I apologize for the gap in posts over the past couple of weeks. I've been traveling, which has interrupted my regular blogging schedule. However, this is a good time to talk a little about looking after your livestock while you're away.
Normally, I don't travel for longer than a week at a time. Regardless, I always have someone house and dog sit if I'm gone, which ultimately has little impact on my regular feeding schedule. Anyway, though I have never used automatic fish feeders, I'm reluctant to do so for a variety of reasons (in no particular order below):
1) Lack of complete control over exactly when the fish get fed.
2) Fear of a mechanical malfunction, which leads to overfeeding. I'm not worried about underfeeding because healthy juvenile and adult cichlids can go a week without food without problems (fry are a different matter altogether).
3) I typically unplug filters when I feed to avoid uneaten food from getting in them. Yes, I do use prefilter sponges on all my intakes, but I prefer the food to sink naturally rather than getting blown around into all corners of the tank.
4) I really don't need them because I have someone who's willing to feed my fish while I'm away.
5) They are just more of a hassle than I want to deal with.
However, automatic fish feeders can certainly be good tools when you don't have someone available to feed for you. Also, having a single tank doesn't require you to have multiple feeders. So if you fall into either one of those categories, by all means give them a try. They do work or they wouldn't sell.
The Cichlid Room Companion
Tropical Fish Hobbyist
American Cichlid Assoc.
African Cichlid Hub