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Re: Blackout effect on fish

One word of caution about blackouts and fish:  I'd read here on the APD and
elsewhere that when you go on vacation for less than a week, skipping
feeding is often safer than having an inexperienced person feed them, and
blackouts of 3-5 days shouldn't be a problem for the fish.  I have gotten
a handle on the inexperienced feeder problem by using pillboxes labelled by
tank and day, but recently was on vacation at the same time as both my
designated keepers, so did a blackout for 5 days.  The plants seemed to do
fine, algae was less, and most fish were simply hungry, but my first pair
of annual killies, N. guentheri, got so skinny the female looked like
someone had taken a bite out of her abdomen....and she did have a scrape or
two, likely from trying to escape the overzealous male.  After several
weeks of TLC, they now have round bellies again and are spawning, but it
was a close call.

 I learned that I can't assume that all fish are fine without food for a
week, particularly not those like my nothos were are programmed to live
very short lifespans, who are metabolically go-go-go all the time.  The
next time I want to do a blackout on their tank, they'll get a temporary
home and I'll be sure to have a caretaker feed them, even if no one else
needs it.

Diane Brown in St. Louis