People keep aquariums for a number of reasons. Mainly, the reasons include “to add aesthetics to space” and “to help maintain wellbeing.” The latter, in fact, is proven by research to result in significant reductions in blood pressure and heart rate. In other words, watching fishes helps de-stressing and feeling calm. However, it would as well require maintenance from keepers in return with a big chunk being covered by feeding. This means that you should invest ample time or invest in automatic feeders for your aquarium.
Automatic aquarium feeders function by dispensing a measured amount of fish food at a specific time daily. They are mainly categorized into two: rotating barrel and portion control. The rotating barrel feeders, as the name suggests, rotates to release the food through a customizable hole. However, it may not allow for multiple types of food for a single dispensing. Alternatively, portion control feeders will enable you to pre-arrange food in trays. This is ideal for aquariums with several fish species inside.
Among the wide variety of options, these are the best automatic aquarium feeders:
Portion Control Feeders
1. Eheim Automatic Aquarium Feeding Unit
2. PROCHE Automatic Aquarium Feeder
3. Fish Mate F14 Aquarium Fish Feeder
1. IntelliFeed Aquarium Feeder
2. Zacro Automatic Aquarium Feeder
3. Torlam Auto Aquarium Feeder
4. Uniwood Automatic Aquarium Feeder
5. ADA Auto Aquarium Feeder
6. Hydor Automatic Aquarium Feeder
7. Current USA 3860 Aquachef Automatic Aquarium Feeder
Aside from the convenience automatic aquarium feeders offer, they also make sure that your fish never go hungry. This is especially beneficial when you are away for vacation or perhaps just typically busy the entire day. Also, they assure you that your fishes do not die due to overfeeding as they give you control over measurement. Thus, it is wise that you choose only among the best automatic feeders for your aquarium.
What do you need to consider upon choosing an automatic aquarium feeder?
Obviously, big aquariums will require big feeders, and small ones will require small feeders accordingly. There is no need to be extra in the feeder size if your fish community is not that big anyway. The tendency is, filling a big feeder with fish food may cause the food to turn sour after a long time. Moreover, a feeder may steal the aesthetic of the actual aquarium. Thus, it is wiser to select the smallest unit that is enough for your fish community.
If you are investing in automatic feeders for your aquarium, you might as well invest in long-lasting batteries too. You would not want to keep frequently recharging, especially if you are often on vacation. To give yourself the guarantee, choose the feeder units that have battery life indicators – LED or LCD.
Inadequate air circulation in food compartments causes dampness that will spoil the food. Spoilt food means sick fishes and possibly dead fishes. Therefore, you should consider ventilation in choosing automatic feeders for your aquarium.
Automatic aquarium feeders are your loyal substitutes in supplying your fishes with nutrients. And as much as possible, you would want their precision in time and quantity control. Ideally, they will have to feed the fishes in small quantities a few times per day. This will make digestion easier for fishes rather than when you feed them once daily in huge amounts.
Automatic Feeders for Your Aquarium
Eheim Automatic Aquarium Feeding Unit
This feeding unit often tops among the variety of options of automatic feeders for your aquarium. It comes with a drum volume of 100 ml and has an LCD indicator feature that you can program in a breeze. It also is perfect for fish communities with various species as it can dispense multiple types of food.
To set up, simply use the moving slider to control the portions of food to be released up to 8 times per day. This, thus, is perfect as well if the fishes require a couple of times of feeding daily.
Moreover, this Eheim automatic aquarium feeder unit comes with a built-in fan. This means that it offers you a guarantee that your fish food will not get spoilt.
2 x AA battery
2-stage low battery level indicator
No turn-off button
PROCHE Automatic Aquarium Feeder
This aquarium feeder also allows up to four feeding times daily and one to two rotations each time. You can simply set it up, using the manual, to set four or any feeding times. Moreover, you can adjust a slider so that you can increase or decrease the food amount to be released.
To install, you have two options to choose from. One allows you to fix the unit to the aquarium wall using the holder. The other one allows you to stick it to the aquarium cover using a double-sided sticker. Either way, you have to make sure that it is over the water to keep the fish food dry and off moisture.
The unit comes in 2xAAA batteries, which can last long for up to three long months. It also can feed all kinds of fish foods such as pellets, flakes, powders, and strips.
Battery compartment tends to open
Timer is difficult to adjust
Fish Mate F14 Aquarium Fish Feeder
With Fish Mate F14 aquarium fish feeder, you can be precise at the amount of food to be dispensed each time. You can do this by simply stocking the fourteen trays with fish food. Then as the time rolls around, the whole tray will be dispensed. The good thing about this is that you can mix and match foods depending on what is required. For example, you can mix fish flakes with algae wafers to feed both neon tetras and shrimp simultaneously.
In addition to the trays feature, this feeder allows you to dispense food on alternate days. You can do this by filling every second tray only. Also, it has an airline attachment that allows you to connect it to an air pump that blows the food dry.
Holds less than rotating barrels
Downward-facing opening makes it prone to moisture
IntelliFeed Aquarium Feeder
IntelliFeed aquarium feeder is suited for you if you have a large population of fishes to feed. It is pre-programmed to release food twice every day. However, you can dispense in up to twelve feedings daily as well. In addition, it is primarily built to address concerns for food spoiling. When not in use, the food container is totally sealed, preventing the moisture from reaching the food.
Power-wise, this feeder unit can last you about three weeks, perfect for when you go on a long vacation. It comes with reliable batteries and with a power adaptor for another option. A power adaptor is a great option so that you do not rely solely on and so you can save batteries.
Hard to access batteries
A bit pricey
Zacro Automatic Aquarium Feeder
This feeder unit comes with two types of power supply. It can be charged by USB and can be powered with batteries. The batteries, in particular, do not require frequent changing, which makes it environment-friendly and energy-saving. More specifically, the batteries are of large-capacity lithium that can be charged and discharged up to 800 times. Also, according to the set feeding frequency, the unit can be used for three to six months after charging once.
In addition, the food container has a capacity of 200 ml, suitable for a big population of fish. It can also fit for an aquarium that is 600 L in capacity. The mechanism also allows you to set up to four feedings daily, feeding one to three times every time.
Battery level indicator
LCD Display Screen
Ideal for one food type
Torlam Auto Aquarium Feeder
Torlam auto aquarium feeder has a programmable digital timer that allows you to set up four auto feedings daily. You can program for feedings any time of the day and have it deliver up to triple feeding. Moreover, this feeder unit has two methods of installation. You can fix it to the aquarium wall with a holder or stick it with a double-side sticker on the aquarium cover.
Additionally, this feeder is designed to be moisture-resistant to keep the fish food dry and prevent jamming. Its capacity is up to 200ml, and it has a hatch-style adjustable feed door.
Battery level indicator
Battery Type: 2 x AA
LCD Display Screen
Ideal for one food type
Uniwood Automatic Aquarium Feeder
Aesthetically, Uniwood auto aquarium feeder will top the variety of automatic feeders for your aquarium. Aside from being stylish, it is also quiet so that it does not so much disrupt the fishes and you. It has a hundred percent precision for time and measurement. Specifically, it can be set up to four times of feedings per day at different times.
Moreover, this unit is designed to be moisture-resistant with hopper so that the fish food is kept dry. This as well, will keep the food from getting jammed. Additionally, it comes in 2xAA 1.5V alkaline batteries that can last for about a year.
Better for round pebbles than flakes
ADA Auto Aquarium Feeder
This auto aquarium feeder allows you to feed you fishes once to twice every twenty-four hours. It is very easy to program or set up. You simply have to press the “Auto” button, and 24h will then be on. This allows for feeding once every 24 hours. Then, if you press “Auto” and the 12h is on, this will allow one feeding every 12 hours. Once you press the “Auto” button and both auto lights turn off, the auto feeding function, thus, stops. There is also a manual option in case you want to enjoy the feeding yourself.
In the main, this feeder unit has solid battery life. It comes with 2xAAA batteries, which can last up to over six long months. Therefore, there will be no need for too frequent battery changing.
Only two timer settings
No digital display
Not ideal for complex fish feeding schedules
Hydor Automatic Aquarium Feeder
Hydor auto aquarium feeder has an exceptional build to assure you of the non-occurrence of breakdowns. It is also conveniently tailored so that it keeps the food dry and off moisture. And as the most significant point of the matter, it allows up to three feedings per day. The amount of food that is to be dispensed each time can be adjusted similarly to the frequency.
Moreover, this feeder unit comes with batteries that can last for up to nine months or so. Therefore, frequent battery changing should not be so much of a concern. In addition, it also has a battery level indicator so that you will have a signal when to change the batteries.
LED light programming
A bit difficult to set up
Food container is somewhat small
Current USA 3860 Aquachef Automatic Aquarium Feeder
This auto aquarium feeder unit allows you to program up to four auto feedings each day with its timer. You can even program it to dispense food any time around the clock and dispense either single or double feeding. In terms of its capacity, it can hold up to 35 grams, enough for even when you are away from town. It has a hatch-style adjustable feed door so you can control how much food is to be dispensed each time.
To install, you can mount the unit using the fully adjustable clamp. It adjusts for any style of fish tank or aquarium. Additionally, it looks very aesthetic with its black matted texture and sleek contour shape.
A bit tricky to assemble
Digital screen can be difficult to read
Unclear instructions on manual
What is the ideal location for an aquarium or fish feeder unit?
Installing an automatic fish feeder will require you to think about strategies for safe locations. In case it is too close to the overflow, the food that it releases or dispenses may get sucked away. Otherwise, if it is too close to the filter outlet, floating food, if any, will get blown around the fish tank. If, in any case, this happens, you may try considering looking into a fish feeding ring.
Moreover, it is important to avoid placing the food dispenser over anything that causes surface agitation. This includes airstone, filter outlet, and the like. This is because water droplets have the tendency to splash the feeder unit. Of course, when this happens, the food inside may get clumped together. Worse, the food can go stale, which can cause sickness to the fishes when eaten.
Why do you particularly need to avoid feeding too much to your fish?
It is not an uncommon mistake to overfeed pet fishes. But actually, contrary to common assumptions, fishes in aquariums do not require a great amount of food. Overfeeding can only lead to a number of health problems such as indigestion and bloating.
Aside from that, it can also negatively affect the water quality inside the aquarium. This happens as the leftover, uneaten food sinks through the bottom of the aquarium. In time, it will accumulate as organic debris, which will then break down into toxic ammonia. This means that the more the debris accumulates, the higher the levels of ammonia will be. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid feeding fish over the amount that they can consume. As a rule of thumb, twice a day of feeding is enough to meet the general fish’s nutritional needs.
How can you maintain your fish aquarium?
The proper initial setup will save you a great deal of time for maintenance. Primarily, you are recommended to test the aquarium water week by week using an aquarium water test kit. The test will allow you to guard the parameters of the aquarium, including the water hardness, chemical, and pH levels. While executing the weekly test, you are advised to keep a record to know what “normal” is for your aquarium. This will allow you as well to know exactly when abnormal levels occur so that you can take immediate action.
In line with this, you will need to change the aquarium water on a weekly basis as well. This should require about 10 to 20 percent of the aquarium volume. You can use an aquarium gravel vacuum that siphons dirty water from the substrate in the container. It as well replaces the dirty water with fresh water that is treated with an aquarium water conditioner. Additionally, the line of tasks also includes replacing the filter media every four weeks or so. This will keep the filter’s efficiency at a maximum.