As a proud owner of a Betta fish, what is the most worrying thing for you? Yes, going on vacation. You go on vacation, and you have no one to ask to come and feed your fish? Since you cannot take them with you (this is strongly inadvisable), you may wonder how long can betta fish go without food. At the risk of surprise, the answer is Yes! They can live without food for some time.
Let’s check out our answers and explanations!
How Long Can Betta Fish Go Without Food?
Generally, most fish can survive without eating for 10 to 12 days. Betta fish can go up to 14 days without any food. So, if you go on a short vacation, you do not have to worry about your fish. Although this timeline is dangerous and avoiding is better. This time range is not constant. This time of survival depends on some factors, from physical to environmental. Not all fish have the same resistance.
Normally, Bettas begin to starve after 4-5 days when you don’t feed them. It will increase their stress level and the betta might suffer from organ failures. We always recommend not to starve your betta for more than 4 days. If you are going for a 3 days weekend trip, your betta should be fine. But you should feed your betta as soon as you return. If you are going on a trip for more than 3 days, you should find someone experienced who will take care of the betta fish in that time.
Experts Recommend to Starve Your Betta for a Day or Two
Not feeding your betta fish for a day or two is completely fine. In fact, sometimes you should let your betta starve for 1-2 days. It’s very beneficial for their health. Betta loves to overeat. Sometimes, they eat too much that they might suffer from constipation, swim bladder, too much weight gain, and other diseases. When you starve your betta fish for 1-2 days, it can digest all the food particles it consumed for the past few days. It keeps your betta’s digestive system properly work.
Some of the experts say, “Underfeeding a betta is far better them overfeeding them” If you want to keep your betta fish happy and healthy, starve them for 1-2 days every 2-3 weeks.
Pro Tip: When you go for a longer trip and ask someone to feed your bettas, you must make sure they are not overfeeding it. Overfeeding is very dangerous for bettas.
Read more: The Best food for Betta Fish (Review and Guide)
Factors Determining How Long Betta Can Go without Food
If you go on vacation for one to two weeks, you will have to take into account several factors to make sure that your fish can survive without food.
The diet of fish
Depending on the species your fish belong to, their diet can be omnivorous, carnivorous, herbivorous, or limivorous. Omnivorous fish eat plants and other animals. Predatory fish consume only other animals.
As for herbivorous fish, they eat plants and seaweed. Finally, the limivorous fish feed mainly on the organic matter contained in the mud. These are also very useful in an aquarium since they can help keep it clean.
Betta fish are carnivorous fish. In general, predatory fish can survive longer without eating than other fish. Indeed, in nature, they do not necessarily catch prey every day. For this reason, Betta fish can live longer without food.
Read more: Betta Fish Feeding Guide (Everything you need to know)
The size of the fish
More substantial fish can generally last longer than other fish. Indeed, their body mass being more critical; they manage to store more fat. Betta fish over 10 cm can often survive for up to 2 weeks without eating.
As for the smaller Betta fish, they should not stay more than a week without food.
The age of the fish
The older a fish is, the longer it can survive without eating. Indeed, old fish often have fat reserves. In contrast, baby fish can not stay more than a day or two without eating.
The age of the aquarium
This is one of the most critical factors. The survival rate largely depends on the age of the aquarium. If an aquarium has had a well-balanced environment for a long time, the Betta fish that live there can survive longer without eating than fish from a new aquarium.
In fact, not only do the fish get along well, but they are also perfectly acclimatized to their aquarium.
Size of the aquarium:
The size of the aquarium plays a vital role in determining how long bettas can go without food. The larger the aquariums, the longer your betta can live without any food.
Don’t Keep Your Betta in Small Bowl with Plants
Some people think, keeping the betta fish in a small bowl with plants can keep betta fish alive for a long time. They think betta with eat the plant roots and the plant roots will remove the unwanted ammonia and other wastes. This is a big misconception that might kill your betta fish. Because bettas are carnivores. They cant stay alive eating only plant roots. Eating too many plants can cause swim bladder, dropsy, and other fatal diseases for bettas. Using these harmful techniques can reduce the lifespan of your adored bettas.
How To Feed Betta Fish While During Vacation
When it comes to feeding your Betta, you need to consider the length of time you will be away from your fish. There are lots of options that ensure that your fish is well fed while you are away.
1 . Asking A friend/Neighbour/Family Friend
This is one of the few best options to try out if you want your Betta fish to eat while you are on vacation. You can get someone to help feed your Betta fish daily. This will not only help your fish, but it will also save you a whole lot of stress.
This is always effective if your instructions are well followed. While they are feeding your Betta fish, they can also help you make sure that everything is ok with your fish. If peradventure you will be away for a long time, and they are willing to take care of your Betta fish, they can also help you deal with the water management.
Adjust as it is effective, it has its own drawbacks too. Some of the problems that come with letting others feed your Betta fish include overfeeding and not also feeding him well enough. Reiteratively, when your Betta fish is overfed, the water will definitely be polluted, and as a result leading to an ammonia spike.
One of the effective ways of dealing with this problem is getting products that let you ration out his food while you are away. If you don’t want to use any of these products, then make sure they know how important it is to avoid overfeeding. However, it remains one of the reliable options for Betta fish care while on vacation.
2 . Automatic feeders
Just as the name suggests, automatic feeders will enable you to feed your fish while you are away. This option doesn’t require your presence. There are lots of products out there and they will help dispense dried food sequentially during the day. There are other products too that let you choose how often you want your betta fed. Yours could be thrice a day with a 4-hour interval.
This option is great if you will be away for up to two weeks, as long as you will be away for more than a week. the product continues to dispense food until the supply runs out. One of the skepticisms is around choosing an automatic feeder is that dispenses food way too much, resulting in your Betta fish being overfed. It could also result in a build-up of ammonia in the fish tank leaving your Betta fish susceptible to different infections. One of the problems that come with the automatic feeder is that if it fails to dispense food while you are away, your Betta fish could starve to death. This isn’t good scenarios, but it’s a good option to try.
I have been using Eheim Automatic Feeding Unit for the last 2 years and it really serves the purpose. You can buy this on Amazon.
3. Food blocks
The food block option is a great one if you intend to be away for a few days, there are lots of varieties available out there at affordable prices. Some food blocks are known to last up to 2 weeks but aren’t highly recommended for Betta fish as they are only designed for large tanks with lots of fish. This is to avoid overfeeding. But if you’re going to be away for some days, then it’s worth trying.
If you are going to buy food blocks, I’ll recommend Penn-Plax Food Blocks from Amazon!
What To Do If You Can’t Feed Your Betta Fish?
Now, if any of the possibilities mentioned above are unavailable, you are left with only one option. Keep your fish without food. There are several things to do before you go on vacation to make sure that even without food, your fish will stay healthy.
Reduce the temperature of the water by a few degrees to slow down the metabolism of the fish. This reduces their need for food.
Limit the daily amount of light in the aquarium. With a timer, you can set the aquarium to enjoy 6 hours of light a day instead of 12 hours. This will limit the activity of the fish. They will burn fewer calories, which will restrict their hunger.
Tips for Taking Care of Betta Tank While On Vacation
Next to feeding your Betta fish is taking care of his tank. There are 4 main things to consider when it comes to taking care of the Betta tank while you are away.
One of the factors to consider when it comes to tank management is the size of the tank itself. Aside from purchasing a filter, you can always go for a bigger tank. This is always a better alternative if getting a filter is not on the menu. With a larger tank comes a large volume of water. When the water volume in a tank is high it also reduces the rate at which toxins buildup in that tank. This also cuts down the risk of evaporation and overfeeding your Betta fish.
If you would rather go for a filter, then you will be making the right investment. Most small tanks do not come with filters. This makes purchasing a filter a necessity. With filters, the sediments are removed automatically. This keeps the tank cleaner always. Filters also help to remove excess food in order to prevent ammonia build-up which could cause the water to become toxic. Most small filters come at an affordable price, so getting one shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re going to be away for more than 2 weeks, then getting a powerful filter system will be the best thing to do.
Evaporation is the main course of water reduction in tanks. It commonly happens and small tanks. There are lots of automatic water top-up solutions to invest in. Some of which require a pump as well as a sensor. All those are gravity-fed, as the water in the tank drugs the extra water at the base pushes its way into the tank slowly making sure it stays filled all the time. No matter the option they decide to go with, you’ll still need to do a perfect setup and test the systems to ensure that they work perfectly before embarking on your journey.
Leave Your Betta Fish Tank in A Pet Shop
Considering Betta fish care while on vacation includes leaving him in a pet store. This option isn’t common anymore, but it’s worth trying. There are pet stores that allow you to leave your fish with them for some weeks if you’re going on vacation. Remember, this is not a free service. The main benefit of this is that it lets you keep your Betta fish in good hands. However, just as it has its own pros, there are lots of cons that need to be talked about. One of the scenes includes the fact that most pet stores and tanks are connected. This means that if there is a disease in one of these tanks when your Betta is not safe.
If you have come to this point of our article, you already know betta fish can go up to 14 days without any food. But it’s not recommended to start him more than 4 days.
This article has been decorated keeping the novice people in mind. If you don’t know even a bit about it, it will help you to feed.
If you are going on vacation, leaving the betta fish alone can be possible with some tactics and planning. Although this is highly recommended, someone should be there to feed them. If not, then arrange an automatic feeder at least.