Best Automatic Turtle Feeder

Are you going away on vacation soon? Or perhaps you are away from the house at a certain time and would like your turtles to be fed. Getting an automatic turtle feeder is one way to help solve this problem. 

Read below for my pick for the best automatic turtle feeder. 

More...

Name

Ranking

Feedings/Day

Dedicated to Turtles

Price

Eheim Turtle Feeder

Eheim Turtle Feeder

#1

1-4x


ExoTerra Feeder

ExoTerra Turtle Automatic Feeder

#2

1-4x


IntelliFeed Feeder

IntelliFeed Fish Feeder

#3

2-12x

X

Hydor Feeder

Hydor Automatic Feeder

#4

1-3x

X

Top Choice: Eheim Turtle Feeder

Eheim Turtle Feeder

The Eheim Turtle Feeder should easily be your top choice. Easily. 

For starters, it is specifically designed for turtles. ​

As of early 2017, I have not found any other dedicated automatic turtle feeders, only feeders dedicated towards reptiles or fish feeders. This is the only one I have seen that is built specifically for turtles in mind. 

It's an electronically programmed device that allows you to feed your turtles up to 4x a day (which is definitely a lot more than you need). 

The device itself looks rather small and as if it can't hold that much turtle food, but rest easy, as if it is filled with pellets, it will easily last your turtles more than 2 weeks with multiple daily feedings. 

An LCD display clock shows the programmed feed times.

It is powered by 2 AA batteries which will last around 6 months. ​

It comes with a universal installation clamp to hang over the side of your tank. My experience with these types of feeders is that you want it as far away from the water as possible because A) getting water on the inside might make mush of your food and cause problems and B) your turtles will soon learn where the food is regularly coming from and probably splash around it. ​

The slot through the turtle pellets fall out of is 5/8", which should be big enough for most commercial turtle pellets. These types of devices work best with fish flakes and very small bits of food, so larger pellets, and especially any food that is irregularly shaped, like shrimp, may not work as well. 

So, if you are using Reptomin sticks or any other food that is long or large, you will probably have problems with this feeder, unless you cut them up into smaller pieces. ​

Another problem with this device is that even though you can program it to feed your turtles 4x a day, you don't have any option to feed every other day or every 3 days, as older turtles do not need to be fed every day. 

Note: This feeder is indistinguishable from the Eheim Everyday Fish Feeder. They are the exact same product. They are both fulfilled by Amazon, but they simply go through separate companies. ​

Pros

  • Dedicated automatic turtle feeder
  • Feeder slot adjustable so you can change amount of food that comes out
  • Easy to set up and use 
  • Lots of features 
  • Good price, not expensive 
  • Works well with most pellets 
  • Amazon best seller 

Cons

  • Won't work well with bigger pellets 
  • No option to program every other day or every 3 days

Runner Up: ExoTerra Turtle Automatic Feeder

ExoTerra Turtle Automatic Feeder

If for some reason Amazon is completely out of stock of both the Eheim Turtle Feeder and the identical Eheim Everyday Automatic Feeder, this should be your next best bet: the ExoTerra Turtle Automatic Feeder. 

Like the Eheim, the ExoTerra is able to feed your turtles 4x a day and uses a built-in LCD timer screen to program when to feed your pets. 

Also like the Eheim, this will only fit medium to smaller sized pellets. Due to the shape of the device,  you won't be able to put Reptomin sticks or any rectangular or irregular-shaped food into the device or it will get clogged. ​

This device basically does everything the Eheim does, but not nearly as well. 

For starters, the canister where the food is held is circular shaped and smaller than the Eheim, so on average, you will probably only get around a week to maybe 2 weeks tops out of a fully-filled feeder. ​

By far the biggest consumer complaint to this device was the inconsistent amount of food that was dispersed during feedings. The lid and canister does a 360 loop during feedings, and what generally happens is that during each feeding the amount of food will vary quite wildly. Often times there will be too many pellets or too few. ​

The other big problem was that many consumers had problems setting up the timer, and figuring out how to set it to 1 or 2 or 3x a day feedings instead of the pre-programmed 4. ​

Overall, I would only suggest purchasing the ExoTerra over the Eheim if you absolutely cannot get your hands on the Eheim, and you absolutely need an automatic feeder for a week or maybe two. ​

Pros

  • Dedicated automatic turtle feeder
  • Feeder slot adjustable so you can change amount of food that comes out
  • Up to 4x a day feedings 
  • Not expensive

Cons

  • Won't work well with bigger pellets 
  • No option to program every other day or every 3 days (like the Eheim) 
  • Unclear directions 
  • Inconsistent amount of pellets per feeding

You Should Probably Avoid:IntelliFeed Fish Feeder 

IntelliFeed Fish Feeder

You will probably want to avoid the IntelliFeed Fish Feeder, although it does a few things a bit better than the ExoTerra. 

First, the advantages. 

Unlike the ExoTerra (and the Eheim), this device can be preprogrammed for daily feedings from 2 to 12x. 

Another big advantage that I like about this feeder is that it does a really good job of keeping the food dry. The food is inside a container, which is insider another container. During feeding times, the food slowly comes out and the container is rotated so that it drops out, basically ensuring that the food stays dry at all times. 

The biggest drawback however to this feeder is that it is not designed for pellets. 

So, if you are going to be use this to primarily feed your turtles, you will almost inevitably need to cut up the pellets you do have so that they are very, very small. 

If you simply use regular sized pellets, what will happen is that the pellets will either spill out way in excess or you way under-portioned. 

The other huge drawback to this device is the price. 

It is nearly 75% more expensive than both the Eheim and the ExoTerra, and it is not designed for turtles.

Simply put, this product would be fine for fish, but not for your turtles. ​

Pros

  • 2 to 12x daily feedings
  • Does a very good job of keeping the food inside the container dry

Cons

  • Much more expensive than the Eheim and ExoTerra
  •  Not designed for turtles, works poorly with pellets 
  • Inconsistent amount of pellets per feeding

You Should Probably Avoid: Hydor Automatic Fish Feeder 

Hydor Automatic Feeder

The Hydor Automatic Fish Feeder looks a lot like the IntelliFeed Fish Feeder, but nearly half the price. 

Despite the fact that this device is the cheapest of all the feeders reviewed here, you will still probably want to steer clear here.

Like the IntelliFeed, it does some things well.

It can be set from 1 to 3 feedings per day all with the push of a button. 

However, you don't really have any control over what precise times you want those feedings to occur. For instance, if you want your turtles to be fed every day at noon, you will have to wait until noon the next day and then hit the button, so that the internal clock can start its countdown. 

Despite this, the build quality on this is actually pretty good. Not as good as the Eheim, but it overall feels solid in your hand, and installed on your tank. It's powered by 2 AA batteries and should last a bit longer than the Eheim, ExoTerra and IntelliFeed, around 9-10 months. It also comes with a low power warning to let you know its time to change the batteries. 

But again, like the IntelliFeed this device was not designed with turtles in mind. The container that houses the pellets is very small, and you will definitely need to crush them up into even smaller bits for it to work properly. 

Overall, you should probably steer clear of this one as well. 

Pros

  • 1 to 3x daily feedings 
  • Does a very good job of keeping the food inside the container dry
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Very small container to house the food 
  •  Not designed for turtles, works poorly with pellets 
  • Inconsistent amount of pellets per feeding
  • Very limited programming times

Pros & Cons of Automatic Feeders

If you are absolutely dead set on getting an automatic feeder for your turtles, I would highly suggest the Eheim (both models are OK). 

Everything else is going to be subpar and you will have a much higher chance of being disappointed with your purchase.

That being said, this article would not be complete without also going into whether or not you should actually purchase an automatic feeder.

In most cases, you don't need one. For instance, if you are going on a small day trip, or even a 2 or 3 day trip, your turtles will be fine.

Another option is to purchase a live plant for your tank. This basically replicates the natural environment of turtles in the wild. When they are hungry, they can munch on something like waterweed for red eared sliders. I have written a post on the best live plants to get for turtles that can be found HERE.

Plants for Turtle Tanks​

For others, that is probably not the best idea. Let's break down the pros and cons of automatic feeders. 

Pros

  • Don't need to rely on a neighbor or relative to come around and check on them as often
  • If you are worried about your turtles getting the proper amount of nutrition, especially for younger turtles that need to be fed more often
  • If you don't have the space, or the means to purchase a live plant to put in the tank for them to munch on 
  • Can safely leave your turtles for over a week rather easily
  • The Eheim model (the best model to get) is inexpensive

Cons

  • You can only use small pellets in automatic feeders 
  • You need to double check every thing is set up right, and ensure that nothing will knock down or that water will enter the device 

Simply put, if you are going on a short trip, simply ask someone to come around and check up on your turtles and feed them. 

Otherwise, grab the Eheim and forget about the rest as it is clearly the best automatic turtle feeder.

TurtleHolic ​

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