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Why Use an Automatic Feeder?

In an earlier article, Automatic Feeder Recommendations, we outlined some of the pros and cons of using an automatic feeder. This post covers a couple of the most important reasons why someone, particularly a company, might choose to use an automatic feeder.

Several of our “commercial clients,” or companies, have challenges to getting the fish fed every day which come with the nature of running a business.

Run the company, or take care of the aquarium?

Companies’ workflows can change on a daily basis. Many have days which are so busy that they don’t have time for much else other than actually running the business. These days often mean that the fish don’t get fed.

One of our clients told us that they had to change the employee who was taking care of feeding the fish. They would not only spend too much time feeding, but they also did not take the task seriously enough. One say they might skip feeding, and another day they might not feed enough or too much, adding more and more food into the tank because the fish looked hungry.

Waiting 72 hours to eat

Another challenge that companies, specifically, find, is that many are closed on the weekends, so there is nobody there to feed them. This can result in the fish waiting up to 72 hours in between feedings.

It has been my experience that when a fish misses a day of feeding, it is an element of stress which doesn’t go away soon. I see more issues with aquariums which skip feedings once in a while or every week than I do in aquariums which get fed every day.

There are exceptions to the rule, such as when one is trying to control the waste produced in an aquarium. However, rather than cut the frequency of feeding, I generally prefer to cut the amount being fed.

The stress caused by going 72 hours without food creates fertile ground for the fish to develop health issues. Stress manifests itself as a weaker fish, including in the immune system, opening the fish up to parasites and disease which it had previously been healthy enough to fight off.

Daily feed and backup

Most automatic feeders are programmed to dispense the same amount of food at the same time every day. Some of our customers use the automatic feeder as the only source of food for their fish. Others use it as a supplement and backup. They still feed the fish as they normally did before, and the feeder gives more nutrition during the day and makes sure that the fish get food on the weekends.

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