Friday, October 14, 2011

Mbuna Cichlid Diet

If you want to maintain healthy and beautifully colored fish then you must maintain a good Mbuna cichlid diet. Cichlids eat a wide variety of food from vegetation to other fish. Certain species consume more plant matter than other species, however you can feed all your mbunas a mix of pellets and supplement with spirulina, live guppies, or frozen food. If you do this then you will cover the dietary requirements of the majority of cichlids from Lake Malawi especially if you are part of the bunch that makes up Lake Malawi cichlid beginners.

You can buy a good commercial brand of cichlid pellets and this actually can cover their diet very nicely. I don't recommend that you use normal tropical fish food or food that you would give to a goldfish. Look for cichlid pellets that are designed to greatly enhance their color. These work really well.

They do offer a cichlid flake, but the pellet seems to be the one that works the best in my opinion. I like to watch them chase the pellet as it sinks. It can really cause an entertaining feeding frenzy which I find enjoyable to watch..

Once in a while I will give the fish a treat of good quality seaweed, which I attach to the side of the tank. Most cichlids love seaweed and they will really tear into it.

Feed them only once or twice a day but never
overfeed them. Overfed cichlids can become lethargic and their color can be affected. Feed them just enough to keep them hungry. This will keep them active in the tank, constantly looking and hunting for food. It is even recommended that you have your cichlids fast one day a week to help improve their metabolism.

Even though I recommended minnows during the cycling process, you may not want to include live fish, such as minnows, in a Mbuna cichlid diet on a regular basis since these could have diseases. But i have had some success with healthy guppies. Eating live smaller fish is natural in the wild, but if it bothers some (like my wife and kids), then stick with cichlid pellets, spirulina, and/or frozen food. Read more about African cichlids...