Cichlid Foods on the Market
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Feed a variety.
Big Eaters: On the average, cichlids rank among the larger fishes. Many cichlids sport some very bright colors. Cichlids also rank among the smarter aquarium fishes. They’re very active and quite entertaining in their interactions with one another. Their most endearing quality? All can easily earn a place on the Olympic eating team. Cichlids love to eat. They line up at those all you can eat buffets. Very few cichlids are thought of as “picky eaters.”
Numerous Menu Items. When we examine our Aqualand fish food shelves (and our freezers), we see 45 different foods (not counting different package sizes) of foods specially made for cichlids – some even made for specific cichlids such as angelfish, discus, and red parrots -- not counting our live foods. If we stock dozens of cichlid foods, you better believe lots of people like cichlids – and like feeding their cichlids.
Natural Foods: Most cichlids prey on smaller critters. For these guys we stock feeder goldfish, crayfish, feeder rosy reds, feeder white clouds, feeder guppies, feeder ghost shrimp, mealworms, crickets, red wigglers, and California blackworms.
Frozen Foods: In the frozen category you can find large silversides (a skinny fish), small silversides, krill, plankton, brine shrimp, blood worms, glass worms, tubifex worms, and beef heart as well as several cichlid formulas designed for them. Cichlids eat any of these frozen critters as eagerly as they devour any live critter. Most of these contain good quantities of fats (fatty esters encourage spawning activity) and coloring factors (that enhance their natural colors).
Freeze-Dried Foods: You can get any of the above in an easier-to-feed canned format (except the silversides). Plus, you can find lots of other smaller critters such as daphnia.
Flakes: Eight companies make at least one type of cichlid flake food. Some make several. Some fish will not eat flake foods. You will not find cichlids on this list. Cichlids love flake foods. Give them the frozen and live foods for dessert. If you’re not locked into a particular brand, try our Aqualand brand. They’re nutritious and you’ll save some bucks on the refills.
Granules: HBH in particular specializes in granulated cichlid foods. Feed these concentrated foods lightly. It’s easy to overfeed granules.
Shrimp Pellets: Lots of companies make these hard little pellets that fall to the bottom and dissolve into the gravel. We strongly dislike these pellets. They foul your gravel and foul your water. However, some fish (and people) like them.
Pellets: Hikari in particular makes a wide spectrum of nutritious cichlid pellets. All are good. Some are excellent. Since we feed lots of big cichlids, we prefer these – especially the ones with added carotenes. You can choose between floating pellets and sinking pellets. We prefer the floaters. They’re easier to clean up when someone accidentally overfeeds them -- about a third of the time.
Sticks: TetraWerkes makes a wide variety of cichlid “stick foods.” Hikari and others make some also. Cichlids eat all brands quite readily.
Algae Wafers: Algae wafers are made for plecostomus. However, African cichlids, particularly Tanganyikans, like wafers with spirulina algae in them.
Algae Stars: O.S.I. makes rock-hard “stars” that African cichlids love. They carry them around till they soften enough to ingest. Don’t feed them to small guys.
Dried Algae: Ocean Nutrition makes sheets of dried algae for African cichlids. African cichlids need vegetation in their diet.
In Summary: You don’t need to feed 45 different cichlid foods. However, we still recommend a variety of different foods. LA.
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