The Best Cichlid Food for 2021


For the proper maintenance of your tank, it is important that you choose the right food for your cichlids. Fishes have different nutritional requirements. Cichlids likewise require a specific diet to thrive and grow. Choosing the best cichlid food is extremely important for the proper nutrition of your fishes. Cichlids need proper food to grow healthy and enhance their color. You must be extra careful in choosing their food and making sure that each group of fish in your aquarium gets the exact amount of food they need. To help you decide, we reviewed some of the best cichlid food you can find on the market.

What is the Best Cichlid Food

See also:

Top 10 Best Cichlid Food Reviews

1. TetraCichlid Balanced Diet Flakes Food for all Cichlids


One of the trusted brands when it comes to providing the best quality cichlid foods is the Tetra. This food offers balanced nutrition. It is a balanced blend of vitamins, nutrients, biotin and fatty acids to keep your fish healthy and beautiful looking.

This food is good for both top and mid-water feeding cichlids. It does not sink fast and stays afloat for some time for your fish to feed on. This food is also easier to digest and guaranteed to improve the metabolism, color and vitality of your fish.

However, for its downside, this formula can water a little if your pour too much so you must be careful with the amount you put. Still, this food is the precise blend of nutrition your fish needs and is an economical choice.


  • The perfect blend of nutrients
  • Easy to digest
  • Does not sink fast
  • Affordable
  • Contains biotin


  • May cloud the water

2. TetraCichlid Crisps for small to medium Cichlids


Another excellent choice for cichlid foods from the same Tetra Company is the Cichlid Crisps meant for small to medium cichlids. This protein-rich formulation provides the fish with the exact nutritional requirements they need for maintaining a healthy diet and beautiful coloration.

These crisps are palatable and easier to digest. It’s good for both top and mid-water feeding cichlids. It also effectively reduces wastage in your aquarium for clearer water and a healthier environment for your fish. It does not easily cloud the water when used in the right amount. It’s uniform size is also good for consistency in feeding.

However, the downside of this food is that the crisps are smaller and are not good for bigger fishes. Despite that, this food is of good quality and offers the best nutrition for your cichlids at an affordable price.


  • Affordable
  • Balanced nutrition
  • Reduces waster
  • Clear-water formula
  • Uniform size


  • Not good for bigger fishes

3. Omega One Super Color Cichlid Pellets Small Sinking


Omega One is another reputable brand known for providing nutritious and high-quality cichlid foods. With its quality, it is guaranteed to provide your cichlids with the best nutrition and will improve the color of your fish for a more vibrant tank.

These pellets are the ideal balance of fresh seafood, ocean kelp and spirulina to effectively cater to the nutritional requirements of cichlids. It is healthier for fishes because it does not have any other pre-processed protein. It is also insoluble which reduces wastes and keeps a cleaner tank for the fishes.

However, the sizes of these pellets are a bit small and might not be good for bigger fishes to feed on. Still, the Omega One pellets for cichlids are of great quality and provides just the right nutrients cichlid needs.


  • Balanced nutrition
  • Keeps a cleaner tank
  • Superior quality
  • Affordable
  • Does not contain pre-processed protein


  • Pellets are small

4. TetraCichlid Floating Sticks for Medium to Large Cichlids


Another one of the best foods for cichlids is the TetraCichlid floating sticks. These nutritious sticks are perfect for medium to large top-feeding cichlids. It is specially designed to enhance the color of your fish and its vitality for longer life.

This formulation is the right blend of nutrients that cichlids need to establish better growth and coloration. It’s a staple food for a nutritionally balanced daily feeding. It improves the immune system and metabolism of the fish for optimal life. It does not cloud the water and helps maintain a cleaner tank.

However, its downside is that it tends to clump at the bottom of your tank. Despite that, these floating sticks are good for the ideal nutrition of your cichlids. It is highly nutritious and affordable.


  • Procare formula
  • Balance nutrition
  • Improves health and coloration
  • Clear-water formula for cleaner water
  • Affordable


  • Tends to clump at the bottom

5. Fluval Bug Bites Pellets for Medium to Large Cichlids


If you still have not found the ideal food for our cichlids then another highly recommended product is the Fluval bug bites pellets. This fish food is a unique insect-based formulation. But it is not just insects, Fluval also enriches their product with quality proteins, vitamins and nutrients for well-balanced nutrition.

This formulation is rich in multiple proteins, omega 3 and 6 for a healthy-looking and equally beautiful fishes. It has no artificial fillers or preservatives to ensure optimal nutrition without any risks for the fishes.

However, the size of the Fluval Bug Bites may be smaller compared to other brands’ medium and large pellets.

Still, these Fluval pellets are of high-quality and contain the best nutrition that can guarantee a hearty and nutritious meal for your cichlids.


  • High in multiple proteins
  • No preservatives
  • Balanced nutrition
  • Affordable
  • Fortified with essential vitamins


  • Pellets are smaller compared to other brands

6. Aqueon Cichlid Food Pellets for all Cichlids


The Aqueon cichlid food pellets are another good option for a highly nutritious cichlid food. This product is made with the best ingredients that cichlids will surely like. If you are on a budget and looking for high-quality cichlid food at an affordable price then this product is perfect for you.

The Aqueon pellets are made in a variety of pellet sizes to cater to any fish size in your aquarium. It contains ingredients such as krill and squid that cichlids naturally like and will surely consume. It also contains only natural ingredients and has no artificial colors. Aqueon pellet reduces fish waste and will not cloud the water.

However, these pellets do not sink even after some time and may not be suitable for mid and bottom feeders. Despite that, these pellets contain the perfectly balanced nutrients that your cichlids need for proper growth and nutrition.


  • Variety of sizes
  • Create less waste
  • Affordable
  • Will not cloud water
  • All-natural


  • Pellets do not sink

7. Omega One Color Sinking Cichlid Large Pellets


Also popular among our hobbyist is the Omega One duper color pellets. Omega One makes sure that their products contain and is fortified by the proper and necessary vitamins and ingredients that ensure your cichlids’ growth and beautiful coloration.

These sinking cichlid pellets are made with a variety of fresh seafood that cichlids naturally like. It also efficiently reduces fish wastes. It contains increased levels of color enhancers to effectively enhance the color of your cichlids. These pellets are also naturally insoluble and do not cloud the water.

However, the downside of these pellets is that it tends to sink faster which tends to clump at the bottom fishes. It

Despite that, these pellets are of high quality and contain the nutritional requirements that your cichlid likes and needs.


  • Contains a variety of fresh seafood
  • Increase levels of color enhance
  • Naturally insoluble
  • Does not cloud the water
  • Reduces fish waste



  • Sink faster 

8. Hikari Cichlid Gold Floating Pellets


The Hikari Cichlid food pellets are also an excellent choice for cichlid foods. These pellets are made from the best ingredients that promote health and improves the colors of your fishes for that healthy and beautiful tank you always wanted.

These pellets are ideal for color enhancing. It is high in beta carotene and NS Germ to bring out the natural and vibrant colors of your fishes. It contains stabilized vitamin C and improves the immune system of your fishes to promote long and healthy life.

However, for its downside, these cichlid pellets tend to cloud your water especially if you overfed so you must use it as directed. Despite that, this cichlid food is of high quality and is reliable to improve the health and color of your cichlids.


  • High in beta carotene
  • Contains stabilized vitamin c
  • Promotes long life
  • Affordable
  • Enhances color


  • Clouds water

9. API Cichlids Large Pellets


The API cichlids large pellets is also an economical and top-rated choice of cichlid food. These large pellets contain the right amount and exact blends of nutrients that meet the nutritional requirements of your large cichlids.

These pellets are ideal for cichlids that are at least 5 inches long. They are rich in protein and has added ingredients for improved palatability. Fishes naturally like this food. It also helps reduce the waste and ammonia released by dishes for cleaner and healthier water. With continued use, you will see a healthier and more vibrant tank.

However, these pellets can cloud the water especially if you feed a large amount of food. Despite that, this product is of good quality and is highly recommend for those who want to achieve a healthy and colorful tank at a more affordable price.


  • Improve palatability
  • Reduces waste
  • Enhances the color of the fish
  • Affordable
  • Perfectly-balanced nutrition


  • Can cloud the water

10. Northfin Cichlid Food


Northfin’s formula is one of the best you can find on the market. This cichlid food is designed to enhance the health of the fishes as well as its color using all-natural ingredients. This is ideal even for those who are only starting their tank.

The best thing about the Northfin cichlid food is that it does away with unnecessary color additive or fillers. This marine protein-based diet is made with the perfect balance of nutrients and vitamins cichlids need for a healthy and long life. It is also easy for fishes to digest and reduces the wastes produced by fishes.

However, this pellet is small which may not be suitable for bigger fishes. Still, this cichlid pellet has the perfectly-balanced nutrition your cichlids need with guaranteed nutritional benefits.


  • Filler free
  • Marine protein bases
  • Easy to digest
  • Reduces wastes produced by fishes
  • Affordable


  • Small-sized pellets

Cichlid Food Buying Guide

Check out the following for what to know when looking for the right cichlid foods for your pet.


When selecting the cichlid food that best suits your fish one of the most important considerations you need to note is the ingredients. Choose cichlid food that the major ingredients are from aquatic sources of food or insect-based. These ingredients cater perfectly to the nutritional requirement of cichlids.

You should also choose a cichlid food that is naturally attractive for fishes and is can be easily digested. You can also consider additional nutrients such as omega 3 and 6 which helps enhance the growth of your fish.


In choosing a cichlid you can look for one that is naturally insoluble. This type of food will not easily soak up and dissolve in water so that the nutrients remain. It also helps maintain cleaner and clearer water.

Pigment enhancers

It is also important to take note of the color enhancing capacity that a cichlid offer. Cichlids have these brilliant natural colors that can easily improve and be even more vibrant with the proper amount of nutrition.

Type of Food

Cichlid food comes in different types. It can be flakes, crisps, pellets, granules, and others which will be discussed below. You can choose one that suits best for your fish.


The size of the cichlid food is also important to consider. The bigger the fish the bigger also the size of the food it needs. Cichlid foods come in different sizes that cater to the small, medium and bigger-sized fishes.

Floating or Sinking

Cichlid foods can also come in a variety of floating or sinking types. These efficiently cater to top, mid and bottom feeders. The floating types are best for top-feeders while the sinking ones are best for bottom feeders. You can choose the one that best suits your fish type. There are also cichlid foods that sink slowly that is ideal for mid and bottom feeders.

What is a Cichlid Food?


Different species of fishes have different diets and require a different amount of nutrition. Cichlids require the proper nutrients to establish better growth and improve their brilliant colors naturally. With the continued use of high-quality cichlid food that suits your fishes, you will see a significant improvement in your aquarium.

Types of Cichlid Foods

There are different types of cichlid food you can find on the market. You should consider these in choosing the best and most suitable ones for your type of fish.


This is the most popular cichlid food. It consists of thin slices of fish food which is more ideal for top-feeding fish because they normally float. However, this type of cichlid food tends to break and dissolve in water easily losing their nutrients.


These are slightly thicker compared to flakes. They are ideal for small and medium-sized fish. They also remain afloat much longer and are best for top-feeders.


This type of cichlid food comes in a ball-shape and has a variety of sinking, floating or slow sinking ones. It caters to the different types of feeders. They also come in different sizes to cater to different sizes of fish.


Granules are easier for a fish to eat in just a single bite. They are slowly sinking so the mid-water and bottom feeders can efficiently feed on it.


Tablets tend to soak up water easily and sink quickly to the bottom. It is more ideal for bottom-feeding fish.

Live/frozen foods

For live foods, bloodworms are among the best choice and cater to all types of fish. Frozen ones are ideal for their longer shelf lie. You can also go for frozen brine shrimps. It has good nutritional value and is attractive for the fish. Other good options are cyclops, clam meat and daphnia.

Why Do You need Cichlid Food?

Choosing the right food can help your cichlid grow and flourish beautifully in your aquarium. It also helps maintain a healthy environment that your cichlids need to properly thrive.

Cichlid needs proper nutrition to always look their best and remain healthy. The environment in an aquarium is not the same as their natural habitat in the wild so you need to fill that gap with the proper cichlid food that meets their nutritional requirements. You then need to be extra careful in choosing among the loads of choices you can find on the market for cichlid foods.

Fishes come in different groups each having distinct diets that you need to keep in mind. Cichlids can be carnivores, herbivores or omnivores. In choosing the best cichlid food you must make sure that every group of cichlids in your aquarium gets the proper nutrition they need.

The cichlid foods we reviewed earlier contains the usual ingredients that cater to all types of cichlids. You can choose from any of them which type caters best to the cichlids in your aquarium. These cichlid foods contain the proper balance and blend of nutrients that cichlids need to improve their immune system, metabolism and enhance their color.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the most popular cichlid food brands?

One of the more popular and reputable brands known among hobbyists and aquarium owners is the Tetra company. Tetra has been revolutionizing and improving its products since its inception to deliver the proper nutrition a fish needs to thrive healthily and for a long time.

Omega one is another brand you can trust to deliver cichlid food with high quality. It uses the best ingredient in their food for unsurpassed quality and nutrition. Other popular brands that deliver the best quality of cichlid food you can consider are Aqua master, Fluval or Northfin.

How long can your cichlid live without food?

It is important to know how long can your cichlid live without food in case you go away or go for a vacation for some time. Healthy cichlids can go for 7 to 10 days without food so you do not have to worry that much. You just must maintain them in a steady diet before you go on your vacation.

But if you will be gone for a much longer time an automatic feeder might help or you can ask someone to take care of your fish while you are away.

How often should cichlid be fed?

Feeding cichlids is easy and simple. You just feed them with the amount they can eat within 2 minutes without anything going to waste or left unconsumed which can affect the quality of your water. This should be done 2 to 3 times a day. Overfeeding them can result in health problems.

Where to buy cichlid food?

You can find a lot of choices for cichlid foods online. They come in different kinds and sizes that cater to any fish types you have in your aquarium. Cichlid foods are also available in local pet stores.


Giving your cichlids the proper amount of food and nutrition that they need is important to avoid any health problems. Availing the best cichlid food is also the key to properly maintain your aquarium with healthy and beautiful looking fishes. We have provided you with the best options for cichlid foods that are also affordable. We have also given you the basic information to properly take care of your cichlids and the guide to help you choose the best product for your fish. With that information, choosing the best cichlid food that meets the dietary requirement of your fish will be a breeze.

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