If you’re going on a trip for a few days — or you just want a more convenient way to keep your guppies fed — an automatic fish feeder may be worthwhile. There are dozens of automatic feeders on the market, including electric and battery-operated models. Fish feeders range from very basic models that hold one week of food to advanced models that can store and dispense up to eight weeks worth of fish food on a specific schedule. Some even let you feed fish various types of food together.
Of course, not all automatic feeders are equal. While a good feeder won’t cost more than $30, some cheap models will allow moisture to get in, clumping the food and clogging the dispenser. Here are some important factors to consider when shopping for an automatic feeder and some of the best on the market.
Choosing an Automatic Fish Feeder
Here are some factors to consider when you’re choosing the right automatic feeder.
Type of Food
Make sure the feeder can handle the size and type of food you feed your fish. For example, some automatic feeders can only feed pellets or flakes but some can also handle sticks of food or even brine shrimp.
Battery or AC Power
A battery-powered feeder will work even if the power goes out, but you need to make sure your feeder has fresh batteries.
Feedings Per Day
Basic feeders can only dispense food once per day, but others can dispense food several times a day on a schedule.
Amount of Food Dispensed
Do you want a feeder that can only dispense a specific amount of food at once or do you want the option to change the feeding size as your tank grows?
Some feeders have brackets to attach to the tank but others use suction cups. Brackets are a better option because suction cups can fail, especially when they become brittle with age.
You may want a feeder that has different chambers to dispense different types of food at certain times of the day. This way you can feed fish flakes in the morning and pellets in the evening, for example.
EHEIM Programmable Automatic Fish Feeder
The EHEIM feeder is affordable and works well for everyday use as well as feeding your fish while you’re on vacation. It includes a ventilation system and fan to keep the food dry (a problem with many cheap feeders). It stores up to 3.3 fluid ounces, which is enough for up to 6 weeks of feeding. The EHEIM feeder has a digital LCD screen for programming up to 8 feedings per day. I like that it uses a clamp system and has a transparent drum so you can see how much food you have left.
API 14-Day Pyramid Automatic Fish Feeder
The API 14-day fish feeder is a single-use automatic feeder that contains fish pellets that are released slowly while the pyramid dissolves. It also has a secret chamber inside that releases tubifex worms around the 4th day. It can feed about 20 fish in a 10-gallon tank, although the feedings won’t be timed and the 14-day window is an estimate. Unlike most dissolving feeders, the API feeder won’t cloud the water.
Resun Automatic Fish Feeder
The Resun automatic fish feeder is one of the most affordable automatic feeders on the market with a timer. It’s available with or without a battery and allows you to adjust the amount of food dispensed by adjusting a slider. You can operate it manually or set it to dispense food on a timer up to 4 times a day.
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