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Fish Mate F14 Aquarium Fish Feeder
|Price:||$22.16 & FREE Shipping on orders over $25. Details|
- Serves up to 14 individual meals
- Feeds all fish foods, including flake
- Easy to use timer provides from 1 to 4 meals per day
- Reliable and accurate quartz timer
- Battery condition indicator
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This versatile feeder may be mounted on the aquarium hood or on the glass edge of the aquarium with the brackets provided. The Fish Mate F14 is suitable for feeding most popular types of tropical and cold water fish foods. With fourteen individual meal portions, it is possible to offer your fish a varied diet while you are away. Compact and reliable, the Fish Mate F14 is the ideal solution for feeding your aquarium fish while you are at work or on holiday. Fish nutritionists recommend that you feed your fish several small meals a day rather than one large one and the F14 facilitates this. In humid conditions it is recommended that a granular or pelleted type food be used rather than flake. There is also the clever option to attach an airline from a small aquarium air pump (not included) if required, this will blow dry air through the feeder to prevent the food from going stale and clogging. Suitable for small to medium sized aquariums (up to 150 litres), for larger or heavily stocked tanks use more than one feeder. Not suitable for outdoor ponds.
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Top customer reviews
It seems most of the negative reviews revolve around condensation getting their food soggy and preventing the unit from rotating. You know what nearly all of those reviews have in common? They're not hooking an air pump up to the air line attachment (more on that later in the review)! When I first got my unit, I did not use it either and had an issue with moisture after a few days. So I hooked up an air pump and, voila, problem solved! It's there for a reason, use it.
Another thing worth mentioning, do NOT put anything on top of the feeder. It seems that any weight on the top cover has a very good chance of catching the rotating wheel and causing it to hang up.
This feeder is absolutely fantastic, it's head and shoulders above the "drum" style feeders. As you can see, it's fundamentally different. The feeder has a rotating wheel with 15 compartments in it. At the front of the feeder, there is a hole the size of one of the compartments so that when the food is rotated over it, the food falls into the tank.
The main benefit of this style of feeder is that you can put premeasured amounts of food in the unit, as well as different types of food. I need to feed 3 times of food to my community tank (flakes, algae wafers, shrimp pellets) and this feeder allows me to do this. That wouldn't be possible with the drum style feeders. And since each portion is premeasured, there's no worry of the feeder dumping too much or not enough food into the tank.
The middle is like an automatic timer for lights, it does one complete rotation in 24 hours. You put the little reg pegs at the time you wish to feed, and when the time arrives, the mechanism rotates the food wheel one space. Instead of dumping the food all at once, it is slowly dispersed over the course of an hour and a half (the wheel slowly rotates every 15 minutes or so for the feeding). I like this, it gives the fish a better opportunity to eat all the food imo.
You have the option of feeding anywhere from 1 to 4 times a day, meaning the feeder can feed your fish from anywhere from 3.5 days to 14 days depending on how many times a day you have it set to feed the fish. You only have slots for the red pegs every 3 hours, so your feeding times would could be midnight, 3am, 6am, 9am, noon, 3pm, 6pm, or 9pm. This isn't an issue to me, but something worth noting. If you really want a specific time, you could offset the time of day on the feeder to correspond with your desired feeding times.
There is also an air inlet on the bottom of the feeder you can hook an air pump up to. This is to help reduce moisture from entering the unit and getting your food soggy. The air flowing in the unit creates positive pressure and actually helps quite a bit. I use the air pump attachment and have had no issues with food getting wet. My feeder is just inches above the water line, and there is a decent amount of surface agitation from my air stone in the tank.
Overall, I'm very pleased with this unit. I've even ordered a second one to feed my shrimp tank. With my job, I'm often away from home a week at a time, so a reliable feeder is of utmost importance to me. I've been using the Fishmate F14 for nearly 4 months now and have not had any issues.
The unit is powered by one AA battery. The feeding compartments are small, and it can be difficult to get the food in the compartments when loading it. What I've found works best is to put your food on a piece of paper, and fold the paper once to create a type of "chute" so you can pinpoint where you want the food to go. Since doing that, I've had no issues getting the food exactly where I want it.
Wow, that's quite a sales pitch, isn't it! I just want to make sure others know about this feeder since it appears to be the only feeder of this style. There is a similar style feeder, the Grässlin Rondomatic 400, but I can't find any place in the US that carries it, and it's more then twice the price of the Fishmate.
So if you're looking for a feeder for your fish, look no further!
I full endorse this product for BETA fish with pellet food since it worked well with me.