Best Automatic Fish Feeders
How many times have you gone throughout your day and realized that you forgot to feed your fish? There is a high likelihood that it has happened to the best of you as life can really get busy at times. Plus, humans are bound to make mistakes as that is in our DNA. But, what if all that could go away and your fish would be automatically fed by a machine? Well, that is why you are here today as these machines do exist and there are called automatic fish feeders. While you will still be the one who is held responsible for filling up the drum with appropriate food, they will perform the rest of the work for you.
- Eheim Everyday
- Integrated fan
- Adjustable slider
- Power adapter
- The food stays dry
- Fish Mate F14
- 14-day capacity
- Easy to program
10 Best Automatic Fish Feeders
Depending on the type of food you use and the amount that is being dispensed, this feeder can last up to six weeks. This is because the drum has a volume of 3.3 fluid ounces.
This system integrates LCD programming and makes it very easy for the user to operate. But, the East Start Guide manual is included if you do have any questions. Plus, the adjustable slider allows you to set your desired proportions.
A universal installation clamp is included with your purchase and it allows this to fit on most aquariums. However, admittedly, the Velcro is a bit on the cheap side.
Most notable in the Everyday Feeder’s build is its splash proof buttons. This way, you never have to worry about encountering electrical issues.
For the most part, this will work with most types of foods. However, troubles can arise if the food pellets are too large as the system may not dispense the food consistently.
Even though the Everyday Feeder is very simple in nature, its consistency and simplicity make it one of the most reliable and popular fish feeders in the world.
Integrated fan keeps food dry
Features an adjustable slider
It is ideal for terrariums and aquariums
Comes with cheap Velcro
May not dispense large food consistently
In a 24-hour period, this bad boy can deliver up to 12 meals. Overall, it can hold up to 35 grams of food in its hopper. If you have a lot of fish, though, this can be a little small.
Thanks to the integration of the digital touchpad control, you can easily program this system. Do not fret; even if you are not technically savvy you should be able to operate this without issues.
The mounting bracket that comes with this should be suitable for most-sized aquariums. Plus, this is also ideal for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums.
First off, the design is sleek and attractive in its own right. But, what is truly fascinating is the sealed container returns back to the housing after feeding which eliminates jammed food.
Outside of some rare flake types of fish food, this is all but compatible with all different types of fish food in the world.
This was so close to being the number one model on this list and perhaps a larger container would have allowed it to secure its spot. Still, second place is not too shabby.
The food stays dry
Can be powered by batteries or a power adapter
Can be installed on the hood
May not be ideal for larger tanks
Fish Mate F14
Assuming your fish only needs to be fed once daily, the F14 can last for up to two weeks without being refilled. Overall, it is ideal for aquariums up to 150 liters in size.
First off, the reliable and accurate quartz timer is a nice addition. But, in regard to physical programming, the timer itself is easy to use and can provide either one to four meals daily.
Again, the F14 is not ideal for outdoor ponds. Although, it is suitable for most aquariums as it can be mounted on the glass edge or hood of most of them.
Let’s just say that the F14 is not winning any awards for its build quality. Then again, it is far from pathetic. Instead, it falls in the middle with its decent plastic construction.
There are 14 different individual meal portions that you can customize and because of this, you can offer your fish a varied diet that will satisfy their taste buds.
Clearly, the biggest selling point of the F14 is its simple nature. Even without an LCD display, it is easy to program and provides countless different meal combinations for your fish.
Is compatible with all fish foods
Has a 14-day capacity
Can be mounted in different ways
Flakes do not work the best
Not the best mounting bracket in the world
All in all, this can feed your fish one to four meals per day. Much like the previous model, if fed once daily, this could easily last up to two weeks (maybe further).
You can actually adjust the food lever to regulate how much food is being dispensed. Also, the integrated timer is easy to program and can provide one to four meals per day.
The form on the tank actually indicates that there are two installation methods. Either way, whether you go with the Velcro or the plastic screws, both should suffice.
While the plastic housing is nothing extraordinary, the moisture-resistant hopper is worth bringing up. In addition to this, the integrated fan also prevents food from being wet.
Everything from flakes to pellets to crumbles, this automatic fish feeder covers. You would be hard-pressed to find a fish food that was not compatible, honestly.
Though this is not the most popular model on this list, it is one of the most impressive. This is largely thanks to its moisture-resistant design and high compatibility of fish food types.
Built with a moisture-resistant hopper
The integrated fan keeps the food dry
The feed lever can be adjusted
Can be difficult to program
With its 30 cup capacity (which works out to around six and a half pounds), this can deliver dry sticks or pellets to your fish for days.
The LCD digital display will allow you to program this unit. But, do note that some buyers have claimed that it can be hard to program. Still, the option to switch to the frequent feed mode is nice.
If you are going to install this outdoors, you may need to be careful. Suspending it over the pond can be dangerous as the wind can cause the food to be released prematurely.
This entire unit is waterproof. In addition to this, when the time comes for cleaning, the food contact portions are dishwasher-safe. But, it may be wise to fasten this to a secure base as it is not windproof.
Fish Mate recommends in their manual that the P7000 be used primarily for either food sticks or pellets. To ensure accurate dispensing, you should stick with either of these.
Some of you may not be willing to fork over so much money to feed your fish. That is fair; but, understand this, the P7000 is worth the money if you are willing to spend it.
Can be washed in a dishwasher
It is fully waterproof
The feeder can be used in frequent feed mode
It can be hard to program
Finding a stable base can be difficult
This particular product comes in a pack of three. Each individual feeder can feed around five to 10 average-sized fish in a 10-gallon tank for up to 14 days.
There is literally no programming required for this unit as they are individual feeders that are already designed to function for up to 14 days.
Thanks to the unique design, all you need to do is drop these feeders into your aquarium. Just know, though, that these are not feasible for outdoor ponds due to their size.
Again, not much to worry about here. Besides the manner in which they are designed, they will never be exposed to the elements so unless your fish destroy them, durability should not be an issue.
As this is its own recipe, you do not have to supply the food. But, for the record, the label reads wheat flour, pea protein, corn gluten meal, and dried kelp as some of its main ingredients.
It is not difficult to see why some of you may fall in love with this specific feeder. Really, the only gimmick is you need to replace them when they run out of food, which can be annoying.
Installation is as easy as dropping the packages inside
One package will feed five to 10 fish
Features a secret chamber for algae
Not suitable for larger ponds
Can end up clouding your water
The volume of the hopper is 150 milliliters which is actually larger than the number one model on this list.
There are two modes you can choose from. Firstly, there is the auto mode which will feed your fish up to five times per day. Or, you can switch to manual mode and feed them yourself.
Designed into this unit are adjustable screws and a mount. With these, you can install this onto any tank that is up to one-inch thick. Truthfully, this is more suitable for larger tanks.
As this is a dustproof design, the food that is kept inside will never be contaminated. Your fish will certainly love this design integration; probably more than you.
Chances are, you will not encounter too many issues when looking for compatible fish food. This is because this system accepts all kinds such as flakes, pellets and crumbles.
Ironically, this fish feeder actually struggles with smaller tanks. Because it can’t dispense small amounts, it really is suitable for larger aquariums with multiple fish. This is brilliant if this is what you are after.
Can be programmed to auto mode
Features a digital LCD display
It is compatible with nearly all types of fish foods
There is not a built-in fan
It does not work efficiently for smaller tanks
Okay, so this is not the food dispenser you want if you are looking for bulk. As the hopper can only hold around the size of two golf balls of food, it will run out quick.
Thanks to the adjustable time dials, you can program how many times your fish get fed throughout the day. Overall, it is a pretty basic system to program.
Even though a mounting bracket comes with this, some buyers have alluded to the fact that it can be a pain to use.
Let’s just say that the build quality of this model is what you would expect from a feeder of its price. There will be no roughhousing with this that is for sure.
This dispenser can be used to feed freshwater and saltwater fish and can deliver a multitude of different foods. For example, it can handle pellets, flakes, and detritus food.
As opposed to the other entries, this one is fairly unique. Its main design alone is proof enough of that and as long as you are wary of the moisture issues, it should deliver the goods.
Comes with adjustable time dials
Has three fixed modes
Ideal for most types of fish food
Inside food can moisten
The bracket for mounting can be a hassle
The heavy-duty construction also plays a role in this feeder’s capacity as it can hold a whopping five to 10 pounds of Koi food in its interior.
There is a built-in digital controller that acts as the timer for this model. With it, you can set the system to feed x amount of times (with the maximum being five) over a 24-hour span.
As the food comes out of the bottom of this unit, it actually needs to be suspended in the air. This can complicate the installation process as it needs to be easy to take down and refill.
With its heavy-gauge galvanized steel construction, this is arguably the most durable and well-built feeder on this entire list.
As the name suggests, the Koi feeder is primarily ideal for Koi fish. Considering they will eat just about anything, the choices are quite endless here.
If the last model was unique, this most certainly is. Its heavy-duty construction is a sight to behold but its main design (with the food being dispensed) could be considered a flaw.
There is a built-in site gauge
It is made of heavy-gauge galvanized steel
An optional solar charger can be added
The solar charger can be insufficient at times
The food comes out the bottom
Current USA 3860
Current USA designed their Aquachef with a capacity of 35 grams. When you are away for a couple of days, your fish will be kept stuffed and satisfied.
Some buyers have encountered issues when attempting to program the Aquachef. But, the system does allow you to choose the hour of the day to feed your fish, which is nice.
Current USA claims this has a universal fit and because of the design, it can mount onto any aquarium style and size (generally speaking).
Due to the fact that the Aquachef is not waterproof, it will not endure outdoor use. But, its sleek and modern design does make it an attractive piece.
Due to the fact that flakes can become plugged when mixed with moisture, it may be wise to stick with dry pellets when using this system.
Truth be told; this could be classified as a cliché fish feeder. It has all the essentials you would look for in one but it is also not flawless; so, be aware of that.
Has a capacity of 35 grams
Features a sleek and modern design
Universal fit for easy installation
Moisture can be an issue
Programming this unit can be a hassle
Criteria Used For Evaluation
How Large You Need It
It seems apropos to kick this section off with the size. When it comes down to it, it is all about the size and do not let anyone tell you otherwise. The reality of the situation is this; even the best fish feeders in the world may not suffice for you. It truly all depends if the size is appropriate for your situation. Well, how do you know if it is? There are two huge factors that will come into play with the first being the physical size of your aquarium (or small pond). But, the second is how many fish you need to feed. You see, the two coincide with each other because chances are, if you have a large aquarium (or are looking to feed fish in a pond) you either own a ton of fish or will buy more in the future.
Let’s say you need to feed 10 to 20 fish for a couple of weeks. Well, you will need a feeder with an adequate-sized hopper that can hold enough food for each of them over that time span. But, if the capacity is too large and it dispenses too much food, you will be giving your fish too much to eat. See why the capacity is so important?
Its Functionality and Simplicity
Okay, so it is not as if automatic fish feeders are complex technology devices with advanced programming at every corner. Even those who will admit to being non-savvy when it comes to technology can operate these devices. Well, for the most part as it all depends on the specific system. For some people, nothing less than a digital display will suffice. Granted this makes programming a bit easier, it is not mandatory for these systems. Then again, a more complex system will offer you more versatility, which can be a huge bonus.
In regard to what you can program, let’s look into that. First off, not all fish feeders will be equipped to handle the same amount of versatility. As an example, some will only be able to offer food twice a day for x amount of days. Meanwhile, others will offer upward of eight portions for x amount of days. This becomes critical when you are planning on leaving for more than a week or have multiple fish to feed.
Ease of Installation
Due to the fact that these devices are automatic, it is utterly crucial that you ensure they can mount properly to your tank. If they do not, it all but defeats the purpose of the design as you will be left manually feeding them. Who wants that? Here is the good news, though. Nearly every model that was presented to you today will probably end up being compatible with your home aquarium. The reason for this is the mounting brackets are highly versatile and a lot of times come with a universal clamp. About the only issue you may run into, though, is that your tank is too thick. If the model is not reliant on Velcro or any other sort of adhesive, the thickness could end up costing you so look into it.
As far as outdoor installation, which will be addressed again later, the system needs to be suitable for outdoor use and large enough. Typically, you will need to get creative with the mounting method as you can’t simply connect to a base.
Build Quality and Battery Life
Okay, so let’s paint a picture in your mind. Imagine that you leave your home for a two-week vacation and you are relying on your fish feeder to keep your little tropical buddies alive. Then, within the first week, the batteries within the system die because the feeder can’t keep a suitable charge. The ending of this story does not need to be typed, as you already know what is going to happen. So, the key is to avoid this. All you need to do is look for a model that offers good battery life. Most systems will run off of standard AA or AAA batteries and typically last for several months, thankfully.
Also, how about the build quality? Besides the housing, which may be plastic which is okay granted it is somewhat durable, assess the moisture resistance. Due to the humidity that can form, it naturally means that moisture can become an issue. If the system, most specifically the hopper is not designed to combat this, your food could clump up and then clogging can persist.
Which Fish Foods are Compatible
Would you be fooled to learn that not all fish foods will work with the model you invest in? For the most part, most models will offer a wide amount of versatility when it comes to the food you use. Arguably the most important aspect to consider, though, is how well ventilated the feeder is. Ensure you look for a model with proper ventilation, such as an integrated fan or a moisture-resistant hopper, as those that let moisture in can affect the shelf life of the interior food.
Q: How Do You Attach a Feeder to a Hooded Tank?
This is a really good question because chances are, there are some of you out there that do not own an open tank. If you own an aquarium that happens to have a hood, you may run into a little predicament when you go to mount the feeder. But, there are a few options at your disposal and either one could suffice. Firstly, and this will only be feasible if your hood is thin enough and made of plastic, you could cut out a section for the feeder to be mounted.
Okay, what if you can’t pull this off? You could simply invest in a Velcro attachment (if one does not come with the product) and attach it that way. Or, you could get creative and mount in a different manner. Either way, you slice it; there are ways to do so.
Q: How Can You Mount One Outdoors?
As you know by now, automatic fish feeders are not always restricted to aquarium use and indoor use. While not all models will be designed to handle the outdoor elements, some of them can and are suitable for outdoor installation. In terms of how this is achieved, this is where a bit of experience and creativity comes into play. All you really need to do is to create a mount that will provide a sturdy base for the feeder and one that will not collapse under intense wind and storms. But, you also need the feeder to rest over the pond so when it dispenses the food, it does so in the water.
However, even if a model is only suitable for indoor use, you may be able to make it work. If you invest in a partial weatherproof box, you can mount it inside of that and should be good to go.
Q: What is the Best Way to Clean a Fish Feeder?
It is important to realize that the only real portion of the feeder that you need to worry about, in regard to cleaning it, is the hopper and any other portion that comes in physical contact with the fish food. The good news is cleaning the hopper is quite simple and should only take you a few minutes (if that). All you really need to do is remove it and rinse it off with fresh water. Yeah, that really is it. But, you should avoid using any detergents while cleaning it.
If you desire, you can clean the other portions of the system. But, a quick wipe-down of these areas will probably suffice.
Q: How Long Can Fish Last Without Eating?
Even though this technically has nothing to do with automatic fish feeders themselves, it actually is a question that has some relevance. After all, you may or may not even require one if you have no issues manually feeding them. All buyers around the world seemingly have this question and for good reason. Well, we are here to inform you that this question has a deeper and more complex answer than you may realize.
Depending on how large your fish is, how old it is, and if it is a carnivore, they may be able to go longer or shorter without food. Generally speaking, older and larger fish can withstand longer amounts of fasting than younger and smaller fish. But, it is not uncommon for some species to last up to a week without a food. The thing to do is to research your specific fish type.
Q: What Do You Do if You Drop Too Much Food Inside?
If this happens to you, you would certainly not be the first person. Everyone makes mistakes and if you happen to dump an unhealthy amount of fish food from the feeder into your fish tank, there are some remedies to the situation. First off, you can invest in a gravel vacuum from your local fish store. Or, you could just allow your fish to eat the food and then fast them for the next couple of days. To be honest, that may be the easiest solution.
Q: To Fill the Hopper, What Do You Do?
Each model will work a little differently, but it is always going to be fairly simple to fill the hopper or tray with fish food. First off, remove the container from the base. Again, it will depend on the model, but you may need to fill it with food via a hole in the back. When you fill the container up, simply insert it back into the base and you are good to go. From there, you just need to program the system. Yes, it really is as easy as it sounds.
Whether you are constantly forgetting to feed your fish or you want to go on vacation for a week, there are a number of reasons why you would want to invest in an automatic fish feeder. Now, you have the knowledge and forethought to do so yourself.