When you own a fish, feeding is the one opportunity you have to truly interact with your pets — for that reason, many people prefer to feed their fish by hand.
If you have a busy schedule or if you go on vacation, however, it’s important to make sure that your fish are still fed regularly. In those situations, automatic fish feeders can be a great solution.
An automatic fish feeder uses a built-in timer to release food at a specific time. That way your fish will be fed when they need to be, even without you being there.
Since portion sizes are crucial for fish, most feeders allow you to create portion controls, so you can control how much food will be released at each feeding. With a great fish feeder, you can head to work or take a vacation, all the while knowing that your pets will be safe and fed in your absence.
If you’ve started to look for an automatic fish feeder, you know that there are many available models. To make your search easier, we have sorted through the various feeders and picked out the best options. Here are our top five recommendations for an automated fish feeder.
Top 5: Automatic Fish Feeders Review
Product Image & Rating (Out Of 10)
First up is the HDE Automatic Fish Feeder, which is equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity and a customized app. This is crucial if you have a busy life. The feeder connects to your internet, which allows you to control it using an app. You can schedule feedings from anywhere — and if you can’t make it home in time for the next unscheduled feeding, simply make the change from your phone. When you work unpredictable hours, or if you love to travel, this feature makes it a breeze to look after your fish.
Power is another important part, and this model has you covered. It plugs into the wall with a micro USB cable and takes up a minimal amount of electricity. So no worries about replacing batteries. The wall plug is included.
Thanks to the included clamp, mounting this HDE feeder is easy. It fits over the edges of your aquarium for a tight, secure fit. If your aquarium is enclosed, you can use the included double-sided tape for mounting along the inside of the glass.
Keep in mind that this feeder is only suitable for dry feed; it can’t be used to dispense living or damp feed.
The Atman Dynasty Automatic Fish Feeder can feed your fish up to four times each day. Programming feeding times is easy using the simple interface, and it will drop the food into the tank based on a set schedule. Worried about how much food to give? An easy slider allows you to choose the correct portion amount.
This feeder is specifically engineered to keep moisture out of your fish food so it stays dry and dispenses easily. Plus, you can use the unit with most standard types of food — feel free to use it with pellets, flakes, crumbles, and elongated shapes.
Do you like to feed your fish when you’re home? You can release food on demand by touching the Start button.
To accommodate different types of aquariums, this feeder comes with two different mounting systems. The Velcro closure allows you to install the feeder on top of your tank cover.
If you have an open-top tank, use the included holder clamp that slips over the glass. The unit is small, so it won’t disturb the structural integrity of the aquarium. The splash-proof case keeps water out and maintains the electric systems.
Are you planning to go on an extended vacation? The Eheim Automatic Feeding Unit can take care of your fish while you’re away. This feeder has a volume of 100 ml, so it can hold enough food to last for up to six weeks.
Programming this feeder is easy — it has a digital LCD screen that allows you to set up to eight meals per day. If you’re new to automatic feeders, the included Easy Start Guide walks you through the process. You can select the portion size with an integrated slider.
This feeder is useful when you’re at home, too. To feed your fish, just push the release button to dispense exactly the right amount. The transparent drum makes it easy to see how much food you have left. Inside the feeder, there’s a fan and a venting system that removes moisture and ensures that your fish food stays dry.
This feeder operates using two AA batteries. When the charge starts to drop, a low-battery indicator lets you know that it’s time for a replacement. You can mount it onto virtually any tank using the included installation clamp.
The PROCHE Automatic Fish Feeder is a battery-operated feeder that operates for up to three months on a single charge. It supports up to four feeds per day, which is ideal for fish that require multiple meals or if you have a lot of fish to feed.
When it comes to fish feeding, precise portions are important. This feeder helps you dispense exactly the right amount of food by allowing one or two rotations with each feed. With the slider, you can choose the per-rotation volume. If you have multiple fish, the double-rotation setting ensures that enough food is released into the tank. You can also push the button on the feeder to dispense a snack.
The PROCHE has two installation options and works with most tanks. For covered tanks, use the included sticker to attach the feeder to the cover. Otherwise, you can use the convenient holder, which suspends the feeder above the water.
Keep in mind that this feeder does not have a fan system, so it’s best for environments with minimal or no splashing.
This Petacc Automatic Fish Feeder is designed for longevity and durability. With its 175 ml food storage tank, it holds enough food to last for long periods of time. You can set the feeder to release food up to four times a day, depending on your fish’s needs. To control the amount of food per meal, you can simply change the size of the outlet.
This feeder is constructed from non-toxic plastic, which means that it’s safe for your fish. The lightweight but sturdy material is tough enough to handle regular daily feedings, making it an ideal choice for busy professionals or frequent travelers. Plus, it looks sleek and professional, so it doesn’t detract from your carefully designed aquarium.
The Petacc feeder fits on the majority of standard aquariums and comes with a fixed clamp and velcro strap. You can mount it on the lid or the sidewall to suit your setup. The feeder accepts most types of fish food, including pellets and particles. We love that it also works with fine-grain food, which is not a common feature among automatic feeders.
automatic fish feeder Buying Guide
Because a fish feeder takes over the nutrition for your fish, it’s crucial to find the right model for your situation. Here are some factors to consider as you shop.
If you have a large fish tank, or if you travel for long periods of time, it’s important to look into the capacity of each fish feeder. If it’s too small, it won’t be able to hold enough food for your needs. It’s also a good idea to avoid feeders that hold much more than you need since they can put undue stress on your tank. Plus, when food turnover isn’t high enough, the storage compartment might become damp or moldy.
The best option? Look for a feeder that’s slightly larger than your maximum requirements. This way you'll have a little wiggle room just to be safe.
The controls on an automatic fish feeder determine how easy it is to use. Look at the buttons and screens on your top models. Are they easy to understand? Are they large enough to push accurately? Does the feeder come with a clear instruction manual? These are all good signs that you’ll be able to master the programming process.
If your schedule is different from day to day, consider looking for a feeder that connects to Wi-Fi. With a more technologically-savvy feeder, you can set feeding times on the fly using an app to ensure that your fish are always fed at the right time.
best automatic fish feeder
If you want to keep your fish fed while you’re out of the house, each of these feeders will get the job done nicely. Our overall recommendation, however, is the Eheim Feeder.
With its large capacity and integrated fan system, it’s a great way to feed your fish for long periods of time, all while keeping the food dry. Check out the Eheim Feeder today to take your tank to the next level.
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Benefits of an Automatic Fish Feeder
Fish are relatively low-maintenance pets. As long as you keep their tank clean and feed them enough, they stay happy and healthy. When it comes to feeding, however, the requirements can be stringent. Too much food causes the waste levels in the tank to become toxic to fish. Too little, and the fish won’t have enough nutrients to survive.
What does that mean for you? If you can’t feed the fish on time, you run the risk of underfeeding them — or, you need to find family and friends to feed them for you.
That’s where an automatic fish feeder has big benefits, both for you, your loved ones, and your fish. These feeders take the hassle out of timing meals. All you need to do is set when the food will be released and the feeder does the rest. Since fish have delicate digestive systems, these feeders also allow you to set precise portions.
Commonly Asked Questions
How does an automatic fish feeder work?
Fish feeders are designed to feed your fish at the times you program. Some models contain different chambers that you fill with the amount of food you'd like your fish to get at each feeding. At the preset times, one of the chambers will open and drop the food into your fish tank for the fish.
Different options have one large compartment that will dispense a pre-determined amount of food at set times.
Are automatic fish feeders any good?
Automatic fish feeders offer a lot of benefits for fish owners. Since you can program the feedings to occur at set times, you don't need to worry if you won't be home to feed your fish.
You also don't need to worry about overfeeding your fish when you use an automatic feeder. Since you can pre-portion/program the food to dispense at different intervals when you'll be away, you won't feel like you need to dump a little extra in the tank before you'll be gone. You also won't accidentally spill too much out of the container when you are feeding the fish, since everything will be pre-measured out in the chambers or automatically dispensed from the larger canister.
If you want to feed your fish a variety of different foods, you'll also be able to do so with an automatic feeder. Compartment-style feeders, allow you to fill different compartments with different food types to give your fish some variety. If you use a product with one large compartment, you could easily mix different foods together when feeding the compartment.
Do I need an automatic fish feeder?
If you're always (or nearly always) home to feed your fish and don't have a problem remembering to give them their food, you likely don't need an automatic fish feeder. But, if you find yourself forgetting about your fish after a busy day or travel a lot, purchasing an automatic fish feeder is probably a good idea.
When you have the automatic fish feeder, you can fill the tank, program it, and forget about it. This makes it easier for many fish parents to make sure their fish get the food they need.
How much food does an automatic fish feeder hold?
Since different products may have a different capacity, you will want to look at the specific models you are considering before making a purchase. However, most feeders with one large compartment will have a capacity of around 200 milli-liters. If you're looking for a product with individual chambers, they typically have somewhere between 10 and 15 chambers.
How many times a day can a fish feeder dispense food?
Most automatic feeders are designed to dispense fish food about four times each day. With many options, you can also program the feeder to dispense each feeding all at once, or spread it out over a little bit of time.
How do you attach a fish feeder to an aquarium?
Many products will offer two installation options. They can either be clamped to the side of the tank or attached to the cover of the tank using a double-sided tape. You can choose the installation method that you are most comfortable with or that works best based on the design of your aquarium.
Other options are designed to simply stand on top of the hood of your tank and won't need to be attached.
How are automatic fish feeders operated?
Fish feeders can be powered through electricity or a battery. Each option can work fine and has its own pros and cons.
With a battery powered product, you don't have to worry about the feeder not working when the power is out. You also don't need to worry about the risk of electrical shock with battery powered options. However, if you choose a model that gets plugged into an outlet, you won't need to worry about replacing the battery or your fish missing a feeding because the battery died.
What are some of the features of fish feeders?
Every product is different, but here are a few features you may want to look for in the feeder you choose. Some feeders have a built-in memory function. This will allow the device to remember your settings even when the battery is removed, preventing you from needing to reprogram it every time.
You will also want to pay attention to the different programming options. Look for how many meals a day you can feed your fish and how much food you can dispense at each feeding.
Some feeders also have a built-in fan. The fan can help make sure the dry food doesn't become too moist and clump up. Clumping food would not dispense evenly, or could get stuck in the feeder, preventing your fish from getting the correct portion.
You may also want to look for a model with a 'feed now' button. This feature will let you dispense food to your fish whenever you want and will make it easy to test the feeder when you are setting it up.
How much does an automatic fish feeder cost?
While there is some variability in the cost of a fish feeder, most models cost around $20.
A great automated fish feeder will make your life considerably easier and eliminate worries while you're away from your fish. By choosing a model with the features you need, you can keep your fish happy and healthy, whether you're home or away.