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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I am planning to set up a 40-55 Gallon with 4-6 African cichlids.

I am a life long vegetarian but have kept fish before. I used to feed my fish standard store-bought flakes and pellets which always had fish meal etc in it; it did not bother me earlier, but it does not feel right anymore. I am wondering if it is possible to keep herbivorous fish.

An easy option is a goldfish, but I am attracted to African Cichlids due to the variety and behaviors.

I have the following questions :
Are Mbunas and Tropheus truly herbivores like various articles claim? (I don't care for them eating any crustaceans in their tank on their own, but I don't want to be an enabler from outside).
Will store-bought fish readily accept cut vegetables, algae and spirulina flakes along with grazing algae in the tank or do they need to be trained?
I found an all-vegetarian ingredients option in the form of Tetra Pro Pleco Wafers which can be grounded and fed. Many in amazon reviews claim all their fish like this food including their plecos. Has anyone tried feeding this to their Cichlids or willing to try?

I bought 4 Electric Yellow Labs from PetSmart recently, they would not eat the above product and spit it right out every time they tried it and went without food for 2 days. I returned them as I was worried they would tire and die. I eventually read that Labs are Omnivores. Would I have had better luck on the same wafers with Zebras or Pseudo-tropheus?

Is there a home-cooked vegetarian recipe that someone has which is a proven favorite with mbunas and tropheus as a staple diet, where I can replace gluten etc with plant-based options?.

Last but not least, is what I am trying viable? It feels feasible.

Sorry for so many questions. Looking forward to the responses.

41,982 Posts
They are not pure herbivores. In nature the algae they eat from the rocks is filled with tiny animals.

The tetra product you mention seems to be primarily terrestrial plant materials...the algae is far down the list.

I would choose another fish.

If you want to create your own recipe, I would use aquatic algae. Spirulina is a good food high in protein. As an experiment maybe you could choose aquatic plants and algae that have 30% protein and duplicate the cichlid formula ratios for the mbuna.
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