The 10 Best Auto Fish Feeders

Updated April 13, 2018 by Quincy Miller

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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Can’t remember to feed the fish every day? Going on vacation? You’ve got three choices: ask one of your flaky neighbors to help; wait and hope for a robot butler to be invented; or get one of these nifty auto fish feeders. They can be programmed to accommodate different types of feeding schedules and portion sizes — but just be sure to test them for a few days before you leave for a week. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best auto fish feeder on Amazon.

10. IDS Home

It's not the most reliable option, but the IDS Home is still a better choice than relying on your unemployed brother. It's very basic, with only a drum and two settings, so you shouldn't be confused while using it. Just know that it's prone to letting moisture in, though.
  • accommodates larger foods well
  • not especially durable
  • times are inconsistent
Brand IDS Home
Model 5D2A
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. eBoTrade Direct

This model from eBoTrade Direct gives you the option to offer dry food up to four times a day, and you can adjust the slider to control the amount dispensed each time. It also conveniently displays the word “Lo” when you need to change the batteries, so no more forgetting.
  • attaches with clips or velcro
  • includes 2 aaa batteries
  • flakes can clump in dispenser
Brand eBoTrade Dirct
Model pending
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Eheim Twin

The Eheim Twin features two separate chambers for different kinds of food, and each can be programmed individually as needed. It can handle many types of fare, including sticks, and has aerated compartments to keep everything dry.
  • easy-to-read display
  • random-release function
  • tends to overfeed
Brand Eheim
Model 3582000
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

7. ADA Auto

The versatile ADA Auto can serve any pet that dines on dried or granular bait, so you can buy a couple and automate feeding your entire menagerie. It has two self-activating release modes, as well as a manual setting that lets you put out food at the press of a button.
  • 2 aaa batteries last a long time
  • compact footprint
  • must break up flakes first
Brand ADA
Model pending
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

6. Fish Mate F14

Analog enthusiasts will appreciate the Fish Mate F14, as it uses an old-school quartz timer to schedule snacks rather than a complicated digital display. It can hold up to 14 dinners, making it a good choice for those going away on brief vacations.
  • serves all food types
  • allows full control over meal size
  • not ideal for larger fish
Brand Fish Mate
Model 207
Weight 7.8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Heneng Large Capacity

As you'd expect, the Heneng Large Capacity holds quite a bit of chow, making it a smart investment for anyone who's away from their finned friends for long periods of time. There's a moisture filter as well, so food won't clump (and you won't come home to starved fish).
  • also has manual feed button
  • easy to mount on aquarium
  • works only on open-top tanks
Brand heneng
Model pending
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

4. Flexzion Automatic

Keep your resident pond dwellers happy with the Flexzion Automatic. It’s got a large-capacity food hopper, at 4.25 liters, and it can dish out even substantial pellets. Because it can be used freestanding or base-mounted, you’ll be able to put it nearly anywhere.
  • convenient lcd screen
  • programmable for up to 99 days
  • adjustable portion sizes
Brand Flexzion
Model PF-10a
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. Coodia Adjustable

The Coodia Adjustable is one of the most user-friendly models on the market. The included manual is extremely thorough and helpful, but you likely won't even need it, as the design and layout are all fairly self-explanatory, so you shouldn't have any issues during setup.
  • accommodates multiple food types
  • can be attached via velcro or clamp
  • batteries are easy to replace
Brand COODIA
Model pending
Weight 9.4 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Eheim Auto

The Eheim Auto is easy to program and extremely reliable, so you won't have to worry about your aquatic pals going without. You’ll be able to set up to eight feedings per day, allocate desired amounts, and use nearly any type of food, whether pellet or flake.
  • fan and ventilation system
  • good for everyday use
  • consistent portion sizes
Brand Eheim
Model 3581090
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Nicrew Dispenser

The Nicrew Dispenser strikes the delicate balance between user-friendly and flexible, as you can set it to feed up to five times per day, with multiple rotations per serving. Even better, you can program it in a few minutes, without needing an engineering degree to do so.
  • can pause at any time
  • excellent at keeping food dry
  • good for marine species
Brand NICREW
Model AF-013
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Fish Need Food, Too

They say that fish have short memories. More recent studies disprove that myth, but it's a good myth, so it persists. If it were true, and fish really had a memory of about 30 seconds, how would they ever remember to eat? One moment they'd realize they were hungry, and the next moment they'd forget. Then, they'd remember again and forget again. They'd probably starve.

It's a good thing, then, that they aren't in charge of their own food, at least not when they're in your pond or aquarium. They face another problem there, however, and this one is not a myth: People are forgetful.

I can recall the names of musicians in obscure indie bands from the 90s, I can remember the years most films came out, and I can usually remember to dress myself in the morning. The oil in my car? I never remember to change it. That rent check? It's coming late. I've got the money, I just apparently don't know how to read a calendar.

Until you're in the thick of it, you can't know what you can and cannot trust yourself to remember. That's why having a system that will automatically feed your fish is so crucial, especially to new tank owners or to folks who like to jet-set around the globe and can't be home to distribute the flakes.

These automatic feeders come in a variety of styles, but they all operate on the same basic principle. There's a timer in each that you program to release a predetermined amount of food at a given hour or hours in the day. The feeder itself attaches to your tank or lives at the lip of your pond for easy feeding.

At the strike of that hour, your feeder either releases food from a single-serving-sized chamber or it opens a release door just long enough for gravity to take a certain amount of flakes down to the water.

Finding Your Feeding Schedule

Knowing exactly why you need an automatic fish feeder will lead you quickly to a small number of options off our list, and the parameters of your tank or pond should get you even closer to a choice.

Personally, I work pretty long days. Sometimes I'm out of the house 16-18 hours. If I owned a dog, it would likely destroy the bulk of my apartment out of spite. If I owned a cat, it would get carried away by a coyote. So, I turn to fish, and an automatic feeder keeps me from having to buy new fishy friends every few weeks.

Technically, I don't need a fish feeder that can store more than a couple of day's worth of food, but I also don't want to refill the thing every night, so I reach for a model with a slightly larger hopper, that way I can go a long weekend without worrying that my fish have been roped into a hunger strike against their will.

There are some models on our list that let you go even longer between refills and that have adjustable quantity releases to suit your specific swimmers. If you're the type to take longer trips for business or pleasure, you want a feeder that's got a large hopper and a very controllable release schedule.

There are more enormous models to choose from, with hoppers measuring in pounds instead of ounces, and these are outfitted less for your aquarium and more for an outdoor pond (which I hope is a redundant term, and that you don't have a pond your living room).

A Fish Under Your Bed

We have the Romans to thank for bringing fish indoors. Leaders of that great empire kept sea barbels in marble tanks under their beds and the beds of their wealthy visitors. Why exactly they kept them under the bed is a bit of a mystery, but we'll assume it was as close as they could come to snuggling up to something warmer, fluffier, and air-breathing.

The Roman aristocrats had the first automatic fish feeders, as well: slaves! They couldn't be programmed as easily, and their upkeep was plenty more complicated, but they were also multi-taskers, so feeding Roman fish only accounted for a portion of their duties.

The first aquariums of note appeared in the early 19th century, when Jeanne Villepreux-Power created a sealed terrarium that eventually also held water and fish. By 1860, the Germans, British, and French all had large aquariums in their public zoos, housing both fresh and saltwater creatures.

One hundred years later, superior sealants of tar and silicone allowed consumers in the US their first opportunity to own saltwater fish at home without the fear of corrosion and the eventual collapse of the system.

One of the earliest patents for an automatic, electric fish feeder dates the device back to 1953, when Seymour Smolin proposed a fish feeder with timed cycles, a hopper for storage, and a device for attaching the feeder to the side of a home aquarium. Sounds pretty familiar, doesn't it?


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Last updated on April 13, 2018 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.


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