When you’re away for the weekend or on vacation, you ask a friend or neighbor to stop in and feed your fish. But sometimes you must leave for longer periods, such as a long business trip or an extended vacation. When this happens, you need a committed aquarium caretaker willing to become familiar with aquarium basics.
Before you leave…
Planning ahead ensures your aquarium stays in peak condition while you are away. Before you leave, address the more-involved or higher-ticket aspects of your aquarium system. Your lighting system is a good place to start. Check to see if it is operating properly and if you haven’t done so in a while, now is the time to replace old bulbs in your aquarium light fixture.
Also, stock up on essential items such as filter cartridges, filter media, food, test strips, water conditioners, and salt mix. Having aquarium essentials on hand not only simplifies things but also reduces any out-of-pocket expenses for your caretaker.
If possible, a fellow hobbyist would be the ideal candidate. However, if your caretaker is unfamiliar with aquariums invite her on several occasions to observe while you perform routine maintenance. Give them a notebook to jot down the tasks, as well as tips and suggestions to make things go smoother. Before you leave create a checklist. Preferably the person coming in while you are gone will be an experienced fish keeper and will be able to take action in an emergency situation. If you have more then one tank, it is best that you leave a separate list beside each tank and clear instructions for every tank.
The following is a basic aquarium checklist for your caretaker: