in order to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern.

If you leave for a few days, there will be no one to turn the lights on and off for your precious little pets. Fortunately, we can recommend a pretty cool device for you that will take care of it.

The 24-Hour Mechanical Outlet Timer from BN-Link will automatically set the lights on and off for you while you are not home.

All you need to do is to set the timer on it before you leave and it will take care of the job every day.

This well-designed device by BN-Link allows you to set the lights on or off as many times as you want to in 24 hours.

Then it repeats the cycle every day until you come back. It is straightforward to use so you will be able to set the timer in a couple of minutes even if you have never seen a device like this one before.

Vacuum the Substrate

The substrate is where a lot of the contaminants in your aquarium reside in. This is why it is especially important to clean it before you leave the house for a vacation.

The perfect solution to this problem is a gravel cleaner pump made by Kasan, one of the most popular brands out there.

This model is designed so that people can use it for aquariums of various sizes. With this, you will be able to scrape the algae in the tank, wash the substrate and soak up debris.

It comes with various accessories that will allow you to thoroughly clean up your aquarium.

Setup Automatic Feeder

An automatic feeder is probably the most important thing you need to buy before you go on a vacation. If you are looking for a device that is easy to install and use, then the Zacro automatic feeder  is the one you are looking for.

You can set it up and fill it with flakes, granules or grains in no time. Once the timer is set, it is going to feed your fish the right amount in the specific time you have set.

There is nothing more relieving than to know that your fish are well-fed while you are enjoying your vacation.

This device by Zacro can complete up to 4 feedings per day, which will be more than enough for your cichlids.

How Long can African Cichlid Fry Survive Without Food?

African cichlid fry are very little and fragile. They need to be fed the same amount of nutritious food every day in order to grow and thrive.

All that nutrition contributes to their rapid growth. It is an important process that has to be maintained.

It is enough to not feed them for 2-3 days and they are going to die. Therefore, you can’t really leave them without food while you are on vacation.

You need to get a decent automatic feeder that will keep them fed throughout the day.

Wrapping Up

Enjoying a couple of weeks of vacation is not such an impossible thing as an African cichlid aquarium owner.

You just need to be prepared by performing maintenance in time and installing some devices that will take care of your fish.

We did our best to share some of the most essential tips that can come in handy for those who are about to travel for a couple of weeks.

Follow our advice and your African cichlids are going to thrive and look great on the day of your return.

avatar I’m Julia, and I used to work in a fish store for over 5 years. On this blog I help beginners care for their cichlids and share my experience and research on various fishkeeping related topics.

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