Feeding cichlids and rasboras


Just wondering if this feeding schedule sounds alright for a juvenile female red devil cichlid and 8 juvenile harlequin rasboras, in different tanks of course. I have heard that they are both omnivores. In th schedule I will only be including the evening, or second, meal of the day, as the first, in the morning, is always the base food. For the devil, this is Hikari sinking cichlid gold and for the harlequins it is Xtreme community crave flakes. I feed 2x a day, so there is no lunch.

Sunday: Omega one carnivore cubes (frozen cubes with bloodworms, mysis, and brine shrimp) for the devil and rasboras fast all day
Monday: carnivore cubes for both
Tues: Omega one small vegetable pellets for the devil and xtreme spirulina flakes for the rasboras
Wed: carnivore cubes for both
Thurs: same as tuesday for both
Fri: carnivore cubes for both
Saturday: same as Tuesday for both

does this sound healthy? I have heard varying information about how often to feed frozen foods, ranging from 2-4 times per week. I also have Boyd enterprises vitachem coming, to fill in nutritional gaps. I plan to soak the frozen food in this stuff 1-2 times per week. Is that too little or too much vitamins? Also, should a growing red devil be fasting once a week? Please tell me if there is a correction needed to the schedule. Thx to any responses


Sounds pretty good


Have you used the cubes yet? my fish, who are food-grubbing monsters, don't like it very much, and it's very messy. And the fish don't go after the pieces like they do with literally every other food I have tried.

If your fish like it, great, Just letting you know if you have not bought it yet. I am probably gonna toss mine.

I recommend that you feed the frozen cube once or twice a week at the most. Consider foods like cichlid bugbites as a staple. Xtreme flakes 2-3 days as a change. They use a lot of grain fillers in their foods, it should not be staple food for anything. Consider extreme community crave, which actually has better ingredients, the first one is still spirulina.


I don't know how big the red devil is but it may be a very short time before the rasboras become live food. Edit sorry just re-read and saw they are different tanks.

You are providing a reasonable variety of food. Is there a reason that you feel additional vitamins are needed? The Omega One, Extreme & Hikari foods all have vitamins added.


Mysis and Artemia are good, bloodworms are a nutritional mess. Would probably feed that stuff not in a mix.
Frozen food, especially with bloodworms, should be defrosted and rinsed before feeding, as the water quality they are kept in is simply bad. Adding that water with the cubes puts quite a strain on the conditions in the tank. Especially when you feed it seceral times a week.
The added vitamins usually get lost with the water they are frozen in when thawing, so some extra drops of vitamins don't hurt. 1-2 times a week 1-2 drops per feeding is absolutely enough.

Just went through the ingredient lists of the dry foods... Xtreme has soy, corn starch and quite prominently fish meal... The Hikari is basically vitamine enriched breakfast cereal (well, if you ignore the fish meal). Empty calories, cheap fillers and with garlic and yeast 2 flavour enhancers so the fish love that stuff... The price is theft.
A good dry food has as little grains and legumes as possible (best only wheat gluten or soy lecithin as binders), no starches, lots of crustaceans and insects. And no generalized fish meal.

Don't know what's available to you, so you would have to look through a number of foods to find something that's not junk. The closest to acceptable and available will likely be Bug Bites. Not a big fan of these either but in comparison they get away best.

I for my part stopped feeding dry food as a staple completely.

Edit: Oh and about the schedule - 1 or 2 fast days a week won't hurt, especially with those foods on the menu.


Thx for your responses, and i will consider deeply...
MacZ, what do you feed as a staple, w/out dry foods?
Also, what is wrong with bloodworms, nutritionally?
Would you recommend New Life Spectrum, as they seem to meet the requiremnt of a good dry food.


MacZ, what do you feed as a staple, w/out dry foods?
For my fish (pencilfish and dwarf cichlids) the staple is live artemia (baby brine shrimp) I hatch avery few days. That would be ok for your rasboras, even if fully grown, but your cichlid is out of the size range for that. Frozen brine shrimp (fully grown) are a good staple, but need to be defrosted and then require addition of vitamins.

Also, what is wrong with bloodworms, nutritionally?
The average ratio of protein to fat is the problem. Depending on quality the protein content reaches up to 45%, while fat content is often under 15%. With that high protein the fat content has to be higher or the fish starve while eating. Getting energy mainly from protein is a calculation with an allover minus for the animal. Many people feed dry foods additionally which then contain grains (meaning carbs), which most fish can't really use as an energy source in the first place and which get stored in body fat. Leads to fatty livers (a prominent cause of death in fish. Yes, our pets often have the same lifestyle diseases as us). Ever seen really chubby tetras (more than just gravid), that are ready to burst? They are a prime example of what happens when fish only get dry foods.

Would you recommend New Life Spectrum, as they seem to meet the requiremnt of a good dry food.
As many of the brands named here on the forum aren't available in my country, I had to look this one up. And yeah... can't recommend what I don't really know and by no means tested, but looking at the ingredients of their cichlid mix... I am hesitant.
Ingredient list says specific fish and krill are main ingredients (good), but whole wheat flour at position 3 in the list (so it's a main ingredient) and the 37% protein to 8% fat ratio with all that carbs... If you don't feed this as a staple but as a supplement for vitamins (which look good in the list)... I suppose it's ok for 2 days a week (3 if you feed it only one of two daily feedings).


I dont know if i can provide live brine shrimp consistently to my fish...is it that hard? Also, how do fluval bug bites stack up compared to these bad foods? It seems to have 40% to 12% protein to fat ratio, is that Good? What do you give as a vegetable based food to your fish, as opposed to dry foods?
My fish are omnivores, so i am looking to provide a balanced diet.
also, thank you for your insightful responses so far


My fish (Cichlids, Barbs, Tetras & Loaches) thrive on NLS & Omega One pellets & flakes. I don't even mess with frozen food.
Never been a fan of Hikari foods.


ok, probably going to nix the hikari and xtreme foods, also, i have heard that feeding fish too many foods can be bad. What is the upper bound of variety?


I dont know if i can provide live brine shrimp consistently to my fish...is it that hard?
Not with routine. My artemia hatchery for example is 20 minutes of work a week. (emptying, cleaning, resetting).

Also, how do fluval bug bites stack up compared to these bad foods? It seems to have 40% to 12% protein to fat ratio, is that Good?
As I said, they are also not optimal, but the ratio is a bit better and the ingredients are (at least in the standard mix) relatively good. It's the only dry food I can halfway recommend that is available to you. Usually I feed something completely different I know is only available in my country. (But if you want to look out for it: Brand is "More for Fish", variety is "Rio Orinoco".)

What do you give as a vegetable based food to your fish, as opposed to dry foods?
Leaf litter (yes, fish pick at it regularly if you have it) and fresh veggies (cucumber, zucchini, lettuces, bell peppers). If there are vegetables like cale or carrots in a dry food that's also fine by me. My current stock is 95% carnivorous (micropredators), so right now I don't have to supplement anything like that.

What is the upper bound of variety?
Your wallet. No joke.
Although I must say: The variety does not come with dry foods. If you got 1-2 high quality dry foods that's all the variety necessary for that, the rest comes with live, frozen and freeze-dried. And fresh if you feed vegetables.


In the past i have had a hard time getting the fish to eat fresh veggies. What could I do to make them more appetizing?


Nothing. Usually fish will at least try them and pick at them. If a few bites don't make them go for more they are not very much into veggies at all. I would also probably not classify your fish as actually omnivore. Facultative omnivores rather with a carnivorous base diet.

Another way of getting them some vegetable matter would also be feeding live foods with spirulina fluid the day before feeding them to the fish. Especially Artemia and Daphnia can be enhanced that way.


Even Garlic wont work?, not like garlic guard from seachem, like actual garlic juice, with no artificial ingredients?


It can help, doesn't necessarily. I use garlic extract sometimes as a precaution to bacterial infections, but I prefer to eat that stuff myself and not have my tanks smell like it.
At this point I think you are overthinking. Veggies are not that important to our fishes diet as many people think.


ok, so the diet should be mostly meat based, with a mix of high quality dry and frozen foods. Do veggies need to be included at all?


ok, so the diet should be mostly meat based, with a mix of high quality dry and frozen foods.
Basically yes.
Do veggies need to be included at all?
On occasion. Some vegetable matter doesn't hurt. Fresh veggies maybe once every month or every other week, depending on how interested the fish are. If they ignore the veggies completely, even when they are the only food offered, it should be clear you can spare those.

Edit: My advice would be very different if you had certain plecos, certain otos, Mbuna or Tropheus cichlids. Those are the only fish with significant vegetable percentages in their natural diet.


ok, thank you.


last thing, how would whole alaskan shrimp from omega one stack up as a staple?


I'm not sure if shrimp would work as a staple, but for a couple of times a week sure. Grocery store shrimp should be just as nutritional and less expensive. and you could try it and see how it goes without buying a whole bag. I tried canned shrimp once and it was super messy and the fish were less than impressed. "just trying to save you the mess"

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