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best automatic fish feeder

As a kid, the idea of an automatic fish feeder weirded me out.

We had a gravity-based one in place for my cat whenever we traveled – which encouraged the already chubby kitty to go hog wild over that kibble – and I never thought I’d like them for any other purpose.

But as an adult, I’ve grown to see the value in having a high-quality, well-made automatic fish feeder.

There are some days when I’m just too stinkin’ tired to get up and sprinkle in the food the betta and firefish need. There are weekends when I’m running around like an insane person trying to run all those errands I didn’t get to during the week.

And then there are travel weeks. I can’t ask my cat to feed the fish, so I use an automatic feeder.

When I first started out, though, I thought all feeders were pretty much the same. But since doing some research and looking into them for my own use, I realized why we need a deep dive into the products.

Some of them work great, some of them don’t work at all, and some of them work great for only specific things.

So, if you’re like I was before getting started in fish keeping, you’ll want to know a few things about these auto fish feeder reviews and how to interpret them.

Best Automatic Fish Feeder Quick-Find Table

Image Product

  • Great for everyday use and travel needs
  • Has an integrated fan and ventilation system to keep food dry
  • Almost never jams or fails
  • Great for everyday use and travel needs
  • Has an integrated fan and ventilation system to keep food dry
  • Almost never jams or fails

  • Versatile and adaptable
  • Incredibly easy to set up
  • Two installation methods for convenience
  • Versatile and adaptable
  • Incredibly easy to set up
  • Two installation methods for convenience

  • Serves up to 14 individual meals
  • Works for all food types
  • Battery condition indicator
  • Serves up to 14 individual meals
  • Works for all food types
  • Battery condition indicator

  • Super simple, basic model
  • Very budget-friendly
  • Extremely quiet
  • Super simple, basic model
  • Very budget-friendly
  • Extremely quiet

  • Super large capacity
  • Clear, easy-to-read digital monitoring screen
  • Variable feed sizes
  • Super large capacity
  • Clear, easy-to-read digital monitoring screen
  • Variable feed sizes

Do You Need an Automatic Fish Feeder? If So, When?


If you’re new to taking various types of fish or simply looking into upgrades for your fish tank, you’ve probably seen lots of comments on aquarium fish feeders and auto feeders for fish.

If you don’t travel a whole lot, you might not think twice about these handy devices.

But I do have a few arguments I’d like to present for why you might need one and when you might employ it.

Everyday Fish Feeding is So Much Easier with an automatic fish feeder

If you’re on a work-from-home schedule like more of us are nowadays, it’s easy to think you’ve got all the time in the world to get everything done.

However, if you’re like me, you’ve realized that working from home tends to mean working 24/7.

If you’re not sitting at the desk, you’re dreaming about the work you need to get done the next week.

One of the things I’ve done to help myself find more time in my daily life for the necessities of life – let alone the pleasurable things like, oh, eating pizza with the spouse – is by simplifying with simple tools that ease up my schedule.

It might seem like a small thing, but an auto fish feeder for everyday feedings frees up stress and time.

I wouldn’t use one every day for every feeding.

After all, some of the fun in keeping fish is watching those little boogers dart around chasing the flakes and pellets – but an auto feeder frees up my hands and mind for moments when I just don’t need to have one more thing on my checklist.

The Right automatic fish feeder Can Help Your Kids Keep Their Pets Alive

Another thing I love about a high-quality, easy-to-use automatic fish food dispenser is that kids can keep their fish alive longer using them.

I mean, maybe your kids are nothing like I was, but when I was little, my fish usually died within a week because I’d forget to sprinkle in those flakes regularly. And my little heart was crushed every time.

If the auto feeder you get is easy to use, has a good battery life and easy to understand LCD display, your kids can learn to better care for their fish with a little help from a Fishmate F14 or IDS Home Automatic Aquarium Feeder.

Travel Times and Late Nights are Worry-Free with an automatic fish feeder

If you do work from an office, like to travel, or sometimes have a social life, you could also potentially benefit from an automatic feeder.

With a dispenser dropping food at 11 pm for you when you’re out at a Christmas party or Fourth of July bash, you can stop worrying about that Angelfish and Tang making it through the evening without you.

And if you get the right feeder, you can set it up for fish feeding times throughout the day for a single day, a long weekend, or in some cases, a full week while you’re out of town.

I’d still ask the neighbors to take a peek if you’re gone that long, but at least you’ll be worrying less about the fish getting enough to eat while you’re gone.

No More Issues with Overfeeding with an automatic fish feeder

Another benefit of automatic feeders for fish tanks is that they give out proper portion sizes every time.

They measure, so you don’t have to. Just program the device – or use the sliding feature – to designate the right amount and you’re all set.

Disadvantages to automatic fish feeder usage

Of course, with all technology, even simple mechanical pieces like auto fish feeders, there are some disadvantages and glitches.

Sometimes automatic fish feeders Fail

While the highest-quality feeders that are well-maintained rarely do so, fish feeders can fail.

The wrong food, too much moisture, the wrong setting, or a piece of food that gets misplaced can all cause aquarium auto feeders to fail from time to time.

That means your fish could go without food or could have too much food dumped into the environment – which usually means overfeeding.

Ammonia spikes can happen, algae breakouts are at risk, and fish getting ill can all happen from food build-up in a fish tank.

So when you are home, check the functionality of your auto feeder fairly regularly, and if you’re away, ask a neighbor or friend to check on the feeder to make sure it’s working properly.

And, more importantly, make sure you’re getting a highly rated option that users report few jams happening with. (Hint hint: All the ones we recommend below pass this test.)

Frozen Fish Food May Cause Issues with Your automatic fish feeder

If you’ve got an aquarium dwelling critter who loves the frozen food route, you may find that some feeders won’t help him out too much.

Be sure to look carefully through the reviews and make sure your frozen food options will work with them, otherwise, despite quality manufacture, you may have a malfunctioning feeder on your hands.

Automatic Feeders May Decrease Your Aquarium’s Aesthetics


Some people don’t mind the look of the best auto fish feeders, but some folks just don’t like them.

If you’re super picky about the way things look, be sure to find a feeder that can be placed discreetly or won’t be objectionable to your set up.

How to Choose the Best Automatic Fish Feeder for Aquariums

Since there are about a thousand options out there in nearly every category of fish keeping accessory, it’s important to make solid notes on what you do and do not need in a new device.

If you’re new to auto feeders for fish, you’ll particularly want to pay close attention so you know what to look for as you dive into this deep end.

Think through your needs first, and then compare and contrast the various features, functions, options, and who’s going to be using the feeder to take care of your fish from day to day or while you’re away.

How Much the Hopper Holds

The very first thing on our list can sometimes be a little tricky to determine. As I’ve done research and tried out feeders myself, I’ve still found I just don’t know on some of them.

But if you can find out how much the hopper holds, you’ll have a pretty solid idea of how much food you can dispense over a given period of time.

Be mindful of the fact that the number of fish you have will probably change a few times over the next six months to a year.

After all, who doesn’t want more fish? – and that you may need a few different fish food dispensers or feeders capable of feeding different type of fish you have.

And if you travel a lot, have late nights, or otherwise just expect to use the auto-feeder all the time without tons of maintenance, keep in mind how much time you need to have your feedings covered for you in a given week.

Top Tip: Be sure to check the capacity – and the reviews noted from the real-life users on how accurate that capacity is.

Battery Life of the Feeder

Not all of the models tell you how long they last. As I did my own reviews, I mentioned the times whenever I could calculate them, but the easiest way to estimate battery life is by seeing how many batteries and what types they use.

Top Tip: A good quality AA battery lasts for 4.2-watt hours typically, which means two will generally run your feeder for about 2.5 months or more, if it feeds your fish two to three times per day.

To help improve your chances of never running out of power – a problem which can lead to illness for your fish from not being fed properly – it’s a good idea to look for a device with a clear battery indicator.

Is There a Ventilation System or Fan?

Most of the models I’ve come across in my search do not offer specs on the ventilation of the devices.

However, there are a few models that state that they include a “fan and ventilation system,” while others say things like, “moisture-resistant hopper.”

Both of these mean your fish food will last longer without going bad or clogging up the dispenser’s works.

Ease of Use

ZOO Wroclaw Africarium

An obvious point in this question is also how easy is the feeder to use.

All of the ones I’ve recommended below are easy to set up, mount, clean, and maintain, but that is not true of all fish feeders out there.

Be sure to check the reviews on all of these issues before purchasing. Nobody wants a feeder that’s more of a headache to use than feed the fish without.

What Type of Food Does the Feeder Hold?

When it comes to fish feeders, they’re definitely not all created equally.

Not just quality of manufacture changes from feeder to feeder, but the types of food they can put out for your fish changes from model to model.

Many automatic fish feeders hold flakes, powders, or pellets, but some are more limited.

If you have a particular type of food you’re offering to your fish while you’re gone, be sure that the automatic fish feeder you choose holds that kind of food.

Author Note: Most automatic feeders don’t do great with fish flakes. They’ll stick together in the feeder and clog it up.

Your Purpose for the Automatic Fish Feeder?

Additionally, it’s important to know what your purpose is before you buy an automatic fish feeder.

Are you planning on using them for a weekend? A week? Every day so you don’t have as much daily maintenance.

Top Tip: Different feeders meet different needs. Be sure that the feeder you’re purchasing has reviews that mention your specific needs.

What Kind of Programmability Does the Feeder Offer?

Programmability is one of the best features of an automatic fish feeder. However, some of them are exceptionally complicated.

If you’re tech savvy and have the desire, go for it!

If you’re looking for something simple, though, be sure to look for an automatic fish feeder that doesn’t have a lot of frills.

How Frequently the Feeder Will Dispense Food

The final thing to look into before choosing fish feeders for tanks is how frequently you can set it to feed your fish.

Author Note: If you feed your fish twice a day, most models will work for you.

But if you have several species who eat at different times, that’s a big factor in which feeder(s) is right for your situation. Be sure to pay special attention to this feature.

Reviews of the Best Automatic Fish Feeders

Through research and my own use of automatic fish feeders, I’ve uncovered what I believe are the best options, listed below.

There are options for everyone, including people with small tanks, betta fish, fish who eat pellets, and more.


#1. Eheim


When you look up the best automatic fish feeder for pellets, you’re going to find this one on almost everybody’s list.

I was skeptical – always am of anything with that much across the board enthusiasm from reviewers – but as I dug in, I saw why the Eheim Battery Operated Auto Fish Feeder is so popular among reviewers and real-life users alike.

The Eheim Automatic feeding unit is a simple, easy to use automatic fish feeder unit that anyone can use.

It’s easy to program, has a “feed now” type override button for feeding outside of scheduled feeding times, and has a great LCD screen for easy programming and understanding of what’s going on.

What you need to know about this feeder:

  • Best for: Fish that eat often, everyday feedings, long travel plans
  • Type of food: Most types of food
  • Number of feedings per day: Maximum of 8 feedings per day
  • Quantity per feeding: 100 milliliters, or 3.3 fluid ounces
  • Plugin or battery-powered: 2 AA batteries
  • Max capacity: up to 6-weeks’ worth of feedings with certain foods
  • Fan included: Yes
  • Feed Now Button: Yes

If you read all the specs, you’ll see why this is such a popular unit among the 2,300+ real-life users who’ve reviewed it on Amazon, and why I use it when I need an auto fish food dispenser.

It’s easy to set up for use, easy to take apart for cleaning, holds a lot of food – flakes and fluids, specifically – and is incredibly easy to program for feedings up to 8 times per day over a 6-week period.

This is the perfect feeder for anyone who travels for long periods of time, travels often, or simply doesn’t have the capability of giving frequent feedings on a daily basis.

The fan and ventilation system included is designed specifically with this kind of low-maintenance lifestyle in mind, helping to keep the food dry and aerated to avoid rot.

The feeder features:

  • Easy to read LCD screen and programming
  • Easy start guide
  • Splash-proof buttons
  • Adjustable slider for easy portioning
  • Drum won’t stop with feed slot in the downward position

The Eheim automatic feeder comes with a 3-year warranty from the manufacturer.

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#2. Ycozy Automatic Fish Feeder Digital


For a straight up, easy to install, easy to use automatic fish feeder, the second most popular choice on the web, the Ycozy Automatic Fish Feeder Digital Automatic fish feeder not only allows you to feed your fish up to 4 times a day.

But it allows you program different rotations within those feeding times.

If you’re not sure which way to set up the feeder, you’ve got two choices. You can either use the built-in clamp – which is extremely adjustable – or grab some double-sided and apply the lightweight feeder to the outside of your aquarium.

The feeder allows you to use just about any feed type you need and requires standard AAA batteries that will keep the feeder going for up to 3-months straight without needing to be replaced.

What you need to know about this feeder:

  • Best for: Daily feedings, weekend travel, odd hours/late nights
  • Type of food: Flakes, pellets, powders, strips
  • Number of feedings per day: Up to 4 feedings per day, 1-2 rotations per feeding
  • Plugin or battery-powered: 2 AAA batteries
  • Max capacity: Unspecified
  • Fan included: No
  • Feed Now Button: Yes

Another nice thing about this feeder is that it works for fish, frogs, turtles, or any other aquatic animal because the feeder can handle almost any type of food.

Just follow the instructions carefully for set up to make sure the gears don’t get stuck.

Easily program the feeder to give out food up to four times per day by clicking through clock and program settings. Just set it to local time and let it go.

Then, to adjust the amount of food dispense, adjust the slider to increase or decrease the portion as necessary per rotation.

The Ycozy Automatic Fish Feeder digital automatic fish feeder comes with the 2 AAA batteries, an instruction manual, and a 12-month warranty with great customer service.

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#3. FishMate F14


If you’ve got a betta, a pocket of goldfish, or tend to just be gone for the weekend, the Fishmate F14 automatic feeder might be the ticket for you.

The feeder uses a timer to carefully portion out the food and release according to the settings you put for this flake-friendly feeder. (Though it works with all types of fish food.)

The Fishmate F14 timed automatic fish feeder is one of the easiest options on the market.

The feeder offers up to 14 individual feedings, based on how you set it up. And, thankfully, set up and programming is pretty darn easy.

What you need to know about this feeder:

  • Best for: Betta, goldfish, weekend, short holidays, late nights,
  • Type of food: All types of food, including flakes
  • Number of feedings per day: Up to 8 times per day
  • Plugin or battery-powered: 1 AA battery only
  • Max capacity: 14 individual meals
  • Fan included: No
  • Feed Now Button: No

You can mount this unique and versatile feeder on the aquarium hood or the edge of the glass with provided brackets.

Just fill the feeder – 14 meal slots in the feeder – and set the timer using the simple instructions provided. You can give your fish a varied diet easily with this one!

The feeder is compact and reliable. And you can attach an airline from a small aquarium pump to blow dry air through the feeder to keep it dry and fresh without clogging up the works.

The feeder is appropriate for aquariums up to 39 gallons for small to heavily stocked aquariums.

It should be noted that the portions per meal are fairly small, so this is not the solution for a week-long vacation, unless you only need a few meals per each.

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#4. IDS

IDS feeder

For the very basic, budget-friendly automatic fish feeder, the IDS Home Aquarium Feeder is a great option.

The little feeder puts out food once or twice a day, depending on your needs, and keeps ticking away until the next time.

The IDS Home Aquarium Feeder kind of looks like a clear pencil sharpener with it’s clear auto feeder drum that drops off food for your fish either every 12 or 24-hours, depending on the setting you choose.

Fill up the feeder and let it go for up to several days, depending on the number of fish you’ve got.

What you need to know about this feeder:

  • Best for: Everyday use, short trips away, kids’ fish keeping
  • Type of food: flakes and granules
  • Number of feedings per day: 1 or 2
  • Plugin or battery-powered: 2 AA batteries (not included)
  • Fan included: No
  • Feed Now Button: Yes

Personally, I like this one for everyday use and for kids’ aquariums more than anything else.

It’s easy to load up with enough food for several days for one or two fish or with food for one or two days for several fish.

The feeder allows use of granules or flakes, making it an easy to use feeder for kids and many of the most popular starter fish buddies.

Quickly give a manual feeding, too, with the quick “manual” button that releases a single serving into the water.

The feeder is really easy to clean, which is another reason this makes for a great first automatic feeder for kids to use.

They can watch the clear drum clear out a few times each week before cleaning it on their own, use the simple settings to re-establish the timings, and voila – done!

The feeder also uses a unique swirl control for smooth, silent operation that helps prevent clogging and jamming, whatever type of food is used.

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#5. P7000


If you’re looking for a high capacity feeder for your large aquarium or pond, the P7000 automatic fish food feeder is the way to go.

This sucker holds up to 30 cups of food (6.5 pounds) and allows for up to 3 timed releases of food throughout a single day.

This large, high-quality automatic feeder is a great option for those with large tanks, ponds, or for those who travel often and need lots of feedings timed out for them while they’re gone.

The P7000 allows up to 3 feedings per day, with variable feeding sizes to get in the right amount of your school.

Variable feed sizes

  • Best for: Ponds, large tanks, long trips
  • Type of food: Just about anything
  • Number of feedings per day: Up to 3 feedings per day
  • Plugin or battery-powered: 4 C batteries (not included)
  • Max capacity: 30 cups / 6.5 pounds
  • Fan included: No
  • Feed Now Button: Yes

The automatic feeder is a free-standing feeder or an be mounted on a base for whatever your situation is.

The free-standing option is best for outdoor settings where the green of the feeder blends in more naturally than other models might.

The feeder operates smoothly, quietly, and simply, with super easy installation and simple programming options.

Just be sure to read the manual for finding the quickest, easiest ways to set everything, especially before heading out on a long trip.

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Your Vacation and Late Nights Can Be Worry-Free

Automatic fish feeders can make life so much easier, and far less worrisome. You install the feeder, fill the hopper, set the timer, and let them run.

Just check them often, keep them clean, and be aware of how well your fish are taking the to automatic feeding schedule.

You’ll most likely discover happier, healthier fish swimming around.

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