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I currently feed my cichlids New Life Spectrum pellets, veggie/spirulina flakes, lettuce, with the odd (sparing) supplement of bloodworms, and "Emerald Entree". I'd like to give them the absolute best nutrition possible, and I'm wondering if anyone has experience making their own food for Africans on the cheap.

I keep mbuna, haps, frontosa, tropheus, and neolamprologus species.

What else can I give them to optimize their diet?
 

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i threw in a dozen amano shrimps from mykiss yesterday, they seemed to love chasing them around and have munched down 6 of them, the remaining amanos are still cleaning my rocks lol. id recommend picking up a swath of cheap shrimps whenever someone offers them and throwing them in there as a treat/cleaning crew.

mine also LOVE those PE mysis shrimp and seem to go into spawning mode shortly after i treat them with em, mebbe the high fat content helps make the egg yolk or something.

mykiss told me that some people keep a separate tank full of amano shrimps breeding and whenever their decorations are covered in algae they put em in there and the amano's quickly eat them. i think im going to start doing that with a 10g tank and treat my fish to the amanos every once in a while. might even consider a few species of shrimps for variety
 

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Here is a recipe I use for all of my fish.
The spirulina powder is hard to find in small quantities but I did find it in a little health food store in ladner by sharkies seafood rest. & the vit's I use are for marine fish from king ed's (cheapest place I found. I also was not able to find a vegetable form of gelatin so I buy Knoxx from wal mart (again cheapest I found). I have also added small amounts of garlic & other seafoods

Some aquarists feed it almost exclusively to their fish, while others prefer to use it merely as a supplement to a good quality flake food. CAUTION: You should never suddenly change your Cichlids' feeding regimen or food. Instead, gradually introduce the new food, observing them carefully in the following days to make sure it sits well with them. Because of the high nutritional value of the shrimp mix, you should not feed it more than once a day.

● 2 lbs. Whole Shrimp
You want to get regular whole shrimps, heads and all. The cheaper ones are preferable, they just need to be full-sized.
● 2 lbs. Green Peas
These should be frozen green peas.
● 2 tsp. Spirulina Powder
You can find Spirulina powder at Health Food Stores. Just make sure you get the pure powder with no added herbs or other products.
● 100 gms. Gelatin Powder
You can find this at health food stores as well. It's best if you use the vegetable form rather than meat as it's more easily digestible.
● 10 drops Liquid Multi-vitamins
These can be any good quality freshwater aquarium concentrate. If you are unable to find liquid multitamins for fish, you could alternatively try the liquid vitamins that are marketed for birds and other pets.

Thaw the shrimps and peas, leaving them slightly frozen.

* Place them in a blender or mincer and grind them to a fine paste.

* Place the mixture in a bowl and add the Spirulina powder and liquid multi-vitamins and stir well.

* Dissolve the gelatin, following the directions on the box, making sure there are no lumps in it. It must be an easily flowing, sticky mass without any lumps. Lumps of gelatin can be dangerous for juveniles.

* Slowly add the shrimp-pea mix to the warm gelatin. Be sure to mix it completely before it cools. The best way to do this is to mix the food scoop by scoop with the hot gelatin, preventing it from cooling too quickly by keeping the gelatin still on low heat.

* When ready, the mixture is poured onto a baking tray or into small ice cube containers and placed in the refrigerator to cool for several hours.

* The hardened mix is then cut into pieces of convenient size, and frozen in plastic zip-lock bags. After the mix has been frozen, it cannot b cut easily.

This recipe should last the average Cichlid hobbyist many months. By freezing it in several Zip-lock bags, you can keep the food fresh until it is completely consumed.
 
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