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valmont007 05-27-2008 01:23 PM

Best fish feeder? Rena vs pentair or other? Please help.

I am going away for the summer and I am looking for an automatic fish feeder which can feed my fish for several months.

It seem like the two long term feeders are

1. Rena automatic aquarium fish feeder by aquarium pharm.

Which advertises to be able to hold about 3.5 OZ of fish flakes

2. Automatic fish feeder with hopper by Pentair aquatics

Which advertises being able to feed twice a day for 4 months.

I was wondering if anyone here own these feeders or any other fish feeder for long term trips and can tell me your thoughts on these.

The second one I mention said that it can feed for 4 months but does not say exactly how much food it holds, so I have a hard time comparing them to each other.

If anyone could let me know much many grams or oz of fish flakes the pantair aquatics can hold, that would really help out too.

Thanks again for all your help.

bhone20 05-27-2008 07:27 PM

What kinda fish will it be feeding?

iamntbatman 05-27-2008 07:44 PM

I don't own an automatic feeder so I can't help you choose one, but whichever one you get, I would suggest letting it run for maybe a week or so before you leave to make sure that it's working correctly.

valmont007 05-27-2008 10:13 PM


Originally Posted by bhone20
What kinda fish will it be feeding?

Just regular goldfish in a 10 gallon take.


okiemavis 05-28-2008 07:02 AM

Are you planning on having someone do water changes for the months you are gone? With goldfish in a 10 gallon, even small ones, they will produce an incredible amount of waste, and you'll want to be doing at a minimum weekly water changes. Unfortunately, there will be no point in feeding the fish if they are living in 8ppm of ammonia, as they will quickly die.

What is your current maintenance schedule? Water parameters? Do you have a tank upgrade plan in the future?

That being said, I'd say the Rena is your best bet, but you'll want to test it for at least a month before you leave. What you really need to test is if the food becomes too moist over time and clogs, which a 1 week test won't really show. Especially in the humidity of summer.

thespiff 05-28-2008 08:55 AM

You can't leave your tank unattended for months and have any hope of those fish surviving.

1) Goldfish produce too much waste for a well-maintained 10gal, let alone one that never gets water changes.

2) I'm not sure how quickly water will evaporate, it's affected by air temperature and surface area of the water, but I know my 30 gal tanks each lose around 1/4 to 1/2 of a gallon of water to evaporation per week. Your tank will dry up over the course of a few months, especially if you have warm summers. All the water level needs to do is drop too low for your filter to function, and it's lights out for your fish.

You should really try to give these to a friend or family member to care for, they might actually survive in that case.

If you do decide to be stubborn and kill your fish....
1) Ensure that they are in a room with a fairly consistent temperature. Summer temperature fluctuations can be significant when you realize that you won't be around to open windows and turn on fans or run the AC when appropriate.

2)Run the feeder and observe it for at least a week. The automatic feeders with the big hoppers of food make it hard to measure out the right serving size, and will take some tweaking to get it right. Err on the side of underfeeding since that will reduce the amount of waste in the tank.

iamntbatman 05-28-2008 12:51 PM

I didn't even think about the water changes and whatnot. I just assumed he was going with an auto-feeder to be sure his fish-sitters don't over or underfeed.

But I agree, if you're going to be gone for months, you should definitely have someone come and do other required tank maintenance.

okiemavis 05-28-2008 04:21 PM

If you're looking for a way to prevent overfeeding of your fish, I've got a tip that will be a lot cheaper than the auto feeder. I always measure out my fish's daily food into those once-a-day pill boxes so that all the feeder has to do is open one box and dump it into the tank.

valmont007 05-28-2008 04:37 PM

The Pentair aquatics lifeguard feeder does not have adjustable feeding. It has little cells that will put 1 cubic centimeter of food in the tank.

I am not sure how much that is.

Also, it does not have moisture control and I live in south Florida and its pretty humid. So this will lead to clogs, that is not good.

I guess the problem is the ones with moisture control do not have enough capacity to hold enough food for the fish.

You have given me some things to think about.


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