Introduction: FinFeeder Paper Automatic Fish Feeder

My work asked me to go out of town for a week on only a few hours’ notice. I had fish at home and was worried they’d get hungry and aggressive to each other, so I cobbled together a printer paper fish feeder. I have since made some improvements on the design to make it easier to make and more effective.

This is meant to be a temporary solution, my feeder lasted a couple weeks but eventually the paper got wet and disintegrated! If you're interested in a longer lasting plastic version, with improved capability, check out Fin Feeder.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

I used supplies available to me at the office.

You will need:

1. Paper (preferably cardstock or cardboard from a notepad but printer paper will do.)

2. Scissors (or a knife)

3. Wall clock

4. Optional* tape or glue

Step 2: Download the PDF and Print It

Step 3: Cut Out the Paper and Start Folding

  1. Cut out the whole thing.
  2. Cut into those little rectangles on the corners, they will fit into each other.
  3. Use the scissors to make a small hole where the circle is. Don't make it too big!
  4. Fold on the lines.
  5. Cut a slit along the line on the bottom (near the circle). The "arm" will fit into that slit.
  6. Lock the corners together as shown. Locking incorrectly will cause food to get trapped.
  7. Put the little "hand" through the slit to secure the arm. Bend it to keep it locked in.

Step 4: Remove the Clock Movement and Attach the Feeder

1. The clock movement is secured to the clock with a small hex nut. Loosen and remove with your fingers.

2. Remove the hands by gently pulling them straight off.

3. Gently push the paper feeder onto the largest axle (where the hour hand was).

4. Fill the feeder half full (max) with food. Then push the lid closed.

Step 5: Mount the Feeder With a Binder Clip or Paper Clip

You have several options to mount your temporary fish feeder.

  • I used the hex nut that I removed earlier, to secure the clock movement to a binder clip.
  • You can also tape the feeder to a paper clip and use that.
  • You can tape the feeder to the tank with double sided tape or sticky tack.
  • Finally, resting the feeder on the ledge of the tank *may* work, wouldn't recommend it.

If you liked this opensource aquarium tech, check out these other open source designs I made.

FinFeeder Open Source Automatic Aquarium Chef

Open Source 3D Printable Food Ring

Open Source 3D Printable Worm Cone