Ways & How

How to Feed African Cichlids

How to Feed African Cichlids

Bright and vivid colors of African cichlids are only one of two cichlid species that are usually found in aquariums today. The beautiful colors they possess are eye-catching and become the reason why many aquarists and hobbyists are drawn to them. As the name suggests, these species come from the freshwater lakes of Africa, yet they have proven their hardiness, which allows them to thrive even in aquarium water. This fish species can be very sociable, intelligent and very entertaining. Another aspect you have to consider is learning how to feed African cichlids. There are certain factors that you have to know regarding the right kinds of food and the feeding schedule. You must remember these tips to keep your pets happy and healthy.

  1. Learn what kinds of food your cichlids eat. African cichlids can belong to any of the four groups of eaters, namely: herbivores, carnivores, omnivores and micro-predators. You have to know whether your pet cichlids feed on other fish species – especially the fry of another fish – or on algae found on rocks or on both fishes and plants.

    inally, the last group of African cichlids feed on invertebrates such as planktons and artemia.

    Feeding your pet fishes the right kinds of food will prevent them from acquiring sickness such as ‘bloat,’ which leads to even more complications and eventually death. A balanced diet of food will supplement the needs of the cichlids, which is why it is important to have a variety of food for your fishes. An herbivore still needs to feed on a few pieces of meat and the same goes for carnivorous fishes.

  2. Know the number of times you need to feed the fishes. The numbers of times you need to feed your African cichlids depends on the size of the fishes. Once a day feeding will be sufficient enough for a full grown fish, while smaller and growing ones can be given food at least two to three times a day.

  3. Follow a feeding pattern. There is a certain feeding pattern which you have to follow to ensure that each cichlid inside your tank will get the right amount of food. All you need to do is get a sufficient amount of pellets, flakes or any kind of fish food and evenly sprinkle them on the surface of the water. Make sure that the fish do not show their aggression to fight over the food you give them.

    African cichlids are very fast eaters and will be able to consume what you give them in less than one minute. Stop dropping food as soon as you see that the food in the tank has already been consumed.

  4. Avoid overfeeding your fish. When you overfeed your African cichlids, it may lead to further complications such as intestinal infestation and ‘bloat,’ which may lead to the death of the fish. The fish excretes nitrate, which is contained within the waters of your tank and may mix in with the food. When your filtration system is not able to accommodate and clean the tank, the nitrate content may build up and cause contamination and destruction of your fish.

As an aquarist or hobbyist, you are responsible for maintaining the health and well-being of your pet fish. Learning how to feed African cichlids and knowing what kinds of food to feed them is part of this responsibility. It is only then that you will be able to relax amidst the view of your playful fish.


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