I see. I guess that I'm feeding 500 gallon tanks with 200 pounds of fish in each one- so the timing cycles aren't too much for me. I see the problem with using them on smaller systems. I do use the ones with 6 feeding cycles throughout the day/night (even though I only do 3 or 4 feedings/day).
Sometimes I don't feed my fish for long periods of time, it doesn't hurt them- they're pretty fat anyway, and could stand to lose some weight. Plus, it makes them love me more! :)
Yea, even though when I was first testing feeders I was dealing with 500-600 gallons, it was still on a backyard scale system and I needed the smaller feeding increment to be closer to a single small hand full (like a table spoon) rather than on the order starting with a cup full. Which I think is a common problem for people trying to find a fish feeder for a backyard scale system. Most of the feeders are either like an aquarium feeder to feed a pinch of flake food or like a pet feeder that start at around 1/4-1/2 cup and the normal starting aquaponics system needs to feed something in between those two or skip feeding when on holiday (though tilapia fry will simply eat each other if you do that.)
I think I would have a hard time trusting any feeder to go a week without being checked on. My system runs pretty well but I always get someone to check on things when I'm away for even 2 days. We left for a week once and ended up paying someone to stay at the house. Too many things that could go wrong, and chickens and dog need attention as well.
Hence the belt feeder works fine for me.
My experience with the "leave it for more than a day" types of feeders is moisture seems to frequently gum up the works making them unreliable.
Ron where did you find the corn auger? I have been playing with a feeder design but haven't found the auger I am looking for. Thoguth of building my own but if I can buy a ready made one it would save a little time.
Ron Thompson said:
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.