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Thread: Is the AFS feeder as bad as all the reviews suggest?

  1. #1
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    Is the AFS feeder as bad as all the reviews suggest?

    I've been looking at the AFS in anticipation of a trip at the end of next month. However, the reviews seem to be mostly horrible. Is this thing as bad as everyone is saying or can it work with the proper food and programming?

  2. #2
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    I have been running mine over a year now with no issue, it can be a little loud as all the pumps are turned off so the tank gets real quiet, yet the fish know its feeding time. As for programming the feeder is not hard at all, it can get more complicated if you are wanting pumps to turn off before and turn on after a certain amount of time during the feeding cycle, but the user manual and the get started guide gives you examples how to set this all up.

    For proper food it works great with pellet food, but no so good with flake food. That being said my fish really like Neptune's Crossover Diet pellet food that you get a sample when you purchase the AFS.
    Jon
    ***RIP*** to Reeftronics that has saved me more then once and was a great place to look at other peoples programming to get many ideas I use on my own tank. Thanks Russ for all the years of keeping up this great service free of charge to us users that took it for granted like me .

  3. #3
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    Same here. Running over a year with no real issues. Programming as said above is really not that hard. I use the 1mm NLS pellets and have had no problems. If I had to complain about anything is that you have to be careful when removing the drum for refillling. Sometimes just the cap can come off spilling out the remaining contents. I just place a paper towel underneath on top of my screened top on the tank just in case.

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  4. #4
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    Mine works well also as the others suggest. It is the only way I have Fred my tanks for almost 2 years now. I feed the crossover diet food.

  5. #5
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    I love the afs! I too feed nls pellets and have never had a single problem. As mentioned above, it is pretty loud, but the noise only lasts for about 30 seconds.

  6. #6
    Frequent Visitor MatroxD's Avatar
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    Same here, love mine..

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  7. #7
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    Does anyone know how much room I need between the back of my tank and the wall for it to fit?

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    I've been running mine since they were first released and never had a single issue with it. I never understood any of the poor reviews. Not once have I spilled any food and my AFS faces away from me and is mounted to a light rack. To me that is the result of clumsy users. As for noise, I have heard much worse and my fish know exactly when food is going to be dispenses do to me, what little noise it does make serves as a good point because it means less food is wasted. I truly love my AFS. There isn't a feeder that is even remotely close in terms of ease of use and capabilities. Especially with the control the Apex provides. Mine serves up pellets mixed with some flake once a day as part of my supplemental feeding. I travel a fair amount so having the ability to log into my Apex and trigger a feed manually if I am away and want to add additional food is a major bonus.

  9. #9
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    I also love my feeder! I use it with flake food once a day and up that when I am out of town. It is set up directly above a small power head and also have one of the two water returns pointed at the spot below the feeder. The flakes are pushed underwater by the currents.

    My feeder is clipped to the rim of the tank and has about 2 inches projecting backwards towards the wall, the back wire also sticks out about two inches so I would give it about 5 inches of room. (total length of unit is about 4 inches)

    Best of luck!

  10. #10
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    Well it happened. I read all the warnings but I was too dumb to take them seriously. I just got me feeder today. Installed it and everything went fine. I did a turn of food and my clowns seemed to be having trouble eating the food that came with the feeder. So I thought maybe I'll put their food into it and see what happens.

    Knowing from all the reviews that it's a bad design, I very, very, very carefully tried to remove the drum to swap food and BAM! a whole container of food goes flying in my tank! What a piece of s**t! I just spent the last 2 hours netting all the food out of my tank and doing a water change with a strain of the sand bed. Looking at this thing now HOW STUPID COULD THEY POSSIBLY BE TO MAKE THE LID THAT HOLDS THE FOOD IN THE PART YOU PULL TO OPEN THE FEEDER??? There's no way this thing can be safely opened while mounted on the tank.

  11. #11
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    Sounds to me that if it's the first time I use the thing, and I know that this can be an issue, I would have practiced it first without food, then with food but not in place on the tank and finally with just a very little food in the drum with it in place on the tank.

    it may be a poor design, I don't know as I don't have one, but it's the users fault for not being careful with something they suspected might be an issue.

    I am sorry you had this experience. I certainly hope all your livestock are going to be fine

  12. #12
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    I did try it without food the first time I opened it when it was sitting on my desk. When I opened it while on my tank it didn't strike me that I need to pull on the cover that holds the food in. I would say it's nearly impossible to open the thing, while mounted, and successfully pull the drum out without opening the cover.

  13. #13
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    Does anyone put the AFS to feed the pellets the return pump so the return pump squirt food to the DT...?

  14. #14
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    I have one of the first AFS feeders. I love mine, Do not try fill it while mounted. The only thing that has happened to mine is the sticker fell off the back. These are great for anyone that goes on vacation.

  15. #15
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    I've never spilled any food when removing mine, and it's been mounted on the back of the tank since they first became available.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ngvu1 View Post
    Does anyone put the AFS to feed the pellets the return pump so the return pump squirt food to the DT...?
    Yes, this is what I do. And for the record I concur that the design of the AFS leaves much to be desired. Too much room for error, for this reason I only have it connected to my system when I'm out of town.

  17. #17
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    The AFS is challenging for smaller tanks with smaller fish. The Crossover diet is way too large for small fish. And smaller food simply dumps too much into the tank even with the adjustable orange feeder plate closed all the way. I 3D printed a replacement plate to better control the amount of food. Either way, there's very little control for small setups. So much waste caused me huge issues. A redesign of the feed plate would help better control the amount of food. Until then, I simply don't use it.


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ngvu1 View Post
    Does anyone put the AFS to feed the pellets the return pump so the return pump squirt food to the DT...?
    Quote Originally Posted by Riad View Post
    Yes, this is what I do. And for the record I concur that the design of the AFS leaves much to be desired. Too much room for error, for this reason I only have it connected to my system when I'm out of town.
    this is interesting, are you both using sumps are is this an AIO design? i like the idea of dumping pellets into my vectra but wasnt sure that is ok, i think the pellets can make it through the vectra intake guard thing

  19. #19
    Frequent Visitor mil3sdavis's Avatar
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    My AFS quit working very soon after it was out of warranty (Unable to complete a full revolution, it was a power issue not a gearing issue). The AFS is essentially a Lifegard Aquatics Intelli-Feed automatic feeder with new guts. I have several of the Intelli-Feed units and have never had an issue. I don't run a feed mode on the Apex when I feed, so I honestly get no benefit from the AFS anyway. That being said, I would never put the AFS (or Intelli-Feed) on a smaller system. It is so hard to dial in the amount of food dispersed, I would be afraid of over feeding a small tank.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mil3sdavis View Post
    My AFS quit working very soon after it was out of warranty (Unable to complete a full revolution, it was a power issue not a gearing issue). The AFS is essentially a Lifegard Aquatics Intelli-Feed automatic feeder with new guts. I have several of the Intelli-Feed units and have never had an issue. I don't run a feed mode on the Apex when I feed, so I honestly get no benefit from the AFS anyway. That being said, I would never put the AFS (or Intelli-Feed) on a smaller system. It is so hard to dial in the amount of food dispersed, I would be afraid of over feeding a small tank.
    On small tanks, I just set it to its lowest setting and tune with the number of rotations. I feed my tank 45 pellets a day by giving it 9 rotations.

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  21. #21
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    Have had mine for two years, never a problem.

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