Best diet for large cichlids?

Discussion in 'Fish Food' started by Skysong87, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Skysong87Valued MemberMember

    Well I am in the process of getting some large cichlids so I thought I should double check what the best things for them to eat are!

    What will be in the tank:
    1 Oscar
    1 gold severum
    1 chocolate cichlid
    6-8 red-tailed tinfoil barbs

    So foods I have access to and can buy:

    Staple-
    NLS cichlid formula pellets
    NLS Thera A pellets
    NLS algae wafers
    Omega one shrimp pellets

    Freeze dried-
    Omega one tubifex worms
    Omega one bloodworms
    Omega one brine shrimp

    Frozen-
    Beef heart
    Bloodworms

    Live-
    Crickets
    Mealworms
    Earthworms
    Blackworms

    So my questions:
    1. Should I be feeding NLS Thera A and cichlid formula or would just the Thera A be ok for a staple diet?

    2. How do you feed live foods? I mean I don't have to chop them up or anything do I? Do I just drop them in the tank or do I hold them with a pair of tweezers?

    3. What are some good veggies or fruits besides the normal lettuce, peas, cucumber and zucchini?

    4. Are any of the above listed foods not suitable?

    I was thinking meaty foods 1-2 per week and veggies/fruits 1-2 per week with the pellets being the staple food.

    Sorry for all the questions but I really want to give them a varied diet so they are happy and healthy!
     
  2. Bettalover99Valued MemberMember

    Not sure much about your other chiclids but oscars are very neat fish. There's several YouTube videos of people
    Feeding them
    Cut up hamburger and table scraps. As far as live foods they like them live because they like the chase. If I were you I would consider feeder guppies or raising your own fry
     
  3. Skysong87Valued MemberMember

    Thanks for the reply BL. However cool it might be to feed hamburger and table scraps I'm pretty sceptical as to any of it having nutritional value for the fish or if it is even healthy for them :/

    I have read that gut loaded guppies are a good food however I ruled them out for a few reasons. First I wouldn't feed store bought guppies in case they had a disease that would then make my fish sick. Secondly I don't have any spare tanks to breed my own. And lastly ... I already have a few guppies and I like them even though they are technically my mums. So I'd feel bad using guppies as feeders, I don't even like the idea of using earthworms lol.
     
  4. btate617Well Known MemberMember

    You don't need to feed your fish live anything, period. They don't need the chase or any of that. Get yourself a very high quality pellet food and that is all you need.
    Problem is people get a half decent food as a staple then preach you need a varied diet, well yes you do if you start with a junk food to begin with. A high quality food will have everything you need in it to keep healthy fish.



    Brian
     
  5. featherblueWell Known MemberMember

    My German rams love blackworm day, and they're super easy to store. My single portion ($1.50) feeds my pea puffers (staple), and treats all the other fish in the house (who like them) 2 times a week, and last about a month. Store in little tupperware with water, rinse before every feeding.
    I prefer a small amount of live food in all my carnivores diets, especially when its simple.
    Id skip crickets, it'd be difficult to only get those small enough for a cichlid bite.
    I know most lfs sell earthworms.....but make sure to use aquarium or pet supplied live food to limit potential bad hitchhickers (watch out for flukes).
     
  6. MC4RKillerValued MemberMember

    I feed my large cichlids a staple of Hikari Cichlid Excel and Hikari Cichlid Staple. The Excel is formulated more for herbivorous fish(feed it to my goldfish as well). Thus cichlids which consume some plant matter will benefit such as with your Chocolate and Severums. I feed a combo of these pellets 5 days per week....I feed frozen Krill 1 day per week; and fast 1 day per week. People often times give Hikari Staple flack as not being as good as Gold....honestly I have not noticed a difference in my fish's health, growth, etc since switching to Staple. I bought it when my supplier was out of Gold...it was cheaper and well Ive not seen a reason to go back to Gold.

    Now my Jaguar will ONLY eat Hikari Sinking Cichlid Gold in medium....he is extremely picky and wont eat floating pellets, frozen, or anything else despite my efforts to move him onto something larger or different. His health has not suffered in the least from not having a varied diet; if you choose a decent pellet to begin with your fish can certainly sustain quite well on it. I used to feed a much more varied diet than I do now...basically I had more time to devote to worrying about what to feed my fish and more time to clean up after messy DIY food preparations and so on. These days I want my tanks to be as clean as possible and tend to keep things simple.

    NLS is good food; I use their flakes and small sinking all purpose food for my smaller cichlids and barbs. Reason I don't feed it to the large guys is the fact it simply just reaks and the amount of food I have to feed the big guys honestly would just make my fish room stink lol
     
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