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  1. #1
    BPnet Senior Member Mike Cavanaugh's Avatar
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    ASF tank lab block hopper instructions with detailed pics!!!

    I have had a few requests recently for directions on how I make ASF lab block hoppers. The following pictures are a step by step guide to making a quality ASF lab block hopper for a tank out of one cut piece of 1/2" harware cloth. The pictures are self explanitory. if you count the squares you can make an exact replica.


    Recomended Tools:
    *Pliers (for pulling stainless steel zip ties, and to help with bending hardware cloth)
    *Needle nose plyers (for bending stainless steel zip ties
    *Tin Snips (look like giant scisors for cutting hardware cloth and stainless steel zip ties
    *Wire cutters (for making precise cuts on hardware cloth when needed)



    Total cost per hopper?

    *about 50 cents in hardware cloth
    *about $1.50 for (5) stainless steel zip ties (you can use plastic, but trust me, even if they are located behind the hopper, the ASF's will still eventually get to them, and chew them off!
    *stabbing self several times with hardware cloth while cutting and bending!

    TOTAL cost per Hopper: $2.00 and some really sore fingers and hands!

    Enjoy!








    Stainless steel wire ties!!! My home depot just started carying them. They are a little pricely, and a pain to use, but the results are priceless!!!!!









    I like to put a top on it like this. Notice the stubs oppisite side to the hinges? I leave those on purpose beacause this makes it very easy to tuck those stubs in, making it impossible for the ASF's to get in from the top... But also very easy for me to reopen and fill. Again I used the Stainless Steel Zip Ties for the "hinges".







    I set the hight so that the bottom of the hopper is about an inch and a half off the substrate.

    ASF's LOVE to dump out food from a bowl, play with the lab blocks, then make a bed out of the bowl. This creates a huge amount of wasted food. Once I started using hoppers my food costs dropped 75%!!!!! This sized hopper holds exactly 8oz, or 1/2 pound of Mazuri 6F Rodent feed.

    Just a heads up if you are new to hoppers.... At first you will think that they can't get to it through the little holes... because they are eating so little. Then later you will be simply amazed because you will realize that its NOT that they can't reach the food, It is that they just don't eat very much, and they were wasting so much more then you realized!!!

    Mike
    Mikey Cavanaugh
    (904) 318-3333

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Mike Cavanaugh For This Useful Post:

    nykea (01-30-2014),Spechal (05-12-2018)

  3. #2
    BPnet Veteran blackcrystal22's Avatar
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    Re: ASF tank lab block hopper instructions with detailed pics!!!

    Alright I'll trust you on this one..
    But are you SURE they can get a good enough amount of food from this? My asf's don't really knock bowls over but they eat a ton of it.. :[

  4. #3
    BPnet Senior Member Mike Cavanaugh's Avatar
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    Re: ASF tank lab block hopper instructions with detailed pics!!!

    Yes, I am sure!

    Been using them for months, and have had no issues. Trust me, they don't have any trouble at all getting a mouthfull of food with little to no effort... It just stops them from being able to "play catch" with the lab blocks!

    I am not the only one that uses hoppers, that is for sure!!
    Mikey Cavanaugh
    (904) 318-3333

  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran monk90222's Avatar
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    Re: ASF tank lab block hopper instructions with detailed pics!!!

    When you decide to start selling these, I'll take 4.
    Seriously!

  6. #5
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    Re: ASF tank lab block hopper instructions with detailed pics!!!

    I like to use a cutoff disk in an angle grinder to cut the hardware cloth..

    Also its probably a good idea to wear gloves. The last attempt at a hopper left my hands looking like hamburger.

    Good tutorial i think it needs a sticky.. Far better than the hopper i made lol..

  7. #6
    BPnet Veteran frankykeno's Avatar
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    Re: ASF tank lab block hopper instructions with detailed pics!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Somed00d View Post
    Good tutorial i think it needs a sticky.. Far better than the hopper i made lol..
    Stickied here and also copied into our DIY forum. Nice job Mike! I'll definitely be making some of these as soon as I phone Home Depot and make sure they stock those metal zip ties.

    I'm thinking I'll use these for the lab blocks and still offer a bowl of mixed seed and cat kibble every few days just as a suppliment to the lab block hopper feed. That way I get the best of both worlds and the ASF's can have a bit of variety in their diet. Should definitely save me some on my monthly feed costs for them.
    ~~Joanna~~


  8. #7
    BPnet Veteran littleindiangirl's Avatar
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    Re: ASF tank lab block hopper instructions with detailed pics!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Somed00d View Post
    I like to use a cutoff disk in an angle grinder to cut the hardware cloth..
    We do that too, makes it heck of a lot easier! Plus you can grind off the little left overs that would cut you.

    All my rats and ASF's eat out of hoppers, they have no problems getting to the food. I know I made a thread at some point showing my way of making hoppers that did not involve any zipties. Wasn't stickied like Mike's

    Good thread, I'd myself just make the hoppers bigger to hold more food.

  9. #8
    BPnet Veteran monk90222's Avatar
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    Re: ASF tank lab block hopper instructions with detailed pics!!!

    I just bought the stainless steel zip ties from Home Depot. 10 for $4.19.

  10. #9
    BPnet Senior Member Mike Cavanaugh's Avatar
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    Re: ASF tank lab block hopper instructions with detailed pics!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by littleindiangirl View Post
    Good thread, I'd myself just make the hoppers bigger to hold more food.
    My origional hoppers were too big... these were made smaller on purpose. they hold exactly 1/2 pound of Mazuri 6F. Depending on a few variables, it will usually last more then a week with a 1.4 group.

    In my opinion, any bigger and the food sits in the cage too long.

    Mike
    Mikey Cavanaugh
    (904) 318-3333

  11. #10
    BPnet Veteran littleindiangirl's Avatar
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    Re: ASF tank lab block hopper instructions with detailed pics!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mcavana View Post
    My origional hoppers were too big... these were made smaller on purpose. they hold exactly 1/2 pound of Mazuri 6F. Depending on a few variables, it will usually last more then a week with a 1.4 group.

    In my opinion, any bigger and the food sits in the cage too long.

    Mike
    How long do you think is too long and why?

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