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Old 12-14-2003, 08:24 PM   #1
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Automatic feeders????

Planning on going to the relatives pretty soon, wondering if you people had any opinions or experiances with automatic feeders?
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Old 12-14-2003, 08:29 PM   #2
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yeah they are either SUPER cheap (like 5 or ten bucks) or extremely expensive (the digital ones). What foods do you need fed? If you go to wal-mart or something like that they have the rotating feeders, which pretty much scoop food as they turn ever so slowly and when they make a full turn it dumps food into the tank. The problems with them though is that if you use flake food, sometimes the evaporation will make it stick and clog the exit. If you use pellet type stuff.. then it shouldn't be too bad. Also the digital timed ones are pretty much the same in my eyes, with the probs. The only difference is that they are programmable and digitally times. The cheaper ones I think rotate once and twice.. or maybe more. HTH
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Old 12-14-2003, 08:29 PM   #3
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I have not had any experience with them. I personally wouldn't use them. I have had personal experience with the 3-5 day feeders....the chunk of stuff that apparently releases food slowly...it did not work for me, and I have heard bad things from other people using them as well. Between the two, I would go for the automatic one...

How long are you going away for? If it's a week or shorter, I wouldn't worry about it. Fish can go for a week without food.
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Old 12-14-2003, 08:33 PM   #4
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I have the automatic cheap-o feeders and have been very happy with them while on vacation.

Tip: Crush up the flake food a little bit to avoid blockage. I think mine were like $10 or so each.
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Old 12-14-2003, 08:34 PM   #5
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I think he meant the machine ones.. not the ones you dunk in the tank.. if that was what you were tlaking about.. I would definately stay away from those.. you have algae in your tank in no time.. plus fish won't stop when a given food source is present, and on top of that they'll pick at it until they get what they want
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Old 12-14-2003, 08:47 PM   #6
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I was thinking the ones that sit on the top of the tank and release food someow. I'm mostly going to be using FD blood worms and maybe some algea flakes for the snails. Going to be gone maybe 1-1/2 to 2 weeks. IM just worried that it will break and the fish will die, and then the snails will eat the fish.. so I dont think they would have a problem either way lol.
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Old 12-14-2003, 08:54 PM   #7
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I have the Hagen one. It drops food twice a day so I put it on the lowest setting. That way it won't over feed (I have a 10 gallon tank). I just set it for a snack for the fish until I get back. Don't want that water quality to go bad when you aren't there.

I agree that crushing the flakes up tiny does the trick and I have never had any clogging. Otherwise I like the livebearer food as it is made for tiny mouths.

The thing with the Hagen feeder that I didn't know at first is when you turn it on it does nothing, then 12 hours later it springs into action. So don't think that it is broken like I did.
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Old 12-14-2003, 09:17 PM   #8
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I have the Hagen also.
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Old 12-14-2003, 10:20 PM   #9
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How much food does it hold? would it work for keeping a 5 gallon well feed for up to 2 weeks.
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Old 12-14-2003, 11:15 PM   #10
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It keeps my 72 gal pretty much sparsly fed for one week (which isn't a bad thing sometimes). A 5 gal would have to be at the lowest setting and should last a long time.
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Old 12-15-2003, 12:00 AM   #11
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Many of the automatic feeders do have the disturbing tendency to block up with moist food. Not a good thing. However, some of the slightly more expensive feeders give you peace of mind... Check out the models at bigalsonline.com. Some of these are quite good and keep the stored food aerated so it doesn't clump up and starve your fish: http://www.bigalsonline.com/cgi-bin/...412.1071460412

The first option, the eheim feeder is one of these aerated models. The second model, the Nutrafin, claims to do the same (though it doesn't say that it actually aerates the food). The fifth model, The Rainbow Automatic Feeder, sidesteps the problem by individually compartmentalizing each portion. The other three don't guarantee anything...

If you're willing to fork out a little more food for peace of mind then you'll probably return to a full, happy tank of fish!
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Old 12-15-2003, 11:26 PM   #12
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I have one of the battery-operated ones. Twice a day it makes a full rotation and dumps in food. I also have it on the lowest setting. I use it when I'm gone for more than 3 or 4 days. As someone on here said, fish can go up to a week without feeding, but I'm away often...

As for the kind you throw in the tank (3,5,7,14-day feeders that dissolve), I have never liked them. They're messy, and if I'm away, I really don't know how long they last or how fast they get eaten up.
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Old 12-15-2003, 11:30 PM   #13
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I am against the block feeders. They don't work, they're not healthy, and not that cheap.
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