15.08.2019 7 tips for a well kept aquarium during the holiday time Summer time is holiday time – that of course applies for aquarium owners also. Many aquarists wonder whether their aquarium will also sustain a longer absence. The short answer: Yes, but it requires some preparatory measures. The most important tips for a well kept aquariums during holiday are complied in this contribution. 1. Ensure good water quality Good water quality is of course always essential for the fish and plants in the aquarium doing well. However, the water parameters cannot be checked permanently during the holiday time – unless someone with aquarium experience or a good introduction can look after it regularly. If the aquarium is being left to itself, the water parameters should be checked and adjusted, if applicable, before you leave. The ammonium, nitrite, nitrate and pH values are particularly important. Depending on how big the aquarium is and how long the journey will last, it is also advisable to carry out a partial water change in advance. sera siporax bio active Professional, the unique “dry water conditioner”, is a good helper in case of longer absence. The biologically effective filter medium contains bacteria that withdraw pollutants – in particular ammonium and nitrite – from the water. The bacteria ensure that the biological equilibrium is being maintained also during longer absence and maintenance intervals are prolonged. 2. Check fertilizer and dose in advance, if applicable Here it particularly depends on how long the holiday will be, how the aquarium is set up and how fertilization was done so far – therefore, there is unfortunately no general recommendation. Possibly, it may be hard to avoid having someone look after the aquarium and fertilize as required. It is helpful to dose fertilizer amounts in advance and make them available for the person looking after the aquarium (e.g. in little cups), so he or she only has to pour the fertilizer into the water. In case of being absent a longer time, the plants in the aquarium can be cut back a little more than usual as to somewhat reduce plant growth. 3. Check CO2 systems If a CO2 system with pressurized gas is being used its filling state should by all means checked before you leave and replaced with a full bottle, if applicable. 4. Clean bottom ground The bottom ground should be checked and, if applicable, cleaned before you leave as to prevent rot zones during your holiday, which may become a threat for animals and plants. This can easily done with the sera gravel washer which thoroughly removes sludge from the aquarium gravel. 5. Check technical equipment The technical equipment should of course continue to run flawlessly during your holiday. Therefore you should check the technical equipment in time. The filter providing clean water is the core of the technical aquarium equipment. The filter flow rate should be checked in time so it also does so during your holiday. The filter material can be washed out in aquarium water removed during a partial water change in case it is clogged. Afterwards, you can add sera bio nitrivec to the water – it contains millions of filter bacteria that top up the filter bacteria that were washed out. The lighting should also be checked – after all, it is more pleasant for the animals and plants if they can keep their familiar diurnal rhythm. The lighting can be switched on and off automatically every day by means of a timer. The sera LED Digital Dimmer allows for a smooth transition between light and darkness. Additionally, sunrise and sunset can be simulated and a midday dimming can be programmed when combined with the “sunrise” versions of the sera LED X-Change Tubes. If the animals in the aquarium are fed by hand, feeding with an automatic feeder (e.g. sera feed A plus) is advisable during the holiday time. It doses a predefined food amount into the aquarium at a defined time. This also makes it easier for someone looking after the aquarium – if there is one – and ensures no overdosing will occur. The automatic feeder should be installed and tested already some days before you leave, as to dose the correct amount of food. Also, the food amount and the feeding interval should be set accordingly if there are juvenile fish in the aquarium. They require small portions several times a day, whereas adult fish get more food once or twice daily. The sera feed A plus automatic feeder, for instance, allows feeding up to six times a day. An air pump (e.g. sera air plus 110) can be connected to the feed A plus automatic feeder for keeping the food inside the automatic feeder dry. sera Holiday was invented especially for feeding while being absent. The carefully manufactured food tablets are readily accepted by most ornamental fish. The become soft in layers from the outside to the core so only the respective outer layer is being eaten. The rest of the tablet remains stable and fresh – the animals are this provided with all essential nutrients for over a week. It is important to familiarize the fish with the food already before your holiday and they readily accept it. Heaters or heater thermostats can usually be switched off during a summer holiday, since room temperature will hardly drop to critical levels. However, if you wish to heat the aquarium as well while you are absent, checking the functionality of the heater is indispensable. If high room temperatures are to be expected while you are absent, a hood can be a useful purchase for open aquariums. This will prevent water evaporation and, correspondingly, water volume reduction in the aquarium. This applies for all technical equipment around the aquarium: Functionality as well as all cable connections should be checked as to prevent possible failures and even threats for the aquarium inhabitants. 6. Do not add new fish From approximately three weeks before you leave, no new fish should be put into the aquarium. They could possibly introduce diseases into the aquarium which break out and endanger the entire stock while you are absent. 7. Instruct the person looking after the aquarium Ideally, someone regularly checks on the aquarium during a holiday and looks after it. It is more relaxed for both if all questions can be clarified in advance. Depending on the maintenance required, it is also helpful to to have some instructions for the person looking after the aquarium at hand, in which the most important steps are explained and made clear what should be considered in particular. A maintenance plan with advice for the daily and weekly maintenance can be found in the sera guide “Aquarium care according to nature”. If ever the person looking after the aquarium should be unsure how to proceed, sera experts are available under the hotline +49 (0) 2452 / 912615 and will help personally. With these tips, nothing stand in the way for a recreational holiday “in spite of” an aquarium!