Autofeeder Disaster in Spec V - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-13-2017, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Autofeeder Disaster in Spec V

I just wanted to share a disaster I had with an autofeeder, and a Fluval Spec V.

It was one of those very common feeders that has a clear plastic barrel that it rotates and a door drops down and food falls out. The slider that controls the amount of food was loose and apparently dropped down a few notches so over some time it was steadily dropping more food. I do water changes weekly but hadn't noticed the food as the shrimp do a great job of cleaning up the visible mess.

Over time however the food that was swept into the background and into the gravel that was not eaten decomposed. I think this may have taken somewhat longer to become noticeable as I have over-sized the bio filter capacity with mods, and as it does take time for the amount of food dropping to increase and for food to decompose the bacteria on the bio media had time to ramp up.

Anyone familiar with the original Fluval Spec V filter material will know the amount of bio filter material I modded it for is ridiculously greater than the size of the aquarium should ever have to support. But in the end, I think it saved my tank from certain doom given the way things turned out.

I only really noticed the problem existed because the autofeeder barrel was running low, and the shrimp were really hating the nitrates being generated and running around frantic.

At the peak of the problem I could change the water till nitrate test was light orange, and it would be solid red the next day.

It took 2 days of pretty deep gravel vac that required a lot of plant removal and big water changes to get the nitrates out initially, and for the few days after since the bacteria would be dying back a bit due to less food.

All is well now.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-13-2017, 10:32 PM
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I no longer trust using auto feeders and just go with fasting if there is nobody trained. I find all those I have tried do some odd thing that I don't want. Things like get humidity in them and stop feeding for a time and then suddenly dump nearly the whole batch or none at all. I find people may mess things up but at least most will give me a call and check what needs to happen. Machines just fail and don't let me know!
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-14-2017, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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Heh heh, this was an auto feeder I use when Iím home cuz Iím too lazy. I only really looked at the tank much when I was doing water changes or catching shrimp. So like once a week Iíd really give it any attention.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 02:32 AM
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For small tanks, I prefer the fishmate F14 style. It allows you to limit the amount of food to your exact specification. The two downsides are 1, an air pump is required due to the openness of the design, humidity will clog it. And 2, you are limited to 14 meals tops. The benefit is, for tanks that require multiple feedings, you can measure out and time as many feedings per day as you want. You can also skip days. Lets say you are on vacation for 2 weeks but your water degrades in 1. You can skip every other day with the design.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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Autofeeder Disaster in Spec V

I have 2 of those, itís also a bit awkward to mount if you have a lid, unless you can put it on the lid.

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