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In which the fish feeder failed

goldfish jumping off to new fishtank


I’ve been doing a scientific study of my fish tank; specifically, whether the new automated fish feeder that I bought is working.


RESULT: I have no fucking clue.


You see, I bought this new Topfin automatic feeder.  The other day Andie and I cleaned out the fish tank before she went back to school.  I felt that she should have to help me because I consider this task right up there with changing out the litter boxes and cleaning up dog shit.


Anyways, I installed the new automatic feeder and there’s a manual button so I pressed that to see how it worked and the feeder thing spun around and dumped some food into the tank for Gil and Herc.


So that seemed perfect but it was on the high setting and that clearly wasn’t enough food so I set it on a 12 hour cycle instead of a 24 hour cycle.  I’ll do the math for you: twice a day feeding.


Now I simply needed to see if the thing was working every 12 hours and here’s where I’m running into a snag.  You see, it’s not like you set a clock on the damn thing.


I figured it probably worked one of two ways and before you asked YES I did check the manual (although it was basically just a page long.)


Way 1: it would spin around in a circle over the period of 12 hours and automatically dump the food.  If this was the case then I would notice the top of the feeder going in a circle.  I didn’t.  I haven’t.  It doesn’t.  Therefore this either isn’t how it works or I set it up wrong although ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  It’s a two step process and I rule at shit like this.


Way 2:  somehow it has an entire timer (after all, there are batteries) and every 12 hours it would spin.  I thought this might be the case so I fed the fish yesterday morning around 7:30 and came to watch the tank around 7:30 last night and nothing.


Hmmm…is it not working? I have no clue.  So I fed them again at 7:40 last night and showed up at 7:50 this morning and there was no food but I think the fish looked full.  Don’t laugh at me.  They weren’t going hysterical like they usually are and they were swimming around looking like they were still eating.


I didn’t see any flakes on the top so I thought I should test the rate of “sinking of the flakes” so I added some flakes and they ate them all before I could sink so basically, I have no clue.


I have 10 days to figure it out before I leave for a week.  Maybe they’re fucking with me and they’re on a hunger strike and chasing phantom food.  All I know is that I can’t figure out the entire stupid device.


Don’t worry: I’ll keep you posted.  I mean, this is the entire point of this blog … NO, not following fish but hearing the story of my days.

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  1. Brad Procton
    August 20, 2013

    Lets use empirical data here to prove the validity of working or failing. Lets start with the more general and then move to specific evidence. 1. There are no floaters in the tank so we can rule out poisoning and starvation. 2. At the end of each cycle the full fish feeder is empty. From this we can deduce either function or theft. 3. Since theft is highly unlikely ( while you have bats in your belfry I doubt that they eat fish food) we will eliminate theft. 4. Your test of the actual mechanism resulted in rotation of the device and dispensing of the food – therefore we can deduce proper function of the mechanism. 5. Given the above it clearly comes down to a function of witnessing the actual feeding cycle. Yet at the same time we are aware that the fish are doing just fine and the continual refilling of the feeder with food is a known cycle that occurs on a relatively set schedule. RESULT – the damned thing is working and you should not lose sleep over the actual minute by minute operation of the device. The timing chip on your feeder has more computing power than your first laptop.

    CONTRARIAN VIEW – just go ahead and watch the damned device for 12 hours and witness the operation yourself. In case you think it’s a fluke have 3 Red Bulls and watch an entire 24 hour cycle just to be sure.

    Enjoy your scientific mission,

    Your Brother

    • Lynn
      August 20, 2013

      how am i related to you??

  2. Jester Queen
    August 20, 2013

    I follow Gil and Herc religiously. Keep in mind, you don’t want to OVERfeed the fish. If you feed them too much, the tank gets all nasty. Have a neighbor check in from time to time and dump food in every three days while you’re gone. If the feeder is working, a snack will please the fish. If the feeder is failing, they won’t starve to death in that amount of time, even though they’ll want you to think so.

    • Lynn
      August 20, 2013

      i won’t let them die! I promise!

  3. Tammy Kelly
    August 20, 2013

    HAHAHA! Your brother is hysterical! I’m really sorry I think I suggested this…….

  4. Kevin
    September 8, 2013

    I’d fill it up and then stick it on the side of a box or something set it running to see if it, ah, “feeds” the box on something close-ish to a twelve hour schedule, maybe somewhere where you can catch it when it happens.

    Anyway, the majority of fish species can go a week or more without being fed without issue. In the wild meals aren’t always guaranteed so they’ve gotten pretty good at handling gaps. It’s why they also always seem hungry- take as much as you can before it’s gone basically.

    Oh and don’t use those vacation feeder sinking block things. They’re utter garbage that will just end up fouling the water.
    Kevin recently posted..Controlling Algae In Your AquariumMy Profile

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