Who has time anymore these days? Enter the saviour, automatic fish feeder, yay!

The automatic fish feeder was a true life saver for me.

Every pet owner likes to see their pet become big and healthy. That means you too I am sure. The problem I have (which I am sure is the problem you have as well) is ensuring that my fish get fed consistently at the right time and consistently in terms of number of times per day.

It was a HUGE problem for me, I have to say. I used to manually feed my aquarium fish once in the morning and once at night. This was okay at first, but then you know from time to time I would wake up late and have no time for that in the morning and often I would go home late as well.

It slowly got to the point where I would forget to feed the fish altogether! (And I used to have recurring dreams of having unknown fish tanks about the house that somehow survived without my feeding the fish. Hahah that was kinda funny but at the same time I suppose it showed the worries I had about that).

The problem is, when you start doing something in a certain way, you will tend to keep doing it. Its only human. I would only 'wake up' when I find that one or more of my fish are unhealthy or worse still, one may have died because they got attacked by the others, presumably because they were pretty hungry.

Well enter the automatic fish feeder! (Yay again!)

A generic brand from China, affordable and works!

Choosing an Automatic Fish Feeder

There are plenty out there and I am not about to propose any specific one. Just as long as you find an automatic fish feeder that suits your fish tank.

One point is that you need to make sure you can for e.g. fit it in your fish tank somewhere as in clamped to the hood or to the fish tank itself. You want to make sure that the mechanism that the feeder uses is compatible with your fish tank.

The clip here is of set width and so needs to 'just fit' to wherever you clip it to.

This winding mechanism makes it easy, you can fasten it anywhere.

The second point is you want to make sure that it can use the type of fish food that you want to use. Generally the automatic fish feeders will take pellets but there are some that are used for fish flakes.

Side view of the automatic fish feeder

Yet another point (third) is to choose one that allows you to 'set' the times and the frequency of feeding that you would like for your fish.

Close up of the clock, the yellow 'pegs' ensures food is dispensed at the hour its pegged to. The yellow knob on top allows for 'anytime' feeding by turning it.

For instance, the ones I use (I have several) essentially is an analog clock where you can set specific times in the day of when the automatic fish feeder mechanism would release the fish food into the fish tank. Its operated by usual AA batteries and works fine for me. You can even determine the amount of food being released into your aquarium (also important so its a fourth point).

The food container can be opened to allow easy refilling.

A simple 'trap door' opening, movable via line groove locking of the 'trap door', to regulate the size of the hole and therefore the amount of food dispensed.

Issues to Look out for

There are 2 issues that you want to look out for.

The first issue is dependent on the type of filter you use.

I have fish tanks that use the external filter mechanism. The ones I use, essentially uses gravity to force water from the top of the fish tank to a set of compartments below where the filter media resides and a pump then shoots up the filtered water back into the fish tank.

This method means there is a hole of some sort at the surface of the water and hence you would need to ensure that any automatic feeding would minimize the amount of pellets that could be pushed out of the fish tank and into the filter below. This will just be a waste and an extra burden to your filtration system.

The second issue is dependent on the type of fish you have.

One of my fish tanks has reasonably sized fish. The size of the human hand or so. These guys can splash water and literally electrocute the automatic fish feeder with the water. You would need to take the feeder out from time to time and dry it off.

Otherwise this mechanism has worked wonders for me. The only drawback is, you start to take the fish tank for granted that it will take care of itself so you would need to set reminders for yourself in case you forget how long it was that you last looked at your fish and your fish tank!

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