Summer is a time when one spends his vacations with his family. Many of the people who have kept betta fishes in their home often ask how long can a betta fish go without food. As they become worried about their fishes.
Many people also afraid to keep their betta fishes alone for just one or two days, and anxious to know that can they be left for a week. Here is the complete guide to how often do you feed a betta fish.
Fishes are cold-blooded, and their metabolism depends on their surroundings. It is simple, fishes kept in warm water will require more food than the same fish kept in cold water. You can also take an example of the Koi fish. It eats more during the summer seasons and does not need any food when the pond becomes frozen. When the fish becomes frozen, their metabolism becomes slow, and they do not feed much food at that particular time.
How Long Can a Betta Fish Go Without Food: Understand the Fact?
Make sure that betta fish are tropical fish, and they can never survive in such cold water. These fishes require regular feeding that can be in smaller quantities. Skipping their meal for one to two days is not a problem for them. A healthy adult betta fish can also go as long as for two weeks without food. However, it is not recommended to keep your fish starve for two weeks. Betta fishes start using its body reserves after 5 to 6 days. After six days, it enters its starving mode, which increases their stress. If you are going on vacation for two to three days, it’s okay to keep them starving but not more than that.
The period of two weeks also varies from the health of the fish and the conditions of the water. Make sure that the maximum amount of time that you can keep them away from food is only about 4 to 5 days. It is an excellent option to keep your close friend or relative to cover up the situation. All you have to do is to give them instructions regarding the feeding schedule of your fish. It is better to give your friend a weekly pillbox that contains the timing and amount of food that they can provide to the fishes without any confusion. Make sure that never try to add more food in your fish tank, thinking that they can survive more. More food in the tank will contaminate the tank water creating more problems with the fishes.
Many products are available online that contains seven days of feeding foods for betta fish, and you can try them. Make sure before going for vacations make the tank water crystal clear and pure.
Using Automatic Feeders
Apart from your close friend, there is one more option that you can use if you are going on vacation that is longer than a week; these are automatic feeders. Many automatic feeders are available online and are available in different price ranges. It is suggested not to go for cheap automatic feeders as they had killed many betta fish when they launched in the market. They are not proper in their feeding schedule and quantity, resulting in contamination of water, thus killing the fishes. Buy high-quality automatic feeders as they have excellent performance are trustworthy. Such feeders have a built-in automatic timer and allow only a limited amount of food into the tank, and it can easily disperse 14 individual meals. They are the best option if you are planning to leave your fish for one or two weeks.
Setting up The Water Temperature
Now as you know how long can a betta fish go without food there are other things that you need to take care of. Maintaining a constituent tropical temperature is equally important to keep betta fish healthy and alive. Even you are going on vacation or are in homes, water temperatures need to set throughout the day for the survival of these fishes. Betta fishes required a temperature of 76 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit for its survival. They usually do not like abrupt changes in temperature neither to a high flow of water. Some heaters simply raise the water temperature to 5 to 10 degrees regardless of the surrounding temperature. It is not good as sometimes they continue that procedure many times, making the water hot beyond the required limits.
Too cold or too hot water can quickly kill your fish. So, if you already have a high-quality heater, it is good. Make sure many heaters do not shut themselves after the required temperature is achieved, so make sure that your heater works perfectly. It is also advisable to leave your AC ON in that period when you are gone, as it stabilizes the surrounding temperature with respect to water temperature.
Maintaining Water Quality
If you are going for a vacation for more than five days, it is necessary to change at least fifty percent of the water of the tank that depends on the size of your tank. Two gallons or below that will need nearly 80% of water change. One gallon tank capacity requires water to be changed daily. Your betta fishes expel ammonia into the water that goes along with the food inside your betta fishes that creates toxins within their water, and so the quality of water is an essential factor for survival of the betta fishes.
You should also know the fact the larger tank is safer as a comparison to smaller tanks. Larger tanks require less frequent changing of water as the toxins distribute in more extensive areas. Also, the number of fishes in the tanks decides the frequency of changing water. The high number of fishes expels more ammonia as compared to single or fewer fish. We all know we cannot expect a caretaker to change the water regularly. You can also plan to keep them in a temporary home, such as a plastic container that is open for the fish to breathe. Make sure you do not fill the water entirely up to the brim as betta fishes are also excellent jumpers.
You can also rely on filters to maintain clean water. They come in various brands and in different capacities depending on the size of your tank. They can efficiently perform well if you are planning to go for one to two weeks.
Maintaining Day and Night Cycles for Your Betta Fish
Betta fish are just like us and want to experience the day and night cycle. They tend to eat in the morning, want to swim throughout the day, and finally sleep in the night when its dark. You may also see that your betta fish sleeps along the sides of the tank when you accidentally wake up in the night to drink water. So, plan to keep one of the windows open to provide them sunlight. Make sure you do not place the tank in direct sunlight as it may heat the water above specified limits. While you are gone, please do not keep them in the darkroom where sunshine or day can never be seen.
Experiencing permanent darkness will confuse the fishes and can cause stress in them. Place the tank in someplace where there a glimpse of indirect sunlight; your fish will definitely love that.
Some Common Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) :
Q1: Can a betta go a week without food?
Ans: Yes, betta fishes can go for at least two weeks without food. Many experts also say that it’s no good for them to keep them starve for such a long time.
Q2: Can I leave my betta fish for a week?
Ans: It is often advised to take the help of some of your neighbors or friends to take care of your fish if you are planning to go for a week. Betta fishes can be left unattended for only 2 to 3 days but not more than that.
Q3: How often should I feed my betta?
Ans: You can feed your beta fish two times a day and take care to maintain a gap of 12 hours in between. Many owners also feed them only once in a day but make sure to feed them in sufficient quantity in that case.
Q4: What happens if you don’t feed your betta fish?
Ans: Nothing unusual will happen if you do not feed your betta fish for one or two weeks as they can easily survive. But if you exceed over three weeks, such fishes may die.
Q5: How often and how much should I change the water of my betta fish tank?
Ans: 30% to 50% of the fish tank water should be changed every week while complete cleaning of the tank should be done once a month to keep your fish healthy.
Q6: Can betta fish live without a filter?
Ans: Betta fish can also survive in such tanks or bowls that do not have a filter. But it will make a tedious task for you to change their water more frequently.
The Final Verdict
So these were some of the answers related to how long can a betta fish goes without food. I hope now you have understood that you can calmly leave your fish alone on weekends.
You may also become aware of precautionary measures you have to take if you leave them alone for a week or more.