5 Best Automatic Fish Feeders Tested & Reviewed 2022

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.

I bought and tested five different brands on my own tanks to find out which automatic fish feeder is the best.

Let’s start.

Review Overview: Best Automatic Fish Feeders

I tested five different automatic feeders by installing them on aquariums in my house and using them for several weeks.

I really like the Eheim Programmable Fish Feeder the best; it’s easy to use and reliable. But, this feeder doesn’t work well on rimmed tanks. It does great as a sit-on-top feeder or mounted on the side of a rimless tank, but the bracket doesn’t attach well to tank rims.

For rimmed tanks, I liked the Zacro Rechargeable Automatic Feeder. I was able to clamp this feeder on the plastic rim of my 55 gallon tank and have used it for several months now. It has done a great job of staying in place and dispensing food every day. But, this feeder is not a good choice if you need a sit-on-top feeder; its base is not heavy enough.

Sale
Top Pick For Rimless & Sit-On-Top Applications: Eheim Programmable Fish Feeder
Top Pick For Rimless & Sit-On-Top Applications: Eheim Programmable Fish Feeder

    Last update on 2022-12-09 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Sale
    Top Pick For Rimmed Tank: Zacro Rechargeable Automatic Feeder
    Top Pick For Rimmed Tank: Zacro Rechargeable Automatic Feeder

      Last update on 2022-12-09 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      Do You Need an Automatic Fish Feeder?

      Maybe? Maybe not?

      I highly recommend getting an automatic feeder set up if you plan on leaving your house for more than a few days and need to make sure your fish get fed.

      I have seen so many horror stories over the years on forums that were caused by someone having to leave an inexperienced person in charge of feeding their fish. 

      So often, people who don’t know much about aquariums drastically overfeed fish when left to their own devices. 

      I’ve seen countless stories about tanks that were turned into toxic soup. Friends and relatives mean well, but they get fooled by fish that constantly beg for food

      They end up dumping WAY too much food into the tank, the food rots and ammonia and nitrates skyrocket. 

      It’s bad news.

      It’s often better to get an automatic feeder set up so you can ensure an appropriate amount of food is being added to the tank and the correct number of meals are dispensed each day.

      However, I don’t generally recommend that you use an automatic fish feeder for prolonged daily use. It’s better to feed your fish by hand and ensure that all the food is being eaten. If uneaten food starts to accumulate in the tank, it can put off deadly ammonia and kill your fish.

      That’s why I always recommend that you watch your fish closely while they eat. Don’t just dump food in the tank and walk away. Really watch them. 

      Plus, getting to feed your fish and watch them get excited and dart around the tank for food is one of the best parts of having an aquarium, in my opinion.  

      There is a certain amount of trial and error with getting any automatic feeder set up. Make sure that you experiment with how much food is dispensed at meal times with the feeder off the tank. This prevents accidentally dumping too much food into your tank. Get the ration figured out and then install the feeder.

      How I Tested the Automatic Fish Feeders

      I wanted to get a genuine feel for what it’s like to use these feeders. 

      So, I installed each of them on some of my aquariums and investigated what it was like to use each one. On a daily basis for several weeks.

      In particular, I was looking at:

      • Installation 
        • How difficult is it to install the feeder on different kinds of tanks? 
        • How stable is the clamp that holds the feeder on the side of the tank?
        • Can it be mounted on the side of the tank? Or will it only sit on top of the lid?
      • Programming – how difficult is it to get scheduled feeding times programmed into the feeder?
      • Power Source – does the feeder run on batteries or does it need to be plugged into power? Does it use disposable batteries or rechargeable ones?
      • Reliability – does the feeder reliably maintain its scheduled times? Or can things like power outages potentially interfere with operation?

      Best Automatic Fish Feeders Reviewed

      best automatic fish feeders boxed

      1. Eheim Programmable Fish Feeder

      • Installation – works on rimless or as a sit-on-top but does not work on rimmed tanks
      • Programming – very simple to program, up to 4 feedings a day
      • Power Source – AA batteries
      • Reliability – extremely reliable and has a fan that keeps the food dry
      Eheim automatic feeder unboxed

      This is my top choice of all the feeders I tested.

      Eheim has made a simple to use, super reliable little workhorse with this feeder.

      It only takes a few button presses to program in up to 4 feedings per day. You can program the drum to turn one or two times for each feeding.

      The only real problem I had with this feeder was trying to get it installed on my rimmed tanks. The clamp that it comes with works well on a rimless tank, but it was not able to get a stable grip on any of the tank rims.

      Eheim auto feeder mounted

      I ended up preferring to use this as a sit-on-top feeder rather than using the mounting bracket. The base of the feeder is heavily weighted, making it very stable, even when the drum is completely filled with heavy food, like pellets.

      It runs on two AA batteries. I was able to run it for over 5 months on the same batteries. 

      This Eheim feeder is straightforward and simple. It gets the job done with very little fuss. I highly recommend it.

      Pros: 

      • Simple operation 
      • Extremely reliable
      • Long time between battery changes
      • Stable base for sit-on-top operation
      • Fan keeps food dry

      Cons: 

      • Mounting bracket does not work well on rimmed tanks

      Sale
      Top Pick For Rimless Tanks: Eheim Programmable Fish Feeder
      Top Pick For Rimless Tanks: Eheim Programmable Fish Feeder

        Last update on 2022-12-09 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        2. Zacro Rechargeable Automatic Fish Feeder

        • Installation – works on rimless and rimmed tanks but is not weighted enough for sit-on-top operation
        • Programming – very simple to program, 4 different feeding times
        • Power Source – rechargeable battery
        • Reliability – very reliable, keeps food dry and holds onto programming as long as battery is charged
        Zacro rechargeable automatic feeder unboxed

        I’ve really been impressed with this feeder. It has reliably fed my fish every day for several months. It dispenses a consistent amount of food for each meal.

        You can mount this feeder on a rimless tank, but it is not weighted enough to be used as a sit-on-top feeder. 

        You can also mount this Zacro feeder on a rimmed tank, but you may only be able to get it to bite down on a small portion of the tank rim. I thought this might make the feeder really precarious, but it’s held on for months with no problem.

        Zacro auto feeder mounted on fish tank

        Well, I did manage to knock it off one time, but I accidentally hit it really hard with a bucket, so I can’t really blame the feeder.

        It has always kept the food dry, and it has a great battery life, going over 6 months on a single charge.

        This feeder would be my number one choice for a rimmed tank.

        Pros: 

        • Long battery life
        • Rechargeable battery
        • Simple programming
        • Great grip on the side of tank

        Cons: 

        • Only clamps to the thin part of a rimmed tank
        • Can’t be used as sit-on-top feeder

        Sale
        Top Pick For Rimless Tanks: Eheim Programmable Fish Feeder
        Top Pick For Rimless Tanks: Eheim Programmable Fish Feeder

          Last update on 2022-12-09 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

          3. Noodoky Rechargeable Automatic Fish Feeder

          • Installation – works on rimless and rimmed but is not weighted enough for sit-on-top. This has the best clamp out of all the feeders tested. 
          • Programming – easy to program up to 4 feedings a day
          • Power Source – rechargeable battery
          • Reliability – mostly reliable but charge doesn’t last as long as the Zacro
          Noodoky automatic feeder unboxed

          This feeder is kind of middle of the road as far as I’m concerned. It wasn’t at all bad, in fact, I like the mounting clamp on this feeder better than all the others.

          But, its base is not weighted enough for it to be used as a sit-on-top feeder.

          Noodoky automatic feeder mounted on fish tank

          The programming and rechargeable battery are very similar to what you get from the Zacro feeder. However, the battery charge on the Noodoky does not last as long as the Zacro. 

          I got 6 months from one charge on the Zacro, but only 4 months on the Noodoky. For this reason, I took a point off for reliability for the Noodoky.

          But, I do have to say, that if you’ve had a hard time getting other feeders to clamp onto the side of your tank, you might want to try this one since the clamp opens so wide.

          Pros: 

          • Best clamp among feeders tested
          • Rechargeable battery
          • Around 4 months of battery life

          Cons: 

          • Can’t be used as a sit-on-top feeder
          • Battery life isn’t as long as the Zacro
          Noodoky Automatic Fish Feeder
          Noodoky Automatic Fish Feeder

            Last update on 2022-12-09 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

            4. Fish Mate F14 Aquarium Fish Feeder

            • Installation – works as a sit-on-top feeder, but cannot be installed on the side of the aquarium
            • Programming – you can “program” up to 4 feedings a day with this feeder
            • Power Source – single AA battery
            • Reliability – can be somewhat unreliable. You have to make sure to check on it because there is no indicator to tell you it has power.
            fish mate f14 auto feeder unboxed

            To be honest, I do not like this feeder AT ALL. 

            First off, it’s a HUGE pain to load food into this thing. The food goes into little individual compartments of a wheel inside a feeder. The wheel isn’t actually attached to anything, it just rests there so it can easily turn.

            So, if you give the feeder the slightest bump, the wheel moves and dumps food everywhere. I cussed a blue streak more than once while testing this feeder.

            fish mate f14 feeder mounted

            You “program” this by putting little red pegs into holes at intervals around a large central dial. The mechanism works like old school clockwork, the big dial slowly turns like the hour hand on a clockface. 

            When the dial hits a peg, it pushes the wheel that you put food into along and dumps the food from one of the compartments out of the bottom of the feeder. 

            This part works fairly well, but there is no indicator to let you know the feeder has power or is working. So you have to set it up and then keep checking back on it to make sure that the wheel is turning and dispensing food.

            Several times during testing I set it up but the wheel didn’t turn. I kept having to mess with it to get it to work.

            What’s the point of an automatic feeder if I have to check up on it a bunch?

            Also, at most, you can only set up 14 individual feedings with this device. All the others on the list have a turning drum that you can load with 5 times as much food. 

            This feeder is way more of a pain than it is worth. I really don’t recommend it.

            Pros: 

            • Can’t really think of any

            Cons: 

            • Pain in the butt to load with food
            • Can only be used as a sit-on-top feeder
            • Only holds 14 feedings
            • No power indicator
            Sale
            Fish Mate F14 Aquarium Fish Feeder
            Fish Mate F14 Aquarium Fish Feeder

              Last update on 2022-12-09 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

              5. iLondafish Wi-Fi Aquarium Feeder

              • Installation – I could not install this feeder on any of my tanks. The mounting bracket doesn’t cinch down tight enough for a rimless tank and won’t grip a rimmed tank solidly enough to be stable. The slightest touch and it falls into the tank water. Base isn’t heavy enough to be a sit-on-top feeder.
              • Programming – programming with the free smartphone app is great
              • Power Source – must be plugged into a USB
              • Reliability – any loss of power will dump all of the saved settings
              ilonda auto feeder unboxed

              As much as I hated the Fish Mate, this one is even worse. For the first time ever, I handed out scores of zero points. 

              Yep, it was THAT bad.

              This is definitely the most high tech of all the feeders that I tested. 

              You can easily program in scheduled feedings by downloading the free iLonda app and connecting the feeder to your phone or tablet over Wi-Fi. 

              Then you can quickly and easily program in multiple feeding times. 

              And all that is super cool, but the design of this feeder makes it basically useless. 

              I really, really wanted to like this feeder. The app makes programming it so easy, but it’s got some huge flaws.

              I don’t like that you have to keep this feeder plugged into power all the time. I understand that staying connected to Wi-Fi takes up a lot of power, but it’s much more convenient for feeders to run on batteries. 

              Then you don’t have to figure out how to make room for yet another cord around the back of the fish tank.

              There is another major downside to this automatic feeder: if it loses power, even for just a few seconds, it loses all of its programming. 

              All of your settings are still saved on the app, but you have to reconnect to the feeder on your phone and toggle the on/off slider for each saved mealtime. If you don’t do this, the feeder just doesn’t dispense at all. 

              Even worse, there’s no visible indicator of this. The light on the top of the feeder just stays on like it always does. You can walk right past it and have no idea that it’s not functioning anymore.

              So, you’re always running the risk that any little power blip will disable your feeding schedule.

              Unfortunately, the power blips off at my place quite regularly. So, this pitfall is a major pain in the butt at my house.

              But worst of all, I could not get this feeder installed on any of my tanks, rimmed or rimless.

              I could not get this filter to attach properly to my 55 gallon or my 40 gallon long, both of which have rims.

              The bracket would screw on, but the screws don’t grab on tightly enough. At the slightest touch, the feeder dumps itself into the tank water.

              And the bracket doesn’t tighten down enough to even pinch the glass on a rimless tank at all. There is a big gap between the screws and the side of the tank. 

              You can kinda get it to hang there, but it sits at a funny angle, is completely unstable and food can’t go out the door of the drum.

              So, I really like the app, but this is otherwise completely useless. 

              Pros: 

              • Super easy to program times with free app
              • Can repeat feedings on certain days of the week

              Cons: 

              • Could not install it on any of my tanks!
              • If the power goes out, it loses all programming
              • Can’t use if you don’t have Wi-Fi
              • Has to be plugged into the wall
              Aquarium Wi-Fi Fish Feeder Automatic Fish Feeders Auto Fish Food Timer Feeder for Fish Tank
              Aquarium Wi-Fi Fish Feeder Automatic Fish Feeders Auto Fish Food Timer Feeder for Fish Tank

                Last update on 2022-12-09 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                Which Automatic Fish Feeder is Best?

                The Eheim is the best automatic fish feeder for rimless and sit-on-top applications. And the Zacro for rimmed tanks.

                Definitely, my favorite of all of these has been the Eheim automatic feeder. It’s really simple to install and use.

                The only real problem I had with this feeder was trying to get it mounted on the side of my rimmed tanks. The bracket just really didn’t fit properly over the plastic rim on either my 55 or 40  gallon tanks. 

                I had no choice but to make it a sit-on-top feeder. 

                So, if you really have your heart set on mounting the feeder on the side of the tank, and your aquarium has a rim, the Zacro feeder might be a better choice for you. 

                I couldn’t get the bracket on the Zacro to grab the entire rim, only the thin part that sticks up, but this feeder has solidly stayed on the tank other than being hit with a bucket like a wrecking ball.

                The Zacro feeder has been really reliable and I’ve gotten months of use out of a single charge. It’s kind of amazing.

                I hope you find this article helpful.

                Sale
                Top Pick For Rimless & Sit-On-Top Applications: Eheim Programmable Fish Feeder
                Top Pick For Rimless & Sit-On-Top Applications: Eheim Programmable Fish Feeder

                  Last update on 2022-12-09 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                  Sale
                  Top Pick For Rimmed Tank: Zacro Rechargeable Automatic Feeder
                  Top Pick For Rimmed Tank: Zacro Rechargeable Automatic Feeder

                    Last update on 2022-12-09 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                    Katherine Morgan
                    Katherine Morgan

                    Hey, there! I'm Katherine from Northwest Florida. A nunchuck specialist, I've kept aquariums for over two decades, enjoy experimenting with low-tech planted setups and an avid South American cichlid enthusiast. If You'd like to see more of my tanks, check out my Instagram

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