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I have a couple types of food for my cichlids but they only really notice the sinking food they don't notice regular pellets i sometimes have to wiggle my fingers in the water to let them know food is up top but they dont budge. I have 12 cichlids and so i know food will be a battle for them due to aggression so i try to keep it fair by distributing food to each side of the tank so the dont battle for food on one side, but even doing that they still only take the sinking food. Is their any other food other than sinking pellets cichlids love, i have read they need a variation of food not just pellets so they can grow and be healthy. I find they love anything sinking so if their is any recommendations that would be helpful. And also how much should i feed them i feed my other fish once a day but i read that cichlids require feeding 3 times a day but that seems like alot considering their stomachs are the size of their eyes and i have mainly smallish cichlids and few bigger ones.
 

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Hello.
And, Welcome To Cichlid Forum! :)
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I've found you can take the floating pellets and place them in a little bowl of tank water, then microwave them for maybe 30 seconds or so. Doing that will drive the air out, and help them to sink when placed into the water of the tank. If the hot/warm pellets are still full of too much air when pulled out of the microwave, you can gently squeeze them against the bottom and sides of the bowl to press the remaining air out.
  • Feed pellets when they are warm (not hot) to the touch.
  • Don't 'cook' them too long in the microwave! They will turn into a hot gooey mess!
  • Replace uneaten pellet food every six months or so, and keep their food as fresh as possible by refrigeration. Purchase sinking type pellets to replace the floaters you have now.
 
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A fish’s stomach is a lot bigger than it’s eye, lol.

The best way to get stubborn eaters to eat other foods is to give them as much as they want of the food they do eat. Then give them more. Keep them as full as they can be. This (along with their greed) will expand the stomach (stomachs are very stretchy), so that when when it’s empty they’ll be a lot hungrier than they are now.
Give them as much of what they want as you can for a few days, then they’ll eat anything.
 
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