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The Best Automatic Fish Feeders (Review) in 2021

Last Updated June 17, 2021

While cats and dogs remain to be the most popular companions for people around the world, it might not be possible for everyone to own one practically. There comes the third most popular pet after cats and dogs; fish. Your busy schedule may not allow you to own a fish either due to the fact that you won’t be able to feed your fish on time or if you leave food, they might overeat.

Feeding your fish becomes even more challenging when you have a job that needs you to go out of town every other week and you have no one to depend on who would take care of your fish. Although your trauma of coming home and finding your beloved goldfish belly up in his bowl is not what you would look forward to, that’s where you want to start. You may go ahead with that office trip or vacay and let us bring to you the best automatic fish feeders as listed below!

The Best Automatic Fish Feeder

1

The EHEIM automatic fish feeder is a battery-operated portion control fish feeder. It can be programmed through the LCD screen to feed your fish up to 8 times a day. The Eheim everyday fish feeder is small, compact, and fits most aquariums. It has an integrated fan and ventilation system, as well as a moisture resistant hopper that helps to keep food dry. The Eheim feeder comes with a volume of 100ml or 3.3 fl. ounces. With its adjustable slider, you can set the size of the portion to whatever you think would be best for your tank.

Just be sure to keep the food chamber clean to avoid moisture or bacteria buildup. It is generally very adept at keeping food fresh, however hygiene with any food receptical in extremely important, auto feeders included.

Feeder Type: Portion controlled

Power requirement: 2 x AA batteries (batteries included)

Dimensions: 14.73 x 8.64 x 6.86 cm

A low battery level is indicated via the LCD display.

Snacks can be dispensed with the push of a button.

Ventilation and moisture resistant hopper ensures the food remains dry.

Specification:
  • Brand: Eheim
  • Model: 3581090
  • Weight: 9.4 ounces

2

Fish mate’s automatic fish feeder utilizes the portion control style method, ensuring your fish get the perfect amount of feed every time. It is simply powered using one AA battery, with a battery life indicator to let you know if the battery needs replacing before you go away. Your fish will be covered for 14 meals, which amounts to 1-4 days depending on how many you’re feeding.

The only downside to this particular fish feeder design is the fact that it is not ideally suited to flake feed. This is owing to the fact that large flakes can block the dispenser. However, this can be remedied by lightly breaking the flakes down before loading them into the feeder.

Feeder Type: Portion controlled

Power requirement: 1 x AA battery (not included)

Dimensions: 4.65 x 5.47 x 1.54 inches

Serves up to 14 meals individually.

Capable of feeding multiple fish food types.

Quartz timer on LCD display provides up to four feedings per day.

Specification:
  • Brand: Fish Mate
  • Model: 207
  • Weight: 6.6 ounces

3

Zacro Automatic Fish Feeder

With a rechargeable automatic fish feeder, you can be secure in the knowledge that it will last you a good long while before needing a recharge, with the Zacro automatic fish feeder design lasting up to six months on a single charge. It has a barrel capacity of 200ml, which works for granules, flakes, and powdered fish feed.

One thing worth considering, however, is that is it not ideal for an outdoor pond as the feeder can’t properly dispense food in high humidity environments or wet weather. This is because wet weather can cause the food to clump together, clogging up the dispenser.

Feeder Type: Rotating barrel

Power requirement: charges by USB 

Dimensions: 6.61 x 4.84 x 3.66 inches

Can be charged and discharged up to 800 times.

Lasts for 3-6 months on a single charge.

Large-capacity 200ml feed bucket.

Specification:
  • Brand: Zacro

4

Barkmew Automatic Fish Feeder

The Barkmew automatic feeder features an adjustable barrel, allowing you to control how much food drops into the tank with each feed. Fortunately, the large barrel is able to be used for multiple food types, ranging from pellets to powder. The two options for installation make it easy to fit to most aquariums with relative ease, ensuring your are able to get the ideal setup for arranging your fishy meal times.

However, some previous customers have reported that the installation instructions are a little bit unclear. This makes fitting the feeder slightly tricky, though fortunately, it is mostly self-explanatory.

Feeder Type: Rotating barrel

Power requirement: 2 x AA batteries (not included)

Dimensions: 6.54 x 4.84 x 3.5 inches

Two installation methods and LCD display.

200mL barrel capacity suitable for multiple food types.

Suitable for amphibians and turtles.

Specification:
  • Brand: Barkmew
  • Weight: 10.55 Ounces

5

NICREW’s auto fish feeder is able to dispense food smoothly and effectively, making feeding time easy to schedule. Many automatic fish feeders are limited to a maximum of up to four feedings a day, however, unlike other automatic fish feeders, the NICREW feeder allows you to schedule up to five feeds a day. This makes it a great fit for larger tanks with a bigger fish population. It can dispense multiple food types with a turn of the barrel, as well as being adjustable to help you to limit the amount of food that drops with each rotation.

Though it is worth noting that this particular feeder is designed only to be attached to the side of the aquarium. So it may not be the best option for aquarium owners looking to center the feeder over the tank.

Feeder Type: Rotating barrel

Power requirement: 2 x AA batteries (included)

Dimensions: 6.34 x 4.65 x 3.46 inches

Up to five automatic feedings a day.

Moisture-resistant systems keep food dry.

Barrel capacity of 60 grams with adjustable portion sizes.

Specification:
  • Brand: NICREW
  • Model: AF-013
  • Weight: 9.6 ounces

6

Fish Mate P7000 Pond Fish Feeder

Fish Mate’s digital automatic fish feeder keeps your fish properly fed regularly, consistently, and accurately. The 30-cup capacity is capable of feeding your fish for up to four months, depending on the feeding frequency and volume of each meal. The timer settings also allow you to schedule feeds up to three times a day, perfect for maintaining a regular feeding routine for several fish at once. Especially seeing as previous happy customers have been using the Fish Mate auto-feeder with their outdoor ponds and aquarium with no real hitches for months on end.

According to previous customer, programming the feeder to dispense food on a regular basis can be difficult to start with. Therefore you need to be prepared to take some time to look over the programming instructions when initially installing the feeder. Though apparently, once you have done it a couple of times it is easy enough to remember.

Feeder Type: Portion controlled

Power requirement: 4 x C batteries 

Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.3 x 14.5 inches

Large batteries result in 2-4 month battery life.

Large 30 cup capacity for extra-long feeding period.

Suitable for all food pellets and sticks.

Specification:
  • Brand: Fish Mate
  • Weight: 1 Pound

7

The API 14-Day automatic fish feeder has the timeframe there in the title! Designed to feel a 10-gallon fish tank for up to 14 days (unless you have particularly hungry fish). This 3-pack of API automatic fish feeders provides you with 42 days of fish feeding security and is great for owners that are going on vacation for a week or two. Additionally, you can drop more than one feeder into the tank if you are worried your little amphibian friends might finish their food early, something most automatic fish feeders are incapable of, owing to the limitations of their food drum volume. The API feeder is a quick, easy fix for fish owners in a pinch, and the perfect backup to keep in your cupboard.

The only downside to a feeder like this is the possibility of your fish finishing it before you return home. That is why it is worth putting one into your fish tank for a trial run in order to understand the average amount of time it takes for your fish to get through a single feeder.

Feeder Type: Constant dispersal

Power requirement: No batteries required

Dimensions: 2 x 1 x 5 inches

Ideal for 10-gallon tanks for up to 14-days.

Suitable for freshwater and saltwater aquariums.

 Secret chamber containing spirulina algae.

Specification:
  • Brand: API
  • Model: api
  • Weight: 4 ounces

8

PROCHE Digital Automatic Fish Feeder comes in two different patterns: PRO-E and PRO-X. Pro-E is more compact, while the Pro-X is bigger overall with a larger food container. PROCHE has a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee, a 12-month quality warranty, and a lifetime customer service guarantee. With the LCD display, it is easy to program it to feed four times a day with up to two rotations each time. The slider is adjustable for the amount of food you want your fish to be fed.

However, it is not ideal for flake food as the agitation from the rotating barrel can cause it to crumble. Though if you break down the flakes before putting them into the feeder, they are less likely to break any more and will result in more even portion sizes the a mixtures of large and small flakes.

Feeder Type: Rotating barrel

Power requirement: 2 x AAA batteries 

Dimensions: 2.8 x 3 x 8 inches

30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee.

Four programmable feeding times with manual feeding option.

Adjustable slider to control feed dispensing portions.

Specification:
  • Brand: PROCHE
  • Model: PRO-E
  • Weight: 8 ounces

9

Hydor Automatic Fish Feeder

The Hydor auto fish feeder can feed 1 to 3 times a day, depending on the amount of food you disperse. Not even moisture is a problem as it keeps food dry at all times making it the ideal choice for flakes, pellets, and crumble fish foods. It is also easy to schedule each feed with the simple LED programming system. According to previous customers it is a reliable, solid design which can help to reassure nervous aquarium owners about relying on a machine to feed the fish.

The only problem with the build is that, according to some reviews, it’s not all that easy to set up, as you have limited options when you mount it. it is also worth noting that the Hydor Fish Feeder does not have a mounting bracket, so it must be placed on a flat surface.

Feeder Type: Rotating barrel

Power requirement: 2 x AA batteries (not included)

Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 6 inches

Easy to use LED light programming.

Suitable for flakes, pellets, and crumble fish foods.

Capable of feeding 1-3 times a day.

Specification:
  • Brand: Hydor
  • Weight: 7.2 Ounces

10

Noodoky Automatic Fish Feeder

Noodoky automatic aquarium feeder is capable of dispensing food from the 200ml barrel up to four times a day. With three portion sizes to choose from, it also helps you to ensure that your precious fish are not fed too much food. However, if you ever feel they have not had enough food during the day, you can always use the instant-feed button to top them up.

The main thing to note with this design is that, according to previous customers, it makes a great automatic betta fish feeder for a tank of 6-12 betta fish. Whilst it works for almost any type of aquarium, or fish, multiple customers have suggested that is would be best used for a beta tank.

Feeder Type: Rotating barrel

Power requirement: 2 x AA batteries (included)

Dimensions: 6.3 x 4.65 x 3.54 inches

200ml barrel capacity suitable for granules, fish flakes, and powders.

Three portion size options and four feeding times.

Instant-feeding button for extra feeds.

Specification:
  • Brand: Noodoky
  • Weight: 10.8 ounces

11

Lukovee Automatic Fish Feeder

The Lukovee automatic fish food feeder is made to last, with a rechargeable battery that keeps on going for up to six months, depending on the frequency that it drops food. The two different attachment methods help to make it an easy fit for a wide variety of aquariums. The rotating barrel design helps to keep food fresh with the constant movement from the rolling motion. It is also suitable for multiple food types including pellets, bars, and flakes – though the flakes will need to be gently broken down a little bit more before putting them into the feeder to avoid blockage.

The only downside to this particular auto fish feeder is that the portion sizes can be inconsistent depending on how full the barrel is and the size of the food. This means trial and error may be needed to find the perfect fit.

Feeder Type: Rotating barrel

Power requirement: Charged by USB

Dimensions: 6.61 x 4.72 x 3.43 inches

Digital display shows all scheduled feeding times and current time.

Large capacity lithium battery lasts 2-6 months on single charge.

Two attachment methods are available.

Specification:
  • Brand: Lukovee
  • Weight: 11.3 ounces

12

Lefunpets Automatic Fish Feeder

Lefunpets is the best automatic fish feeder for aquarium owners that just need a bit of backup on a busy working day. The option to arrange feeds between 12 hours and 24 hours apart means you can set the feeder to activate during the day whilst you are out and about, ensuring your fish eat well in your absence. The two feeders included in this listing can be set up in different areas of the tank to avoid your fish gathering too tightly at mealtimes. They can also be scheduled in opposition to each other, amounting to four feeds in a 24 hour period.

This is a feeder set best suited to fish tanks with a larger population however, as even on the smallest setting some customers have commented that is drops too much food for a tank with only a few fish.

Feeder Type: Rotating barrel

Power requirement: 2 x AA batteries (not included)

Dimensions: 6.4 x 4.7 x 3.4 inches

Two Adjustable Fish food Dispenser Boxes included.

Feeds every 12 hours or 24 hours.

Feeding quantity can be adjusted.

Specification:
  • Brand: Lefunpets
  • Weight: 10.56 Ounces

13

NICREW Automatic Fish Feeder

The NICREW digital automatic fish feeder has a choice of two mounting possibilities – one being freestanding, with the other being rim mountable. The LCD digital display panel is ideal to help you quickly check your feeding schedule and make adjustments wherever needed. Additionally, the adjustable clamp can work with most styles of aquarium, so installation shouldn’t be a problem!

Previous customers have loved using the NICREW auto fish feeders, but have noted that it is worth taking the time to figure out how to schedule the fish feeder properly, as initial programming can be a little tricky.

Feeder Type: Rotating barrel

Power requirement: 2 x AA batteries (not included)

Dimensions: 7 x 5 x 3 inches

Adjustable clamp can mount to almost any aquarium style.

Feeds can be arranged up to four times a day.

Feeder can be installed in two positions.

Specification:
  • Brand: NICREW
  • Weight: 10.4 ounces

Best Automatic Fish Feeder Buying Guide & FAQ

Before making a decision on the type of automatic fish food dispenser you want for your tank, it’s worth taking stock of your options. You’ll need to understand the pros and cons of relying on an auto-fish feeder to care for your fish on a regular basis. As well as taking a look at your design options and deciding on which design you prefer the look of for your aquarium.

Beautiful aquarium on table in room

Benefits of Using Automatic Fish Feeders

An automatic fish feeder is not an essential aquarium product, but it can definitely be extremely useful. It’s arguably more reliable than getting your friends and family to feed your fish. Keeping an auto fish feeder gives you the freedom to go away for the weekend (or even the week depending on the feeder), without having you worry about keeping your fish fed.

Additionally, it can help you to more carefully monitor your fish’s intake, by taking stock of how much fish food is needed over a specific period. Seeing as your automatic feeder won’t forget to feed your fish, or dispense food too often by mistake, you can know exactly how much is being given to them – potentially saving you money in the long run. The best automatic fish feeders are the perfect backup and something you can rely on when your schedule gets particularly busy.

Drawbacks of Automatic Feeders

Just like with all technology, even simple mechanical pieces like auto fish feeders, there are some disadvantages and glitches. You are essentially trusting an automatic fish feeder with the lives of your fish. If the feeder fails, your fish starve. If it overfeeds, you are at risk of ammonia spikes, which can be just as deadly. With this in mind, you should ALWAYS purchase a fish feeder well in advance of when you will need to be relying on it. That way you can test the program, monitor its functionality, and ensure that you are happy to leave your pets to be fed by the chosen auto feeder.

What to Consider When Buying an Auto Fish Feeder

There are several points to consider when trying to find the best automatic fish feeder for your fish. Automatic fish feeders can be an absolute game-changer when it comes to fish care, but it is important that you consider the following details before purchasing on.

Different Types of Automatic Fish Feeders

Automatic feeders can be used in a variety of ways to feed fish in a range of different types of feeders, such as in-built fish tanks. Automatic fish feeders come in two different styles of auto-feeders. They both produce the same result but operate slightly differently. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each type of auto fish feeder.

Rotating barrel fish feeders

At feeding time, the barrel rotates and releases food into the tank. The amount of food released is determined by the size of the hole in the barrel. This type of feeder holds the most food, so it is great for people who are going away for extended periods of time. However, rotating barrel feeders only have one food compartment which can cause problems for community aquariums. Additionally, you can fill the barrel with multiple types of food, but you can’t be sure that it will dispense the food evenly. Just be sure to avoid flake food, as the barrel has a tendency to break up the food as it rotates.

Portion control fish feeders

You can measure out each fish meal and mix different types of fish food together. Most models have 10-14 compartments which means 10 to 14 days’ worth of food. The downside to having the ability to precisely control how much your fish are being fed is that that the individual food compartments take up more space. This means the portion control feeder holds less food overall than the barrel type, so you can’t be away as long as you are feeding your fish.

Where to Place an Automatic Fish Feeder

Each automatic fish feeder will come with its own recommendations on where to position it on your tank. After purchasing your auto fish feeder, be sure to check over the instruction provided to see how best to attach it. Most come with an attachment clip that will line your feeder up near the edge of the tank for the most secure fit, with the feeder sitting just about the water surface. This ensures the fish food will enter the water at the same place every time, helping to secure the feeding routine with your fish.

It is possible to suspend automatic feeders above the center of the tank, however, it would likely require materials not included in the kit. And suspending an automatic feeder in this fashion is done so at your own risk – unless the feeder is designed to be suspended.

Before the First Use – How to Install and Setup Fish Feeder

Before you do anything, be sure to thoroughly clean and dry your automatic fish feeder. It needs to be bone dry before putting the food inside so as to avoid moisture build-up that could cause the development of harmful bacteria. This will also prevent the food from sticking together, which will affect the dispenser’s ability to dispense food in even portion sizes. You may even want to set up an LED aquarium light to help your fish find their food easier.

Each automatic fish feeder will have its own set of instructions regarding setup – be sure to follow them carefully to ensure you get the full benefit of the fish feeder. Some will be mountable on a variety of surfaces, where others may require a specific setup. Additionally, the scheduling system with each feeder will vary slightly, and so it is extremely important that you read the programming instructions thoroughly in order to circumvent the possibility of your fish being overfed, or underfed.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember – even the best automatic fish feeders can have faults. Therefore, always set up your new fish feeder on a day where you can be home to monitor its functions throughout the day. This will allow you to check that it is feeding your fish at the correct times, that the fish food portion sizes are correct, and that your aquatic friends are taking well to the new feeding method and schedule.

How to Maintain Fish Feeders

The maintenance of an automatic fish feeder is relatively simple. With a few easy maintenance rules to keep in mind:

Keep It Clean and Dry

The trickiest part would probably be taking apart the food compartments in order to clean them (though this does depend on the automatic feeder in question). Try and aim to clean out the food storage areas once a month. This helps you to keep on top of any possible moisture build-up, remove old excess food, and improve the overall hygiene of your fish feeder. Especially if you use flakey or powdered fish food, which is more likely to dissolve or break down quickly when in a humid environment. Many automatic fish feeders come with a built-in ventilation system that can help keep the food fresh and dry. But regardless of this fact, it is worth checking the food manually once a month, and perhaps setting up your auto feeder near to the aquarium heater for extra airflow around the food container.

Watch The Battery Levels

The best automatic fish feeder design tends to be that which comes with a rechargeable battery pack – unless it holds particularly large batteries. Fortunately, an automatic feeder doesn’t sap too much power when it’s being used. However, always keep a close eye on the battery life of your fish feeder. At the end of the day, this feeder is what keeps your fish healthy and well-fed in your absence. Just like how an aquarium pump is needed to keep your fish oxygenated, and a dead pump can be a cause for ill health in your aquatic friends. Letting the battery die in an auto feeder risks your fish going without food.

This is where the rechargeable feature can be particularly appealing, as you don’t have to worry about keeping the required batteries in stock. You can simply pop the feeder on charge between meal times and top up the battery power.

Beautiful aquarium

Our Top Pick

Have you ever found yourself worrying whether or not you fed the fish before leaving the house? Just like any other pet, keeping a feeding routine is important and if you forget, they don’t eat. This is where you may find an automatic fish feeder to be your best course of action. Forgetfulness isn’t a crime, but having your aquatic friend’s food be automatically dispensed can give you some peace of mind. After careful research, we have found the best fish feeders for precise feeding and reliability, as well as keeping your fish food dry. As a result, we bring to you a list of top picks from the world’s best automatic fish feeder range.

Warning: When buying online, always ensure that you are purchasing a legitimate product, as there are many companies that will sell imitation products that can be easily mistaken for the real thing.

Source:

  1. Caring for Your Fish When You’re Away on Vacation, PetMD

Automatic Fish Feeders FAQ’s:

Automatic fish feeders are electronic devices that feed your fish when you are not around.  It consists of a container filled with dried fish food and a programmable timer. It takes less than 5 minutes to fill the container and program the timer for when and how often you want your fish to be fed. A typical automatic fish feeder can hold up to two weeks’ worth of food – that’s two weeks without you needing to feed them. Additionally, they can be used in any type of tank: cold-water, tropical and marine. Even the fishing industry uses them.

An automatic fish feeder works by dispensing a set amount of fish food into your aquarium at regular intervals. These intervals can be scheduled by you, or certail feeders come with the feeding times built in. They are designed to help busy aquarium owners that may be away from the house for long periods of time and require a way to ensure their fish remain fed in their absense. An auto feeder can help to reduce the stress of needing to find someone to come and feed the fish, making vacations and weekends away much easier.

Not at all, so long as it is functioning properly. We always recommend testing a fish feeder thoroughly, away from the tank, before affixing it to the aquarium. This can help you to work out any of the kinks – such as food not finding through the dispenser properly, timing being off, battery level, etc. Also, be sure to read the automatic fish feeder reviews before purchasing to get a real idea of the functionality of the feeder you are looking to purchase.

You can get aquarium auto feeders with a universal installation clamp, meaning it can be affixed to most tank types. Though typically you will need a tank with an easily accessible edge for the clamp to secure around. If your tank has a lip that protrudes into the fish tank it may make setting up your automatic fish feeder more difficult. There are other fish feeders which can be suspended above the tank, though they are more difficult to come by and work out more expensive.

The amount of time a feeder works for will depend on the batteries it requires. Other factors that could affect the battery life include the frequency at which you have the food dispensed, the age of the auto feeder, and whether it has any extra functions that could draw power such as an integrated fan. Some feeders are capable of lasting up to six months on a single charge – however, you will want to check this before purchasing if you require an auto feeder with a long lasting battery.

Yes. This would depend on the type of fish you are feeding – be they large or small. It would also depend on the portion requirements for the fish you have. Every automatic will have a limit to how much food it is able to dispense at once time. If you have a particularly crowded tank and worry that a single feeder sign not do the job, there is no harm in purchasing a second one to position at the opposite end of the fish tank to avoid a fish pile-up at feeding time.

Absolutely! Any automatic fish feeder you choose will provide you with options for feeding intervals. Some may be limited to 12 and 24 hours intervals, where others can be custom set for up to four, or even six, feedings in a 24 hours period. Just be sure to check the scheduling capabilities of an automatic fish feeder before committing to the purchase.

That would be dependant on the style of automatic fish food feeder you go with. Frozen fish food would not be recommended to any automatic feeder, as the food will be kept in the feeder for extended periods of time, meaning the frozen food will defrost and risk going bad. However, all other foods are generally acceptable depending on the feeder design. Rotating barrel feeders are not best designed for flakey fish food as the dispenser style can result in not enough food being dropped at feeding time if the flakes are too large.

Eloise Hands
Eloise is the owner of a Malamute/Akita cross, a first-time mum, and an animal enthusiast from England. She comes from a family which has never gone a day without a pet (or 3!), and over the years has learned all the best tips and tricks to raising a difficult pet. A knowledge that she has put to good use, to help others navigate the limitless world of pet care.
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