General Aquaria Discussion • Natural Diet

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Natural Diet

Postby Q75peacock » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:21 pm

Hey guys, like many of you here, my goal when raising cichlids is to keep it as natural as their real environment as possible. From rocks to substrate, I have found many answers and have built an aquarium I feel Strongly resembles the lakes where these fish are found in the wild. With this, I really want my fish to have a long, healthy life where they grow a good size and color. I only have 12 fish in a 75 gallon tank so trying not to overcrowd. The only thing I'm not completely happy with is food. Currently I am feeding my peacocks omega one cichlids flakes but have read through my research that flakes alone don't give enough protein and vitamins for my fish to grow (they are juveniles all 1.5-3 inches). I am wondering if you guys recommend adding something like bloodworms, shrimp, or vegetables to help them grow and reach their full potential. Also, any other advice you guys have on enhancing the growth of young cichlids, I would love to here!
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Re: Natural Diet

Postby Fish Jerk » Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:45 pm

Ghost shrimp and brine shrimp. You can raise them both yourself.
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Re: Natural Diet

Postby DJRansome » Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:53 pm

Many 1.5 inch fish are sexually mature and unless your fish matures > 6" a 3" fish is pretty fully mature. At these sizes they no longer need the higher protein fry foods. Quality foods contain ingredients like krill and vegetables.
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75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Natural Diet

Postby Fish Jerk » Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:35 am

They will grow bigger and show better color with live food.

Color is the main purpose of live food for nonfinnicky fish, though it helps with breeding too.
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Re: Natural Diet

Postby Q75peacock » Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:49 am

Fish Jerk wrote:They will grow bigger and show better color with live food.

Color is the main purpose of live food for nonfinnicky fish, though it helps with breeding too.


Okay. What live food do you recommend? Like th others recommended, brine shrimp?
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Re: Natural Diet

Postby Narwhal72 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:09 pm

If your goal is color enhancement, then you would want a food that is high in carotenoids. Bloodworms and Krill are going to be your best choices for that.

Brine shrimp provides a good amount of protein and live brine shrimp can be enriched by feeding them liquid foods a short time before feeding to the fish (Kent Zoe, Kent Zoecon, Astaxanthin, Selcon, etc...) that can provide vitamins, carotenoids, and fats. Brine shrimp that haven't been fed in 24 hours or were fed on poor foods (yeast) are very low in fats, carotenoids, and vitamins otherwise.

Another good option is Daphnia. These are easy to culture outdoors in the summertime and a more natural food for cichlids.

My favorite option is live blackworms. I feed them to all my fish regularly. For Africans I limit it to once a week. Blackworms are regularly available from many fish stores and are also easy to store and maintain until fed off.

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Re: Natural Diet

Postby Fish Jerk » Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:28 pm

Q75peacock wrote:
Fish Jerk wrote:They will grow bigger and show better color with live food.

Color is the main purpose of live food for nonfinnicky fish, though it helps with breeding too.


Okay. What live food do you recommend? Like th others recommended, brine shrimp?


Brine shrimp and ghost shrimp are the easiest and both work well for color (I was the one to recommend them). Goldfish and some minnows are color food, too. Things like fairy shrimp and daphnia and scuds probably work for that too.

You don't need to give them, but they will certainly love them and color up and grow more if raised that way. You pretty much have to give color food to many SA cichlids for them to look high quality, but it will help for almost any kind of fish that has coloring - especially red, but not limited to it.

http://www.aqualandpetsplus.com/Live%20 ... 20Eggs.htm

This talks about brine shrimp but there's also info on all kinds of live foods linked on the left. Most of them are kind of special purpose or might be hard to get a culture of or are a pain. But many basically raise themselves if you give them the right environment.

I don't give a ton of live food to africans, but I occasionally makes sure they all get a ghost shrimp and I used to breed brine shrimp for all my fish which I have been meaning to get back into.
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