well im leaving for ireland in 2 weeks and just found out all of my roommates are moving out while i am gone so i will need an automatic feeder. i need something relatively inexpensive since i am a college student on a paper thin budget.
how long you away for?
You can get faily cheap automatic feeders (about $10-15) that will work ok for you. What kind of fish do you have in the tank? My main suggestion is that you should go buy an automatic feeder as soon as possible. Set it up on your tank and use it for a few days. This will give you time to make needed adjustments to it and allow you to monitor if it is working properly. It also gives you time to decide if you want to return it and try a different one if you don't like it. The do sell 14-day vacation feeders that disolve slowly in the water and releases food as it dissolves. Usually one feeder will feed 15 fish for 2 weeks. This is the cheaper option but if you decide to go this route, I would still go get one now and test it to make sure the fish will eat the food and that it doesnt foul your tank in a fast ammount of time. The key element is test out whatever you decide to get. Any of those products can work very well but some people have had negative experiences and some positive. You dont want to put something brand new on there and hope it works while you are gone.
Let me tell you something about automatic feeders.
You get what you pay for, in most cases. I once bought a crappy one from Wal-mart for $20.00, and couldn't even figure out its dispensing schedule. No indicators, no settings, nothing. It just seemed to spin whenever it wanted to. :/
I returned it, picked up a different one they had for 30 bucks. That one also didn't have any settings but the instructions that came with it were slightly more thorough when it came to explaining how it worked. I had it running for two days, then it BROKE (obviously this would be a disaster when no one is there for 2 weeks). I returned it, furious, then I just went to my lfs, and paid $60.00 for a Nutrafin automatic feeder with time settings, LED lights, manual feeding options and several different quantity settings. The drum to hold the food was much larger and the slot which food dispensed out of was shaped to allow sticks to fall through as well (in this case, I added blood worms to my drum alongside flake foods and some crumbles).
Haven't looked back once. Also, the battery life lasts 1 whole year. Which is pretty good since this is pretty much a fire and forget device. Currently it is not in use because I am home, but if and when I go away for vacation, which is coming up soon, I have a trusty reliable feeder that I can depend on and know how to use. and listen to Mike H, try to get one a week or two in advance, so you can familiarize yourself with it, and decide whether or not it is adequate for you.
Good luck, hope it works out for you man.
great advice MattD. I work at a fish store and have never used an automatic myself and I havn't heard much feedback from customers. Thats helpful information:-)
That was great advice! Like most people we are also getting ready for summer, and will be gone a bit here and a bit there. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to handle it, but now I do! Thanks.
thanks for the advice and insight.
So have you made a decision?
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