Are Automatic Fish Feeders Any Good?

Discussion in 'Fish Food' started by MMoorehouse, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. MMoorehouse

    MMoorehouseValued MemberMember

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    Are automatic fish feeders any good? If so, any particular type of fish feeder that is best? Just thinking ahead for vacation. I had tried the food cakes several years ago when we had our first tank and it seemed like they just made a mess and didn't really last as long as they were supposed to. If I have someone to come feed the fish while we are gone would they have to come every day? That would be my preference but I worry if they skipped a day or two the fish would die. It would be my parents who would come to the house and feed the fish, just worried if they got busy and forgot a day or two or couldn't get out here. Thanks
     
  2. AquaticBrandon

    AquaticBrandonWell Known MemberMember

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    There are Some good automatic feeders out there. Problem is that some feeders can malfunction and stop feeding. I've never tried feeders before. When on vacation, I would use the "vacation tabs" feeders. They made a total mess in the tank and had algae. I had gone on vacation for two weeks and didn't feed my fish. I only fed them the day I left and I was really worried that my fish would be all dead. I got home and all my fish were alive. I then found out that fish could go weeks without eating. If you go on vacation, it's fine if they come every other day to feed the fish. It won't hurt the fish at all.


     
  3. jbokel

    jbokelValued MemberMember

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    I use only "Fish Mate F14 Aquarium Fish Feeder" for vacations and when I am working through feeding time. I did modifiy the wheel of each of mine to work better for small food. It seemed the most foolproof, and the only one I can consistently control food doses with. The wheel assembly is 14 compartments in a disc configuration, which is rotated by cog pins you insert into the timer, and when the compartment holding the food passes over the hole, it drops the food into the tank. I got mine from petmountain, but a few other places have them as well.
     
  4. annizoe

    annizoeValued MemberMember

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    I bought two at petco yesterday...they are total ***! Pardon my French. The fully charged AAA batteries gave a reading of LO (low charge) which means it's not going to work. I called the help line and the man (I couldn't understand a word he was saying his accent was so thick) told me to call the local store. They aren't even open. So frustrated. May just not feed them since it's just an over night trip and return the 2 $20 feeders. I do have a teen girl who will come to the house to feed both tanks, but I'm trying to save $...(in the long run) So if you find something that works...let me know! I'd love to make one somehow...or find one that runs on electricity.

    I just ordered the F14 from Petmountain today...I will let you know how it works out...it will be 5-7 days before I get it though...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2018
  5. OP
    OP
    MMoorehouse

    MMoorehouseValued MemberMember

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    Yes I'd like to know if you had good luck with it like jbokel.
     
  6. tameone

    tameoneValued MemberMember

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    I'd go with the Fish Mate F14 because it works well (seemingly the best reviews across the internet), and it's very versatile when it comes to placement. But also realize that fish can go awhile without being fed. I wouldn't worry about a long weekend.
     
  7. aylad

    ayladWell Known MemberMember

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    These are the best. They work well with "chunky" foods like pellets or broken-up wafers; I don't know how well they'd work with flakes.
     
  8. jbokel

    jbokelValued MemberMember

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    I use my F14s with flakes, but I effectively made each food area smaller, adding a waxpaper wiper to help move the food as well as ensure that all of the flakes get dropped in. I was less than satisfied with how it worked with flakes right out of the box, but it still worked better than the tumble-drum style I had before. I will try to remember to get some pics and post up what I did.
     
  9. OP
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    MMoorehouse

    MMoorehouseValued MemberMember

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    Pics would be great!
     
  10. Jomolager

    JomolagerWell Known MemberMember

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    We used to have a neighbor who fed the fish every other day while we were gone, eventually we discovered that it is better not tot feed the fish for up to 2 weeks, their water remains clean, no fear of super high nitrates.
     
  11. annizoe

    annizoeValued MemberMember

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    we went away for easter weekend and didn't feed the fish because Ihad to return the two defective timers. The fish were fine water clear and were very happy to see me. Actually it probably forced them to graze my plants and that's fine because the plants were getting a bit hairy...lol!
     
  12. jbokel

    jbokelValued MemberMember

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    So here is how I changed the F14 tray to work better with flakes ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1428509096.578412.ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1428509117.835846.ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1428509138.295505.
    I set the tray on wax paper, then used hot glue to build the divider out so that the dispense cycle doesn't leave a little edge to catch the food flakes. Once the glue was how I wanted it I used a razor knife to trim the paper and the fold it over the glue. First pic should be assembled feeder, open; next the bottom of the tray; last the view of where the food dispenses.

    I fill the feeder with a tiny appetizer spoon.
     
  13. jbokel

    jbokelValued MemberMember

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    Glad it worked out well. :)
     
  14. annizoe

    annizoeValued MemberMember

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    im having a hard time trying to picture what you did and why...I will have to try it first as is whenever the heck I get this thing! I am sure I'll understand then!
     
  15. jbokel

    jbokelValued MemberMember

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    You might not feel like it is needed, I just felt like (especially with the one on my betta's tank) that part of the serving could get stuck on the lip of the thing instead of actually going into the tank. Most of my tanks are fairly minimally stocked, so the small quantity of food not dropping could mean a larger portion of the meal getting served with the next rotation. And because I apparently obsess a little bit, all of my feeders are modified.
     
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