How to Feed Ram Cichlids? Complete Beginner’s Guide
Ram Cichlids are popular tank fishes, but unfortunately, they are known to have short lives. We try to prolong their lives by knowing the right way to keep and feed them.
This page may contain affiliate links, which will earn us a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
But what do these colorful fish feed on? Stay tuned if you’re curious. In the following article, we’ll help you get enough knowledge about feeding them.
What do Ram Cichlids Eat?
In its natural habitat, it leads a predatory lifestyle. It eats small invertebrates, worms and insect larvae.
When kept in aquarium conditions, farmed varieties consume almost all types of food, making their feeding the least problematic of all South American dwarf worms.
Of course, like all cichlids, they prefer live food: rested Tubifex, plankton, Artemia, finely blended compost worms, etc., but in their absence, they can be kept almost exclusively on a varied combination of good quality frozen food and artificial food, with one fasting day a week.
In any case, if they are not only to be enjoyed but also bred, live food should dominate 70-80% of their diet.
German Blue and Electric Blue are captive bred and will accept a wide variety of different foods.
How Much to Feed Your Ram Cichlids?
However, we usually give two to five pinches of meals to them, there is no fixed rule on exactly how much food to feed them. This is something that we have to work out for ourselves and adapt to the number of fish we have, as more fish require more food.
The safest method is to observe how much food they can consume in five minutes. This is what we can count on for the next feeding.
It is important to remember, however, that any uneaten food must be removed from the aquarium each time to avoid continued contamination of the water.
How Often to Feed Ram Cichlids?
Ram Cichlids are quite shy creatures. They do not compete or fight well for food, so it is important to be careful and monitor their diet.
This is especially important in community aquariums. If you can, feed them small portions three times a day and keep an eye on their diet.
Once you are sure that they have had enough of the right food, you can relax a little.
Unfortunately, in today’s busy world, it is of course very difficult to be available to feed them three times a day, so if you can’t, feed them twice, preferably a slightly larger portion, or even with foods such as micro-worms, which are not only nutritious for them but also keep the uneaten specimens alive at the bottom of the tank until they are eaten later.
With this method, we have experiences from people, who feed them twice during their first period and as they grow older, they receive food twice.
What do Ram Cichlids Fry Eat?
Swimming fry can be fed with roundworms or cyclops nauplii, but these are nowadays quite difficult to collect. It is much easier to obtain salt worms, the freshly hatched form of which is the best food for rearing the young.
But this is not easy either, as the salt-worm has to be hatched, which is both laborious and not cheap. Breeders cannot get away with this step, but those trying to raise a healthy school of fish for home use may have an easier solution.
Not all breeders strive for perfect sterility in the breeding tank. Some people believe that a densely planted, slightly algae-covered aquarium will produce an even better proportion of fry, because of the microscopic algae that grow on the surface of the plants and the need for a better supplementary fry food than single-celled finfish.
If the aquarium is in a place where it gets a little sun, algae and the most varied unicellular organisms will proliferate on the leaves of the plants.
We can’t see these with the naked eye, but the fry sees a table full of goodies when they graze on such leaves. In its native habitat, the fry grows upon such food, but while the endless carpet of plants there is inexhaustible in the aquarium, it is not. So, unfortunately, you can’t raise too many on this food source, but it’s a good supplement.
The main food should be something abundant, protein-rich and that fits in the mouth. Even the easiest live brood-rearing food to breed is micro, if this is not available then good old egg yolk is left. If you’re lucky and have a good sense for it, you can still raise a few individuals.
How Long Can Ram Cichlids Go Without Food?
To know, exactly how your fish will do without fish food, it’s a good idea to have a trial period when you should treat your tank as if you were away from home for a few days: check it regularly, but don’t feed the inhabitants and don’t do any maintenance during this time. As the days go by, you can observe how your creatures are coping.
Almost all tropical fish kept in a home aquarium can easily go a few days without feeding. However, if you plan to stay away for longer than this, it is wise to provide them with a species-specific intake of the right amount of food.
This is also important because while large, healthy specimens can easily go seven to ten days without feeding, a tank full of baby fish will need to be fed after only a day or two. In any case, a little trick can go some way to extending the interval between feedings while still ensuring the fish’s continued health.
By lowering the temperature of the aquarium water by a few degrees and setting the lights on a timer, you can slow down the metabolism of your fish, which will reduce their need for fish food.
However, if your aquarium is home to a large number of juveniles, it is important to ensure that they do not go without food for more than a day or two. Especially if your fish have special nutritional requirements, such as the live newly hatched brine shrimp, which are so important for the fry.
There are now several vacation feeders on the market that can make things a little easier since the principle of operation is to slowly and gradually release the pellets into the water. This will give them enough food for at least two weeks.
However, it is important to note, that they are not a substitute for live food.
Do Ram Cichlids Eat Aquarium Plants?
If fed with the right food, aquarium plants help the algae to spread and help the fish to hide, play and have a sense of their natural environment in their current homes.
As they are all eaters, they are physically capable of eating them, but there are only a few examples of this. They try to obtain their nutrients from other foods.
On the other hand, we more often see them pecking and tearing at aquarium plants. This is particularly evident during the breeding season when they show increased aggression.
These fishes are very hardy and adaptable creatures. Feeding them does not require very special steps. However, it is important to pay attention and provide them with the correct nutrients, not only for the growing ones but also for adults. This is essential not only for their development but also for their survival.
With this in mind, if you need to be away from home for an extended period, it’s definitely worth looking for an alternative way to feed your aquarium creatures. If you don’t want to use any of the commercially available options, or if you can’t guarantee the supplies you need, then perhaps the safest solution is to ask someone to act as a fish keeper in your home.