3 Ways To Prevent Overfeeding Your Cichlid Fish

When it comes to managing the food supply of fish, Cichlids are a special case. There are not many fish species out there that are hungrier and seemingly more desperate for food. However, overfeeding your Cichlids can cause all manner of problems, and can lead to their suffering illness and even death. This article runs you through three quick pointers that should prevent you from giving your Cichlids more than they can handle when it comes to feeding time.

1. First of all, know that Cichlids are very greedy. This is the case with all of them, no matter how slim or hungry they look. They basically do not need a lot of food to lead happy lives. Many Cichlid owners make the mistake of thinking that they need to feed a lot. This is primarily because every Cichlid worth his salt will ‘train’ their owners, basically by looking hungry and desperate for food on a regular basis. Don’t be fooled. Large Cichlids can go for at least a month without food. Bear this in mind, and make a point of staying calm and level-headed as a general rule of thumb. Do not rush into feeding your Cichlid fish. Once you have got this first principle right, the rest is plain sailing.

2. Obey the three week rule. This rule is all about letting the incredibly useful nitrifying bacteria develop in your tank. With a new tank and fish, this could take up to three weeks. So the first three weeks are crucial. Keep the feeding to the right levels (the next tip explains this) and you should be fine. The first three weeks helps build the correct environment. A good nitrate environment only builds up over a three week period. And a good nitrate environment helps to get rid of waste, thus saving your Cichlids from sickness and death.

3. All your fish need is a mouthful a day. Many owners (and their loved ones!) love just dropping a little bit of food in now and then. This is counter-productive. Essentially, all they need is a mouthful a day, and they will thrive. This keeps waste down (see point 2) and keeps them healthy. If after five minutes you see food floating to the bottom of the tank, you are overfeeding.

So there we have it. Know that they are greedy, that they need three weeks to settle when it comes to environment creation, and that a mouthful is all that your Cichlids need.

About the Author

Sahail Ashraf is an award-winning writer.

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