In the past, it was not uncommon for people to return home following a vacation to discover their precious fish did not survive their absence. Fortunately, we have automatic fish feeders today that reduce the odds of that happening to virtually zero. An automatic feeder holds a quantity of food which it dispenses at predetermined intervals so that, no matter what’s going on in your life, your fish are always properly fed. Below are the 10best automatic fish feeders on the market today.
The Best Automatic Fish Feeder
The Eheim Automatic Feeding Unit is super easy to use, allows you to set up feeding time and quantity and comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty. There are an integrated ventilation fan, waterproof buttons and a very handy low battery indicator light. The storage drum is transparent so you can monitor food levels and the universal installation clamp will adapt to nearly every type of fish tank. For dependability and ease of use, you can’t beat the Eheim Everyday feeder, which is why it’s our Best Choice and makes a perfect Christmas gift for any home with an aquarium.
A sleek compact design.
Stores up to 3.3 oz of food for up to 6 days.
Never stops in the ‘feed’ position.
Low battery indicator light.
- Weight9.4 ounces
3-year warranty is hard to beat.
The low battery indicator is a major plus.
Drum is programmed not to stop in a dispensing position.
Will accommodate most types of food.
None worth mentioning.
The Fish Mate F14 enables you to design each meal individually and then dispense meals 1 to 4 times throughout the day. Some fish need to be fed only once a day while others need more frequent feedings. No problem with the Fish Mate F14 fish feeder. If humidity is an issue the F14 provides you the option of attaching a small air hose that will blow cool, dry air onto the food and keep it from spoiling. Just one more reason this automatic fish feeder makes our list.
Ideal for a mixed population.
Can provide 1 to 4 meals per day.
Low battery indicator.
Provides up to 14 meals.
- BrandFish Mate
- Weight6.6 ounces
The quartz timer is extremely reliable.
Each of the 14 meals can be custom designed.
AA battery provides 1 year of continuous operation.
14 meals go faster than you think.
It’s one thing to ensure the fish in your aquarium are properly fed all the time. It can be a substantially bigger challenge to feed fish in an outdoor pond. Sure you can take a walk out there every day and feed them personally but what about when you pack your luggage and go on vacation? The P7000 is a large quantity, fully programmable outdoor fish feeder that enables you to set precise feeding times and quantities. It will cost you a bit but it’s worth it.
Pond feeder with generous capacity.
LCD controls make programming easy.
All food contact parts are dishwasher safe
- BrandFish Mate
- Weight1 pounds
Ensures that your outdoor fish are cared for when you’re away.
Nice long life on the LCD battery.
The digital display is easy to use and read.
You’ll need to find a way to protect it from squirrels.
The Proche Digital Automatic Fish Feeder makes feeding your aquarium fish easy as pie. Powered by 2 AA batteries and capable of dispensing food up to 4 times per day it’s a versatile, dependable feeder that will remove uncertainty from your relationship with your fish. You have 2 different installation options (brace or adhesive), an LCD display so you can see what you’re programming and the feeder will accommodate all different types of food. Handsome and reliable it’s our Best Value.
Schedule up to 4 feeding times per day.
Portion control slider.
Easy to read LCD display.
Secure Velcro attachment option.
- Weight8.8 ounces
Easy to adjust the amount of food your fish get.
Schedule up to 4 feeding times per day.
Comes with a 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
Dispensed amounts not always consistent.
The easy-to-read LCD screen on the Nicrew Automatic Fish Feeder enables you to set up and schedule as many as 5 feedings per day with reliable accuracy. Portion control is achieved via a simple slider mechanism on the top of the barrel and you can switch from auto to manual mode and back whenever you wish. The tiny integrated cooling fan keeps the food dry and the barrel shape ensures you won’t have food festering in corners. Make sure you also check our guide to the best aquarium air pumps.
Program up to 5 feedings each day.
Built-in ventilation system.
Easy to program time and portion.
Convenient LCD display.
- Weight11.4 ounces
Does a great job of keeping food dry and fresh.
Easy to switch between auto and manual modes.
Ability to program up to 5 feedings per day.
Directions are not in English.
With one of the largest capacity hoppers of any standard feeder, the DoPhin AF012 provides added flexibility for those who spend lots of time away from home. Not only does it store more food than most feeders it also allows you to program up to 5 feedings per day. So if your fish are nibblers you’re all set. The feeder will accommodate most types of food and is easy for even the technologically challenged to set up. Our guide to the best aquarium filters features more great products like this.
Capable of 5 feedings per day.
Large 150 ml hopper.
Adaptable to most tank styles.
- Weight10.4 ounces
Program up to 5 feedings per day.
Adjustable food outlet allows for precise control over portions.
Easy to switch from auto to manual modes.
The programming interface is a bit confusing.
The Wieppo Automatic Fish Feeder has an insubstantial look to it. But don’t let that fool you. This is a robust, well-built fish feeder that’s highly programmable and will keep your fish properly nourished while you’re away. You can plug it in to recharge, or opt to power it using 2 AA batteries (not included). With 3 different installation options, it’s also one of the most versatile feeders out there that makes a good housewarming gift.
Adapts to covered and uncovered tanks.
Feeds up to 3 times per day.
Switch easily between auto and manual mode.
Large volume hopper.
- Weight14.4 ounces
Can be charged via USB or powered by AA batteries.
3 different installation options.
Can be preset to dispense every 8, 12 or 24 hours.
Can be set to auto or manual.
Jams are not all that unusual.
The second pond feeder on our list is one of the most attractive you’ll find and should easily blend into the landscape. Flexzion Automatic Fish Food Feeder has a large 1.6 kg food hopper that can provide nourishment to your pond fish for up to 99 days (at 1 feeding per day). Vary the size and frequency of feeding and check in on the device occasionally to see if the battery warning light is on.
Programmable out to an incredible 99 days.
1.6 kg hopper.
Runs on 4 C batteries.
Program up to 4 feedings per day.
- Weight3.5 pounds
One of the largest hoppers on the market.
Feeds your fish reliable for more than 3 months.
Portion sizes are customizable.
Doesn’t detract from your carefully constructed landscape.
Don’t count on the instructions.
The Zoo Med BettaMatic ensures your precious Betta fish are never without the nourishment they need. This handy automatic aquarium feeder provides the side or top installation options, runs on a single AA battery and dispenses food once a day into your Betta fish tank, just the way they like it. The feeder is designed for the company’s proprietary Betta Pellets but will accommodate other brands as well. It’s not programmable but it doesn’t have to be.
Feeds your Betta once each day.
Versatile with 2 mounting options.
Powered by 1 AA battery.
- BrandZoo Med
- Weight3.52 ounces
Feeds your Betta fish reliably once a day.
Easy to install, easy to use.
Uses a single AA battery.
One of the biggest problems with automatic fish feeders is that the food in the hopper can go bad if left for a week or more. The eBo Trade Aquarium Feeder solves this problem with its integrated, fan-driven ventilation system that whisks away moisture and keeps the food dry. The eBo is also easy to program and offers 2 installation options.
Easy to read LCD display.
Feeds fish automatically up to 4 times per day.
Moisture resistant hopper design.
- BrandeBoTrade Dirct
- Weight8.8 ounces
Dispenses a variety of foods.
Powered by 2 AAA batteries.
2 different installation options.
Automatic Fish Feeder Buying Guide
Features To Look For In Automatic Fish Feeder
Size - The amount of food that can be held in the container is an important consideration, particularly if you have fish that tend to eat a lot. Big fish will obviously require more food than tiny little guppies so you need to be sure you’re feeder has the right capacity so you don’t have to keep refilling it every day or two. The reverse is also true. If you only have a few small fish you don’t need an automatic feeder with a large bin.
Battery Life - Some automatic fish feeders run off of rechargeable batteries but most use AA disposables. Battery life will vary with each feeder depending on the number of features and the number and type of batteries involved, but some will last up to 6 months or more. It can be very helpful if your feeder has a low battery power indicator light.
Time & Quantity Controller - An automatic fish feeder without a dependable timer isn’t much good. Therefore, you’ll need to be sure the feeder you’re buying has a reputation for reliability and that the timer is easy to understand and use. LCD screens which show you exactly what you are inputting are a great help to people who are unfamiliar with this technology. That goes for the quantity of food the feeder is dispensing as well. Research your fish and find out the right number of times to dispense food as well as the amount you should dispense before programming your automatic aquarium feeder.
Feeding Frequency - Some feeders give you a great deal of leeway when it comes to set times to dispense food. Others only dispense food once a day. While that’s better than nothing it may not be right for the type of fish you have. In many cases, it’s best to feed your fish small amounts several times a day. This mimics more accurately what they would experience in the wild.
Ventilation System - It’s crucial that moisture is not allowed to build up in the feeder. If it does it could cause food to clump together and render the feeder inoperative. Therefore, you should look for a feeder that has some form of the ventilation system. Some have small built-in fans while others have vents built into the food bin to allow moisture to escape. If your feeder does not have a ventilation system of some sort you’ll need to keep a close eye on it.
Attachment mechanism - Not all feeders attach to the aquarium the same way and not all come with effective attachments. Make sure the attachment mechanism on a feeder is right for your tank before purchasing.
Casting distance - The casting distance is the distance from the feeder the mechanism delivers the food. Some automatic feeders just drop all the food in one place while others spread it out in a more diffuse fashion.
Predator resistance - This is particularly important when setting up feeders for outdoor ponds. Squirrels are notoriously difficult to keep away from outdoor food sources like bird and fish feeders. So if you’re setting up an outdoor feeder it will need to have some sort of protection from predators.
Automatic Feeder Benefits
The main benefits of an automatic fish feeder include:
Freedom - As in you are now free to go about your daily life without worrying that you forgot to feed the fish. There’s nothing worse than realizing you lost fish because you forgot to feed them.
No need to enlist a fish-sitter - If you don’t have an automatic feeder and you’re going away on vacation you’re going to need to find someone to come in and feed the fish. Or else you’ll need to transport your fish to someone else’s home so they can feed them. Neither is a good option. With the best automatic fish feeder, there is no need to enlist a fish-sitter.
Healthier fish - It’s better for the health of your fish to be fed the proper amounts at regular intervals. The danger of overfeeding will be removed and the environment within the tank will be healthier as well since there won’t be excess food rotting on the bottom.
Automatic Fish Feeder FAQs
Q: How does an automatic fish feeder work?
A: The best automatic fish feeder works on an internal timer that causes it to dispense a predetermined amount of food at set times during the day and night. Some will dispense the food once a day while others will allow you to set multiple dispensing times. Automatic fish feeders need very little supervision aside from making sure there is always food in the dispenser and that the batteries are not in danger of dying.
Q: Do I need an automatic fish feeder?
A: That depends. If you love your interactions with your fish, enjoy the ritual of dispensing food to them and are careful not to overfeed or underfeed them, then you likely don’t need an auto fish feeder. Many folks, however, are inconsistent when it comes to feeding their fish. It’s not their fault. They have busy lives. For them, an automatic fish feeder can be a big help. Also, if you travel a lot on business and are constantly needing someone to watch your fish while you’re away an automatic feeder can be a huge convenience.
Q: Are there any downsides of using an automatic fish feeder?
A: The only real downside to an aquarium auto feeder is that you lose that interaction with your fish that comes at feeding time. Some folks treasure this time with their fish and don’t want it compromised. At the same time, they always have an automatic feeder on hand which they set up when they go on vacation.
Q: Will any fish food work with an automatic feeder?
A: Yes. However, not all aquarium fish have the same dietary needs. Therefore, you will need to do some research and find out when is the right time to feed the particular fish you have, what type of food they need and how many times per day they’ll need to be fed. If you have a variety of fish in your tank and they all have different requirements it can get very tricky indeed whether you have an automatic fish food dispenser or not.