View Full Version : Feeding question, from a newby

04-19-2003, 02:01 PM
I just got two african cichlid. Don't ask me what kind yet, haven't got that far. I bought Hikari floating cichlid gold pellets for food. The cichlids won't eat them off the surface, they wait until they sink. Is there any way to train them to eat off the surface? I think it would make tank cleaning easier If i fed them just what they will eat. That way i won't have a bunch of food that they diden't eat on the bottom. Does this make sense? Thanks.

04-19-2003, 04:37 PM
Yea Terry, it makes sense. They are just not used to their surroundings yet, and feel vulnerable going to the surface. Eventually they'll eat. For now soak them for a couple minutes in some water, that way they will sink. It is natural behavior for cichlids to feed and scrounge off the bottom.

Try to sit in front of the tank for a while every day, that way they will get used to you, and wont be nervous nellies.



04-21-2003, 11:42 AM
I had the same problem. But they get used to it. Now they shoot up and grab a mouth full then go back down. Even my pleco comes up to the top and takes the floating food:jaw:

04-21-2003, 12:24 PM
Your pleco takes food off the surface? What does he do float upside down? Are you sure its a pleco? :confused:


04-21-2003, 12:51 PM
lets make a new thread in non cichlid section cos its a very interesting story...

04-21-2003, 01:26 PM
My Pleco used to do the same. It worried me because those pellets have too much protien. That pleco died. Do not let your pleco do that. Feed them algae wafers.

Getting back to Hikari pellets. Soak them in water, then after a few minutes, smash them with your fingers until they sink. This will spoil your fish but it prevents the food from turning into ammonia.

04-24-2003, 03:42 PM

Why are we smashing the pellets?


04-24-2003, 10:07 PM
So they don't turn into ammonia.

But how does that happen? You mean when they decay naturally if no one eats them? Right? (Duh, I guess I'm slow tonight.) :lol:

And just my opinion. but...Terry1

those cichlid pellets have a little too much protein for certain cichlids. Find out what kind you have, then you can decide for yourself.

04-25-2003, 03:43 AM
Originally posted by merlyn2221

those cichlid pellets have a little too much protein for certain cichlids. Find out what kind you have, then you can decide for yourself.

Malawi? I'm getting concerend now :( Is there any site with this info listed?

04-25-2003, 06:25 PM
Not that I know of, but everything I have read and continue to read states that the protein requirement for mbuna iis low; around 30-35% only. The primary part of their diet is veggies. Certainly very low (if any) protein there. Their digestive systems are made to digest plant matter, not protein. This is one reason why mbuna (and other cichlids) are prone to bloat. The foods I feed my cichlids have less than 40% protein in them.

04-26-2003, 09:11 AM
i think that the pellets are fine as long as they are alternated with foods that have a high veggie/roughage content. it also matters what the source of the protein is--krill and shrimp are more easily digestible than mammal proteins which also tend to have a lot of fat that can clog the intestinal tract. i have fed my cichlids foods that contain higher percentages of proteins for many years, but i always feed them a very wide variety of foods...they never get the same thing day after day, and there's always plenty of vegetable matter in their diet.

04-26-2003, 02:43 PM
Cichlid gold (hikari) is 42% protein. I feed mine 2 courses of cichlid pellets and 1 course or algae tablets daily. Maybe i'll change it to 2 courses of aglae wafers and 1 cichlid pellets.