Worked well until LED display faded
October 1, 2015
This feeder is very easy to use and the instructions for the product are easy to follow and can also be found online. You can set several feed times. I did not have a problem with the mechanical operation of the unit. The product came with a house I purchased in Nov. 2013 with a med/small sized pond with 5 large koi. I do not know how old it was at the time the house was purchased. The unit was positioned on a screw on a plank that was leveraged by a large rock on the rear. So, the feeder jutted out over one end of the pond by about a foot. This worked fine. But, I found the unit in the water once in the first six months. I figured an animal such as a possum had pushed it over. I do not recall if the feeder base (which has the display) went into the water or just the feed housing top part. All the food was soaked and ruined. The unit still worked fine, at least for awhile. In September 2015 I tried to adjust the feeding amount and found the LED display was not functioning. It probably had been out for months. I was told by a Pond Supply Store that he had had customers complain that prolonged sun exposure caused the LED display on the Fishmate P7000 to fade. The store owner recommended the Koi Cafe feeder, which is much more expensive. Nonetheless, because the Koi Cafe needs to be hung over the pond, and a pole structure is not possible or desirable in my rocky back yard and I do not have a suitable overhanging tree branch, i am going to replace the bad unit with a new Fishmate P7000 since it is such a good bargain and can be located on the ground. I will put some removable dark tape over the LED to block the sun.
ProsBargain price compared to other feeders on market. Easy to set up with a little initial investment of time and learning. Instruction manual is easy to follow and is can be found online. Mechanical parts seemed to function well and be fairly durable. Can set multiple feed times and vary amount of food. Is inconspicuous looking and is a nice forest green color.
ConsLED display which is necessary to adjust clock, feeding times and amounts, went out possibly from prolonged moderate sun exposure. The two side snaps on the lid could be firmer as they seemed to have weaked a bit over time. The feed housing that sets on top of the feeder base does not lock into the base but simply snugly sits ontop of it. I found the housing tipped over and in the water on one occassion probably by a large animal such as a possum. I wish it snapped in to the base. (Perhaps it is not snapped in because the manufacturer does not want the base to go in the water, too, should the entire unit be tipped in. However, that raises another issue -- why does the feeder not come with eyelets so that it can be wired to a board?) You should also make sure the base is securely fastened somehow to a board if possible and make sure the board also cannot be easily moved. This is not easily done due to the design due to the design of the product.
One warning: make sure you snap the snaps on the feeder lid shut, or you will definitely have animals getting in to the food in the feed housing.