Hikari Sales USA fish and reptile foods showing firemouth cichlid

Exploring Cichlid Food Choices

Cichlids are a popular aquarium fish and belong to a family of over 1,300 different species, with most found in Africa. Cichlids can range greatly in body type, size and/or colors and are best known for their unique ray-shaped fins.

Here are several examples of popular cichlids that do well in a home aquarium.

  • Angelfish – With massive dorsal fins that look like wings, it’s easy to guess where these peaceful looking creatures get their names.
  • Peacock – Identifiable by their bright blue, green and sometimes orange color patterns, there are over 22 different types of peacock cichlids.
  • Firemouth – Endemic to Latin America, Firemouth cichlids are known for their bright red or orange belly regions.
  • Green Terror – Appropriately named, these neon green cichlids are quite aggressive.
  • Malawi cichlids come from African and are known for their vibrant colors and inquisitive nature.

Well-fed cichlid are healthy cichlids! Just like other fish, what you feed your cichlid will ultimately impact how they look, how close to their natural form and color they will develop and if you can extend their life long beyond that they would see in their natural habitat. Picking the right brand is as important as picking the correct formula.

Just like other tank-dwelling creatures, it’s important to do your research in order to meet the nutritional needs of the species you chose. When it comes to selecting the right foods for cichlids, here’s some food for thought (no pun intended).

First, you’ll need to figure out if your cichlids are carnivores, omnivores or herbivores as this will lead you to the proper type of foods to choose from. Most African cichlids are herbivores that subsist on a diet of algaes, aquatic plants and biofilm. Carnivorous cichlids have incredibly short intestines which mean they require more animal protein like other fish, insects, and crustaceans, and for best results will most likely require more frequent feedings. Lastly, omnivores, like angelfish and peacocks, will eat both plant and animal matter.

Finding Balance
Cichlids require food derived from aquatic sources and insects scientifically balanced to allow them to unlock all the nutrients in the food.  At Hikari®, we’ve spent decades researching and perfecting the formulations we offer and unlike some of our competitors, understand the importance of “species specific™” formulations. We want your fish to be as active and colorful as they would in the wild, but also want them to live a life much longer than they would there. For this reason, we focus on nutrient utilization instead of marketing hype and unfounded facts. We truly understand the unique nutrient needs cichlids have and offer several options to help establish and maintain a happy, healthy tankful of color. Check us out:

Cichlid Bio-Gold
The world’s 1st probiotic enhanced cichlid diet offering significant benefits over the competition.  If you have Red Parrots consider Blood Red Parrot+ which is also probiotic enhanced.

Cichlid Excel
This color-enhancing formula is available in a sinking or floating formula and contains the highest grade vegetable ingredients possible.  Expect vivid coloration with continued exclusive use and natural beauty you got your African cichlids to enjoy!

Check out these and our other cichlid-specific food items here.