Everyone deserves a vacation! But if your trip lasts more than a few days, you must ensure your betta gets fed while you are away.
Automatic aquarium fish feeders solve this problem. Program your feeding times, add your betta’s favorite food and relax knowing your betta won’t starve.
Most automatic fish feeders can hold enough food to feed your betta for several weeks.
We reviewed the three best vacation feeders for betta fish and provided a helpful buying guide.
So, which vacation fish feeder is our favorite?
The Petbank Automatic Fish Feeder is our top choice for bettas. It holds a large amount of food and has rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
The 3 Best Vacation Feeders for Betta Fish
- FISHNOSH Automatic Fish Feeder (Best for Beginners)
- EHEIM Everyday Fish Feeder (Best for Small Tanks)
- Petbank Automatic Fish Feeder (Top Choice)
Our Reviews of the Top 3 Vacation Feeders for Bettas
FISHNOSH Automatic Fish Feeder
- Programmable for up to 3 feedings per day
- Easy setup and operation
- 2 types of adjusting windows
The FISHNOSH Automatic Fish Feeder is our favorite choice for beginners. It features an easy setup with an LCD screen and works well for small and large betta tanks.
This automatic fish feeder lets you schedule up to three feedings per day. Setting the rotation of the food drum between 1-3 times for each feeding gives you better portion control.
A customized dosage window allows for more accurate portion sizes of betta pellets. Adjustable windows can fit a wide range of fish food, including pellets, granules, flakes, and wafers.
The feeder has two installation methods.
Mount the automatic fish feeder to the side of your tank with an adjustable clip. Or, attach the feeder to the top of your tank lid with the included double-sided stickers.
These stickers are very strong, so removal is difficult. Test the placement of the feeder before attaching the stickers.
The food drum on this automatic feeder has a large capacity of 200 milliliters. This larger size is perfect for extended vacations because it holds around two months’ worth of fish food.
Two AA batteries power this feeder, but they are not included.
- Dimensions: 6.14″ x 2.72″ x 4.13″ inches
- Food Capacity: 200 ml (6.8 ounces)
- Power Source: 2 AA batteries (not included)
- Special Product Features: Large capacity, easy setup for beginners
EHEIM Everyday Fish Feeder
- Integrated fan and ventilation system
- Programmable for up to 4 feedings per day
- Compact size for smaller tanks
ENHEIM’s Everday Fish Feeder is our choice for the best vacation feeder for small betta tanks. Its compact design does not take up a lot of space, and it still holds an adequate amount of food.
This automatic fish feeder also has programmable settings for up to four feedings per day and helps keep the fish food dry.
An integrated fan and ventilation system prevent moisture inside the feeding drum. This keeps your betta’s food from sticking together and clumping.
For extra moisture control, the feeding drum never stops in a downward position.
You may set the barrel feeder to 1 or 2 rotations per feeding so your betta gets the correct portions of food.
The automatic feeder also includes an easy setup guide and has an LCD screen for ease of use.
A universal installation clamp lets you attach the feeder to the side of your tank. Many users say this installation works best on rimless tanks and does not fit tanks with wider trims.
If the feeder does not mount to the side of your tank, it works well sitting on your tank cover. The weight of the feeder keeps it in place.
For a more secure on-top installation, consider adding velcro strips to the base and tank lid.
The EHEIM Everyday Fish Feeder runs on two AA batteries, which are included.
An adjustable feeding window lets you control the portion sizes of your betta’s food.
But many people complain they do not get accurate portions, even on the smallest window setting. The common solution is placing a piece of clear tape over part of the opening for the correct portions.
A 100 ml feeding barrel holds enough food for up to six weeks of feeding.
- Dimensions: 2.5″ x 2.5″ x 5.5″ inches
- Food Capacity: 100 ml (3.3 ounces)
- Power Source: 2 AA batteries (included)
- Special Product Features: Fan and ventilation system, ease of use, compact design
Petbank Automatic Fish Feeder
- USB Rechargeable
- Large capacity
- Smart Interval feeding mode
The Petbank Automatic Fish Feeder by Zacro is our top pick for the best vacation feeder for betta fish. It ticks all the boxes with its large capacity, Smart Interval feeding mode, and rechargeable capability.
With a 200 ml feeding drum, this automatic feeder keeps your betta fed for over two months.
A Smart Interval feeding mode lets you time your feedings for every 8, 12, 24, or 48 hours. Most automatic feeders don’t offer every-other-day feeding intervals.
You may also choose up to four feedings per day with 1-3 rotations per feeding.
One of the best features of the Petbank Automatic Fish Feeder is the rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Charging takes 3-4 hours and lasts between 3-6 months on a single charge.
This feeder can withstand up to 800 charges and discharges. Enjoy your vacation time without worrying about the batteries going dead!
A 3.3-foot Micro USB cable makes charging simple and easy.
The clamp mount adjusts to an aquarium thickness of up to 24 millimeters. If your tank has a cover, remove the base and attach the included double-sided stickers for easy installation.
One of the only complaints about this feeder is the portion sizes for bettas. Even on the smallest setting, the feeder releases too many pellets for one feeding.
Users resolve this issue by placing clear tape over part of the feeding window for the correct individual meal portions.
- Dimensions: 6.5″ x 4.72″ x 3.46″ inches
- Food Capacity: 200 ml (6.8 ounces)
- Power Source: Micro USB, rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Special Product Features: Rechargeable, long-lasting, Smart Interval feeding timer
A Guide to Buying the Best Vacation Feeder for a Betta
There are several factors you must consider when buying a vacation feeder.
Automatic fish feeders come in different sizes and have varying product features.
Below are some of the features available in vacation feeders for your betta.
Size and Placement
The size of your vacation feeder is important for a few reasons.
Large-capacity feeders hold more food, which works well if you are planning an extended vacation.
But you must also consider the size of your betta tank.
Ensure the feeder is not too large for mounting onto your aquarium.
Most automatic fish feeders have adjustable clamps for placement on the side of your betta tank. Pay attention to the maximum thickness a feeder can accommodate.
If you have a tank cover, a top-mounted feeder is the best option. Make sure the feeder can dispense food into the feeding hole in your tank lid.
Removing the lid is not an option for bettas because they can jump out of their tank while you are away.
When placing a feeder on your tank lid, check for its stability. Many top-mount feeders come with double-sided stickers for a sturdy installation.
Secure top-mount installation is most important if you have a curious cat who might knock the feeder over.
Reliable Food Dispenser
The reliability of a vacation feeder is the most important feature.
Ensure the feeder dispenses individual meal portions at the correct times.
We recommend doing a test run of your automatic feeder the week before you go on vacation.
You must make some adjustments if the feeder has an inaccurate timer or dispenses too much food.
Inaccurate feeding times are sometimes due to user error.
Some automatic feeders use a 24-hour clock, while others use the standard 12-hour clock. Know which type of clock your vacation feeder uses before you program it.
If the feeder does not dispense the correct portion sizes, make adjustments to the feeding window.
Most betta owners consider an automatic feeder when they plan a vacation.
But if you have a busy schedule on most days, you may want an automatic feeder for daily use.
Battery-powered feeders with a smaller capacity work well for limited trips away from home.
For everyday use, choose an automatic feeder with a larger capacity and rechargeable batteries.
Type of Food
Some fish feeders can dispense any type of fish food. Others have limited capabilities.
If you feed your betta fish flakes, look for feeders with larger feeding holes.
Likewise, automatic feeders with smaller feeding windows work better with pellet foods.
For community tanks with different kinds of fish, you may consider buying more than one feeder for each type of food.
Automatic vacation feeders can collect moisture from the evaporating water in your betta tank.
This moisture makes the food clump together and not dispense in the correct portions.
If humidity is a concern for you, choose a feeder with a built-in ventilation system.
Some vacation feeders, like the EHEIM Everday Fish Feeder, have integrated fans for removing moisture.
These types of feeders prevent the food inside from getting soggy and clumping together.
Battery-operated feeders save you the worry of your feeder not working during a power outage.
Most automatic feeders run on batteries, but a few have USB power capabilities.
Automatic feeders powered by USB cables usually have built-in rechargeable batteries. These feeders usually have an extended battery life between charges.
If you want an automatic betta fish feeder for daily use, a USB-powered model lets you avoid changing batteries every few weeks.
Automatic fish feeders feature a variety of different programmable timers.
Most automatic feeders allow for 2-4 feedings per day.
Some feeders also let you control the number of turns for the feeding barrel. This is helpful if your betta is a slow eater.
Your betta can eat the first couple of pellets before the other two drops from the feeder.
If the feeder does not dispense the correct portion sizes of food, this can create many problems.
Too much food causes issues with water quality. When the feeder does not release enough food, your betta goes hungry.
Many automatic fish feeders are not designed with bettas in mind.
Vacation feeders usually have adjustable feeding windows. But even the smallest setting can dispense too much food for a betta.
Most betta owners modify the feeding window with tape or paper for smaller portions.
What Are the Different Types of Vacation Feeders for Fish?
There are a couple of different types of vacation feeders for fish.
Each one has its own benefits and disadvantages for feeding a betta fish.
Understanding how each type of feeder works helps you choose the best one for your betta.
Rotating Barrel Fish Feeders
Rotating barrel feeders, also called drum feeders, are the most common type of automatic fish feeder.
The feeding barrel usually has a small adjustable window for dispensing fish food.
As the barrel rotates, the food drops from the feeding window into your betta tank.
These feeders have a large capacity for those times you must leave for an extended period.
But, there are some drawbacks to drum feeders.
There is only one feeding drum for storing food. This feature is not ideal if you have your betta in a community tank and need different fish food types.
You may mix different types of food in the drum, but they likely won’t dispense evenly.
Foods like fish flakes and algae wafers need a large opening for accurate portion control. But this large opening can release too many betta pellets.
Another issue with drum feeders is moisture buildup.
As the water in your betta tank evaporates, this moisture can collect in the feeding drum. This makes the food soggy and causes clumping.
Drum feeders with an integrated fan and ventilation system can help prevent this moisture buildup. But many drum feeders do not have this feature.
The most common problem with drum feeders is proper portion control for betta pellets.
Most drum feeders do not have a small enough feeding window for dispensing only a couple of betta pellets at once.
Bettas usually work around this by modifying the feeding window with clear tape or paper strips for more accurate portion sizes.
Portion Control Fish Feeders
Portion control feeders look very different from rotating barrel feeders.
This type of feeder consists of a circle with 14-15 individual food compartments. A feeding door on the bottom releases all the food in each compartment according to your programmed feeding times.
You have more control over the individual food portions for your betta.
A portion control feeder works well for a community tank because it can hold different types of food in each slot.
Portion control feeders also have better humidity control. They stay sealed until the food drops from the individual compartment.
But portion control feeders have a couple of disadvantages.
With only 14-15 compartments, portion control feeders limit your time away.
If you feed your betta twice daily, the feeder runs out of food in seven days.
Another limitation of portion control feeders is the size of your fish food.
Betta pellets and granules work well in this type of feeder because they are small.
But portion control feeders usually cannot handle larger fish foods like flakes and wafers.
What Are the Benefits of a Vacation Feeder?
Besides feeding your betta when you are not home, vacation feeders offer a few other benefits.
Automatic fish feeders are a lifesaver for people who take frequent trips or have busy schedules.
These feeders also keep your betta healthy by ensuring your fish receives the nutrition it needs.
Other benefits include:
Automatic feeders keep you from worrying about feeding your betta when you can’t get home in time.
With an automatic feeder, there is no more rushing home, so your betta doesn’t go hungry.
These feeders are also helpful for those busy mornings when you are already running late for your job or an appointment.
An automatic fish feeder gives you peace of mind knowing your betta gets fed when you can’t be there.
Life can have unpredictable moments like travel delays or work emergencies. Some betta owners are so busy they forget about feeding their fish.
Using an automatic feeder provides your betta with a consistent feeding schedule, even when you are not at home.
Maintains a Clean Tank
Accurate portion control in automatic feeders prevents overfeeding. This helps maintain a cleaner tank.
Anyone with an inexperienced relative or friend feeding their betta has likely come home to a dirty tank due to overfeeding.
Overfeeding creates poor water conditions and can cause bloating and constipation in your betta.
An automatic feeder helps you control portion sizes for a healthy betta and a cleaner tank.
Tips for Using a Vacation Feeder for Your Betta
Vacation feeders are easy to set up and use.
But there are a few tips for the best experience with your automatic feeder.
Avoid the Lighting Fixture
Do not place your automatic fish feeder too close to your betta tank’s lights.
Your aquarium lighting can generate heat and affect your betta’s food quality.
Heat also increases condensation inside a drum feeder.
This excess moisture can make the food soggy and clump together.
Avoid the Filtration System and Air Stones
Avoid placing your automatic vacation feeder near your aquarium filter or air stones.
This can expose the feeder to moisture through evaporation or splashing from the filter.
Too much moisture causes soggy food, creating mold inside the feeding drum.
If you place the feeder too close to the filter intake, the food may get sucked into the filter before your betta eats it.
Use a Feeding Ring
A feeding ring placed underneath the automatic feeder keeps your betta’s food in one area.
Without a feeding ring, the food can scatter around the aquarium.
Using a feeding ring prevents this from happening. It also creates a consistent feeding area for your betta so it can always find its food.
The feeding ring also keeps the fish food from drifting too close to the filter intake.
How To Mount the Feeder to Your Betta Tank
Automatic fish feeders usually have two options for mounting them to your betta tank.
The feeder may come with an adjustable clamp for mounting it to the side of the aquarium.
Since most betta tanks have a lid, mounting the feeder on the side is not a good option.
Most automatic feeders also come with double-sided stickers for mounting the feeder on your tank lid.
If yours does not come with these stickers, velcro strips work well.
Ensure you align the food dispenser window with the feeding hole in your tank lid.
Verify Your Settings
Many vacation feeders have a manual feeding button. This button lets you test the portion size your feeder dispenses.
I recommend verifying your programmed feeding schedule at least one week before leaving for your vacation.
This lets you know if you programmed the correct feeding times in your automatic feeder.
Use Quality Batteries
Always put fresh, high-quality batteries in your automatic feeder before you go on vacation.
Cheap or old batteries can make the feeder stop working and leave your betta stranded without any food.
Even better, choose a feeder with a built-in large-capacity lithium-ion battery. These batteries are rechargeable with a USB cable.
A full battery charge takes only a few hours, and the feeder can operate for 3-6 months on a single charge.
You may leave the USB cable plugged into the automatic feeder for long-term use if you don’t mind the extra cord.
A Closer Look at Our Top Picks for Betta Vacation Feeders
Our top choice for the best vacation feeder for bettas is the Petbank Automatic Fish Feeder. This automatic fish feeder has many great features, including a large capacity and adjustable feeding intervals.
My favorite feature of the Petbank Automatic Fish Feeder is the rechargeable battery. The feeder has a fast charging time with the USB cable and lasts 3-6 months on a single charge.
The EHEIM Everyday Fish Feeder is an excellent choice for smaller tanks. Its small food drum is not too bulky for 5-gallon tanks and still holds enough food for several weeks of feedings.
The integrated fan and ventilation system keeps moisture from entering the food drum. This prevents your betta’s food pellets from clumping together and clogging the feeder.
For beginners, the FISHNOSH Automatic Fish Feeder is a great option. It features an easy setup and simple programming features.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vacation Feeders for Bettas
How long can a betta fish go without food?
Betta fish can survive between 10-14 days without food. But just because they can survive this long doesn’t mean they should.
After three days without food, a betta goes into starvation mode.
The fish begins conserving energy, and its metabolism slows down.
This creates a lot of stress for a betta, which can lower its immune system.
Your betta becomes more prone to disease and parasites.
If you’re going away for longer than a weekend trip, we suggest investing in an automatic vacation feeder.
Are dissolving feeding blocks a good option for betta fish while I’m on vacation?
Fish feeder blocks dissolve over a period of time and release food for your fish.
While dissolving feeding blocks may sound like a good idea, they are not an ideal choice for bettas.
Most food blocks are for omnivorous fish and do not contain the nutrients your betta needs. You must use specific betta block feeders for the proper nutrients.
These food blocks also dissolve at an uneven rate. This can leave your betta with too much or too little food.
As the food block dissolves, it can cause issues with your water quality, as well.
Without enough water movement from your filter, the block may not dissolve all the way.
Will the vacation feeder cause water quality issues in my betta fish tank?
As long as the automatic vacation feeder releases the correct portion sizes of food, it won’t cause water quality issues in your betta tank.
But malfunctions in rotating barrel feeders are not uncommon.
If the feeding window opening is too large, the feeder can dump too much food into the water. In a short time period, the uneaten food starts rotting.
The rotten fish food can cause ammonia spikes and poor water conditions.
This is a major problem if you are not home for several days.
Always test your vacation feeder before you go on vacation. Testing lets you make adjustments to the individual food portions and ensures the feeder works as it should.
How can I prepare my betta fish and its tank before leaving for vacation to ensure its well-being?
Start with a thorough tank cleaning before you leave for a vacation.
Performing a water change and testing your tank parameters ensures there are no toxins in the water.
Check your filter media for any signs of buildup. A clogged filter becomes inefficient and will not keep your aquarium water clean while you are away.
Invest in a light timer if you do not have one already. Using a light timer ensures your betta does not get too much light.
Constant lighting encourages algae growth and stresses your betta.
Relying on direct sunlight also increases algae growth and can cause temperature fluctuations.
Inspect your electrical equipment before leaving. You must ensure your filter and heater are in good working order, and there are no fire hazards.
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