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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been feeding my 11" Oscar frozen brine shrimp and frozen krill for some time. The bristlenose get the remnants from the brine shrimp, as well as the algae off the acrylic, etc.

Is this a balanced diet for everyone? Should the Oscar be getting anything plant based? I'm pretty sure Oscars mostly get bugs in the wild. My Oscar is also regularly treated to common house and garden insects; carpenter ants, earthworms, pill bugs, occasional spider, etc. I am thinking about raising red wiggler worms for indoor compost. Perhaps these might make a great regular diet for the Oscar?

I'd like to stay away from pellets and any dried, processed foods. I don't eat industrial food myself, as it isn't healthy or natural, so I won't feed it to my fish. I'd rather everyone eat as they would in the wild. When I was a kid, I fed my Oscars, and other fish, nothing but the common dried foods and they always got the common diseases. I have not had anyone with of these diseases since staying away from dried foods.

What about the bristlnose? What is their natural diet? I see them jump on the brine shrimp the Oscar misses, so they seem to be at least partial meat eaters. But for the times there isn't enough algae in the tank.... I have 3 bristlenose plecos..., what natural live food can they be fed?
 

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No clue on the Oscars but BN love cooked green beans. People also grow algae on rocks for them in a separate tank with sun exposure and then rotate the algae rocks into the tank. Three BN is a lot for one tank.
 

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Feeding nothing but brine shrimp and krill is not a balanced diet. The fish may do OK on it for awhile, but it will be lacking in necessary vitamins and minerals and may not be balanced properly in terms of fat and protein.

Ancistrus plecos eat mainly algae in the wild. But it would be difficult to supply enough algae or in a variety of species to replicate a natural diet. You can supplement with cucumber, zucchini, and sweet potatoes.
Feeding them a high protein, high fat food like brine shrimp and krill can lead to bloating as their digestive system is not made for rich foods.

Oscars eat aquatic insects, shrimp, and fish in the wild. Krill and brine shrimp provide plenty of protein and fat so that is probably fine. But neither one provides vitamin C in significant quantity.

I understand your hesitation for processed foods. But most diets are formulated to be nutritionally complete. Many times it's the best way to make sure your fish is getting all the nutrients it requires in the right ratios.
 

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Frozen foods are most often single digit protein and 3/4 moisture content. Basically worthless imo. Freeze drieds are far superior. FD krill is high protein and high fiber. A good treat for Oscar, but not to be relied on as a staple. Oscars do very well with a quality pellet as a staple. I stress quality, as there is a lot of crappy feed on the market. A varied diet is always best, and Oscars do need some veg content in the diet. Look at Northfin kelp wafers, NLS Algaemax and Omega 1 veggie rounds. The BN plec will do well with that too. You may struggle getting your Oscar to change diets, but be strong and wait him out. An Oscar of that size and probable age can go many weeks without eating anything, and show no ill effects. He will eventually eat what you offer
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Narwhal72 said:
Ancistrus plecos eat mainly algae in the wild. But it would be difficult to supply enough algae or in a variety of species to replicate a natural diet. You can supplement with cucumber, zucchini, and sweet potatoes.
I'd like to try this. Can I just put a slice in the tank or does it have to be diced up in small particles?
 

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You will need to slice it and weight it down to the bottom. There are a variety of different Lettuce clips on the market that you can use to suction cup it to the glass or sink to the bottom. There is also a metal device called a Pleco Feeder that you can use to feed larger pieces of veggies. Works good, but a little pricey.
 
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