Rift lake cichlids are primarily algae eaters. As a result, most of these fish should be fed low-protein diets (look for the min 35% protein foods). I recommend Wardley or Hikari algae wafers and Hikari cichlid staple pellets. Avoid "meaty" foods such as bloodworms and tubifex worms as they may contribute to Malawi bloat, a fatal condition similar to dropsy where the fish inflates and looks like a pinecone. Some species such as Melanochromis chipokae can tolerate these foods since they supplement their diet in the wild with catfish eggs and small invertebrates.
Care should also be taken not to overfeed cichlids. They will eat as much as you feed them! Obsese cichlids lose their brilliant colors and die young. I've found that feeding adults once a day works well. Once a week I feed them nothing at all. You can feed juveniles twice a day to promote growth, but taper off feeding once the fish reach maturity. Don't worry about the begging. If your fish aren't begging for food, either you are overfeeding them or they are sick.
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Last modified at Sunday, April 19, 2015