Feeding During Your Absence
The commitment that you incur upon deciding to keep an aquarium will seem no greater than when you are away from your home for any length of time. In these situations, the best alternative is to have a trusted friend care for your animals in your absence. This person should be carefully instructed as to the care and feeding of your pets and should, if at all possible, be well experienced. For particularly sensitive creatures, you might consider measuring out daily food allowances beforehand. The person who will be responsible for your pets should also be familiar with basic maintenance and should be provided with the phone numbers of helpful experts for use in the event of an emergency.
In the alternative, a trusted pet store owner or supplier may be able to provide you with the names of people who set up and maintain home and office aquariums as a livelihood. One advantage of utilizing such people is that they often have a lot of experience. Of course, the references of all such people or businesses must be carefully checked.
In providing for the needs of your animals while you are away, bear in mind the differences between marine and freshwater fish. Most freshwater fish can survive for quite a bit longer on a limited diet than marine species of similar size and habit. Also, note that small, active fish generally require more frequent feedings than do large, predatory species, which have a tendency to eat heavily at one time and to store food.
For short periods away from home, battery or electrically operated feeders that dispense premeasured amounts of flakes or pellets into the aquarium are worth considering. Food tablets that dissolve in the water are also a possibility for certain species of freshwater fish but do not work well in marine aquariums. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations as to which species of fish will accept dissolving tablets.