How To Prepare Your Guppy Tank For Vacation? (Complete Guide)

We have to take care of many things when leaving our fish aquarium for longer. We have to maintain the water parameters, feed our fish, and do many other things.

So, How to prepare your guppy tank for vacation? Let us find out.

Ensure these things when preparing your guppy fish tank for vacation:

  1. Remove all the dead plants and fish from the aquarium.
  2. Remove the sick fish which is going to pass away.
  3. Perform a major water change of 50% one day before leaving your guppies tank.
  4. Clean the tank properly a few days before leaving for vacation.
  5. Add a timer to your guppy’s aquarium lights.

This article will discuss how to prepare our guppy tank for vacation and how long guppies can survive without food. So, let us get into it.

Things to ensure before leaving for vacation

Proper maintenance of your guppy fish aquarium regularly is essential for ensuring guppy’s good health and longer lifespan.

When going for a vacation and leaving the aquarium for a long period, you have to do more things than you regularly perform to keep the water parameters and conditions at normal levels.

Make sure to perform all these things when going out for more than one week:

  1. Add a timer for your aquarium lights.
  2. Remove all the dead and decaying fish and plants.
  3. Remove the fish which is sick and is about to pass away.
  4. Perform a 50% water change one day before leaving for vacation.
  5. Clean the filter a few days before leaving for vacation.

Add a timer for your aquarium lights.

Aquarium light is essential for your guppy fish to keep them active and when having live aquatic plants in your guppies aquarium.

We can’t keep the aquarium lights on and off every day consistently by manually doing it.

You will forget to turn the lights on or off one day.

Keeping the lights on for a long time will result in an algae bloom.

Consider adding a timer to your aquarium lights to keep it automated.

Add an aquarium light timer that will allow you to set the timer on the lights, and you will be able to turn the lights on and off according to your wish.

Having a timer for your aquarium lights is essential if you are moving for a vacation for a long period.

If you don’t have the timer, leave the lights off completely when on vacation.

Guppies require rest for their good health and activeness during the daytime.

So, put the aquarium lights on a timer or let it be off entirely before leaving for vacation.

Also read: Does Guppy Need Light?

Remove dead and decaying fish and plants.

Dead and decaying fish and plants in the aquarium will spike ammonia.

Dying plants produce ammonia which turns into nitrates.

So, to keep your guppy fish tank safe from these harmful toxins, remove all the dead and decaying plants and fish.

Remove sick fish

Consider removing the sick fish from the aquarium.

You have to inspect if your fish is sick and you think that it will pass away, remove it from the aquarium.

Dead fish will produce lots of ammonia in the tank, making your guppy fish suffer from issues like ammonia poisoning.

Perform a 50% water change.

Performing a major water change before leaving for vacation will remove a high level of nitrates from the water, and your guppies aquarium will have more time for a water change.

If you are performing a 30% water change weekly, consider doing a 50% water change when leaving for vacation for a longer period.

Ensure using a water conditioner to dechlorinate the water you will add to your guppies aquarium.

We recommend using the API water conditioner to eliminate chlorine, chloramine, ammonia, and heavy metals from the water.

You can buy this product on amazon: API TAP WATER CONDITIONER.

Also read: What Is The Ideal Water Temperature For Guppies?

Clean the filter

Cleaning the filter before leaving for vacation is essential to keep your guppy fish tank clean and safe from harmful toxins like ammonia and nitrite.

Start cleaning the mechanical filter and remove all the fish waste and debris.

Avoid cleaning the biological filter as it contains beneficial bacteria which break down harmful toxins like ammonia and nitrite.

Consider siphoning out the solid debris and waste from the bottom of the aquarium using a gravel siphon.

How long can guppies survive without food?

An adult guppy fish can survive for up to 2 weeks without food.

A guppy fry can survive for 3-4 days without food.

Guppy fry requires more food than adult guppies to ensure faster growth and development.

If you are going out for a vacation and there is nobody to feed your guppies when you are not there, then your guppies can survive on their own for up to two weeks.

You don’t have to worry about your guppies if you are going on vacation for 1-2 weeks.

How can I feed my guppies when on vacation?

These are the ways you can feed your guppies when on vacation:

  1. Add an automatic feeder to your guppy fish aquarium.
  2. Ask your friend or family to feed your guppies.
  3. Hire a fish-sitter to take care of your guppies and feed them.
  4. Use a vacation feeder to feed your guppy fish.

Automatic feeder

Using an automatic feeder to feed your guppies is a good option.

However, an automatic feeder can result in overfeeding as you will not be able to fix the amount of food you want to feed to your guppies.

Also, flake food will clog the feeder, so consider adding powder or veggie pellets.

An automatic feeder can make your water polluted by overfeeding. 

If you have an automatic water change system, you can use an automatic feeder without issues.

Ask your friend or family.

Asking your friend or a family member to take care of your guppy fish tank and feed them is the best option.

If you have a friend who is also a fish keeper, then it would be best to ask your friend to feed your guppies.

If you are getting reliable on a family member, you have to give clear instructions regarding the amount of food and which food to feed to your guppies.

If you are leaving for more than two weeks, there will be a need for a water change in your guppies aquarium.

Ask the person who will take care of your guppies aquarium to perform a water change.

Show the person step by step the process of performing a water change.

Also read: How Often Should You Feed Guppies?

Hire a fish-sitter

If you don’t have the option of asking a friend or a family, you can go for hiring a fish-sitter.

A fish-sitter will be experienced and will keep your guppies tank well maintained.

All you have to do is guide him with the feeding schedule and the amount to be fed to your guppies.

The drawback of hiring a fish-sitter is it can be expensive, and you have to give access to your house to an unknown person.

Vacation feeder

A vacation feeder is the other option to feed your guppies when you are out on vacation.

However, we don’t recommend using a vacation feeder as it is not that useful and will end up polluting the water.

A vacation feeder slowly dissolves in the water and provides food to your fish at a slow rate.

Most of the time, fish will not even touch the vacation feeder, and the food will remain uneaten.

Uneaten food will produce ammonia, polluting the water.

Avoid overfeeding your guppy fish before leaving for vacation. We think that overfeeding is the best idea before leaving for weeks.

But, this is the worst option as it can make your guppy fish suffer from a critical condition, and they can even pass away.

Overfeeding will pollute the water condition and will make your guppy fish suffer.

Which food will be best to feed to my guppies while on vacation?

When we are home, we can feed our guppies various types of food.

But, when we are leaving for a vacation, we should go for the food that is easy to feed and doesn’t pollute the water if been uneaten.

Going for live food like daphnia and brine shrimp is good as it will not pollute the water and will continue to live in the tank until being eaten by guppies.

You can go for commercial foods like veggie pellets and flake food if you don’t have live food options.

Ensure avoiding foods like frozen bloodworms, egg yolks, and beef hearts as they will pollute the water.

Also Read: Best Food For Guppy Fish.

Things to check when back from vacation

These are the things we should check in our guppies aquarium when we are back from the vacation:

  1. Check for the water level and inspect if there is any physical damage in the aquarium.
  2. Inspect guppies and look if they are sick or have passed away. Remove all the dead fish and plants from the aquarium.
  3. Check for all the equipment like heater, filter, and air pump and ensure that they are working well.
  4. Perform a 35-50% water change to remove all the harmful toxins from the water. 

Check for all these things and continue the feeding and maintaining schedule.


You have to do more things than you do on a regular basis to maintain the tank when you are going out on vacation.

Performing a major water change, removing dead and decaying plants and fish, and cleaning the filter is necessary when going out for vacation for a longer time.

Adding a timer to your aquarium lights and setting an automatic feeder are also important to ensure your guppy’s good health.

Avoid overfeeding your guppies and turning the lights on the whole time when leaving your aquarium for a longer time.

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