Quick update on my DIY Feeder -- I have it up and running. I will be building a second unit in the next few weeks for Michael and will thoroughly document the process with directions and photos and a parts list.
I will be building a second unit in the next few weeks for Michael and will then retire from manufacturing. However I thoroughly document the process with directions and photos and a parts list to post to the list.
The unit I have will hold around 10-lbs of dry pellets but can easily be made larger or smaller depending on your need. It isn't really any cheaper than the commercial units but is far sturdier (especially over the Koi Chef feeder, pure garbage) and can feed anywhere from 2 ounces to 10-lbs at a time. Except for the gearmotor and auger, everything needed can be bought at a Lowes (or Home Depot, etc). It isn't difficult to make and the heaviest piece of equipment needed is a hacksaw.
For those planning to participate in the Central Florida Aquaponics Tour later this month, I'll have it with me at Michaels place.
The rest of you stay tuned for the plans.
I'll be posting a full price list, photos and directions in a few weeks as I get the second one built. It is not difficult to put together and primarily uses PVC fitted (not glued) together. Costs for the parts are in the $60-$70 range plus a timer (~$25), so you are not saving a great deal. For me to build them and make anything for my time would run the price over the $100 point. I felt that was too costly for most.
It seems to be a good unit though. What you gain is durability and a way to feed small amounts (my fish currently only need 2-3 oz, 2x a day) yet you can easily increase the amount by increasing the feeding time.
I'm relying on mine working now as I'm away from home for a week or so. This is my full test run and if all go wells I'll get the second on ready.
okay, I have to build Michael's first and will base the final cost quote on his. I'll have to do this around other responsibilities, but will get it done as quickly as I can.
These units are rather bulky because of the food hopper. Mine is nearly four feet tall (x 6 inches wide).
Do me a favor and measure how much food you are giving at each feeding and how often you feed per-day. This will let me select the best gearmotor for your needs. The feeder works best with pellet food.
If Ron is happy to build and sell feeders, I'm supportive of the idea. Especially if they are weather ad rodent resistant as they are.
However, I can sell the feeders I have been using to anyone who needs one quick.
I've been using the regular automatic feeders and just protecting them from weather. The "koi feeders" cost more but come with a cover and I think they use a low voltage motor.
Here are some pics of my installation.