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Automatic Feeders

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Offline Matt

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Automatic feeders
« on: March 03, 2016, 07:30:44 PM »
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Hi Everyone,
I currently use an Interpet Insight feeder, and whistling offers some great features Inc battery life and multiple feeding options, I do find that it is hard to set the right feed quantity, more importantly though, I use Hikari micro pellets as my primary food and the moisture ingress into the feeder is too high to prevent this from  becoming one big blob of sticky food and not dispensing.  I always add some live plants in the tank which I know the fish like to eat before I go away to ensure they at least have something, and my losses have been very minimal as a result, but I would love to hear others views on the best feeders or perhaps any other suggestions they may have to ensure reliability with feeding whilst away.
I look forward to your thoughts and advice.

Offline Sue

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Re: Automatic feeders
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2016, 08:00:52 PM »
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If you are away for a week to 10 days, the fish will be OK without food.

Another option depends if there is someone you can trust who could feed the fish for you. My son has to more or less drive past our house to get to work (well, 2 minute detour) so I use those pill dispensers with a compartment for each day. I put a day's food into each compartment so all he has to do is empty one section into the tank. I can trust him not to go looking for the food tubs to give them any extra; for someone who can't be trusted, hide the food tubs.

Offline Matt

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Re: Automatic feeders
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2016, 09:10:09 PM »
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Thanks Sue, you are fortunate to have a relative who is able to do this for you!

Unfortunately, our holidays tend to be quite far flung - Peru is next on our list (we love going to see different cultures and environments) but this means we are often away for 2+ weeks at a time! It seems to be endlers that struggle (I've assumed because my water is too soft for them) and hence my lone endler currently.

Offline fcmf

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Re: Automatic feeders
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2016, 09:21:39 PM »
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I use a Fishmate auto-feeder which I've had for 10+ years, following my ravenous goldfish (RIP) ferociously attacking and completely consuming a slow-releasing food block in the space of 45mins, and following being let down by humans on too many occasions (who changed their minds about being able to turn up) or who neurotically thought that the fish were ill and contacted me when away for my opinion which in turn caused undue anxiety for me.

I had a great tank lid on my old tank, and it sat on the in-built, sturdy condensation tray above the feeder hole, allowing the top lid to remain shut over the top of it; however, on my current tank, I need to keep the lid fully open, place a condensation tray in its place (in which I've cut out a feeder hole), and then set the auto-feeder on top of that. This doesn't feel as secure as with the previous tank.

The auto-feeder itself works well but, over time, has developed a few "issues" eg: once the food is placed in each of the slots, it's necessary to adjust it in such a way that it's on the verge of depositing the first feed otherwise it actually misses out the first feed and only starts when the second feed is due; over the 10+ years I've had it, more moisture/condensation seems to be in the air and affects the food quality by making it soggier (this definitely wasn't a problem in the past and seems to be independent of the auto-feeder itself) - I now need to leave the top cover of the auto-feeder open in order to minimise this.

I used to use goldfish flakes and pellets in the auto-feeder which were larger than tropical fish food, and, over time, only used pellets because of the sogginess issue developing. With the tropical fish, in each feed slot, I now put in a few flakes which I chop a little to make smaller, Hikari micro pellets and Hikari micro wafers. I try and make every slot slightly different eg one or the other of these 3 foods nearer the edge of the slot, just in case a clogging problem does occur. There has been a little clogging on each occasion but not so much that it's stopped the food getting through altogether.

It would be vital to test out any auto-feeder that you buy for a week or so before going away, in order to identify any issues with it, and ensure that you can trust that it's working when you're away.

Hope this helps.

Offline Matt

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Re: Automatic feeders
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2016, 08:19:10 AM »
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Thanks fcmf, I actually have one of these squirrelled away somewhere from a goldfish tank 15 odd years ago - I'll see if I can dig it out and do a trial!  I've also recently found the EDEN AQUARIUM AUTOMATIC FISH FEEDER 901 online which is like the Interpet Insight feeder I currently used except the food compartment cleverly retracts when the unit is not active to keep the food dry (put it in YouTube!) does anyone have experience with these?

Offline Matt

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Re: Automatic feeders
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2016, 07:20:51 PM »
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Given that this topic has popped up elsewhere on the forum today, a quick update.

I bought the EDEN AQUARIUM AUTOMATIC FISH FEEDER 901 and am very impressed with its design. Logically it's design makes absolute sense, there's just no way water ingress could become an issue.

I'll do a test if there is enough interest from members...

Offline fcmf

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Re: Automatic feeders
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2016, 07:42:17 PM »
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Thanks, Matt - that's really helpful to know. Definitely interested to know how you get on in your trial!

Offline fcmf

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Re: Automatic feeders
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2016, 07:48:01 PM »
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PS. Actually, I googled the Eden one and the next item on the Youtube video was a comparison of the Fishmate, Penn Plax and Eheim ones - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iInm46lQFnk&ebc=ANyPxKo1CcqZK-Q97qeUTvYddNGYdCCBvvWiy-toPR6cvjYz8HIPbud2BSfJSJ8OFTxgGwc4YywPJ9WeUYZ-xbuHPyXQmbRxvg&nohtml5=False

Offline Matt

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Re: Automatic feeders
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2016, 10:18:38 PM »
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I figured I'll need to test it at some point anyway so i'll do a test for 10 days ish and report back - watch this space!

Offline fcmf

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Re: Automatic feeders
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2016, 10:26:59 PM »
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Great stuff!

Offline Matt

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Re: Automatic feeders
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2016, 10:37:19 PM »
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I eventually got round to doing that test - what a great piece of kit!

I had food in there for 2 weeks (Hikari micro pellets) with it feeding once per day.  After that time, I returned the remaining food in the feeder back to the main packet - it had not degraded in any way.  The feeder fed a good amount for my 64 litre tank on its smallest setting, you certainly need to have at least 50cm of fish for this feeder to work with nano fish being fed micro pellets.  I imagine it would handle flake foods fine too or larger foods of course would be even better (my CPDs can only just manage micro pellets).

There's not much more to say, it just works!  The battery compartment was a little fiddly but nothing you cant overcome with a biro / set of keys.  Other than that, I'd highly recommend it - it will be put to good use from now on  8) holiday season is on its way!  I've already got my next 3 destinations booked!

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