You probably did not realize how many automatic fish feeders there were in this world until you started trying to find one to purchase. There are many automatic fish feeders out there, and they all have different strengths and weaknesses. An automatic fish feeder is an excellent tool for any fish owner. It needs to be reliable, affordable, and easy to setup. We put together some reviews of the top automatic fish feeders. Hopefully, our research will help make this buying process a bit easier for you.
At a Quick Glance (updated in 2024)
|Zoo Med BettaMatic
|Current USA AquaChef
|Penn-Plax Daily Double
The 10 Best Automatic Fish Feeders
1. Eheim Everyday Fish Feeder – Best Overall
We completely understand that with everything that goes on in a busy household, sometimes you can forget to feed the fish. This may seem like a simple mistake from time to time, but it’s not fair to your fish friends. With the Eheim Everyday Fish Feeder, you get a very reliable, easy-to-program, automatic fish feeder that will take at least one of your responsibilities off of your list.
With the Eheim, you can program when you want your fish food dispensed and also how much it should distribute. This is a small and compact unit that has splash-proof buttons, so you won’t have to replace it if the buttons get a little wet. The digital display helps to keep an even better eye on all things fish food-related.
The total capacity on the Eheim is 100ml of food. This is plenty of food should you have to leave your fish for a few days. The chamber where the fish food is kept is also aerated so that it stays fresh. If you want an easy to use, reasonably-priced automatic fish feeder, the Eheim leads the way.
2. Zoo Med BettaMatic Automatic Feeder – Best Value
If you liked the features of the Eheim, but you are looking for more of a value option, the Zoo Med BettaMatic Automatic Feeder could be a good choice. The Zoo Med BettaMatic Automatic Feeder is the best automatic fish feeder for the money. This unit will keep your fish fed even when you are not home.
You will not have the capability to program this unit to work whenever you would like it to; it will automatically feed every twelve hours. This is an excellent amount of time between feedings and works very well for betta fish. If you have a square tank, the Zoo Med will mount directly to the tank. If you have a round tank, you can use the included rail kit to get it to work.
The Zoo Med products work with one double-A battery, and it does not drain the battery very quickly. Overall, you get some great value here for the price.
3. Current USA AquaChef Aquarium Fish Feeder – Premium Choice
If pricing makes no difference to you, then the Current USA Aqua Chef Aquarium Fish Feeder is a great option to consider. This is a premium model, and its pricing is the only thing that kept it out of our top spot. With this feeder, you can program to feed your fish up to four times a day on any schedule you choose.
The food will stay fresh inside the moisture-resistant hopper. You can use flakes, pellets, or crumbles to keep your fish fed. Probably our favorite part of this model is that you can also adjust the amount of food fed. For people with smaller fish or just one or two fish, this is an important feature.
4. Fish Mate F14 Aquarium Fish Feeder
If you have ever set a timer to turn on your Christmas lights, you can easily work the Fish Mat F14 Aquarium Fish Feeder. This automatic fish feeder will allow you to store 14 meals, and you can program those meals to be dispersed anywhere from one to four times a day. You can mount the fish mate feeder on the hood or glass part of your tank, and the brackets needed are included with your purchase.
The F14 Aquarium is a compact and reliable solution if you cant be available for every meal to feed your fish. You can attach an airline to the F14 feeder to help keep the food a bit more fresh. If you have a large amount of fish or your fish are rather large, you may need to purchase a few of these feeders.
5. Penn-Plax Daily Double II Automatic Fish Feeder
The Penn-Plax Daily Double II Automatic Fish Feeder is a large drum feeder that can keep your fish fed for up to four weeks. This easy to use model attaches directly to the side of your tank and will feed your fish two times per day.
This is not a highly programmable model, but it still allows for the two feedings per day. You can use wither flake or pellet food with the Penn-Plax. The Penn-Plax runs on batteries and comes with the required clamp to attach it to the tank.
Our favorite part about the Penn-Plax is the size of the tank. Although it is not a great idea to leave your fish unattended for four weeks, it is helpful not to have to remember the daily feedings. The only real problem we had was that the flake food tended to get clumped up after about a week or so. If you are going on an extended trip, you may want to look into another model or switch to pellet food.
6. Hydor Automatic Fish Feeder
Next on our list is the Hydor Automatic Fish Feeder. Hydor is known for making very high-quality products, so naturally, this feeder is priced quite a bit higher than some of the other options we have reviewed. This is option is very easy to program and will feed your fish anywhere from one to three times per day. The downside to this feeder is that it will not allow you to choose the times; it does that for you.
You can use the Hydor with flake, pellet, and tablet food, and it has a system that helps to vibrate and move the food around, so it does not clump. You can also connect the aerator to this model if you so choose. The other downside to the Hydor is that when it dispenses the food to the fish, it is quite loud.
7. boxtech Fish Dispenser
The boxtech Fish Dispenser offers a unique option that none of our previous reviews do. With the boxtech you can feed your fish once or twice per day automatically, or you can feed it whenever you want manually. There is a switch that allows you to go between automatic and manual whenever you so choose.
The boxtech fish feeder works with most fish foods, including flakes, pellets, powders, and strips. You will not have any trouble programing this feeder, and it does a nice job of keeping the food dry and fresh. The only real downside we have to the boxtech feeder is that the quality is not very high. The unit does not seem to hold up long term, and it has been known to distribute inconsistent amounts of food. If you are home every day and available to watch what is going on with your feeder, that is fine, but it is not a model we would trust if you went away for several weeks.
8. API Automatic Fish Feeder
The API Automatic Fish Feeder is a bit of a different type of solution. This is essentially a pack of fish food that gets placed directly in the tank and will break apart slowly over a certain number of days. As it breaks apart, it feeds your fish. You can get the API in several different sizes if you are going away for a weekend, a week or even two weeks.
This is a straightforward solution, and it has natural ingredients that will meet the nutritional requirements of aquarium fish. The problem we have with this option is that it is not the regular diet for your fish. You should never put one of these in the tank and leave without first monitoring how your fish handle this method. You also need to make sure you pay very close attention to the number of fish in your tank and the number of API Automatic Fish Feeders that you add.
9. Petacc Automatic Fish Feeder
The Petacc Automatic Fish Feeder is a highly programmable feeder that lets you select the times of up to four feedings per day. You can set the feeder to go off whenever you desire. Adding food to your Petacc Fish Feeder is easy, and it does a great job of keeping the food moisture-free.
If you want to decrease the portion sizes that you are giving your fish, you can do so by turning the feeder upwards and allowing less to fall in the tank. We will caution you if you have a smaller tank, even the small amount of food on this device is a tremendous amount. This model is built and intended for much larger tanks with many fish inside. The capacity on the food storage is 200ml, which is the largest of any feeder that we have reviewed.
You can install this feeder to the tank using the attached sticker or a clamp provided. Either method is acceptable and relatively easy to manage. Overall this is not a terrible feeder, but we would not trust it unless you have a very large tank of fish. You do not want to come home from a day of work and find that your feeder has overfed your fish.
10. Fish Mate P7000 Pond Fish Feeder
Last on our list is the Fish Mate P7000 Pond Fish Feeder. The Fish Mate is not last on our list because it is a terrible product; it is just not a fit for most homeowners. However, if you have a pond of fish that you need to keep feeding when you are out of town or busy tending to other projects, this Fish Mate could be a great choice.
The Fish Mate P7000 has a large 30-cup capacity and an easy-to-read digital display to help you program your fish’s feeding needs. You can add food sticks and pellets to the Fish Mate, and it will disperse them with ease.
The major problem with the Fish Mate P7000 is that it is unreliable. Sometimes it will work very well for a period of a few weeks and then all of a sudden it seems to dump an inconsistent amount of food. As a fish owner, you know how detrimental it can be to overfeed your fish. If you go with the Fish Mate P7000, we suggest keeping a close eye on its operation.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Automatic Fish Feeder
Now that you have a general idea of the automatic fish feeder options on the market, how will you choose the right one for you? We have broken down some key points that should help you decide which automatic fish feeder will work for you and your fish.
When choosing an automatic fish feeder, try and think about why you need one. Are you going away for a weekend, or do you want something that feeds your fish for you daily? You will need to consider programing and capacity requirements depending on the purpose and plan you have for your automatic fish feeder.
Do you want your fish feeder to hold enough food for a weekend or two weeks? Automatic fish feeders come in a wide range of capacities. If you have a massive tank with many fish, you may end up having to purchase a few feeders for your tank.
Type of Food
Most fish feeders will hold flakes, pellets, and powders; however, some will only hold a specific type of food. If you want a particular automatic feeder, but it requires your fish to switch food types, you should test how the fish do on that food before making the switch and purchasing your new feeder. Generally speaking, most automatic fish feeders struggle to keep flakes from sticking together. If your fish is accustomed to being fed flakes, make sure you connect them to an aerator so that they don’t clump.
The ability to feed your fish when you want and how much you want is a huge factor when choosing an automatic fish feeder. Some feeders will allow you to time to the exact minute you feed your fish, others will only allow one or two feedings per day, and you don’t even get to choose the time that this occurs. You have to find a balance between your budget and the programmability that you are looking for.
One of the most important factors to consider is if you can program how much food is dispersed. For people with larger tanks that house many fish, this is not as much of a concern. However, if you have one or two fish in a small tank, many of these feeders will disperse way too much food to keep your fish healthy.
Most automatic fish feeders for residential use will range from $15 to $40. With how expensive fish and fish tanks can get, this is not a bad price. You also have to consider what it may cost to have someone come to your house and feed your fish while you are out of town for a weekend. The automatic fish feeder will likely pay for itself in one weekend.
This is more for after you choose your fish feeder, but it is worth mentioning. Do not install an automatic fish feeder the day before your international vacation. You must test and re-test the fish feeder and monitor its effectiveness for at least a few days before you leave your fish unattended. This is your responsibility as a dedicated fish owner to make sure that the food source is reliable and safe.
An automatic fish feeder is intended to make your life easier. Unfortunately, shopping for one can make your life much harder! Hopefully, our reviews and guide helped lead you to the perfect fish feeding solution.
We are pleased with the Eheim Everday Fish Feeder. Eheim is an excellent mix of value, programmability, and reliability. We would trust this model when leaving our fish for a few days.
If the Eheim is a bit more money than you wanted to spend, the Zoo Med provides a low price and a simple solution. The Zoo Med option is perfect for those people that don’t want to spend hours programming an automatic fish feeder.
Whichever option you ultimately decide on, make sure to monitor its effectiveness so that your fish stay healthy and fed.
Featured Image Credit: M-Production, Shutterstock