Cichlids are tropical fish living in the tropical rivers and lakes in Africa and Central and South America. In virtue of their beautiful appearance and bright colors, cichlids own great ornamental value, which has been introduced around the world. No matter as a professional breeder or an amateur tropical fish lover, it’s necessary to know how to feed cichlids properly.
When feeding cichlids in aquariums, you need to notice several important tips, including water temperature, water quality requirement, feeding food, lighting control disease prevention, etc. In order to make the aquarium breeding work successful from the start, plans “golden rules” to eliminate the uncertain factors or accidental success from luck, which is a kind of natural rule ensuring to cultivation of cichlids successfully. The rules, in other words, are to make fish and aquatic plants have a healthy and vivacious life and make the aquarium play its role.
Sand and Water Temperature in the Aquarium
Laying the heating line at the bottom of the aquarium can compel the heated water to ascend, thus making sand become a part of the chemical and physical systems in the whole aquarium. With this heating system, the temperature will evenly disperse to the aquarium, meanwhile, the nutritive salt generated from sand can also flow along with water to the leaf segment of water plants. And vice versa, when water flows into the bottom sand, oxygen gas will enter the bottom sand along with the water flow, so sand can keep a longer action time and avoid the substrate from darkening. Besides, adopting 24V low voltage, this heating system is pretty safe for humans and fish and can be used to imitate the horizontal and vertical natural flow of groundwater in the tropics.
Stable Water Quality
As we know, in tropical waters, the water quality of fast-flowing water is always stable and some water quality factors, like PH value, carbon dioxide content, and hardness, rarely change. So in the aquarium, you need to adjust the PH value to neutral and hold acidity steady, that’s to say, the carbonate hardness is at least 3-4 degrees DH. The neutral PH value is controlled by carbon dioxide addition, but this control should maintain the carbonate hardness at 3-4 degrees DH at any rate so as to guarantee necessary stability.
Fish Feeding in accordance with Cichlids
Only fish fed with high quality, high in vitamins, and easy to digest can feed healthy and lively cichlids. Please note that the salt content of fish feed pellets must be very low because cichlids usually come from water areas without salt. Otherwise, it’s very easy for cichlids to feel ill by suffering from intestinal diseases. By the way, the process of water quality is equally important as fish feed, so it’s necessary to deal with the water quality effectively when changing the water, reducing the harm from water quality.
To be specific, you need to figure out what species your cichlids belong to because it determines which food to feed your fish. Generally speaking, most cichlids are starving in the morning because they are through the whole night without eating food, and you’d better feed them according to their stomach rumblings. The first-rank feeding time is twice per day, feeding what your cichlids can eat before sinking to the bottom of the aquarium, and your fish will grow faster than once per day feeding. For grown cichlids, occasional fasting is advisable, like one day per week, which assists in regulating the metabolism. Please watch out for overfeeding your cichlids because too much fish feed would raise the nitrate levels and cause water quality issues when food sinks to the bottom of the aquarium. FANWAY strongly recommends you control the amount of food cichlids eat within thirty seconds because cichlid fish are greedy and able to consume a good deal of fish feed at short notice.
Tips: If you produce fish feed by yourself, please take notice of the fish feed formulation and fish feed extruder you are using!
Suitable Lighting Intensity
According to the size and shape of the aquarium, lighting control can use fluorescent tubes, fins lamps, or metal halide lamps. Just using any of these light sources, it’s able to maintain the natural colors of fish and good growth of aquatic plants, while its primary goal is to ensure the aquarium has the appropriate amount of oxygen supply in the daytime. It’s not enough for fish-feeding aquariums with only 100% saturated dissolved oxygen because not only cichlids need oxygen, but even the bacterium also need oxygen to make decomposition of wastes (the wastes come from fish bait, water plants, and the like). Moreover, water plants also require a certain content of oxygen, especially at dusk. Therefore, for fear that oxygen is not enough at night, you need to complement the oxygen in daytime by using suitable lighting.
As an aquatic creature, it’s troublesome and difficult for cichlids to get treatment after illness, neither easy to inject medicine nor oral drugs, so it’s generally regarded that stress should be put on the prevention of cichlid disease. At the same time, we suggest several tips during the process of prevention and treatment combination, achieving disease prevention and earlier treatment for illness. First, strengthen the health status and disease resistance ability of cichlids themselves in normal management. In addition, pay attention to reducing and completely eradicating the harm to cichlids caused by pathogenic microorganisms and parasites.