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The Plank Automatic Feeder
The Plank Automatic Feeder
The Plank Automatic Feeder
The Plank Automatic Feeder

The Plank Automatic Feeder

84 reviews
$ 199.00

**IN STOCK!**

Dosing System for Plankton

The Plank automatic feeder represents years of our efforts to find and build a device that both serves the needs of our most delicate and selective aquarium inhabitants as well as our ability to realistically attend to their well-being.  Many reef fish and most corals have evolved to continuously eat small prey items out of the water column.  However, as aquarists, it is usually not feasible for us to administer a continuous, low-density supply of small, nutritious food items in our rapidly and heavily filtered reef aquaria.  This would mean adding small doses of thawed plankton by hand, dozens of times per day; those of us with jobs and a life know this isn’t practical.

Automate frequent, small feedings as often as you’d like

Precise feeding amounts

The Plank is specifically designed to allow this type of frequent micro-feeding technique.  We’ve found over years of testing that freeze dried plankton, from tiny rotifers and calanoid copepods to larger mysis and Euphasia sp. shrimp, serve as an excellent alternative to live and frozen food options.  Freeze-dried food is nutritionally complete, often even better than many frozen preparations.  However, it has often been difficult to administer to the typical reef aquarium due to its tendency to float for a long time after being added to water.  Even with a simple floating feeding ring, freeze dried food particles usually find their way to the surface and into an overflow box, only to be filtered out before being consumed.  Our system solves this problem by incorporating a powered mixing chamber that forces most of the food particles to become neutrally buoyant before being allowed to escape.  This results in a nearly continuous supply of freshly hydrated plankton in the water column. 

Consistent

Many small high-energy reef fish such as anthias and wrasses, along with juveniles of basically every species, have low capacity, rapid digestive systems.  Once or twice per day blasts of even the highest quality frozen food often isn’t enough for them.  If the answer is continuous availability, the question becomes, how do we achieve this without sacrificing water quality by adding too much food?  In our years of searching, the automatic feeding devices out there didn’t have suitable control of either the frequency or amount of food dispensed, or both.  The common design we have all seen is the tumbling drum that dumps a pile of food into the water out of a flimsy sliding gate that always seems to move itself if you even breathe on it.  Some only offer a few feeding times per day, and if the batteries run out, you have to remember how to reprogram it with the awkward buttons.  Yes, we have a shelf full of these devices collecting dust.

 

Safe and Reliable

Slow dosing mechanism prevents accidentally adding large quantities of food

Silent, long lasting AC motor

Easy to service design

The Plank uses a precise auger driven mechanism that is capable of dosing micrograms of freeze dried plankton at a time.  Rather than complicate our device with yet another hard to remember programming interface, we opted to offload this to well known control systems like your chosen aquarium controller, a ubiquitous digital timer, or an inexpensive wifi-enabled, smartphone controlled power adapter.  Simply set the timer to run for as many seconds or minutes as you see fit, and let the Plank keep your aquarium continuously fed.  You’ll see your fish behave more as they would on a wild reef, a continuous feeding environment, having brighter colors and vigorous activity.

Assembly/installation guide and other tips

Technical Specs 

Overall Length: Feeder 5.75", Feeder sitting on Plank 7.25"

Height above aquarium rim: 5"

Clamp width: 1/8" to 3.25". Longer Plank with 5" clamp width available upon request- just note it with your order that you'd like the XL Plank.

Mixing chamber tube: 6" long, 2.375" outer diameter. This can be detached and cut as needed to optimize appearance and performance for your needs. As shipped, it assumes water level approximately 1" below aquarium rim.  A longer custom-length tube is available here.

Looking for a simple, seconds-level resolution wall timer?  We've found this one works well, even if the initial programming is a bit confusing.  Want to add simple wifi control to the feeder and mixing pump independently?  These dual adapters allow you to plug the above-linked timer into one half and the mixing pump into the other. This way, you can override the timer with basic on/off, plus let the mixing pump run on a separate schedule if you don't want to leave it running 24/7.

Customer Reviews
5.0 Based on 84 Reviews
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Filter Reviews:
WW
08/03/2021
willam w.
United States
Way better!

Super easy to put together, and works amazingly!

TH
07/30/2021
Travis H.
United States United States
The Plank Automatic Feeder

I have not put this into official use yet but from playing around with it I can say it's a great idea, I can't believe anyone has not made a design like this yet, way to go Avast! The system works great in it's trial runs and I'm sure once it is installed it will do a wonderful job dispensing food throughout the day. My only complaint is the price, this thing is crazy expensive for a 3d printed piece of equipment!

SG
07/21/2021
Steven G.
United States United States
Unlike any other auto-feeder

This product is really cool. Most of us feed our tanks in an unnatural way, with sporadically timed bursts of food that cause a frenzy and nothing in between feedings or we drop food on the surface thinking that's a good idea. This device is unique, first because it's amazingly slow, on purpose. The steppr motor on the feed bin is precise and slow. The gently swirling feeding tube creates a light current to launch the food into the water column. It's like real planktonic food availability and the fish don't maul each other getting at the food. When I had some trouble at first setting up the system (I forgot to ask for the XL plank and then the feeder propeller wasn't turning), Avast Marine was really fast and helpful, sending me everything I needed, which I had the day after I texted. A+ product design. A+ customer service.

Avast Marine Works The Plank Automatic Feeder Review
JS
07/14/2021
Justin S.
United States United States
The best

This thing is my favorite fish feeder I’ve used yet and I’ve had several. If used with an apex it’s perfect for several small feedings throughout the day for fish like anthias

R
06/30/2021
Rick
United States United States
Great auto feeder

I did quite a bit of research on auto feeders and Avast always came recommended. I will be the first to admit it is pricey as far as feeders go. But I had read on a forum about this unit uses a stepper motor as a drive motor. I will agree with this statement the drum assemble definetly does not have some cheap light weight motor. It has great control on how much it drops on feedings. I use a home made feed mixture of pellets , calunus, flake , crushed freeze dried krill and reef chili. I am still old school ( cheap ) and do not have full automation ( Apex , ECT ). So on the control of this device I Used a smart WiFi plug ( standard timer would work ) that outputs to a splitter. One side of the splitter goes directly to the pump on this feeder and the other side goes thru an old hydroponics timer I had on hand ( run time can be as little as 10 seconds to hrs ) then onto the drum auger drive motor. With the timer setup I have the smart plug comes on for 10 minutes ( 5x a day ) and the secondary timer for the drum auger motor runs 40 seconds during the 10 minute smart plug cycle. It may sound complicated but trust me it's not. It's quite simple and I'm sure if you have something like a Apex controller even more so. But I like to repurpose things I have on hand . The quality build of this feeder is top notch and should hold up to years of reefing . I normally do not leave ratings on items. But on this purchase I thought about it long and hard due to the cost. I took the chance and could not be happier with the quality and function of this purchase.