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Thread: automatic feeders

  1. #1
    Tategoi Loco4Koi's Avatar
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    automatic feeders

    I'm wanting an automatic feeder and my choices seem to be limited to koi cafe and the fishmate p7000.... if you use a fish feeder, what do you use? Do you like it? I would also be interested in buying one that is used as long as it works. The koi cafe is the most attractive and is able to be programmed up to six times daily. The fishmate says three. It also mentions demand feeding, but I'm not sure they mean koi triggered demand or human triggered. There's a couple others I've seen recommended but haven't been able to find them for sale.
    I think four to six times a day plus a koi triggered demand option would be ideal. I'm open for suggestions. I need something that is reliable and not terribly ugly. Is the $350 koi cafe really my only valid option?

  2. #2
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    I have had a Koi Cafe for years (before the solar model). I think I am on my third battery which I have to charge once a year.

    Back when I worked, I had it set to feed small feedings while I was at work. Now that I am retired, I only have it set for one feeding at sunrise.

    When I used it for several small feeding while I was at work, the number of feedings depended on season from once to 4 times (plus hand feeding before work and after work).

    Some people have reported that Koi demand feeders can be emptied in an hour.

  3. #3
    Nisai vipertom's Avatar
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    You will be very happy with Koi Café....my unit can only be programed to feed 5 times per day plus 3 manual feedings which is a total of 8 feedings.

  4. #4
    Nisai bone's Avatar
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    This is the one I have been looking at. Electronic Aquarium Feeders, Cat and Small Animal Automatic Feeder from Super Feed Enterprise If you look through the site there is a setup for Koi or you put together your own. Not the prettiest thing but I can work with it. I like the add on hopper to hold more food.

  5. #5
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    Automatic feeders have their place but also some drawbacks. In warm and humid situations (hanging over a koi pond) koi pellets quickly mildew which can make your koi sick or even kill them. Also everything malfunctions eventually especially in warm and humid enviorments. Koi feeders can dump all the pellets into the pond and this can be another disaster.

    For these reasons, I recommend not placing more than one day's food in a auto feeder. Also watching your koi eat is an important method of checking on their health and appetite. At least try to observe the last feeding yourself each day to evaluate their appetite to be sure they are not being overfed and also this is an important time to visually inspect the area around their mouths and underside areas for early sides of infections, etc.

    Finally, almost all koi keepers overfeed their koi and/or filter systems. Over feeding can lead to high organics accumulating in your pond/filter systems and significant health problems in our koi. Koi can lose their appetites over weather and pH changes, etc. Do not feed your koi at night and especially not before sunrise. Think about using the autofeeders to spread out the amount fed throughout the day light hours. Say you want to feed two cups of food per day. Feed 1/4 cup eight times spread though out the day. This keeps your koi active all day searching for food and also spreads out the ammonia production to prevent any mini spikes. Sick or dead koi do not grow very well.
    Tosai_Sunny likes this.
    Disclosure:These opinions are based on my experience and conversations with persons I consider accomplished koi keepers and do not reflect the viewpoint of any organization.

  6. #6
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    I concur with Ray and his assesment. I have a feeder I've used at times, from John seifert in Spokane,Wa.

  7. #7
    Tategoi Loco4Koi's Avatar
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    Even if I fill it daily,, getting them fed more than twice or three times daily seems better by most accounts. As it is I tend to feed at 4:30am, 3:00pm then just before bed at 9:00pm... this is when I'm working. The only time out of those three that I stick around long enough to watch them eat, is the 3:00pm feeding. In the summer heat they seem to eat more at night. I'd set the feeder to feed small amounts every few hours from 8:00pm until 9:00am.
    Mainly in the summer, I'm not home or awake except in the heat of day and they don't eat well. I work 6am - 2pm.

  8. #8
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    I have two automatic feeder that I have stopped using because I felt the risk outweighed e benefits.

    For one, its just not practical to use it outdoors in a two season( summer and rainy). The food have to be replenish everyday to keep it fresh.

    I cannot wet or soak the food in supllements if I use an automatic feeder.

    Small multiple feeds create a scenario where the more timid kois are not fed much while the overeager kois tend to overfeed. I feel feedng two to three x a day depending on the water temperature even if takes an hour to finish is more better.

    With automatic feeder some of the floating pellets gets sucked in the surface skmmer.

    Using automatic feeders also creates a scenario of the koi getting not used to the presence of humans. I noticed with automatic feeders, the koi tend to wait for the owner to leave before they start eating.

  9. #9
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sacicu View Post
    I have two automatic feeder that I have stopped using because I felt the risk outweighed e benefits.

    For one, its just not practical to use it outdoors in a two season( summer and rainy). The food have to be replenish everyday to keep it fresh.

    I cannot wet or soak the food in supllements if I use an automatic feeder.

    Small multiple feeds create a scenario where the more timid kois are not fed much while the overeager kois tend to overfeed. I feel feedng two to three x a day depending on the water temperature even if takes an hour to finish is more better.

    With automatic feeder some of the floating pellets gets sucked in the surface skmmer.

    Using automatic feeders also creates a scenario of the koi getting not used to the presence of humans. I noticed with automatic feeders, the koi tend to wait for the owner to leave before they start eating.
    Great points!!

  10. #10
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    With my work schedule I too was in the market for an automatic feeder so that the koi could eat small portions all day long. I did my research and like Loco, I was looking at the Koi Café and Fishmate models. I decided not to go auto feeder because of our tropical and humid climate 95% of the year. Not sure how long the feed would last in the open. Plus, I look forward everyday to coming home to feed my Motley clan of Showas. It always feels like they are happy to see me, when I know that they are just HUNGRY. 10-15 minutes of "me" time with the koi so that I can ease myself into being home again. It also allows me to look over my pets health and well being. I'm getting to know more and more about each koi's character, so I am able to pick up on whether something is wrong with them or not. If I had too much confidence in a feeder system, I may rely on it too much and lose out on more time spent with my clan of koi.

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