How to Choose The Best Automatic Fish Feeder for Your Aquarium (2019 Guide)

Yellow tropical aquarium fish swimming with coral in the background and is heater by the best aquarium heater available

It’s a simple fact of life–you’re not always around to feed your aquatic buddies.

 

And you can’t always trust someone to do the job properly while you’re away. It’s so easy to overfeed fish.

 

That’s why investing in a quality, well-made automatic fish feeder can be so beneficial. It has the ability to eliminate the risk.

 

In this article, I’ll go over the pros and cons, take an in-depth look on what features you need to consider when looking for the best automatic fish feeder for you, and then share my reviews on the best available today.

 

Let’s start.

Table of Contents:

Scroll down to start reading, or jump to a specific section by clicking one of the links below:

 

Comparison table for automatic fish feeders

Here you fill find a table comparing all the auto-feeders I have reviewed if you want to make a quick decision.

 

Part 1: Do you need an automatic fish feeder?

Here I discuss the pros and cons of using an automatic fish feeder.

 

Part 2: How to choose the best automatic fish feeder

In the section of the guide, I will show the features I look at when I’m looking at automatic feeders.

 

Part 3: Reviews of the best automatic fish feeders

Five detailed reviews of the best automatic fish feeders available in 2019.

 

Conclusion: The verdict

I share with you my overall favorite.

Comparison Table for Automatic Fish Feeders

Preview
Top Pick
EHEIM Everyday Fish Feeder Programmable Automatic Food Dispenser
Fish Feeder, Automatic Fish Feeder, eBoTrade Aquarium Tank Auto Fish Food Timer Batteries Included 800EB
ADA Automatic Fish Feeder Aquarium Tank Auto Fish Food Timer Capacity Adjustable for Business Trip/Travel/Urgent Business (Batteries Included)
Current USA 3860 Aquachef Automatic Fish Feeder
Digital Automatic Fish Feeder PROCHE Aquarium Fish Feeder Fish Tank Pond Auto Food Timer Feeder Adjustable Dispenser Batteries Included for Vacation, Weekend
Product
Eheim Auto Fish Feeder
eBo Automatic Feeder
ADA Automatic Fish Feeder
Aquachef Automatic Fish Feeder
PROCHE Aquarium Fish Feeder
Max Feeds Per Day
8
4
2
4
4
Low Battery Level Indicator
LCD Display
Price
$24.37
$18.99
$15.99
$19.26
$18.99
Prime
Top Pick
Preview
EHEIM Everyday Fish Feeder Programmable Automatic Food Dispenser
Product
Eheim Auto Fish Feeder
Max Feeds Per Day
8
Low Battery Level Indicator
LCD Display
Price
$24.37
Prime
Preview
Fish Feeder, Automatic Fish Feeder, eBoTrade Aquarium Tank Auto Fish Food Timer Batteries Included 800EB
Product
eBo Automatic Feeder
Max Feeds Per Day
4
Low Battery Level Indicator
LCD Display
Price
$18.99
Prime
Preview
ADA Automatic Fish Feeder Aquarium Tank Auto Fish Food Timer Capacity Adjustable for Business Trip/Travel/Urgent Business (Batteries Included)
Product
ADA Automatic Fish Feeder
Max Feeds Per Day
2
Low Battery Level Indicator
LCD Display
Price
$15.99
Prime
Preview
Current USA 3860 Aquachef Automatic Fish Feeder
Product
Aquachef Automatic Fish Feeder
Max Feeds Per Day
4
Low Battery Level Indicator
LCD Display
Price
$19.26
Prime
Preview
Digital Automatic Fish Feeder PROCHE Aquarium Fish Feeder Fish Tank Pond Auto Food Timer Feeder Adjustable Dispenser Batteries Included for Vacation, Weekend
Product
PROCHE Aquarium Fish Feeder
Max Feeds Per Day
4
Low Battery Level Indicator
LCD Display
Price
$18.99
Prime

**Before reviewing the individual automatic fish feeders, I’d like to talk to you about how you can effectively choose one for your current setup.

 

Otherwise, if you’re just here to get a detailed breakdown of your options, you can jump straight to the review section by clicking here.

Do You Need an Automatic Fish Feeder?

There are many benefits to having an automatic fish feeder. Your aquatic friends need food–fact.

 

And if you forget, they don’t eat.

 

As aquatic hobbyist, your pets’ health is crucial. If you don’t feed your fish, they could become incredibly ill and malnourished, sometimes leading to death. It’s crucial that you remember to give them food.

 

But we aren’t perfect. You forget things; I forget things–We’re both human (at least, I think you are. Are you?), it happens.

 

Having said that, are automatic fish feeders worth the investment? Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Automatic Fish Feeders

Let’s start with the advantages, I’m sure you’ll be aware of most of them already.

Less worrying

Manual feeding requires you to be present when feeding. If you’re not, you then have to employ somebody else to feed them for you.

 

This can create issues, too.

 

If your minder isn’t as experienced as you. They may not be aware of the danger of overfeeding.

 

They could miss a few days, overcompensate, and overfeed.

 

Overfeeding is a major cause of disease. It causes waste built up, not only from excess food but from the increased amount of waste produced by fish.

 

These risks make it hard to leave your fish in someone else’s hands.

 

Investing in an automatic feeder solves this problem–especially if you spend a lot of time away from home, or keep an aquarium at work or school.

 

You can be away knowing your fish are being properly fed and looked after.

Provides the Correct Amount of Food

You’re not going to over or underfeed your fish if it’s being done automatically.

 

Automatic feeders ensure that your fish are fed properly. When feeding manually, there is always a risk you aren’t giving your fish the right amount of food.

 

Underfeeding deprives fish of essential vitamins and nutrients. This can inhibit their growth, promote disease and lead to Anemia.

 

Portion sizes are controlled when feeding automatically. Problem solved.

Helps Keep a Stable Environment

Automatic feeders release food in small quantities. By doing this, the water chemistry in your tank is less likely to be harmed.

 

Ammonia, a harmful chemical that builds up when organic matter decays, is kept to a minimum. Allowing your fish to live in a stable, balanced environment.

Feed Multiple Species

If you have multiple species of marine animals, automatic feeders ensure that they’re all fed equally.

 

Some feeders can hold several types of fish food in separated compartments, making them suitable for a range of species of aquatic animals.

Disadvantages of Automatic Feeders

Even with all the benefits, there are definitely some potential hazards you should consider.

They Can Fail

Here’s the truth:

 

Automatic fish feeders aren’t perfect–they can fail.

 

And if it does, your fish won’t be fed, or will be fed too much. Overfeeding can cause ammonia spikes. Algae outbreaks are also a risk if too much food is dispensed.

 

If you’re going auto, be sure to check your feeder’s functionality periodically to prevent any failures. Choose a high-quality auto feeder to decrease the chances of failure.

 

If you don’t conduct enough research, you could end up with a low-quality feeder destined for failure.

 

In most cases, this isn’t a problem if you get a well constructed model.

 

But if you’re unlucky and your bargain auto-feeder malfunctions, things could turn sour.

The Issue with Frozen Food

I haven’t heard of, or ever found a feeder that dispenses frozen food. Not all fish will eat standard flakes or pellets.

 

If you have fish that require specialist feed, automatic dispensers probably aren’t the way to go.

 

That being said, there may well be a more diverse feeder in production, it just isn’t commercially available yet.

Not Always the Best to Look at

Automatic feeders aren’t invisible. If you pride yourself on the beauty of your aquarium, expect this to be disturbed by bulkier automatic feeders.

 

However, if you’re a frequent traveller looking to automate your feeding practice, you probably won’t be looking at your tank all that much.

 

So it doesn’t really matter what it looks like when you’re not there. And you can take it off when you’re home.

How to Choose the Best Automatic Fish Feeder For Your Tank

There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing an automatic feeder. And these can be overwhelming at first–especially if you’re new to the hobby.

 

Many features need to be considered when buying a feeder. Let’s break them down.

Size of the Food Chamber

It’s important to consider how much food you’ll need to store in your feeder. If you have a heavy stock, you may need to invest in a feeder with a larger capacity.

 

Be mindful you may (if you’re like everyone else in this hobby–you will), buy more fish.

 

If this is a possibility, it may be wiser to invest in a larger-capacity feeder, because if you choose to expand your aquarium in future, you won’t need to buy another feeder.

Battery Life

If your feeders’ battery fails, your fish won’t be fed properly. This could lead to illness, and in some cases, death.

 

If you plan to go away for long periods of time, you’re going to want a feeder that lasts a while before it needs to be recharged or have its batteries replaced.

 

Additionally, it’s wise to purchase a feeder with a clearly displayed battery life. If your batteries need changing, you’ll know straight away and can act before any problems arise.

Ventilation System

If your feeders’ battery fails, your fish won’t be fed properly. This could lead to illness, and in some cases, death.

 

If you plan to go away for long periods of time, you’re going to want a feeder that lasts a while before it needs to be recharged or have its batteries replaced.

 

Additionally, it’s wise to purchase a feeder with a clearly displayed battery life. If your batteries need changing, you’ll know straight away and can act before any problems arise.

Pro Tip: Be sure to invest in an automatic feeder that is well-ventilated. If it isn’t, your food could rot and make your fish seriously ill.

Ease of Use

Some automatic feeders are a breeze to set up; others can be a nightmare.

 

If you’re used to manual feeding, it’s important to consider how easy your chosen fish feeder is to use as installation can be a little intimidating at first. Especially for those inexperienced with auto feeders.

 

Choosing a feeder with a digital display system will make it easier to program it and make adjustments.

 

But, if you’re already comfortable with automatic fish feeders, there are more complex options available that offer wider features, allowing you to adjust feeding frequency and use multiple food types.

Frequency of Feeding

Depending on the type of fish you have, you’ll need to take into account how often you need your feeder to dispense food.

 

Some dispensers only give food twice a day, will others upwards of 8. Take the number of fish you have and their daily food requirements into consideration before purchasing a feeder.

My Reviews of the Best Automatic Fish Feeders Available in 2019

Now you’ve got a better understanding on what to consider when deciding which automatic feeder you want, you can use the following individual product reviews to make an informed decision.

 

Let’s get stuck in.

1. EHEIM Battery Operated Auto Fish Feeder Reviewed

Starting with the key features:

  • Battery Type: 2 x AA
  • Number of Feeds Per Day: 8
  • Splash-proof buttons
  • Integrated fan and ventilation system
  • 2-stage low battery level indicator

The EHEIM Battery Operated Auto Fish Feeder has a drum volume of 100ml. It features an LCD digital display and can be programmed with ease.

 

This feeder can also dispense multiple food types, making it one you should consider if you own multiple species with different diet requirements.

 

This device is easy to set up. Using a moving slider, portion size can be controlled and food can be released up to 8 times each day. This is useful if your fish require several daily feeds, or if you have multiple fish in one tank.

 

The EHEIM feeder also includes an Easy Start Guide, including detailed instructions of installation.

 

The feeder comes with an inbuilt fan, ventilating the food chamber and keeping it dry.

Pros

  • Up to 8 feeds per day
  • Can dispense multiple food types
  • Easy to set up
  • Battery level indicator
  • Splash-proof buttons
  • Ventilated, protecting food from moisture
  • Useable in terrariums and aquariums

Cons

  • No off button
Sale
Top Pick Eheim Auto Fish Feeder
Featuring an LCD display, the Eheim's easy to use features makes it our top pick for both advanced and new hobbyists.

2. eBo Automatic Feeder Reviewed

Starting with the key features:

  • Battery Type: 2 x AAA
  • Number of Feeds Per Day: 4
  • Housing: Plastic
  • LCD Screen

The eBo Automatic Feeder is a reliable, diverse option.

 

It can feed a variety of fish foods, including flakes, and can provide up to 4 feeds daily. This can be configured by an easy to use timer, making it a wise choice if you have marine animals that require specialist food types.

 

It’s simple to operate and can be powered using 2 AAA batteries, which are included–nice.

 

Additionally, the eBo feeder is ventilated, keeping food dry and protecting it from rot. The hopper itself is even moisture resistant.

Pros

  • Feeds multiple fish food types, including flake
  • Up to 4 feeds per day
  • Easy to use
  • Well priced
  • Ventilated and moisture resistant
  • Digital display

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Smaller food container
eBo Automatic Fish Feeder
A reliable option, the eBo has an easy-to-use timer and offers up to 4 feeds per day.

3. ADA Automatic Fish Feeder Reviewed

Starting with the key features:

  • Battery Type: 2 x AAA
  • Number of Feedings Per Day: 2
  • Housing:Plastics

This black and yellow automatic fish feeder is another safe option.

 

The device takes 2 AAA batteries, both included with the feeder, which can last more than 6 months. The risk of your feeder running out of charge is accounted for.

 

Feeding can also be set to either automatic or manual.

 

ADA’s Automatic Fish Feeder has a maximum feeding time of twice daily. It is easy to program.

 

All it requires is the pressing of a button, once for a 12 hour feed and twice for 24 hours.

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Reliable
  • Easy to use
  • Well priced
  • Compact design

Cons

  • Limited to two timer settings
  • Not suitable for fish with complex feeding schedules
  • No digital display
Sale
ADA Automatic Fish Feeder
An eye-catching feeder, the ADA is a safe option. The long-lasting (6 months) batteries is the stand out feature.

4. Aquachef Automatic Fish Feeder Reviewed

Starting with the key features:

  • Battery Type: 2 x AA
  • Number of Feeds Per Day: 4
  • Housing: Plastic
  • LCD Screen

The Aquachef automatic feeder is a battery-operated (two AA batteries) feeder that mounts onto the rim of your tank.

 

This feeder is moisture resistant, preventing feed from clumping and rotting. It holds up to 35 grams of food, including flakes, pellets and crumbled fish food.

 

It also features a simple programmable timer, dispensing food up to 4 times every day in either single or double portion sizes.

 

This is useful if you have several fish in one tank, dispensing twice the amount of food to provide for all animals.

Pros

  • Battery-operated
  • Feeds up to 4 times daily
  • Simple and easy to program
  • Dispenses multiple food types, including flakes
  • Digital display
  • Can dispense single or double feeding

Cons

  • LED screen difficult to read
  • Tricky to assemble
  • Unclear instructions
Sale
Aquachef Automatic Fish Feeder
Featuring a LCD display and simple programmable timer, you're able to feed up to 4 times a day.

5. PROCHE Aquarium Fish Feeder Reviewed

Starting with the key features:

  • Battery Type: 2 x AAA
  • Number of Feeds Per Day: 4
  • Housing: Plastic
  • LCD Display Screen

The PROCHE Aquarium Fish Feeder is an easy to assemble, versatile option

The feeder takes 2 AAA batteries, lasting up to 3 months.

 

This feeder also feeds multiple kinds of foods, including flakes, pellets, powders and strips. It’s an ideal choice for home fish tanks and aquariums with multiple species of aquatic animals.

 

Dispensing food up to 4 times per day, this feeder is easy to setup and adjust.

 

The feeder can be assembled either by clamping it to the tank wall or by sticking it to the tank cover.

 

It also has an adjustable slider, making it easy to increase or decrease the amount of food dispensed.

Pros

  • Up to 4 feeds per day
  • Easy and versatile assembly
  • Dispenses multiple types of fish food
  • Digital display

Cons

  • Poorly ventilated
Proche Automatic Fish Feeder
With the ability to hold multiple types of food, this automatic feeder is best if you need to feed different species.

The Vridict

Clearly there are a wealth of options to choose from when it comes to picking an automatic fish food dispenser.

 

Based on the product reviews given, the EHEIM Battery Operated Auto Feeder is my chosen favorite.

 

Not only can it feed up to 8 times per day, far more than any other product on our list, but it’s well ventilated, splash-proof and incredibly easy to use.

 

The EHEIM is a great all-rounder. It’s versatile and can be used in most aquariums, but your choice should depend upon your particular aquarium.

 

You may seek an option with a larger capacity, or a feeder that can accept your particular type of fish food.

 

Equally, you might have far simpler needs. You may only have one or two goldfish, making the EHEIM’s extensive features unnecessary for your tank.

 

Find a feeder that will work best for your fish. If you have specialist requirements, be sure to check that the EHEIM feeder can fulfil these.

 

That way, you’ll be sure to purchase a feeder perfect for your needs.

Sale
Top Pick Eheim Auto Fish Feeder
Featuring an LCD display, the Eheim's easy to use features makes it our top pick for both advanced and new hobbyists.

Christopher Adams

Hey there, my name is Christopher and I'm the creator and editor of this site. I've owned successful aquariums for the past 23 years. My mission is to educate, inform, and entertain on everything that's fish.

Last update on 2019-03-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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