Every fish owner knows that reliable, disciplined and consistent feeding times help your fish to stay happy and healthy. After all, unlike dogs and cats, fish are not that apparent in asking for food. However, it today’s busy life, maintaining a consistent feeding regimen for your beloved pets can be a challenge.
So, how can you ensure consistent feeding times for your fish when you are away at work or on a holiday?
If you are worried about maintaining a reliable schedule for feeding your fish, then an automatic fish feeder is exactly what you need. These feeders dispense the right amount of food to your fish at a preset time.
In this article, we will look at the major benefits of such devices and share some of the best automatic fish feeders available in the market for your aquarium or fish tank. We will also look at some of the factors to consider while picking the best automatic fish feeder for your needs and share our top picks. So buckle up and read on!
If you are looking for automatic fish feeders for large aquariums or ponds, do check out our article on the best automatic pond fish feeders.
Best automatic fish feeders listSome of the best automatic fish feeders available in the market are listed below:
|Eheim Everyday Auto Fish Feeder||3.3 fl. oz.|
4-6 weeks feed
Flakes, crisps and dry pellets
|- Best-selling, battery-powered everyday automatic fish feeder that can dispense up to 8 feedings per day. Uses 2 AA batteries. Engineered in Germany|
- Adjustable slider to control portion sizes.
- Splash-proof buttons with LCD programming screen. Manual release button for on-demand feeding.
- Wide feeding hole makes it suitable for large tanks and terrariums with a number of fish.
- Integrated fan and ventilation system keeps the feed dry.
- Backed by a 3-year manufacturer warranty.
- Also available as a bundle with the feeder and feeding station. A twin-feeding model is also available for two types of feed at one time.
|Torlam Auto Fish Feeder||6.5 fl.oz.|
3-12 weeks feed
Flakes, crisps and pellets
|- Budget, drum-type, battery-powered digital auto fish feeder with a large 6.5 fl.oz.|
- Can dispense between 1-4 meals per day. Uses 2 AA batteries that can last a long time.
- Comes with an integrated fan and ventilation system to keep the food fresh and moisture-free. Food lever can be used to adjust the portion size.
- LCD programming screen with a power indicator and easy-to-program buttons.
- Two installations mechanisms - on the edge with retaining clips or through included Velcro strap on the tank cover.
- Backed by a satisfaction guaranteed commitment.
|Fish Mate F14 Aquarium Fish Feeder||14 feeds|
All feed varieties
|- Compact, tray-type automatic fish food dispenser which can dispense 1-4 meals per day.|
- Designed to provide a variety diet in 14 individual meal portions. Uses 1-AA battery (not included).
- Reliable and accurate quartz timer provides control over feed timings.
- Most suitable for tropical and cold water fish foods and aquariums up to 40-gallons.
- Can be installed on the aquarium hood, condensation tray or the edge of the tank. Can also be connected to the aquarium pump to keep the food dry.
- Backed by a 3-year warranty.
|iLONDA L88 Wi-Fi Automatic Aquarium Fish Tank Feeder||2.6 fl .oz.|
1-2 weeks feed
Flakes, crisps, powder and pellets
|- WiFi enabled Fish Feeder that allows you to control the feeding through a smart App - ILONDA. 16 language support and Alexa compatible.|
- Two feeding modes - pre-programmed and manual override, both can be managed through the app.
- Uses an included Micro USB Cable and AC wall plug for power. Does not use batteries.
- Comes with a mounting clamp and double-sided tape for installation on the edge or aquarium cover.
- Available in four color combinations - black, gold, silver and rose gold.
|Zacro Rechargeable Automatic Fish Feeder||6.5 fl.oz.|
3-8 weeks feed
Flakes, crisps, strips and pellets.
|- Smartly designed automatic fish feeder with a large 175 cc rotating hopper and ABS plastic construction. |
- Powered by USB-rechargeable Li-Ion battery that can last for up to 800 recharges and up to 3-6 weeks on full recharge. Also works with regular batteries.
- Can be set up to dispense 4 feedings a day, feeding 1-3 times each time. Has a food lever to adjust the portion size.
- LCD programming screen with a power indicator and easy-to-program buttons.
- Two installations mechanisms - on the edge with retaining clips or through included 3M sticker strap on the tank cover.
- Backed by a satisfaction guaranteed commitment.
|PROCHE Automatic Aquarium Fish Feeder||2.4 fl.oz.|
1-2 weeks feed
Flakes, Pellets, powders and crisps.
|- Compact, rotating drum type automatic fish feeder which can dispense 1-4 meals per day. Uses 2-AAA batteries (included), which can last up to 3 months.|
- Reliable and accurate LCD based programming mechanism with configuring buttons.
- Adjustable slider to manage the feed portion size per rotation.
- Can be installed on the tank side or the tank cover using a double-sided sticker.
- Backed by a 1-year warranty and manufacturer lifetime customer service.
|NICREW Automatic Fish Feeder||5.9 fl. oz.|
6-8 weeks feed
Flakes, crisps, crumbles and dry pellets
|- High-quality rotating drum-type automatic aquarium fish feeder which can dispense up to 5 meals per day with a maximum of three rotations per dispensation. Uses 2 AA-batteries (included).|
- LCD based programming mechanism configuration buttons. Also includes a manual dispensing button and an on/off button. Low battery indicator.
- Integrated fan and ventilation system to keep the feed dry.
- Adjustable slider to manage the feed portion size per rotation.
- A smaller, drum-type fish feeder model is also available.
|COODIA Auto Fish Food Feeder||5.9 fl. oz.|
6-8 weeks feed
Flakes, strips, crisps and small pellets
|- Rotating drum automatic aquarium fish feeder which can dispense 1-4 meals per day. Uses 2 AA-batteries (included) which can last up to one year.|
- Moisture-resistant hopper keeps food fresh. LCD based programming mechanism configuration buttons.
- Adjustable slider to manage the feed portion size.
|Zoo Med BettaMatic Automatic Daily Betta Feeder||7-10 days feed.|
|- Unique automatic fish feeder for betta fish that automatically feeds the betta once daily, or every 12 hours.|
- Designed to feed a single betta fish (2-4 pellets per day). Comes with a funnel to adjust the feeding amount.
- Extremely easy to use with no dials or settings to configure.
- Multi-mode installation to the side of square tanks, or on round bowls and other tanks with the included rail kit. Works for all tanks up to 10-20 gallons.
- Powered by a single AA battery and comes with sample betta food pellets so you can use it out of the package.
What is an automatic fish feeder and why do you need one?
An automatic fish feeder is exactly what its name says – it is a battery or electricity powered device that can dispense pre-configured portions of fish food at a preset time interval. An automatic fish feeder can be securely attached to the fish tank. Automatic fish feeders are also sometimes referred to as auto fish feeders, automatic aquarium feeders or automatic fish food dispensers.
Automatic fish feeders are powered either by batteries (not included in most cases) or through AC power supply. Both power supplies have their own benefits and limitations. Battery-powered feeders do not require a power connection, but you have to ensure that the batteries do not run out. AC powered feeders require a power outlet, but they remember the programming – so, if for any reason the power goes out and comes back, you would not have to re-program them to feed the fish.
Most automatic fish feeders are designed to dispense fish feed 1-3 times per day and can support all common types of fish food – crisps, flakes, and pellets. Some models even support dispensing a variety of feed at the same time, hence ensuring proper nourishment for the fish. The schedule for dispensing the feed can be set using a simple electronic setup with buttons and LED display. Some options, such as the HDE Automatic Fish Feeder even support Wi-Fi control of fish feeders.
The major benefits and limitations of automatic fish feeders are depicted below.
So, as you can see automatic fish feeders offer a distinctive advantage of maintaining a proper regimen for feeding your fish without a lot of inconveniences. They are also very useful in cases when you are going on a multi-day vacation and do not have a friendly neighbor to look after your aquarium!
In the next sections, we will look at the major factors to consider before picking the best automatic fish feeder for your fish tank and share our top picks. We will also share some additional accessories that go with these auto fish feeders and list some tips and tricks to follow.
How to pick the best automatic fish feeder for your aquarium?
With so many options available in the market, picking the best automatic fish feeder can be a challenging task. After all, you need a high-quality, reliable and efficient auto fish feeder which can keep your fish fed when you are not around or on a long vacation. The options that we have listed are all reliable and efficient and can provide proper feeding to the fish for a time-frame ranging from one to eight weeks.
Some of the major factors that you should consider while picking the best automatic fish feeder for your aquarium are listed below:
- Capacity of the fish feeder
- Portion size and timer
- Design and ventilation system
- Additional factors and considerations
Capacity of the fish feeder
The size or capacity of the fish feeder is an important factor in picking the best automatic fish feeder for your aquarium. The capacity refers to the quantity of the fish feed an automatic fish feeder can hold. Considering that a fish feeder is an additional device for your aquarium, picking a feeder that is not heavy and visually obtrusive, but can still feed your fish long enough is important.
Your purpose of needing a fish feeder, the size of your fish tank and the number of fish in the tank govern the overall capacity you should opt for.
If you are looking to feed your fish for less than a week, you can pick a feeder which has a capacity of 2.0 – 2.4 fl. oz. (less than 100 ml). Such a feeder can easily dispense 3-4 meals a day for the whole week.
However, if you do not want to have to replenish the feeder frequently or are going for a long 2-3 week vacation and looking to keep your fish well fed, then you should consider getting a 3+ fl. oz. auto fish feeder such as the best-selling Eheim battery operated auto fish feeder. Such a fish feeder can dispense fish feed for 4-6 weeks, without a refill for 4-5 fish.
For even a long time away, you can get a 5.9 fl. oz. (150+ ml) automatic aquarium feeder such as the NICREW Automatic Fish Feeder. Such feeders can easily last up to 6 weeks without a refill.
Keep these capacity considerations in mind before picking the best automatic fish feeder for your needs.
Portion Size and Timer
Closely related to the size of an automatic aquarium feeder is the number of possible meals dispensations per day and the portion size possible.
It is generally advisable to feed the fish multiple times a day rather than a larger quantity at one time. This helps them in getting the proper nourishment throughout the day and avoids overfeeding.
It is important to pick a feeder that can be programmed to dispense at least 4 meals a day, even if you only need to feed your fish once or twice. This would ensure that any missed feeding can be covered in the next cycle.
Even though most models are advertised to support all types of dry fish feed – flakes, pellets, crumbs, crisps and strips, make sure that the feeder is designed to dispense the feeds reliably and would not get clogged for the type of the feed you pick. Most auto feeders provide a slider to control the overall feed that is discharged every time.
Finally, having an accurate and easily programmable timer is important to maintain the feeding regimen. Avoid picking models which are reported to have timer issues.
Our top pick, the Eheim Everyday Auto Fish Feeder is an example of a reliable, adjustable and accurate automatic fish feeder.
Design and ventilation system
In addition to the capacity, timer and portion size, there are a few additional design-related considerations to check out before picking the best automatic fish feeder for your aquarium.
The overall design of the automatic feeder is one such consideration. A rotating drum type feeder is a perfect choice for a long-duration automatic fish feeder. Such feeders can dispense most types of dry feed – flakes, crisps and small floating pellets. And because of their rotating motion, there is less probability of the feed clogging in the feeder while discharging. The tray type feeders such as Fish Mate F14 Aquarium Fish Feeder have an advantage of supporting more varieties of feed such as freeze-dried worms and medications, but there is a limit on the number of times they can dispense the food.
Since an automatic fish feeder is designed to store and dispense fish food for over a week, it is necessary to ensure that the feed hopper is moisture resistant and the feeder has an arrangement to keep the feed fresh for a long period. A fish feeder that has a dependable integrated fan and an effective ventilation system is mandatory, especially if you are going to be away from the tank for a long time. After all, you do not want to see unhealthy or stinking dead fish in your tank once you are back. Some of the models that we have listed do not have integrated fans and hence are not suitable as long-time auto-feeders.
The automatic feed discharge configuration mechanism is another design-related factor to consider. Except for the Fish Mate Aquarium Fish feeder, all the options that we listed have an LCD based setup mechanism. You may need some getting used to, but once you master it, you can easily program the fish feeders to dispense feed at preset times. Some models even have an On/Off button to turn the automatic feeder off and a Manual button to manually dispense the food on-demand.
Finally, since all the automatic aquarium fish feeders that we listed are battery-powered, it is necessary to know if your feeder is running low of power beforehand. We especially kept this factor in mind and listed only the models which have a reliable low battery indicator to warn you in advance. Generally, these feeders start indicating a Low battery sign when you have less than 2-3 days of battery power left, giving you enough lead time to replace the batteries.
Keep these design considerations in mind while picking the best automatic fish feeder for your aquarium.
Additional factors and considerations
In addition to the factors above, there are a couple of other considerations that can make a purchase more attractive than others.
As automatic aquarium feeders run on one or two AA or AAA alkaline batteries, any model that includes the batteries with the feeder is an advantage. Many manufacturers include these batteries with the feeder to sweeten the deal as you would not need to purchase these batteries separately and can use the feeder right away. So check if the option you pick has batteries included with the package or not.
The presence of installation instructions and accessories such as a double sided Velcro tape or screwing bracket are also something to look out for. In addition, you should consider picking a model that comes with an easy-to-follow user manual on how to program the automatic feeder.
Last but not the least important factor to check out is the warranty and service support provided by the manufacturer. Established brands such as Eheim and Fish Mate provide multi-year warranties on their products, so you can use these products for years to come. On the other hand, cheaper brands such as PROCHE provide a shorter one-year warranty. A word of advice: to avail the full warranty support, always look for an authorized seller and register your automatic fish feeder with the manufacturer if that is required.
Keep these additional factors in mind before selecting the best auto fish feeder for your fish tank or aquarium.
Which are the best automatic fish feeders for your aquarium?
The best-selling Eheim everyday fish feeder is a perfect example of the quality, reliability and precision of German Engineering. Eheim automatic fish feeders have long been the favorite of all serious aquarists and there is a good reason for that!
The Eheim Everyday Auto Fish Feeder is a perfect mid-size automatic fish feeder for a 10-30 gallon tank with a few to many fish. It features a high-quality, air-tight ABS plastic body with a transparent food hopper. The transparent food container allows you to visually how much feed is left in the feeder from time to time. It runs on two AA-batteries which are included with the package.
The Eheim automatic fish feeder has a capacity of 100 ml (3.3 fl.oz.) and can be programmed to dispense a maximum of 8 meals per day. The Everyday feeder can easily last up to 4-6 weeks, so you can safely go on a long vacation without worrying about how to keep your fish fed. With a length of only 5.7 inches, the feeder is not very obtrusive when fitted on the top of the fish tank.
The opening is a big hole that ensures easy discharge of all types of dry fish feed – crisps, flakes, crumbs, pellets, and tablets. There is a smooth slider that can be adjusted to manage the portion size that is dispensed in each rotation of the drum. A wide dispenser makes the Eheim feeder a suitable choice for feeding turtles, frogs, and newts in addition to freshwater or saltwater fish.
The Eheim automatic fish feeder has an LCD screen driven programming mechanism with splash-proof buttons to set up the feeding regimen. You may have to get used to the setup procedure, though a setup guide is included in the package (you can even program the number of rotations per meal). The LCD screen has a 2-stage low battery indicator, so you can easily replace the batteries beforehand. It also has a Manual release button for on-demand feeding.
One of the best features of the Eheim automatic fish feeder is its integrated fan and ventilation system that keeps the feed dry and appetizing for the fish. This air-flow system creates an air draft towards the dispenser, thereby ensuring dry, reliable feed dispensation during every cycle.
Like all other Eheim auto feeders, the Eheim Everyday automatic feeder is backed by a three-year manufacturer warranty. Eheim also has a couple of additional models for an automatic fish feeder. If you are looking for a larger automatic fish feeder with the option of dispensing a variety of feed at a given time, you can check out the 160 ml Eheim Twin Automatic Feeder.
If you are looking for a decent compact automatic aquarium fish feeder for daily use and do not want to spend a lot of money, then the Torlam Automatic Fish Feeder is exactly the feeder to consider.
The Torlam Automatic Fish Feeder is a rotating drum-type feeder and comes in two different designs. The smaller compact feeder has a dimension of 5.6-inch x 4.1-inch x 2.6-inch. Its can store about 6.5 fl.oz. (200 gram) of small particle fish feed. It runs on 2 AA batteries (not included) and has excellent battery life.
The Torlam auto fish feeder can be installed on the aquarium frame using one of the two methods – fix the feeder to the tank wall by using the holder or paste the feeder with double-side sticker on the tank cover. It has a 2.1-inch LCD screen with four buttons for configuring the feeding schedule. The feeder can dispense can be programmed to discharge 1-4 meals per day and can store enough feed for 18-21 days. It also has a Low-battery indicator on the screen. Though the feeder comes with a user manual, programming it can be a little bit of hassle.
The Torlam fish feeder has a plastic body with an inbuilt ventilation system that keeps food fresh and accommodates most types of food, including flakes, pellets or crumbles. The feeder has a hatch-style feed door that is completely adjustable, allowing you to decide how much food is dispensed in each cycle.
Accessories for automatic fish feeders
In addition to the batteries or a power adapter, automatic fish feeders do not require a lot of additional accessories to perform their role. All you need is moisture-free feed and probably a feeding station.
One of the accessories that you can consider is a feeding station. A feeding station is an inexpensive circular or rectangular ring that keeps the floating fish food such as crisps and flakes concentrated in one place. This helps in minimizing the wastage of food and keeps the water in the aquarium cleaner for a longer time.
Some of the best feeding stations to consider with your auto fish feeder are:
- Eheim Aquarium Feeding Station: High-end fish feeding station for use with Eheim automatic fish feeders.
- GOOTRADES 2-Pcs Feeding Station: A popular, inexpensive feeding station that comes with a circular and a square ring.
- Aquarium Equip Fish Feeding Square Station: Another high-quality yet cheap fish feeding station.
Automatic Fish Feeder feed
Another obvious item that you would have to get with the automatic fish feeder is a moisute-free, dry, floating feed. Most of the options that we listed support all standard varieties of fish feed – crisps, pellets and flakes. Still, you can consider the following fish feed to go with your feeder:
- TetraMin Balanced Tropical Flake Food: The best-selling fish feed for tropical feeds. Tetra fish food varieties are the most recommended brand of fish feed to consider.
- Aqueon Tropical Flakes
- New Life Spectrum Floating Pellets
Things to remember when using automatic fish feeders
While automatic fish feeders provide a convenient way to feed your fish even when you are not around, there are a few things to keep in mind to use these devices properly, as depicted below:
- Before leaving your fish with an automatic aquarium feeder, make sure you have used it for more than a couple of days. This would ensure that you are comfortable with the feeding regimen and programmed it appropriately.
- Depending upon the number and type of fish, you can use the adjustable slider in the feeder to adjust the feed that is dispensed during each rotation. It is also important if you are planning to use the feeder for a terrarium or aquatic animals such as turtles, Koi fish and newts. You can also employ some improvisations such as using an electric tape to limit the feed opening.
- Always use fresh, dry food varieties such as crisps, flakes, small pellets, and dry crumbles etc. which do not get stale quickly. Avoid mixing moisture-prone food with the dry feed to minimize clogging.
- While configuring the program for your automatic fish food dispenser, prefer setting up multiple meal cycles per day instead of a single feeding cycle. In addition, if your auto fish feeder allows, consider setting up a multi-rotation dispensing per meal. This would slow down the feeding cycle
- Before leaving for a long vacation, it is a good idea to install fresh batteries in the aquarium feeder to ensure that it does not stop functioning when you are away. Also, avoid using rechargeable batteries and instead rely on high-performance Duracell or Energizer alkaline batteries.
- Even if you have done a perfect auto-feeding setup for your aquarium, if you are going on a long vacation and circumstances permit, get a person to check on your aquarium to ensure there are no accidental program errors or blockages.
Final thoughts on the best automatic fish feeders for fish tanks and aquariums
One of the major challenges of maintaining a fish aquarium is to ensure a consistent feeding regimen for the fish, even when you are away or on vacation. Automatic fish feeders are exactly the devices meant for this purpose. Auto fish feeders, as they are sometimes called, are designed to dispense the right portion of feed for the fish at a preset schedule.
In this article, we shared our reviews and recommendations for the best automatic fish feeders available in the market. We primarily focused on automatic feeders for standard 10-50 gallon aquariums and fish tanks, though some options can also work for larger fish tanks. We also looked at some of the considerations to keep in mind while picking the best auto fish feeders for your aquarium and shared our top picks. Finally, we also listed some things to keep in mind while using such devices.
We hope that this article would help you in picking the best automatic fish feeder for your aquarium. Do let us know your feedback by providing your comment below. Until next time, happy fish-keeping!!