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Feeding American Cichlids

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Pellet Foods

When it comes to fish food, there are a million choices.  So it can be difficult to make an informed decision on which is best.  So I’m going to talk a little about some of my preferred choices for my Central American (CA) Cichlids.


My Cichlids can be a little fussy when it comes to food, but that is because I have spoiled them a little with treats (which I’ll talk more on shortly) but one food that has never failed is Hikari pellets.  Hikari pellets are great, the ingredients are top notch and the fish seem to love them.  They come in both floating and sinking varieties and in a range of sizes, which means any size fish can be fed on them in any area of the tank.  I tend to use a mix of the floating and sinking pellets, this means that there is less ‘scrapping’ over the food in a single area as the fish split their attention between the two.  This stuff leaves the water pretty clear too, which is handy if you have aquarium OCD like I do.  The only downside is that once it has passed through the fish, you will likely have a big red poop at the bottom of your tank.


 hikari gold cichlid pellets


My second favourite food for my Cichlids is Northfin Cichlid pellets, the only reason that this stuff is second is because my fish seem to go a little less mad for it, which to me, means they like it less.  The ingredients in this stuff really are top quality and should maximise the colour of your fish in a natural way.  It also doesn’t make the mess that the Hikari does once the fish have passed it, which is great for my mental state.

northfin cichlid pellets


Whatever fish you keep, food quality is important, it will effect their growth, colour and waste production. Feeding them sub par quality foods will not give great results.  Its important that a good quality pellet or flake food makes up the bulk of their diet.  These foods contain all of the vitamins that they require to remain healthy.  Its always good to supplement this food with treats though as a varied diet is also good for them.


Fish Treats

As I mentioned, my fish have been a little fussy lately, and that is my fault.  Even though my fish are not technically carnivores, they do enjoy a meaty treat, and one of their favourites is King Prawn.  Whilst Prawn is quite meaty, it also contains a good amount of omega-3, so it does have some good nutritional value.  You can feed fish either raw or cooked Prawns, but raw contains a little more nutrition that cooking removes.  If you have small fish then you can simply cut the prawn up into bite size pieces so its easier for them to eat.  So, my error was giving my fish prawn a little too often, they loved it, and even though I’ve now held off it for a little while now, they still sometimes ignore their pellets for a little while to see if any Prawn is coming.  So if you’re going to treat your fish, do it once or twice a week at the most to prevent them getting too hooked.

king prawn bucket

It’s worth noting too that if you’re going to be dropping lumps of prawn into the tank, you need to have a well established filter that can deal with the mess.  It’s important too to only feed as much as your fish will eat, there is nothing worse than having a lump of prawn rotting away in the tank.  If that happens then remove what they have left, it might save you an extra water change.


Hit the comments below to let us know your preferred foods and treats! I’m sure there is a variety of preferences.

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I am a fish keeping enthusiast with over 20 years experience. I currently keep American Cichlids (CA) which are my favourite fish to keep so far. I started Seriously Fishy as I noticed a large volume of people on various web pages looking for help with Aquarium basics. I created the first Seriously Fishy book to solve the issue in 28 pages, that led to the Seriously Fishy UK fish forum and blog.

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