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I came across a Blog which had a DIY fish feeder. I have for some time been looking for a simple idea to copy/modify for my own use.  This seems so clever and simple. Not mine to advertize or push onto people but I thought worth sharing.  If you have other ideas for automated fish feeders please share with us. To http://web4deb.blogspot.com   Thanks, Alan

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Cool design. But, since I'm lazy I bought one of these to feed our pond fish, It works pretty good.

Auto Feeder

 

 

Alan, I have good news for you.  The guy who wrote this is a member of this community named Rob Torcellini.  He runs the Greenhouse gardening group, so you can find him there or just by searching Members.  He is a great guy and happy to help folks out.  You might want to get in touch with him...
Sylvia,  Thanks will do. Alan

Sylvia Bernstein said:
Alan, I have good news for you.  The guy who wrote this is a member of this community named Rob Torcellini.  He runs the Greenhouse gardening group, so you can find him there or just by searching Members.  He is a great guy and happy to help folks out.  You might want to get in touch with him...

Yes Rob has shared the design for that,

and we have another member that has tried to make a fish activated version.

http://120thingsin20years.blogspot.com/2010/11/aquaponics-on-demand...

 

And of course for those who are not electromechanically inclined, here is the fish feeder I've been using successfully for the past couple years (I've tried many fish feeders and struggled with issues like, feeds for too long or drops too much feed for my number of fish or the raccoons jiggle it till all the feed falls out or it whips the feed 60 feet since it's meant to feed ponds over an acre!)  Anyway, here is what I'm using as a fish feeder.

http://www.aquaponiclynx.com/products/feeders

 

So there are plenty of options for the DIY and there are options for others as well.

wow! I'm really interested in it, fish feeder. Could you show me your feeder? i'm really curious about how to produce it.

Which one of us are you talking to Chandara?  There are links to see each of the feeders we mentioned.  web4deb's blog has info about building his or if you need more info on it you might get his attention quicker by asking on his blog.

And the other blog I posted a link to, he would probably be able to direct you to more info on his construction.

 

The fish feeders Chi and I mention are commercially available and for me to show the inner workings of mine would require me to dump out feed and take apart one of my working feeders and that wouldn't tell you where to get the parts or how to build it.


Chandara Khan said:

wow! I'm really interested in it, fish feeder. Could you show me your feeder? i'm really curious about how to produce it.

Chandara Khan, mine was the one mentioned at ...

http://120thingsin20years.blogspot.com/2010/11/aquaponics-on-demand...

 

It worked well, but I really missed feeding my fish so I stopped using it :) 

The fish got the hang of it within a few days and started pressing the button by themselves...

http://120thingsin20years.blogspot.com/2010/11/aquaponics-demand-fi...

If you make one you probably need to regulate the maximum feed they can get in a day. I did this by only loading it with a day or 2 worth of feed, but it was never really a solution for a set and forget long turm thing because I never mounted a hopper on it.

 

I've come to the conclusion that I'm better off feeding my fish (silver perch) duckweed with this when I go on holidays...

http://120thingsin20years.blogspot.com/2010/12/aquaponics-duckweed-...

If your variety of fish eat it, I think duckweed is safer because it wont foul your water if for some reason too much is added. I haven't built it yet but my experiments suggest it will work, but then they always do :)

 

I'm all about the tinkering, and inventing, but I'd just buy one of TCLynx's for the sake of reliability if I really wanted to leave my system for any length of time.


Chandara Khan said:
wow! I'm really interested in it, fish feeder. Could you show me your feeder? i'm really curious about how to produce it.

A warning about automatic feeders.  If for some reason your tinker with the timer, it can be easy to mess up the setting (like accidentally setting AM instead of PM to shut it off so instead of turning off a minute later, it turns off 12 hours and a minute later dumping the entire feed load into the fish tank.  I've done this before.  so if you do an automatic feeder, be sure you adjust the times on it and set it up several days before you leave town because messing up and not being there to catch the mistake and remove all the uneaten feed would be a bad thing.

 

I would only use my type of feeder with floating feed as it makes it much easier to come out 15 minutes after the scheduled feed time and make sure there is no feed left floating.  If there is feed left floating I know I need to reduce the feed time.  I also need to regularly go out at feed time and see if I'm feeding enough, if the feed is all gone in 3 minutes, I know I probably need to add several more seconds to the feed time and watch again at the next feeding.

 

The only reason I don't hand feed is that my schedule is too crazy for me to make sure to feed at approx the same time each day which seems to be kinda important.  At least with my catfish, if you try to give them a treat at mid day, and they are not regularly being fed then, they don't get the idea to come up and eat it.  They are fairly well programed to eat near dusk since that is when I've been feeding them and when the bug zapper comes on.  When the weather is warm I often add the dawn feeding back into the schedule.

 

Anyway, automatic feeders can be a real challenge to get adjusted right.  Seems feeders appropriate for an aquarium can work as long as you keep them really dry but they are only able to feed small amounts of small or flake feed which really won't support a 300-1000 gallon aquaponics system fish tank.  Then there are big costly aquaculture feeders but most of those are meant for ponds measured in acres and may be difficult to hang over a small aquaponics system and might not feed small enough quantities per feed.  We also tried some game feeders, also didn't feed a small enough amount and if jiggled by a squirrel could dump all the feed way faster than intended.  The game feeders also tend to fling the feed out in a wide circle so a baffle of some sort is needing to knock the feed down into the tank.  We tried some farm pond type feeders but they whipped the feed out like bullets and again, the control of the amount of feed given was not precise enough and the hopper design meant a lot of food would go bad in the bucket and never get fed to the fish.

 

So then I broke down and paid the money to get the automatic pet feeders I'm using now (would have been cheaper to buy them in the first place but then I wouldn't have gotten all that experience with different feeders then would I.)  They are not perfect (They don't seal tight to keep humidity out and bugs can get in but as far as I can tell, that is the case with all automatic feeders.) They won't work with powder or flake feed through, I haven't tried it but pellets are definitely the go.  The really nice points about the feeders I use is the timer has control right down to the second (you could have it turn on for just one second if feeding very small fish) and it can feed up to 8 times a day.  They also have an agitator up in the hopper to keep the feed from getting stuck and the feed mechanism is by an auger.  These were designed for feeding cats and dogs but then the pond feeder version was designed.

 

For most people who can be expected to keep a steady enough schedule to feed the fish regularly most of the week, hand feeding is best so you can judge the right amount to feed and inspect the health and behavior of the fish.  And it can be fun and relaxing to sit and watch the fish as you feed them, unless it's trout, in which case it is more exciting.

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