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Old 12-24-2012, 06:46 AM   #1
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What to feed African Cichlids

I am currently making one of my 75 gallon tanks to be just for African Cichlids.
I have recently removed the last non-cichlid from the tank and I have recently added 2 new Jewel cichlids to the tank. (tank already has electric yellow cichlids and blue Acei cichlids)

With the other non-cichlids gone can I stop added the flake food? I have pellets for cichlids what other food is good for them. Are shrimp pellets or bottom feeder tablets something to add and what about blood worms?

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Old 12-24-2012, 08:03 AM   #2
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I'd say go really easy with blood worms. You can feed brine shrimp. NLS Thera A pellets. Veggie flakes also are good. Hikari makes a good line of Cichlid food. Do you bottom dwellers? Loaches, pleco etc? Of so then some algae tabs can be a nice treat when thrown in at night.

I use them because I have 2 plecos, loaches and a Synodontis in my 75g African tank.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:48 PM   #3
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I used to feed my mbunas strictly New Life Spectrum chichlid formula 1mm pellets. Now I feed NLS only 2 or 3 times a week. The primary food is a pellet concoction made by my local fish store with a lower protein content and higher spirulina content.

Never feed mbunas (electric yellow cichlids and blue Acei ) blood worms. They are mostly herbivores (maybe a small custation or fry here and there) and have long intestines made for digesting algae (awfuchs) and plant material. Blood worms can cause nasty things to happen to your fish. I also see no benefit to the fish in feeding brine shrimp, shrimp pellets, or any other food not made specifically for cichlids. If I were you, I would stick with NLS Chichlid formula.

Also, all African Cichlids are not the same. East African rift lake cichlids such as mbunas & haps from lake malawi or tanganikans from lake tanganika have different diets and ideal water parameters than west african cichlids like the jewel cichlid you have. Kribinesis are also from west african rivers and lakes. West african cichlids are much more like central and south american cichlids than east african rift lake cichlids. It would be wise to pick cichlids from one area.

Cichlids from lake malawi (Mbunas and Haps) require hard water and high pH. Mbunas are primarily herbivorous and smaller and seek safety and shelter in rocks. Haps are omniverous and grow larger than mbunas, they also prey on smaller fish. Tanganikans require even higher pH and harder water than cichlids from lake malawi, lake tanganika also has high conductivity and a higher salinity (although not bracish).

West african cichlids require softer water with a lower pH. They also have a different diet and may enjoy a blood worm or brine shrimp here and there.

What kind of cichlids would you like to keep?
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:14 PM   #4
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Stay away from bloodworms other than using them as a periodic treat. Excess protein combined with a deficiency in plant matter will cause you a lot of problems. Stick with a high quality spirulina based pellet or flake for juveniles. I also like to supplement my fishes diet with seaweed. It may take a few tries to get them to realize it is food but once they do they will go after it like crazy.
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