How To Take Care Of Betta When You’re On Vacation?

Taking care of betta fish is one of the main concerns for many betta owners as betta fish are considered as high-maintenance fish. The concern arises more when you are a betta fish owner as well as you are planning a vacation. This topic has been one of the common topics in the betta discussion groups available on the web. 

Therefore, in this article, I will try to ease your concerns by explaining key topic about how you can take care of your betta when you are on vacation.

Before going on a vacation, change 50 to 100% water in the Betta fish tank and clean it properly. You can use an automatic fish-feeding device so they don’t starve or become malnourished. Check the filters of the tank and change them if necessary on the day you are going on vacation.

That being said, the process of taking care of the Betta mainly depends on the duration of your tour. If you leave this fish unattended for only a couple of days, you don’t have to worry much as they can live without food for up to a week without any issues. So, I have discussed how to keep your Betta fish healthy while you are on vacation.

How To Prepare The Beta Fish Tank Before Leaving For Vacation

The first thing you should do before leaving for vacation is to prepare the tank so that the Bettas can live happily and comfortably. You can do multiple things to keep your Betta healthy while you are away from your house. 

Here are the aquarium tank preparations for Betta that you can take before going out of town:

Clean The Tank And Change The Water

First, clean the aquarium tank of your Betta thoroughly before going on vacation. With an aquarium vacuum, clean every part of the tank to eliminate as much organic waste as possible. Make sure you clean underneath the decorations, corners, in between plants, and below the filter box. 

Change the water after cleaning the tank to remove the waste materials and unwanted substances from the water. Replace 50-100% tank water to ensure that the water is clean. However, if you have a large tank, you can change 25-30% water to keep the Betta fish healthy.

Keep in mind that if you change all the water together, you will make the Betta stressed out. This is because it will remove all good bacteria that your biological filter system requires to function correctly.

Clean The Filters

The filters of the tank must be clean to supply clean water to the tank for the Betta. By cleaning the filters before leaving, you can also ensure that they effectively remove any unwanted substance from the aquarium.

Rinse the filter media of the aquarium to remove any dirt and gunk that could clog the filter and prevent proper flow through the media. If the filter media is worn out and very old, it is a good idea to replace it. 

Set Up Lights

Bettas have a light cycle and need light to grow and stay comfortable. It is essential to provide light for a certain period each day. They remain active and eat during the daytime and become relatively inactive at night. So, do not keep the light on the whole time you are away on vacation.

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However, without enough light, Betta can become unhealthy and stop feeding. So, it will be best if the lights of the tanker turn on and off according to a schedule. This way, the temperature of the tank will remain constant, and Bettas will stay comfortable. 

Utilize Natural Light

If you don’t have time for LED lights, natural light is the best option for the Bettas while you are on vacation. It will help your Betta fish eat and sleep in its regular routine. They will eat and remain active when sunlight falls on the tank, making them happy and healthy.

However, make sure not to put the aquarium directly in the sunlight. Direct sunlight helps algae to grow faster in water and causes temperature fluctuation. It will, as a result, harm your Betta, and it might even become fatal.

Plant Live Plants

Living plants release oxygen in the water and consume carbon dioxide, making the water well-oxygenated for the fish. They also use fertilizers like nitrates which keep the water free from pollution. As a result, planting live plants in the tank will help the biological filter.

Plant live plants only when you can provide indirect sunlight to the tank of Betta. This is because the plants will have enough light to conduct the photosynthesis process. If the plants don’t get enough light, they won’t grow and might even start to decompose under the water.

Install A Heater

Bettas are tropical fish, so their natural habitat is warm waters. They are susceptible to temperature fluctuations. These fishes can’t live in an aquarium without a heater unless they live in a region with constant temperature throughout the year. While you are on vacation, the temperature might fluctuate. So, install a heater with a built-in thermostat so that the temperature remains constant all day round.

The perfect temperature for the betta fish aquarium is 76 degrees Fahrenheit to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. You should maintain the temperature of the tank in accordance with the room temperature. This is because betta fish takes gulps of air from the water surface periodically. If the room temperature and water temperature are very different, then the labyrinth organ through which they consume air will get damaged.

Check The Pump

The pump in the aquarium tank basically circulates the water throughout the tank, which prevents the water from becoming toxic. It also contains the formation of algae and fungi in the water. So, before going on a vacation, ensure that the pump is functioning correctly. 

Clean and unclog the pipes of the pump so that it doesn’t clog while you are out of town. Set the drip loop properly to prevent any electrical accidents during a power outage.

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5 Ways To Keep Your Betta Fish Well-Fed During A Vacation

There are numerous ways to feed your Betta while you are on vacation. You can choose any option, from asking a friend to using an automatic feeder. Having someone feed your fish will be better than getting an automatic feeder. Let’s take a look at the possibilities for feeding Betta while on vacation. 

1. Ask A Neighbour Or Friend

If you have a friend or neighbor that has Betta or other fish as their pet, then you can ask them to feed your fish while you are on vacation. This will also make the preparation work mentioned earlier simpler for you as they can check if everything is okay while feeding the fish.

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Feeding your Betta fish once a day is enough for them to thrive and remain comfortable. Make sure that your friend doesn’t overfeed them. You can also ask them to change the water partially if you are going on vacation for an extended period of time.

2. Use Auto Feeders

Auto Feeders is one of the best options to keep your Betta well-fed even when you are out of town. It will provide the fish from time to time so that they don’t starve. You can preset a time for the feeder to release the food.

Auto-feeders work by storing food in a small container. It distributes a measured part at a set time in the water for the fish to eat. When the timer goes off, the device spins and discharges the food. So, make sure to store enough food in the small container of the auto feeders. 

3. Don’t Feed Your Betta

If you are going on a short vacation, then you won’t have to worry about feeding it. This fish remains in good health and comfortable without food for up to three days. So, they will be just fine if you don’t feed your betta fish. 

However, if you are planning to go on vacation for more than three days, then this is not a good idea. This is because Bettas go into starvation mode after three days of fasting. It will stress them out, which will increase the risk of them becoming sick.

4. Leave Them In Pet Day Care

Some pet day cares other than dogs and cats also accept fish to take care of. They will allow you to leave the fish in your tank for a week or two during your vacation. 

The benefit of this option is that your fish won’t starve to death due to a shortage of food. You won’t also have to put in lights with timers to provide light for your fish. In fact, the daycare will also change the water if necessary. However, if the daycare is too far from your house, the transportation can cause stress to your fish. 

5. Put Feeder Fish In The Tank

You can keep your Betta well-fed using feeder fish while you are going out of town for a short period of time. If the aquarium tank is more significant than 10 gallons, then you can use feeder fish to feed the betta fish. 

Feeder fish doesn’t mean fully grown fish; instead, it is a small and inexpensive fish. While putting feeder fish in the tank, ensure you don’t put too many of them as the Betta can overeat and stress themselves. 

Can I Leave My Betta Fish For A Week?

You can most definitely leave your betta fish for a week unattended as long as you make all the necessary preparations. They need food and light to grow and remain healthy. The Betta eats only during the daytime, so you will have to ensure that the food is dispersed into the tank during the day.

You can ask a friend to feed the Betta or use a mechanical auto feeder to keep the fish well-fed during your one-week vacation. Before leaving the fish for a week, you should check the filters and pump of the tank to prevent the water from getting toxic. You should also install a heater to avoid fluctuations in temperature and make the fish comfortable.

How Long Can You Travel With A Betta Fish?

You should not travel more than 24 hours with a betta fish. This is due to the fact that during the trip, the tank of the Betta will not have a proper filter to clear the waste released by the fish. Without adequate filtration, the amount of ammonia in the water will spike due to the waste released by this fish. This ammonia spike harms the Betta fish and makes them sick quickly.

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The Betta fish become sick if they are transported from one place to another for a long time. They become uncomfortable and dizzy. So, if you travel with a Betta fish for an extended period of time, you might harm the fish. 

Can A Betta Go Without Food For 5 Days?

Betta can go without food for five days, but it is not suitable for them. They will merely survive without food for such a long time. They will fall sick and become weak if you leave them without any food source for five days straight.

The betta fish can stay healthy without food for three days. If they don’t get food for more than three days, they will go into starvation mode. So, if you leave the Betta without food for five days, you should consider installing an auto feeder.

Best Vacation Feeder For Betta Fish

Having a top-notch quality vacation feeder is extremely important for your Betta to get the necessary food to remain healthy. A low-quality auto feeder might drop all the food at once by malfunctioning, and the Betta will consume all the food it gets. So, the ammonia level in the water will rise significantly due to the excessive waste from the fish, making them sick.

Let’s have a look at one of the best vacation feeders for betta fish for feeding them automatically while on vacation.

EHEIM Everyday Fish Feeder

The everyday fish feeder by EHEIM is one of the most reliable automatic fish feeders available on the market. Eheim has become a popular name in this industry due to its high-quality products at a reasonable price. The feeder releases the food accurately according to your programmed time.

This fish feeder is compatible with numerous fish tanks as it features a universal installation clamp. You can also install this unit in your Betta fish tank in a matter of minutes since it is effortless to install. 

The food container capacity of this unit is 100 milliliters, enough to feed your Betta for more than a month. You can also set how much food you want it to release into the tank. The container of this automatic feeder is transparent, so you can effortlessly refill the food when necessary.

This feeder is innovatively designed with a ventilation system and an integrated fan. It helps the food remain dry, keeping it fresh for a long time.  


  • It is equipped with a ventilation system and a fan to keep the food dry;
  • The capacity of this automatic fish feeder is 100 milliliters;
  • This unit is relatively easy to use;
  • It is straightforward to set up and can be done in a short time;
  • The product offers two stages of the low battery indicator.


  • The feeder holds only dry fish food;
  • It is manufactured using plastic material.

Final Thoughts

Preparing the tank and feeding the betta fish while you are going on a vacation is the first step to taking care of them. Even Betta can get lonely when you leave them unattended for a long time, making them stressed out.

The next thing you should do is bring a companion for your Betta fish, so they remain happy while you are on vacation. Read my next article to know which fish Betta can live with peacefully. 12 Fish That Can Live With Bettas [Peacefully]

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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