What to do before, during, & after
Before leaving for an extended period of time (less than one week), you should thoroughly clean the aquarium and filter, trim plants, and complete a large water change (30-50%) at least two days in advance. With these preparations, your aquarium is well prepared for your vacation. No aquarium inhabitants should be added to your aquarium just before your vacation. This is because new inhabitants need special care and should be closely observed to see if they show any signs of carrying diseases.
If you want to use an automatic feeder you can set fish food quantities and feeding intervals individually. Always test the feeder a few days before your vacation so that the feeding schedules will function how you would like them to.
If you are going to be away for a longer vacation (more than one week), it is useful to obtain the services of a fish sitter who will look after your aquarium at least twice a week. If you have a fish-sitter, we recommend pre-packing food portions beforehand to avoid overfeeding. Even if feeding is automated, a power outage could cripple the aquarium support system. Provide some instructions concerning the water level by marking where the water level should be at. You can avoid major catastrophes by giving clear written instructions beforehand and by providing the sitter with your phone number for emergencies.