The tedious process of feeding the fish on schedule each day can be greatly reduced with the use of an automatic fish feeder. When you don’t have time in your hectic schedule to take care of the fish, that’s when it truly helps.
When you are away for a vacation or even for business, this is a fantastic way to keep the fish fed. Since it can be programmed to supply exactly the proper amount of food for the fish stock in your fish tank, it also helps to minimize overfeeding and fouling of the fish tank.
Since an automatic fish feeder is expandable and its settings can be changed to suit the food and fish in your fish tank, it can be used in both aquaponic and aquarium systems.
Making an automatic fish feeder using these inexpensive items is possible.
- To hold the meal, a large container
- For the support structure, use wood.
- Wire – For the food-feeding DIY screw
- PVC pipe is used to direct the food.
- 5 RPM motor: for screw turning
- To turn on the motor at a certain time, use a timer switch.
See our post on using the fish feeder we created to automate an aquaponic system.
Additionally, in order to be prepared for such situations, which can be disastrous to an aquaponic system, our article on safeguarding an aquaponic system from a power outage may be helpful.
Table of Contents
Making an Automatic Fish Feeder using Simple Materials
1. Large container –
For the automatic fish feeder, food is kept in a sizable container. I like to use a 5lb protein shake bottle because it’s big and can store a lot of food for my build.
Although the storage capacity may be good, you shouldn’t keep food in there for an extended period of time.
When left out for extended periods of time, fish food usually spoils. Therefore, routine examinations are advised in this situation, or a smaller container can be utilized to simply solve the issue.
- The fish feeder’s top is transformed from the food container’s bottom. This is done to direct the food downward into the screw and PVC guide aperture.
- You can cut the opening of another bottle and retrofit it to the top of the bottle to create a new port that can be used to replace the food when it runs out.
- The original bottle’s lid is left on, and a hole is cut in it that is large enough to accommodate the PVC guide.
2. Making the wooden Structure –
Simple tools can be used to connect and cut easily accessible wood. On the other side, metal can also be utilized to extend the structure’s lifespan if that is what you want.
This fish feeder is made out of two pieces of wood. Fish feeder stands on the bottom piece of wood, which is 90 degrees from the vertical piece, which serves as support.
Fish food can fall into the fish tank through two apertures that have been carved into the bottom of the screw.
The vertical portion has a hole cut out of it that is just the right size for the motor’s 5 RPM speed.
In this build, I utilized a piece of wood measuring 6 X 9 inches for the bottom and a piece measuring 3 X 16 inches for the vertical support.
Cutting the PVC pipe to guide the food –
The food should be transferred from the bottle via the screw into the fish tank using a 34 inch PVC pipe.
- Cut a piece of PVC that is 34 inches wide and the diameter of the food container.
- For this, a PVC cutter can be used.
- To allow food to fall into the PVC guide, a hole should be cut into it.
Here is the pipe cutter, see?
Making the Food screw –
The screw is created using hardwire. The screw’s diameter needs to be minimal enough to slide freely inside the PVC guide.
- Find and cut a 2 foot long length of hard wire.
- Put the wire into the screw after wrapping it around a sturdy pipe.
- Cut the wire off, then stretch it to the appropriate size.
- The wire is bent to fit into the hole on the motor with one end straightened so that it is parallel to the direction of the screw.
- The motor turns the screw as a result of this connection.
Selecting the Motor Driver –
For this build, a slow-spinning motor was utilized (5 RPM). I discovered it in an old oscillating fan and figured it would complement this fish feeder automatically.
The benefit of employing a motor like this is that the speed at which the screw rotates can be reduced without the use of additional gears or pulleys.
On Amazon, I discovered identical motors that are really affordable.To view them, click here.
The Timer Switch –
The motor will be turned for a predetermined amount of time using the timer switch. This makes it possible to regularly feed fish a certain amount of food.
I utilized a BN-LINK 7 Day Heavy Duty Digital Programmable Timer Switch, which has the following features:
To view the switch on Amazon, click here.
- Up to 8 on/off routines can be easily set up with this versatile, customizable product.
- has two outputs that are grounded and regulated concurrently.
- Shorter settings are possible, such one minute.
- There is no need for wifi with this switch.
You can feed the fish the necessary quantity of food in the one-minute setting.
If extra food is needed, the parameters could be adjusted such that the timer starts off running for a longer amount of time.
You can use a Sonoff wifi module, which you can get on Amazon, to get lower feeding times. Clicking here will take you there.
This switch includes –
- incredibly brief intervals, a few second
- managed by wifi
- You can set any number of timers.
- You may activate it from anyplace, which enables you to feed the fish from any location on Earth.
- Alexa has a control over it.
Supporting the Fish feeder –
The whole thing needs to be held up and allowed to dangle above the fish tank. The food should fall into the fish tank as a result of doing this.
If the feeders are outside in an aquaponics system, they should be protected from the weather so that rain and moisture don’t get inside. Food can spoil quickly if there is too much moisture.
Additionally, ants and other opportunistic visitors frequently visit aquaponic systems. Ants may simply access the container and access the food within.
Applying grease to the supports keeping the automatic fish feeder in place is one technique to stop this from happening.
The grease won’t harm the fish in the aquaponic system and will keep bothersome ants out of the fish feeder.
See our post on managing pests in aquaponic systems.
Automatic Fish Feeder in Aquaponics –
In my aquaponic system, I’ve been using this automatic fish for the past three years, and it’s still going strong.
My aquaponic system must eventually become automated thanks to the automatic fish feeder. Since I work a 12-hour shift, the fact that I don’t have to go out and feed the fish every day is a huge benefit.
Two times every day, every day, the food is consistently fed. Thus, I am confident that the fish in my aquaponic system are fed properly.
It enables me to control how much food I feed the fish in my aquaponic system. If I choose to expand the system with extra fish, I may also extend the feeding period.
- Fill up any empty area and provide additional support for the components by using a glue gun.
- For further support, put tie straps around the food bottle and the vertical piece of wood.
- The amount of food fed to the fish at a time can be changed by adjusting the length of the screw.
- The number of fish in the system will influence how much food is fed to the fish.
- An excessive amount of food might dirty the system and create unwelcome pH changes.
Build a successful system with this affordable equipment from Amazon that I’ve tried & tested on my setup.
To view them, click on the links.
|optimum water pump||Optimal Air Pump||Optimal Air Stones|
|cup plant nets||Bio-Filtration Medium||Kit to Test Water|
How does an automatic fish feeder work?
The number of food preparation chambers in each feeder varies. So that the food enters the aquarium at a specific time, the feeder rotates the chambers on a clock mechanism. This makes it possible to feed the fish frequently without overfeeding them.