Automatic Fish Feeders

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by ginak, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. ginak

    ginakNew MemberMember

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    Has anyone ever used an automatic fish feeder? I will be going away during the Christmas break and want to know if I could use one to feed my betta while I am gone.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    ginak

    ginakNew MemberMember

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    Has anyone ever used an automatic fish feeder? I want to know if it would be ok to use one for my betta while I am gone during Christmas.
     
  3. AlfaBetta

    AlfaBettaValued MemberMember

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    I have the aquachef autofeeder and it works well. How big is your tank and does it have a filter?
     
  4. OP
    OP
    ginak

    ginakNew MemberMember

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    I have a half gallon tank and it has no water filter in it. I'm planning to put him in a larger tank while I am away since I won't be able to clean his tank so often. I will be gone for about 10 days and I don't want to spend too much money on the fish feeder because I'm a student and have a limited supply, but I want to make sure that the fish feeder works good enough to ensure my fish does well while I am away. Are there any brands of fish feeders that are not recommended?
     
  5. dmcl1

    dmcl1New MemberMember

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    I purchased an automatic fish feeder when we had to leave town over the Thanksgiving holiday for 5 days. While I think the fish didn't get fed as much as they might from me, they were all fine when we returned home. I set it up and let it run for two days before we left town to be sure everything was working.
     
  6. chickadee

    chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

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    I am not sure that I would recommend a fish feeder for any betta. They are not very reliable for the small amounts of food you will be wanting to feed your betta. He will either be overfed or not fed at all. Is there no one who could take him or no way you could take him with you?

    Rose
     
  7. OP
    OP
    ginak

    ginakNew MemberMember

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    Is it really safe to be travelling with my betta? It's a 3 hour ride home for Christmas and a 3 hour ride back. Have you ever travelled with a betta?
     
  8. JMatt1983

    JMatt1983Valued MemberMember

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    you can get feeder stones specifically for bettas at most pet shops most are good for 7 days
     
  9. chickadee

    chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

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    I have ordered all my bettas online from Florida, New York, Texas, and California and they have traveled alone for 2 days to get to Nebraska.  It can be done quite safely if they are with their mommy or daddy.  All you need to do is pack them properly.  You need:

    A styrofoam 6 pack cooler (does not need to be new)
    2 large plastic bags (new not ziploc preferably)
    A few sheets of newspaper
    a little microwave heat pack

    1) do not feed betta the day before traveling so he has less waste in the bag to deal with
    2) put clean dechlorinated water in HALF the first bag and add the fish  (temp should be the same as tank water if possible)
    3) tie the end leaving half the bag full of air and half full of water - don't use twist ties, tie in a knot
    4) put knot side in the other bag first, and tie the end the same as you did on the first bag
    5) wrap the bags in a double layer of newspaper and put the bags and paper in the styrofoam cooler
    6) warm the heat pack and place in the cooler with the fish and put the lid on.  He's ready to travel. (not real hot just warm enough to be warm to you if the trip is only 3 hours)

    When he comes home you do the same thing.

    While you have him at home he can stay in a large new plastic bucket with a heater in it and no filter if you test the water daily and do frequent water changes.  The bucket cannot have been used for any cleaning chores or with any cleaning supplies at all though.  All the supplies you would need to pack for him would be his food and his dechlorinator and you can pick up a cheap bucket and heater when you get there or have someone get one for you and have it ready for you when you get home.  Oh and take his test kit.  Otherwise, he will travel well.  The only other thing you may want to take is his airpump and an airstone.  I have used new buckets for hospital tanks many times when I have a crisis and the fish do very well.  Just make sure the water is at least 2 inches from the top of the bucket.

    Rose
     
  10. Butterfly

    ButterflyFishlore LegendMember

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    ginak I merged your two threads about automatic feeders, hope you don't mind
    Carol
     
  11. OP
    OP
    ginak

    ginakNew MemberMember

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    Thanks for the advice Rose. I'm still not quite sure if it's reasonable to be bringing him with me since I'll only be gone for 10 days. It also seems a little complicated to be bringing him on a greyhound bus...
    Has anyone ever used vacation feeders on their bettas? I hear that they cloud the water but I want to hear some stories or experiences
     
  12. chickadee

    chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

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    No I didn't realize it was a bus trip. Probably not a good idea. I have seen the betta block feeders and tried them and my little guys wouldn't touch the stuff. I will have to admit they are VERY picky eaters and would waste away completely before they would put something in their mouth that they didn't think they wanted. I am not only limited by types of food but by BRAND names with my fellows. I am hoping to train Sonny better, but I swore I would train Alexander to be more reasonable too...

    I do not believe I would use them while you are gone without at least testing them on him before hand if that is what you decide to do. But the ones I saw were only good for a period of 3 or 4 days. Is there no one who could feed him while you are gone?
    It would not take long to come in even once every other day and give him a couple or three pellets.

    When I was in the hospital, I was gone for 5 days and I did not have anyone to stay with them and no one would feed them so I worried but they did okay, but over the whole holiday he will need to have some care.

    Rose
     
  13. OP
    OP
    ginak

    ginakNew MemberMember

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    Unfortunately, all the people I know are going "home" for the holidays (I've only been in this city since September and I'm here because of school). Perhaps it would be best if I got an automatic feeder and hoped for the best, although I wish it wasn't so expensive to purchase a good quality one. :-\ It takes a chunk out of my student budget. Fortunately, Christmas is coming up which means money from relatives
     
  14. chickadee

    chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

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    Here are the two least expensive ones I could find online. The one from PetSmart, if you copy the page and take into the store if you have one locally they will give you the online price (usually MUCH cheaper) and you will save the shipping charge.

    Hope this helps a little. I don't know how this will work but please let us know what happens. I would definitely use it for a couple of days before leaving to make sure how it is functioning.

    Rose
     
  15. OP
    OP
    ginak

    ginakNew MemberMember

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    I managed to get an automatic fish feeder from Wal Mart for $20 (for some reason they're more expensive here in Canada and that was the cheapest I could find). I had to use a little creativity to rig the thing so that it wasn't dumping out handfuls of pellets twice a day but I managed to make it work ;D One last question for you guys. My roommate offered to let me use her big fish tank (it's not huge but it's bigger than what I have) while I'm gone since I can't be changing the water. If I move him to the bigger tank for the holidays, do you think he will be sad if I move him back to the smaller tank once I come home? Seems like a silly question but I'm just curious to see what you guys think.
     
  16. chickadee

    chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

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    I think that he is more likely to go into a little pout and have a problem unless you take a couple of items from his little tank with him so he does not feel that he is being abandoned. He may feel homesick. If you even take one or two of his decorations or toys along he will be fine and then when you bring him home just bring them back to the old tank with him. That way he knows that is where he belongs.

    Please do not forget that he will have to be acclimated to the new tank just like you are bringing him home from a store if he is moving from one home to the other. (i.e. float a bag so he acclimates to the temperature and unless the water tests out for ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites and pH the same as his little tank you will have to add a small amount of water to the bag and slowly acclimate him to the new water.) (give him at least 30 - 45 minutes)

    Rose
     
  17. 0morrokh

    0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

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    I honestly think it would be safer to let the fish go without food for 10 days than to risk an automatic feeder getting screwed up and killing the fish either by overfeeding or by polluting the water and jacking the ammonia. It may sound cruel but I have left my fish as have others for a while at a time wiht no negative effects, whereas overfeeding could instantly kill them. Isn't it possible to get someone to come in even just 2 or 3 times during your trip to give the fish a bit of food? That way they wouldn't be completely without food but they couldn't get overfed either.
     
  18. chickadee

    chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

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    He cannot go for 10 days without food and it will be okay but the only thing I am wondering about that I forgot to ask is: "will there be other fish in the other tank you are taking him too and if so what types?"

    That may make a difference. I have a feeling they are already gone.

    Rose
    ???
     
  19. 0morrokh

    0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

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    I have read that fish can survive up to or over 2 weeks without food. I am certainly not recommending trying it though!!! In fact I hope no one ever tries it because that would be cruel. I'm just saying in my opinion it would be worse to trust the lives of your fish to a failable machine...
    I am not saying actually leave the fish 10 days without food, just it would be safer to have someone come in a couple times to feed the fish rather than trusting an automatic feeder. I have heard of those things breaking.
    I wasn't actually meaning leave the fish without food for that long, if it came across that way. :eek: I guess I'm just saying I'd never trust my fish to a machine. But it's your choice of course what you want to do.
    Whoa sorry I think I just repeated myself 3 times and probably made no sense whatsoever sheesh thank goodness tomorrow's the last day of school... :p
     
  20. AlfaBetta

    AlfaBettaValued MemberMember

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    It really depends on the quality of the autofeeder. If you get a quality feeder and know how to correctly set it up, it should work for years with routine battery replacements.
     
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