Vacation Tips for Aquarium Owners

One of the top reasons that people invest in an aquarium over another type of pet is for the ease when it comes to taking care of the animal. With that said, when you are planning a vacation, there are still some things that will need to be taken care of when it comes to preparing your aquarium. You won’t necessarily need someone to come into your home to look after your aquarium on a daily basis but it is a good idea to set some things in place for the time you are planning to be gone.
fish in aquarium

You wouldn’t want to be spending time on vacation while your fish are lacking in basic care of their needs and wants. With a bit of planning, some maintenance based items for the aquarium, and a solid plan – you are ready to travel at a moment’s notice!

Aquariums require basic maintenance regardless if you are at home or you are on vacation which is why we have compiled a list of vacation tips for aquarium owners that cover the pre-travel time frame, during the vacation, and post vacation when you’ve returned home!

Before the Vacation

One of the most important things to do when you own an aquarium is prepare the aquarium for your extended leave of absence before even leaving the residence. This preparation can be done a couple of days before your vacation is planned to start.

  • Consider the temperature of the home while you are gone on vacation – are you leaving during the colder months of the year and the heat will be turned down? If so, you will want to adjust the temperature of the tank to prevent the water from cooling off and harming the fish. If you are leaving during the warmer months of the year, you want to ensure that your air conditioner will cut in at least once a day or adjust the water temperature in the aquarium to prevent overheating.
  • Completely clean the aquarium from top to bottom from the glass to the lid to the décor within the tank. This will prevent a buildup of algae and waste within the tank that could cause illness in your fish. Double check your water filtration system and replace the filter if need be to ensure that the water will be cleaned on a regular basis. If you need to replace the water filter beforehand and you want a top-rated brand that has a superior performance – then Sunsun is rated highly.
  • If you don’t already have one, set the aquarium’s lighting system up on a timer so that your fish are guaranteed their required levels of light each day and night. Too much light can heat up the water, harming and stressing out fish while not enough can leave them dull and lethargic.
  • Feed your fish the day you are getting ready to leave for your vacation so that the current day is taken care of.
  • Double check your vacation setup a couple days before you are planning to leave to allow for mistakes or equipment failure.
  • If you have any tropical or rare fish in your aquarium, ensure your home security is up to scratch – exotic pet theft is a common crime. Alarms systems can alert you if your house has been broken into and they can also alert the police for you, saving time and hopefully ensuring that your house can be secured. CCTV will help you to monitor the house whilst you’re away, so you can see who’s coming and going, like the postman or the person who is feeding your fish.
  • During the Vacation

    During the vacation, you should entrust the care of your aquarium to a family member for feeding purposes only. If you have your lighting system on a timer, the temperature of the house set to the correct settings, and your water filtration system along with the dumping station on the settings you need it at – you don’t want to find out that a well-meaning person changed anything.

    Post the feeding instructions of the aquarium in a visible place to prevent second-guessing or estimations. Too much food and the fish can get sick which can lead to a fatal episode. If the fish don’t eat the abundance of food; then your tank will get dirty and clogged up with waste faster.

    Some aquariums are also equipped to handle an automated feeding system if you would prefer to invest into this. People who travel on a frequent basis prefer this route as it doesn’t interfere with a family member or friend and their schedule and the fish are guaranteed to be fed.

    After the Vacation

    Once you have returned home from your vacation, repeat the process you did in the days leading up to the vacation. Remove all timers from the equipment unless you have these on a regular basis when you are home. Clean the tank and any additions to the tank to remove buildup and waste.

    Adjust the temperature of the tank to the correct settings that you use when you are home and your heat or air conditioner is in constant use. Feed your fish and sit back to relax!


    Aquariums are soothing, they are relaxing, they are a pleasure to look at, and easier to maintain when you are planning to travel for a vacation than other types of pets. You would need to board your cat or dog during a vacation or arrange for someone to come into your home for an extended visit to take care of these pets and their basic wants/needs. That is not the case when it comes to an aquarium!

    Use the discussed vacation tips the next time you plan a vacation and will be traveling for an extended period of time to remove stress from both the fish and yourself! You won’t be sorry and your fish will still be thriving and happy when you return home. And what better way to unwind after a vacation than watching those graceful creatures gliding through the shimmering water?



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