Cichlid food and feeding

Sample of cichlid foods used. Photo by the author.

I’m a firm believer that there is no set method by which all cichlids should be fed. This means there are no criteria dictating what you feed (other than the species dietary requirements/restrictions), when you feed, or how you feed. There are certainly tried and true practices, but ultimately you should decide what works best for your fish, your set-up, your time, etc. Having said that, I DO have specific feeding method(s) that I follow religiously. 

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Feeding shellie cichlid fry – update

10″ 14 gauge Luer lock, stainless needle and 30 ml syringe purchased from Amazon. Photo by the author.

Back in August, I posted about a nice way to feed shellie fry. I have subsequently improved upon that method. The syringe and water line tube work great…until they don’t. What I discovered is that, over time, the tube end that connects to the syringe will “stretch” such that the connection point isn’t airtight. What happens is 1) air gets in between the tube and the syringe, preventing a good suction and 2) just a little bit of air will allow whatever food you’ve been able to pull into the tube to invariably flow back out before you can remove it from the food source. 

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Feeding shellie cichlid fry

‘Lamprologus’ caudopunctatus Kapamba “red fin” mother and fry (between the two bottom shells). Photo by author.

Feeding fry in any kind of tank can be a challenge. Whether a community tank, species only, or even a small segregation tank, getting food directly to the fry can take some effort. Such foods as baby brine shrimp, crushed flakes, and infusoria are great options. However, since these foods can be so tiny for fry intake, any little bit of water movement can quickly carry them away from the fry. As a result and like regular fish food, they can easily foul a tank if  enough is not eaten.  Unless you’re using a breeder box in which the fry are confined to a really small space and tank current is reduced, you need to get creative. Either that, or you need to simply power off the filtration.

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