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Firemouth Cichlid Feeding ( Are You Feeding Your Fish Right? )

If you are a fish lover and already own a firemouth fish or wish to rear them in the future, it is important to know how to feed them. Let’s check firemouth cichlid feeding methods and the best food for them. 

Firemouth Cichlid Feeding

What Does Firemouth Cichlid Eat? 

Firemouth cichlids eat whatever you provide to them. So, it means that firemouth cichlids belong to the category of omnivore fish species. Therefore, it derives that this fish accepts both animal and plant matters. However, do not provide whatever can fill your fish’s stomach. It would be best if you gave a balanced diet with the required nutrients. 

What Do Firemouth Cichlid In The Wild?

Firemouth cichlids tend to eat anything in the water because of their omnivore feeding behavior. However, when we consider the foods that firemouth cichlids eat in their natural habitats, they mainly feed on small crustaceans. Here are some of them.

  • Copepods
  • Cladocerans
  • Organic Detritus
  • Small Invertebrates
  • Molluscs

In addition to these, live plants are common in natural habitats. So, primarily omnivorous fish species, including firemouth cichlids, enjoy the live plants as a snack. 

What To Feed Firemouth Cichlid In The Aquarium?

When you rear any fish, their diet is one of the main factors directly affecting your fish’s health. Therefore, you should understand the importance of a balanced diet. Similarly, you should keep in mind that a varied diet is a key part of their health. So, always try to feed your fish on high-quality feeds and make sure that your fish has gained the required nutrients through selected feeds.

Let’s see what foods you can use to feed your firemouth cichlids. Basically, prepared high-quality foods like flakes and pellets play the leading role in the diet of the firemouth cichlids. But you can create a varied diet with the below additions. 

  • Brine shrimp
  • Blood worms.
  • Artemia, 
  • mosquito larvae
  • Tubifex
  • Blackworms
  • Daphnia

Further options are also available, and it is vegetables. You do not need to wonder. Thus, this fish is omnivores. Below are suitable additions. 

  • Spinach
  • Spirulina

How Long Can Firemouth Cichlid Go Without Food?

Generally, healthy, well-grown firemouth cichlid can live without food for around a week. But it can be varied with the availability of foods like live plants in your aquariumBecause omnivorous fish species like firemouth cichlids can survive by feeding live plants. But it is not better for a long time. Thus, it is difficult to gain the required nutrients. 

However, old fish are unable to live without foods like young and adult firemouth cichlids. On the other hand, if you have baby firemouth cichlids, you have to feed them after 1 or 2 days because they cannot live without food for a long period, like a week. However, from my point of view, do not let them live without food because it will cause them to have many diseases due to a lack of nutrients. 

Best Food For Firemouth Cichlid 

Several types of foods can be provided for your firemouth cichlids. 

  1. Prepared fish foods

There are prepared foods for cichlids under many brands. Basically, these fish foods can be categorized as flakes, pellets, and wafers. There are many nutrient-rich, high-quality flakes and pellets in the market that are specially prepared for cichlids. These prepared foods promote fish health and enhance the colors of the fish. 

  • Tetra Cichlid Floating Cichlid Sticks 
  • Zoo Med Spirulina 20 
  • Northfin cichlid foods 
  1. Frozen and live foods 

brine shrimp, shrimp, crab, crayfish, larvae, blood worms, artemia, tubifex, blackworms, daphnia, and lobster are the best frozen and live foods that are good for firemouth cichlids. However, if you use frozen foods, thaw them first before add to the fish tank. But do not let all foods thaw. You should always pull out the amount needed for feed. Because refrozen foods can carry bacteria and diseases to your firemouth cichlids. 

  1. Gel type foods

Now there are gel-type foods for cichlids. It also comes in powder form. However, you can prepare this powder as a gel by mixing it with hot water. Then cool it and store it in the refrigerator.

Ex: Repashy Super Green Gel 

  1. Vegetables 

You can provide vegetables to your firemouth cichlids. But before giving it, you have to boil and chop them. Similarly, do not forget to remove the seeds and shells if that available. Also, you should always give small pieces. 

  • Spinach
  • Spirulina
  • Cucumber 
  • Broccoli 
  • Peas
  • Norri
  • Lettuce 

How Many Times A Day Should I Feed My Firemouth Cichlid Or Feeding Frequency?

When speaking about the feeding frequency, almost all experts recommend feeding your firemouth cichlids 2 or 3 times per day. However, if you experience that the fish show less hunger when feeding them three times per day, you can cut one meal and provide twice a day. 

How To Feed Firemouth Cichlid?

You can provide both animal matters and plant matters for your firemouth cichlids. Because you already know, they are omnivores. So, they tend to eat anything that you provide. But fulfilling their nutrient requirement is your responsibility. When you provide foods, simply put them into the aquarium, and after eating, it is important to remove uneaten foods from the tank. Because, the uneaten food is a trouble maker.

On the other hand, always try to feed them with an adequate amount because it will help you to avoid overfeeding. So, what is the correct amount? There is no exact amount, but it is better to provide foods that fish can finish within 1 to 2 minutes. 

How Much Does Firemouth Cichlid Eat?

The general rule is that you can provide some foods that match the approximate size of their eyeballs. Or else you can provide foods that your firemouth cichlids can finish within 1 or 2 minutes. But do not provide foods as you wish because overfeeding and excess foods can steal your sleep. So, do not take this as easier! 

However, if you add more foods, you should remove the uneaten or excess foods as soon as possible. If not, rotten foods can make ammonia. That is toxic to your fish. Apart from that, overfeeding will cause you to get diseases for your firemouth cichlids. So, it derives the importance of providing the right amount of foods to your firemouth cichlids. 

Firemouth cichlid tank mates

Will Firemouth Cichlid Overeat Or Eat Too Much?

Firemouth cichlids are not fussy eaters. But they are not picky. That is because this fish species tend to eat anything that you provide. So, there is a possibility to overeat. Therefore, you should make sure to provide an adequate amount of food. It means that it is better to give foods that fish can finish in 1 or 2 minutes. 

What Human Food Can Firemouth Cichlid Eat?

Before we buy fish foods in the market, it is better to take a quick look at other foods that you can provide your firemouth cichlids. Because it will help you create a healthy, well-balanced diet, these are my findings that you can collect from your kitchen. 

  • Spinach 
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Cucumber
  • Limited chopped crab 
  • Chopped up/shredded shrimp firemouth cichlid’s diet. 

However, just be sure that selected foods are a match for your firemouth cichlid’s diet because some fish have their own preferences. Also, do not provide these foods continuously. It is better to give as occasional treats.  

Flake Fish Food Suitable For Firemouth Cichlid?

Yes. You can provide flake fish foods to your firemouth cichlids. Also, there are many nutrients rich high-quality flake fish foods in the current market. So, it is your responsibility to choose a better-quality flake for the firemouth cichlids to feed them. Bellows are some examples. 

  • TetraCichlid Balanced Diet Flakes
  • Omega One Cichlid Flakes 
  • NutriDiet Cichlid Flakes

How do you know when your firemouth cichlid is hungry? 

The general behavior of cichlids is that they always eat like they are famished. But firemouth cichlids are not fussy eaters. However, most probably, you can notice the following behaviors when they are hungry. 

  • Digging around the substrate 
  • Inspecting the top of the aquarium 
  • Foraging into uncommon areas

What Does Firemouth Cichlid Fry Eat?

In the first few days, firemouth cichlids rely on feeding their yolk sac. So, until they are big enough to eat independently, they absorb all of it. Generally, it takes 5 to 7 days after hatching. At this point, you can start to feed your fry with a mixture of protein-rich fry foods and live foods.

The best live foods are newly hatched brine shrimps, micro worms, and infusoria. On the other hand, there are specialized liquid or powdered fry foods on the market. Another remarkable thing is, how often do you feed your firemouth cichlid fry? Generally, you should feed your fry 5 to 6 times per day. 


Firemouth cichlid is a cute fish that you can add to your collection. But it is important to be aware of the feeding behaviors of this fish species. Finally, we can conclude that firemouth cichlid is an omnivore, and you can provide both animal and plant matters. But do not forget to fulfill their nutrient requirements.  Further, you can feed them with the amount that they can finish within 1 to 2 minutes. Do not let them overfeed. It will badly affect the health of the fish. So, always follows the guidelines. 

Credit to : Simple Reef Life
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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.