The actual distribution of feed in shrimp ponds is still mostly done manually as in broadcasting the feed pellets from moving boats. Sure, feeding applications, in this case, are definitely costly and tedious. However, significant efforts to automate such operations led to the creation of automatic shrimp feeders. With automated feeding, there is not much room for constant hand labor during multiple feeding applications. As the cost of feed accounts for approximately 60 percent of the total expenses in shrimp farming, the benefits of automated feeding are more apparent than that of manual feeding.
To get an accurate idea of the best automatic shrimp feeders, there is a need to read a lot of product reviews. This guide, therefore, provides some of your options, along with an overview of each product:
1. Aquo Smart Feeder;
2. Blue Aqua Autofeeder;
3. Flexzion Digital Automatic Feeder;
4. Moultrie 6.5 Gallon Automatic Pond Feeder;
5. Wildgame Innovations Directional Feeder;
6. Super Feeder Automatic Pond Feeder;
7. Texas Hunter Directional Feeder; and
8. Proche Digital Pond Feeder.
Unlike manual feeding, automated feeding allows the feed to be fully consumed in small but frequent doses. This frequent feeding strategy allows shrimps of all sizes to be evenly fed and be able to catch the pellets before it reaches the bottom of the pond. Fully consuming the feed then lowers the deterioration of pond water quality. In return, improved water quality reduces the risks of disease outbreaks, thus, allowing the farmer to yield healthier shrimps during harvests.
Read on to find the best automatic shrimp feeders in the market, the reasons why you need them, and the factors to consider during the purchase.
Aquo Smart Feeder
This automatic feeder uses passive acoustic technology in hopes of controlling when the shrimps are feeding and when they have had enough. In other words, Aquo Smart Feeder optimizes growth of the shrimps and reduces waste of feed. It has a built-in acoustic sensor that is based on echo sounder technology. This generates pulses of sound that bounce off the shell of a shrimp, allowing the farmer to get useful data for determining shrimp presence and eating activity. The system also covers temperature sensors that operate with other sensors. Apart from that, the solar panels ensure an autonomous and maintenance-free feeding system.
Blue Aqua Autofeeder
Blue Aqua Autofeeder is the first registered patent shrimp auto feeder that is manufactured in Thailand. It is rated as one of the best automatic shrimp feeders due to its proven records of maximum profits and productivity. The digital control sets the quantity and frequency of the feed. It promises a close to hundred percent accuracy of feeding control. Even when it allows for both day and night feeding systems, the farmer can still save on electric bills because it only uses 50 watts. What’s more, Blue Aqua Autofeeder weighs only 15 kg for easy installation and handling.
Flexzion Digital Automatic Feeder
This mountable and programmable feeder is popular for small and indoor ponds. It comes with a simple-to-use LCD screen that allows you to program up to 99 days of feeding. Experts and farmers like this for its capacity to distribute 4 feedings throughout the day and withhold up 80 grams of feed. Its additional features include anti-jam, anti-clog, and detachable feeder parts. If you are up for a budget-friendly yet effective product, the Flexzion Digital Automatic Feeder is a smart option.
Moultrie 6.5 Gallon Automtic Pond Feeder
From the name itself, this automatic feeder can carry up to 50 pounds of feed. It works well at dispersing feed and avoiding excessive spillage. With its digital timer, you can program a directional 6 feeds per day. Its users are pleased with its overall aesthetics as it comes in a wood dock finish. In general, Moultrie 6.5 gallon automatic pond feeder is perfect for those looking for a quality feeder that can be used for many years in a row.
Wildgame Innovations Directional Feeder
An addition to the best automatic shrimp feeders, Wildgame Innovations Directional Feeder, is highly sought after as it can distribute feed over a large pond. It is easy to fill and is rodent proof. You can program its timer to distribute feed up to 6 times a day and set it to last from 1 second to 1 minute and a half. Included in the kit are screws and a 12v solar panel that you can use for charging.
Super Feeder Automatic Pond Feeder
Super Feeder Automatic Pond Feeder is designed to dispense feed up to 24 times per day, giving justice to its name. It comes with a supplied analog external timer, an outdoor power supply kit, and a coaxial plug-to-wire adapter. The outdoor power supply kit contains a 6′ short cord and a 30′ long wire. To fit the power supply’s output, a special screw-type sealed connector is attached at one end of the 6′ short cord. To fit the automatic feeder’s side input jack, a jack plug is attached at the other end. To reach the automatic feeder, a special screw-type sealed connector is attached at one end of the 30′ long wire. To fit the feeder’s auxiliary input terminals underneath its floor, metal spade connectors are attached at the other end. You can mount this feeder outdoors, just be sure to protect the chute cover area, dispenser, and wire from wild animals.
Texas Hunter Directional Feeder
This premium automatic shrimp feeder can hold up to 125 pounds of feed. It includes a digital timer that allows you to provide feed up to 9 times per day. With its lockable lid latches and two feed level sight gauges, you can easily fill this feeder with feed. Also, you can peek inside the entire blower system because of the quick-release access panel with a clear-view funnel. Utilizing the Texas Hunter directional feeder allows you to accurately practice a successful shrimp feeding program.
Proche Digital Pond Feeder
The Proche Digital Pond Feeder is a very compact automatic shrimp feeder to invest in. It has a display on the side that allows you to view and adjust its settings according to your preferences. Situated on the back of the feeder are a food container and an adjustable feed volume knob. The adjustable feed volume knob allows you to set the feeding time up to 4 times a day. On the bottom of the automatic feeder lies a clamp that helps secure it to the ground.
The Benefits Of Using An Automatic Shrimp Feeder
An automatic shrimp feeder is exactly what its name says. It is a battery or electricity-powered feeding accessory that dispenses specific portions of feed at certain times. Some automatic shrimp feeders come with special digital monitors that store information about your pond.
Even when you are not around, automatic shrimp feeders dispense feed in a timely manner. It also results in better health for shrimps in your pond as an automated feeding system helps minimize underfeeding and overfeeding. The feed is distributed across multiple portions instead of big chunks, minimizing discarded feed and water nitration. As you do not need to remember every time you have to feed your shrimps, automatic feeders provide you the utmost convenience. Other benefits of using an automatic shrimp feeder include prevented waste feed accumulation on the bottom of the pond, reduced feed costs, reduced labor costs, increased water quality, and increased harvest size of shrimps.
The Types of Automatic Shrimp Feeder
Floating Automatic Shrimp Feeders are designed for ponds with inconsistent water levels, as these will rise and fall as necessary. These are ideal for ponds larger than 1 acre. Most floating automatic shrimp feeders can hold up to 100 pounds of feed and range anywhere between three to four weeks.
Bank Mounted Automatic Shrimp Feeders are stationary and ideal for any size of a pond. You can place these anywhere along the bank of your pond. You can also expect that these can cater up to 100 pounds of feed thrown ten feet upward from the bank. Unlike the floating automatic shrimp feeders, these are not recommended for fluctuating levels of water. The shrimps may not be able to eat the feed when water levels drop, and the feeder itself may submerge when water levels rise.
Dock Mounted Automatic Feeders are easily attached to a dock and can hold 60 pounds of floating shrimp feed.
Setting-Up An Automatic Shrimp Feeder
One of the most common ways to have the automatic shrimp feeder running is to place it on top of a buoyant platform or a homemade raft. You can leave it floating through the use of empty barrels and drums tied-up together. In addition to that, you can place a rope system to fetch the floating platform back and forth repeatedly. Alternatively, you can set up the automatic shrimp feeder at the end of a feeding catwalk, but it should be extended further than the usual automatic feeder operating radius. If the usual automatic feeder operating radius for a specific automatic feeder is 15 meters, the feeding catwalk should be at least 15.5 meters long in order to make sure that the feed falls within the surface of the pond.
The height of the automatic shrimp feeder above the water is also a relevant factor to keep in mind during set-up. You may struggle to reach the lid of the tank and refill the automatic shrimp feeder when the dispenser is placed too far over the water surface. Conversely, feeding strays may malfunction when the dispenser is set to spin too close to the water surface. In this regard, place the automatic shrimp feeder at least 50 centimeters above the water surface as in order to cater to the required area. Additional relevant factors include the type of feed and power of the spreading motor.
Picking The Best Automatic Shrimp Feeder
Getting the most reliable and efficient automatic shrimp feeder calls for the consideration of the following factors:
Size of Pond
The size of the pond should be your first consideration when getting an automatic shrimp feeder. Invest in an automatic shrimp feeder that can hold ten pounds of feed if you have a small pond. However, be sure to invest in an automatic shrimp feeder that can hold up a hundred pounds of feed when you have a large pond.
As mentioned earlier, it is beneficial to give small quantities of feed multiple times a day instead of a larger quantity at one time. This avoids overfeeding and keeps the shrimps in proper nourishment throughout the day. For this reason, it is important to pick an automatic shrimp feeder that can be programmed to dispense feed multiple times a day. This ensures that any missed feeding of some shrimps can be covered by the next feeding cycle. The most accurate timing mechanisms can be difficult to program at first, but once you get the hang of things, it will be so much easier to do so.
Make sure that the automatic shrimp feeder is strong enough to resist outdoor elements such as wind, snow, and rain. If you purchase a flimsy automatic shrimp feeder, it may break down easily, resulting in your shrimps not being fed properly. If you do not want to invest in a new automatic feeder again and again, always check the durability feature.
For indoor ponds or shaded ponds, it is recommended to opt for an automatic plastic feeder. For large outdoor ponds, opt for a metallic automatic feeder. The advantage of a plastic automatic feeder is that it is lightweight, easy to hang, and waterproof. Nonetheless, it may not withstand wear and tear when baked under the sun for prolonged periods of time. On the other hand, a metallic automatic feeder is ideal for outdoor predators such as raccoons.
The feed hopper should be resistant to moisture as automatic feeders are intended to store feed for over a week. The shrimp feed should be kept fresh for a long period and free from all possible contamination. The bottom line is to pick an automatic shrimp feeder that has a predator-resistant and air-tight food hopper.
It is also necessary to secure a power indicator that alerts you beforehand when the battery-powered automatic shrimp feeder is running low. Those automatic shrimp feeders that use alkaline batteries have a low power indicator on the LCD panel, while those that use 6V or 12V rechargeable batteries have power cords and solar panels.
Ease of Cleaning
Automatic feeder is an essential accessory to feed shrimps without having to constantly lift a finger. In light of this, the best automatic shrimp feeders need not be cleaned regularly. Just make sure to get the product that can easily be taken apart and sanitized. No opportunity to do so may end up causing molds and bacteria.
The basic rule is to purchase an automatic feeder with a clearly displayed battery life because solid battery life is essential in shrimp farming. Also, always make sure to recharge or replace a weak battery before you go away for long periods of time.
This feature is only applicable for ponds that are meant to be a decorative part of the home. If your pond falls in this category, you may need to check whether or not the style of the automatic shrimp feeder matches your yard or garden’s theme. Otherwise, your automatic shrimp feeder cannot blend in and stand out.
In addition to the above factors, the warranty and service support from the manufacturer is also very important. The way to avail full warranty support is to always purchase from an authorized seller. The automatic shrimp feeders provided in this guide have multi-year warranties that you can use these feeders for the years to come.
How many automatic shrimp feeders should I get for my pond?
A single automatic shrimp feeder can suffice for a population of not more than 700, 000 shrimps. If you have a small pond, one automatic feeder will be enough. But if you have a larger pond, multiple automatic feeders will be required. In the case of long and narrow ponds, place the automatic feeders on the opposite ends of each other.
What is the best feed to use with an automatic shrimp feeder?
Some people are worried about large flakes and tablets getting stuck in the opening of the feeder. But with the highest-ranked automatic shrimp feeders, this is not an issue. You can use spirulina flakes, algae rounds, aqueon tropical flakes, bottom feeder tablets, tropical color flakes, tropical granules, shrimp pellets, dry crumbles, and even worms. For best results, rotate the shrimp feed daily and consider mixing different feed sizes. Large, sinking pellets can be devoured by big shrimps while floating feed can be suitable for growing shrimps.
While configuring the program for your automatic shrimp feeder, set up multiple meal cycles per day instead of a single feeding cycle. This would give all the shrimps in the pond enough chance to feed.