After spending hundreds of hours on data gathering, crowdsourcing, and hands-on testing, we find the Sweeney Feeders Koi Cafe Automatic Koi Feeder – 6 Pound Capacity as the best pond fish feeder for this review. You get a 6-pound chamber for fish food that can be cast to five times daily, which is useful for different fishes and pond sizes. It also comes with a simple button operation which ensures accuracy with the screen display. These features are powered with strong battery and are backed with a solar resource.
One of my biggest frustration, when I was a kid, is that my pet fish wouldn’t last a month. We tried to raise fish using DIY fish bowl set-ups to outdoor ponds, only to end up with them floating dead.
Most times we were not home to feed the fish because we were at school and our parents were at work. We also love going outdoors on weekends and thought leaving “extra” food could be good enough. Until one day we realized that we were feeding our fishes improperly.
If you are like us, you must be reached here because you want to give your fish the right meal. But, looking through the different products can be overwhelming and time-consuming. You can’t even test them out if you are buying online.
To help you out, we came up with a review of some of the pond fish feeders in the market and put them into a test!
|Pond Fish Feeder||Capacity||Frequency||Battery|
|Sweeney Feeders Koi Cafe Automatic Koi Feeder||6 lbs||Up to 5 times a day||6 volt rechargeable battery|
|Hozelock Automatic Pond Fish Feeder||1.68 lbs (27 oz)||Up to 6 times a day||2 Lithium Metal Batteries|
|Moultrie 6.5-Gallon FeedCaster Fish Feeder||50 lbs||Up to 6 times a day||6 volt battery|
|Eheim Battery Operated Auto Fish Feeder||100 mL (less than 1 lbs)||Up to 8 times a day||2 AA Batteries|
|Fish Mate P7000 Pond Fish Feeder||6 ½ lbs||Up to 3 times a day||4 C Batteries|
How do they work?
Your fish will gobble up food every time you feed it. But, each kind of fish has their required feeding time. With this, you might have a problem with overfeeding or underfeeding them.
The pond fish feeder can help with regular and consistent feeding for your fishes, whether it be for a small, medium or large ponds. The fish food is stored in chambers having different weight capacity. The feeder then has a mechanism to automatically throw in food into the pond contained in a chamber at regular intervals depending on your settings.
A pond fish feeder can be battery or electricity powered. For this review, we have battery-powered feeders, where you can set the amount of food and the feeding
Who can use?
Whether you are a fish farmer or a simple fish pet owner or a very enthusiastic hobbyist, you can find pond fish feeders useful. For practicality, a fish farmer can make use of the feeder to make fish growing easier considering the vast area that he was to take care of. For those having fish pets at home, you may be out all day or going on a vacation, this way, you won’t have to worry about pet sitting. No matter what your purpose for growing fishes is, you can take advantage of the product’s convenience.
Here are some of the advantages of pond fish feeders:
Here is a short clip of the pros and cons of automatic fish feeders.
#1 Cup capacity
Each feeder has a different cup capacity. Some as small as 100 mL and others can accommodate as many as 6 pounds. The cup capacity is an important factor in choosing your pond fish feeder because a too big capacity may cause degradation of food due to excess or lack of moisture. A smaller feeder can also cause food scarcity.
#2 Frequency of food dispensing
As I have mentioned earlier, different fish have different food frequency requirements. Consequently, you might need a product that can have adjustable feeding frequency based on your fishes’ feeding needs.
#3 Ease of use
Some of you might be new to fish growing or even if you have been in business for long; an easy to use feeder makes a valuable product. It should provide simple buttons or setting mechanisms and an easy to refill process.
How We Assessed & Evaluated These Pond Fish Feeders
We begin the evaluation process with the online research. First, we did a general search of pond fish feeders, which led us to the pages of online sellers, forums like the Pond Boss Magazine and Garden Pond Forum, and manufacturer websites. These pages helped us understand how the product works, what are the most important features to consider and the highly rated products. In this phase, we have a rough list of products to select our top five.
For in-depth research, we also had our offline study, in which we talked to vendors, users and those who are experts in the field. With the crowdsourced data, we then had a list of 10 products and developed our criteria for our hands-on testing. From 10 products, we narrow it to our top five by creating a scoring and rating system.
Once the top five is selected, we proceed with selecting out testers for the hands-on testing. We chose five testers who are users of pond fish feeders, professional fish growers, and some first-time users.
The testers were asked to score each product based on our criteria. They were also interviewed as a group after the testing to provide their insights, opinion, and other observations.
Top 5 Pond Fish Feeder Product Reviews
1. Sweeney Feeders Koi Cafe Automatic Koi Feeder – (Editor’s Choice)
The first impression of the testers with the Sweeney Feeders Koi Cafe Automatic Koi Feeder – 6 Pound Capacity is that it is heavy-duty and a little complicated. The testers think that it is heavy-duty because first, it has a 6-pound food chamber capacity, which is among the biggest from the products in this review. You can enjoy this feeder for large ponds or fishes with bigger appetites.
Secondly, this pond fish feeder can feed your fishes for up to five (5) times in a day. It may not be the biggest considering other feeders have a 6-times feature; it is relatively higher. This feature complements the weight capacity making quite suitable for big ponds and fishes requiring more feeding.
This pond fish feeder has a screen display to show the settings you want for the pond. Like the other feeders, the testers think that it keeps the device reliable and accurate to your desired set-up.
The testers, however, find the buttons a little confusing because there are numbers of them. During the testing, each tester is given a chance to set their feeder to determine if it actually works. There were testers who took time because of the various button feature.
On the other hand, our testers like that although it is battery-powered, it has built-in solar power. Hence, you can have a steady source to keep the feeder working.
An issue that the testers found with the product is that it is challenging to install. The feeder comes out from the bottom needing it to be installed on the water. If you have a bigger pond and wants a good reach, you might have to install it on the center.
What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like
2. Hozelock Automatic Pond Fish Feeder (First Runner-Up)
Founded in Britain in 1959, the Hozelock brand brings various gardening and pond supplies. They have pumps, filters, filtration kits and even raised ponds. For a complete pond care, they also have the Hozelock Automatic Pond Fish Feeder.
This pond fish feeder can carry up to 1.68 pounds or 27 ounces of fish food. Compared to the products in the review, it is smaller as other can have up to 50 pounds of food. Its feeding frequency is opposite its capacity because it is among the highest from the bunch. You can set your feeding time to up to six (6) times a day. Our testers think that it is advantageous for those who may have a smaller pond, but with fishes that requires several feeding in a day.
Our testers like that you can adjust the quantity of food dispensed. You will have more control over your fishes’ diet, especially if the species has complex food intake requirements. Hence, it can accommodate different kinds of fishes.
Also, the testers love that it has a simple operation. The controls allow you to adjust the amount of food and frequency, while also giving you the time. The testers think that it can help to get the settings accurate to your needs.
This product runs on 2 Lithium metal batteries, which makes it more convenient because you don’t have to connect it to an outlet. The testers also love the attached stand. It is beneficial during the installation because you have a ready hanger for the feeder.
One drawback that our testers have with the product is some parts of the product has an opening. It can be a problem as too much moisture might get into the food chamber.
What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like
3. Moultrie 6.5-Gallon FeedCaster Fish Feeder (Second Runner-Up)
For our third feeder in this review, we have the Moultrie 6.5-Gallon FeedCaster Fish Feeder.
This pond fish feeder is the biggest in the batch with a 50 pounds capacity. The testers are all in the agreement that this product is meant for large ponds.
Aside from its 50 pounds chamber capacity, the feeder can also be set to dispense food for up to six times daily. Thus, it does not only for those with just large ponds but also with fishes that will need to eat more than other species of fish.
Another reason why this is meant to large ponds is the quantity of food it dispenses. During the testing, the testers have observed that it gives out quite large portions of food, which can both be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your pond and kinds of fishes. The testers deemed that the feeding portions might cause overfeeding if used on fishes with minimal food intake. Hence, you might also need to take into account the kind of fish you are growing.
Our testers love that it has an adjustable run time from one (1) to 20 seconds. This feature might help with minimizing the food cast into the pond despite a large amount of serving.
Its description provides that it can shoot out food reaching 25 feet. Our testers believe that this is advantageous for those with extensive ponds. For those with smaller ponds, there might be instances that food is cast way beyond the pond causing wastage and the fishes might also not be adequately fed.
This product might also be hard to set-up because the buttons and operations are hidden. You have to dismantle a few parts before getting to the buttons. So, you have to make sure that it is set to the right mode.
What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like
If the Moultrie 6.5-Gallon FeedCaster Fish Feeder is most suited for larger ponds, the Eheim Battery Operated Auto Fish Feeder is meant for smaller ponds and even aquariums.
The pond fish feeder has a capacity of 100 mL, which is less than one (1) pound. Our testers deemed that it is too small compared to the other products in the review. It, however, does not mean it is invaluable. This pond fish feeder can be used for smaller ponds or for fishes that have a less feeding requirement.
Its frequency for feeding time is up to eight (8) times in a day. It is the highest from among the products in this review. Some of the testers deemed that this feeding frequency can compensate for the capacity provided that you also have to refill regularly.
This pond fish feeder also has simple buttons to press for control and set the modes for the feeding. Hence, the testers, even the first-timers, had it easy when setting-up the feeder. Our testers also like the screen, which projects a simple display. It makes the time and the modes known for accuracy and consistency.
The testers also love that you can adjust the amount of food portion per casting. That is, you can also set the size of food that the feeder will shoot out. Thus, it allows you to feed various kinds of fish.
What they dislike with the feeder measurement is that it is not digital, you need to move the slider to set the size or portion manually. Some of the testers deemed that it might affect accuracy when the slider is moved with forces such as wild animals or other movements.
What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like
The next pond fish feeder is one of the feeders in the review with the biggest food chamber capacity.
The Fish Mate P7000 Pond Fish Feeder can carry with it up to six and a half (6 ½) pounds of food. According to our testers, this capacity can be enough for bigger ponds or for when you cannot feed the fishes yourself. Hence, if you have a relatively bigger pond or if you are quite busy, you might consider this feeder for your needs.
In line with the large chamber capacity, is the three-times-a-day feeding settings. Some of the testers think that this frequency feature is enough for some kinds of fishes. There are also testers who believe that it is too minimal to other types of fishes. It is also considering that other feeders can be set to four, five and even six times a day. They, however, agree that the three teaspoon feeding sizes can also be too little for fishes needing more food. It could also be a drawback if you have a large fish population.
As to the usage and control, the testers like the LCD screen display, which helps them with the accuracy of their settings. The buttons are also minimal and straightforward that can give you more convenience when setting your desired program for your kind of fishes and pond.
What has been challenging is the installation process. The testers have to install it themselves, and even the professionals and long-time users find it difficult to set-up. They deemed that the instructions were hard to follow. This product runs on 4 C batteries, wherein its description says it can last for six to nine months. We were not able to test the product that long. However, there were no issues with power during the testing.
What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like
Editor’s Choice: Sweeney Feeders Koi Cafe Automatic Koi Feeder
For our Editor’s Choice, we choose a pond fish feeder that not only gives a quantity but equally important is the quality of performance. So, our top pick for this product review is the Sweeney Feeders Koi Cafe Automatic Koi Feeder – 6 Pound Capacity. It offers a large 6-pound food chamber capacity that is useful for large ponds or a variety of fish species. This feature is coupled with a frequency of five (5) times in a day. The features can be accurately set with is operative buttons and screen display. All these powered by a battery and backed with solar energy.
First Runner-Up: Hozelock Automatic Pond Fish Feeder.
The first Runner-Up is the Hozelock Automatic Pond Fish Feeder. This pond fish feeder is also a strong contender for the Editor’s Choice with its six (6) times a day feeding frequency; adjustable food sizes and easy-to-use operations. This product also comes with a stand for the more natural installation process. It could have made it to the Editor’s Choice if it has more food portions.
Second Runner-Up: Moultrie 6.5-Gallon FeedCaster Fish Feeder
Our Second Runner-Up has the largest capacity and the highest casting reach. This, however, limited the kinds of users it can serve as it can use by those with bigger ponds. Nonetheless, the Moultrie 6.5-Gallon FeedCaster Fish Feeder is still a valuable device. It gives a large food size and its runtime is adjustable up to 20 seconds.