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Old 04-11-2004, 11:03 AM   #1
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Fish eating cichlids?

Hi!

I was at this pet store yesterday and saw a couple of tanks of cichlids. I have a blue johanni and three red zebra's in my tank, so I am somewhat familiar with them. However, while I was there, the pet store staff did not seem very knowledgable and I had a feeling like they had no clue of what to do and how to take care of them.

So, here I am looking at this tank full of cichlids, and while I was looking closer, the red zebras and johanni's were actually eating other extremely small feeder fish!!! I couldn't believe it! I feed mine vegetarian pellets or flake food.

The reason why I am so surprised by this was because I always thought of these types of cichlids of being vegetarians and just really sticking to pellets or flakes, and the occasional cucumber, lettuce, or zuchinni. Is it really OK/good to feed them little fish?


Thanks in advanced!
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Old 04-11-2004, 01:35 PM   #2
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Almost any fish would eat fish small enough to fit in their mouth, but feeder fish can carry disease and are generally not a good idea. You should feed them pellets or flakes on a regular basis (I'm a big fan of the hikari brand), and give them frozen food from the lfs once a week.
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Old 04-11-2004, 02:29 PM   #3
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If you have a tank where you can culture your own *healthy* guppy fry, that may be an option for feeding your cichlids live (if they want it and/or if it is appropriate for them). I cultured decent-size guppies for my clown knife to supplement his regular diet.
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Old 04-11-2004, 08:00 PM   #4
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I agree it would be better you raise your own HEALTHY feeders. I love my Cichlids and they LOVE feeders. it is fun to watch them chase them. My Pink Convict took down his first Ghost Shrimp last night and it was cool to watch. My Cichlids that do eat live fish grow like little weeds. My Kenyi is my biggest Cichlid and has tripled his size in the last 5 months. He is now 3 inches. He loves feeders. I have never been able to get mine to eat veggies. I feed them Cichlids granules, Krill, Brine, Ghost Shrimp and feeders. It is fun to watch when I put a feeder goldfish in the tank and 5 of them attack it, till it is almost gone. They eat well those nights
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55 gallon - Live plants, gravel:
3 Bala Sharks, 4 Tiger Barbs, 3 Long Finned Rosy Barbs, 1 Tire Track Eel, 1 Black Ghost Knife, 1 Gold Gourami, 2 Gold Barbs, 1 Pecock Eel ,1 Chinese Algae Eater.

45 gallon - Live plants, sand.
6 Cichlids = 1 Pink Convict, 1 Electric Yellow Hap, 1 Kenyi, 1 MUTT, 1 Johanni Mbuna, 1 Jacobfreibergi Peacock, 1 Plecostomus.

1 gallon - SW - crushed coral, live rock. **
4 Dwarf Hermit Crabs, 2 Astraea Turbo Snail.
Hitchikers - 1 green shroom, 2 polyps, and one muscle.

1 gallon - SW - crushed coral, live rock. **
4 Dwarf Hermit Crabs.
Hitchikers - 4 yellow polyps.

**10 gallon sump attached to both the 1 gallons.

10 gallon - FW sand, rock.
30ish Cichlid fry.

30 gallon - DOWN - Awating FW or SW
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Old 04-12-2004, 11:33 AM   #5
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haha

lol...glad to see they have a feast once a week.

I wonder if it 'psychological damages' the fish by feeding it feeder fish. for example, if I use feeders to feed my cichlids, will they start becoming more aggressive towards each other and then try to eat each other? Or, would they maybe become less aggressive towards each other because they get it out of their system.... Interesting...

Either way, I think I might look into raising some feeder fish. I don't want to say my cichlids are boring, but it sounds fun to watch them eat something live...
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Old 04-12-2004, 11:39 AM   #6
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I forgot to ask too...since this sounds pretty interesting...what kind of feeder fish do you recommend? I know somebody said guppies, but are there others as well? Is it hard to make the guppies reproduce, or are they pretty active?

Just wondering the best way to go about doing this...
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Old 04-12-2004, 12:14 PM   #7
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I have a question..
If the animal is not a piscevore would it affect them as breeders if you continually feed them wee fishies?

I ask because adult gourami & bettas that are still fed BBS are often egg and fry eaters.
They also are more likely to chow down ghost shrimp (16 out of 22 betta stats here at home gives a testament to the latter)
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Old 04-12-2004, 12:50 PM   #8
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Guppies will reproduce with no problem.
I have a tank of Mbuna cichlids and they are active enough as it is without feeding them live foods. They get weekly frozen brine shrimp as a treat. When I see a gravid female, the whole tank gets extra protein. Since these fish originated by eating algae, too much protein may give them "Malawi Bloat". Make sure to continue feeding veggies--peas and zucchini, or whatever they will eat.
I don't think feeding live foods will lessen the aggression level among conspecifics.
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