When it comes to keeping fish, the best part for most people is feeding them. Which is understandable, it’s when you connect with them the most.
However, you have to be wary. Feed them the wrong foods and you’ll suffer the consequences. Believe me, within the last month, I’ve lost 9 fish because I was feeding them an improper diet.
Because the digestive track of African Cichlids is so long, if you add a little bit too much protein to their diet, it’ll clog up their system. When their system gets clogged like this, a parasite known as “Hex” begins to expand within their intestines. As it grows, your fish will begin to swell up. When the parasite reaches a size that’s too large for the intestines of your fish, it’ll begin to breakdown the intestinal wall and literally eat your fish from the inside-out. It’s a nasty illness to have to deal with. And it’s called Bloat.
Luckily, the entire mess can be avoided by simply feeding your African Cichlids a diet that is high in vegetable matter.
How Do You Know If a Fish Food Is High in Vegetable Matter?
Well, it’s quite simply really. To figure out what is in any food, just take a look at the list of ingredients printed on in. The first ingredient on the list is the ingredient of highest proportion in the food. The second food on the list is the second highest, and so on.
Therefore, to know if a fish food is high in vegetable matter, you want to see vegetable ingredients closer to the beginning of the list. It’s that simple.
But you have to take this with a grain of salt.
Typically, if a fish food is designed for African Cichlids and it’s made from a reputable brand, it’s typically a safe option for your fish.
Which Fish Foods Are Designed for African Cichlids and Are Made from a Reputable Brand?
Well, if you take a look at most online forums or talk to experienced fish keepers, most of them are going to tell you to go with the one and only, New Life Spectrum. It’s a safe choice. A choice that’s been around for many many years and is still trusted by most.
However, in the last few years, there has been a new player enter the game. It goes by the name of Northfin. The difference between Northfin and New Life Spectrum is that Northfin includes clay into their fish food, where New Life Spectrum doesn’t.
Whether this ingredient is extremely beneficial for your fish is still up for debate, but there are two things that you’re going to notice with Northfin in comparison to NLS. First, it makes the fins of your African Cichlids grow much larger for some reason. It’s a good thing though, large fins like these really make your fish look exceptionally healthy. Secondly, when you open up the bag of Northfin, the smell is insanely powerful. But in a good way. It smells like a healthier, hardier food compared to the pretty much smell-less NLS.