Do you have a busy schedule and can’t always be around to feed your beautiful betta fish? If so, you may have heard of the betta fish feeding block.
Basically, it’s a block of fish food that keeps your betta’s stomach full when you’re away. But the question is, can you rely on them as an effective way to feed your fish buddies?
In this article, I will discuss what betta feeding blocks are and whether they are necessary. I will also talk about how long your betta can go without food and how to prepare your tank before going on vacation.
What Are Betta Fish Feeding Blocks?
There are two main types of slow-release fish feeders on the market: Some use a calcium block to release the food, while others use a gel form. Betta feeding blocks are supposed to include all nutritional requirements of your betta.
When you place the block in your betta fish tank, it dissolves slowly and releases food periodically. This means your fish will have something to eat even if you’re not around.
Food blocks vary depending on how long they’ll keep your betta fed. A weekend feeder block will work fine if you’re only gone for a few days. But if you’re going to be away for a longer time, then you’ll need a vacation feeder block.
Not to mention, feeding blocks come in different shapes and sizes, as well as ingredients and flavors to satisfy even the pickiest of fish.
Things To Keep In Mind When Using Fish Feeding Blocks
- Avoid using them in a fish bowl or aquarium without proper water circulation to dissolve the blocks; otherwise, they will just sit there doing nothing.
- Ensure that the number of blocks is enough for all fish, one block per betta.
- If you use the bigger calcium blocks, be careful because they might affect the aquarium water chemistry. This is especially true in soft water conditions.
Are Feeding Blocks Good for Betta?
I’m going to be honest with you; fish food blocks are the worst way to feed your fish while you aren’t nearby, and there are a few reasons for this:
- Sometimes these blocks won’t release evenly, leaving your fish without food or even overwhelming them with too much food.
- Food blocks will partially dissolve in case of inadequate filtration and water movement in your tank. This results in water clouding and waste.
- These blocks don’t contain much food, so a stocked tank or a bigger fish will be left hungry.
- Feeding blocks are usually made for omnivorous tropical fish, so they may not contain all the nutrients your betta needs.
- Not only will some fish refuse to eat it, but it can reduce your tank water quality too.
Are You Using the Proper Feeding Block for Your Fish and Tank?
Whenever you use a food block in your betta fish tank, it’s important to ensure that it’s the right type for your setup.
Since blocks react differently in different tanks, it’s important to do a trial run. One way to do this is by monitoring the following:
Is Your Betta Consuming the Feeder Block?
Some fish feed on feeder blocks immediately, while others might refuse to eat them. Thus, it’s important to watch your fish and ensure that they eat them rather than leaving them unfed for an extended period of time.
Are Food Blocks Affecting the Water Quality?
The last thing you want is to return home to find your betta floating belly up. If you’re using a food block, it’s important to check the water quality closely to ensure the food block isn’t affecting the tank.
Remove the feeder block from your tank immediately if you notice any sudden fluctuations. Keep in mind that three-day slow-release fish feeders aren’t necessary – most fish can go without food for this long.
How Many Days Can Your Betta Go Without Food?
Your pet betta fish can survive up to 10 days without food, but I won’t recommend that. Leaving your betta between two and four days without food is okay, but any longer than this would make your fish go into starvation mode.
Normally, when I’m away for a few days, I would rather leave my bettas unfed than overfeed them and make their water dirty and their stomachs bloated.
How Do You Feed Your Betta When You Go On Vacation?
You’re going on vacation, but you’re not sure what to do about food. Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered. Here are a few options for feeding your betta while you’re away:
Finding a pet sitter is an excellent option if you’re going on vacation for a couple of weeks and can’t take your betta with you.
The most important thing for your pet sitter to remember is not to overfeed your fish. Too much food can make the aquarium dirty and even deadly.
To avoid this, put the same amount of food in another small container or plastic bag as you feed your fish during the week before you leave.
Then, at the end of the week, you’ll have the following week’s feedings prepared for your pet sitter. That way, they should just open the plastic bag specified for the day and put the food into the tank water.
Don’t Feed Your Betta
Don’t worry If you’re only gone for a couple of days and won’t be home to feed your betta, most aquarium fish can go for several days without food. Fasting them every once in a while can be good for their digestive system, as it helps reduce the chances of constipation.
Just be sure not to fast them for more than three days, as this can stress them out and make them more susceptible to sickness.
And keep in mind that this may not be recommended for young or elderly bettas because they aren’t as strong as healthy adults.
Auto Fish Feeders
When picking an automatic feeder, there are two main types: plug-in models and battery-powered ones.
I’ve tried both, and I have to say that they both have their cons. Battery-powered ones might run out of juice suddenly at any time, while the plug-in model could short circuit. Although the chances of this happening are slim, it’s still important not to rule it out completely.
Mechanical feeders work by setting the timer to dispense the proper amount of food one or more times per day, so your betta will be fed while you’re away.
It’s important to get a good quality automatic fish feeder. I learned this the hard way when I got a low-quality one that screwed up my tank. The food doesn’t always drop out properly, and it could clump together and drop out in large amounts at once. This can cause high ammonia levels in your tank, which isn’t good for your fish.
If you’re going on vacation and don’t want to leave your betta behind, fish fry would work as a healthy food source for your betta. However, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind:
- Add enough fry to keep your fish satisfied.
- If your betta fish tank isn’t large enough to accommodate the fry, this will cause an excessive bioload.
Platies and Endler’s livebearers are reliable fish feeders because they breed a lot, and their babies would make a great snack for your betta.
How To Prepare Your Tank for a Vacation
Since you can’t take your lovely betta fish with you, follow these simple tips on preparing your tank before leaving.
Maintain Water Quality
Maintaining your tank water quality before going on vacation is essential. If you have a small tank (one gallon or less), you’ll need to do a water change almost daily. For a two-gallon or larger tank, you will need to change 80% of your tank water the day before you leave and immediately upon returning.
You can get away with only performing a 50% water change before leaving if your tank is five to ten gallons and has a filter. The filter should help keep the water quality in check while you’re gone.
Suitable Water Temperature
Betta fish can tolerate water temperatures ranging from 74-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Abrupt changes in water temperature can cause stress or even death, so you should have a constant water temperature.
If you already have a heater, you’ll want to ensure that it shuts off once it reaches the desired temperature. Some heaters only raise the water’s temperature by a few degrees, regardless of the current water temperature.
In this case, you may need to leave an air conditioner on to regulate the surrounding ambient temperature while you’re gone.
And if you’re worried about the water being too cold, you can either move the tank to a warmer place or wrap it in towels to keep the warmth.
In fact, you can use water temperature to your advantage when feeding your fish. The lower the water temperature, the less active your betta will be, lowering their metabolism and, in turn, their appetite.
A Consistent Day and Night Cycle
Generally speaking, you should mimic your betta’s natural day/night cycle. You can do this by placing their tank in a room with indirect sunlight and avoiding putting it in direct sunlight or a completely dark room.
You can also use a timer to control the tank lights, turning them off at night and back on in the morning. This will help keep your betta’s day and night cycle consistent while you’re away. You don’t need an expensive timer; as long as it turns the lights on and off, that will be fine.
Doing all of this will ensure that both you and your betta have a stress-free vacation.
Checking Fish Physical Conditions
Nothing is worse than coming home from a relaxing vacation to find out that your fish are sick or even dying. Thus, it would be best to examine them closely for any signs of illness such as lethargy, cloudy eyes, or unusual bumps or spots.
If you notice anything abnormal, consult a fish expert or an aquatic veterinarian before leaving. That way, you can be sure that your fish will be healthy while you’re gone.
Make sure you give your fish sitter your contact information, as well as the number of an aquatic veterinarian, just in case of an emergency. With a little bit of preparation, you can rest assured knowing your fish are in good hands while you’re away.
How Long Does a Fish Feeding Block Last?
When it comes to how long a fish feeding block lasts, it really depends on the type of feeder block you are using.
As the name suggests, a weekend feeder block will last only up to three days, while a vacation feeder block can last up to two weeks.
This will give you plenty of time to enjoy a road trip or a relaxing vacation without worrying about your fish’s food supply.
Can Tank Size Affect the Period Your Betta Live Without Food?
If your fish lives in a small tank, the tank conditions will quickly go downhill and stress your fish out. This can have a domino effect on the health of your fish, making it harder for it to go without food.
On the other hand, if your fish is living in a large tank with good conditions, it will be able to survive for a longer period of time without eating.
Leaving your fish behind when going on vacation can be a stressful experience for both you and your fish. You just need to prepare for it properly by following the tips I provided in the article.
This includes maintaining water quality, providing a suitable temperature, providing a consistent day/night cycle, and feeding them appropriately. Doing all of this will make your betta happy and healthy while you’re away.
If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to leave a comment below!