Who doesn’t love beautiful pet fish with bright, vivid coloration? They bring real interest to any tank, and cichlid species are no exception when it comes to bright colors. Sometimes, your fish look a little dull. There’s a solution! Choosing the best cichlid foods, feed specially designed to enhance the color of the cichlid. Here, I’ll review all the best cichlid food for colors.
I reviewed, fact checked and updated this post on July 6, 2023.
Table Of Contents
What’s The Best Cichlid Food For Color? The Top Picks
The best food for cichlid color is Omega One Super Color Cichlid Pellets. Read my full review of the best food for cichlids to enhance their color below.
Omega One Super Color Cichlid Pellets: A Type Full Of NutrientsCheck Price On Amazon
Rich in omega 3, fatty acids, and omega 6, as well as beta carotenes. The omega one super color flakes are designed to enhance colors. It helps cichlids have a balanced, healthy diet with the nutrients they need.
Feeding Directions – 3 times daily, only as much as fish can consume in 2 minutes.
Ingredients (Food Sources)
- Fish: Whole Salmon, Whole Herring, Black Cod, Halibut, and Whole Shrimp.
- Grains: Wheat Flour, and Wheat Gluten.
- Vegetables: Fresh Kelp.
- Binders & Emulsifiers: Lecithin.
- Color Enhancers: Astaxanthin, and Natural & Artificial Colors.
- Vitamins & Minerals: Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Folic Acid, Biotin, Inositol, and Tocopherol.
- Preservatives: Ethoxyquin, and L-Ascorbyl-2-Phosphate.
- Natural ingredients, no artificially produced ingredients, all components are high-quality.
- Designed for cleaner tanks and less fish waste.
- They’re some of the best foods on the market, so they’re easy for the fish to digest.
- No fish meal, made of whole ingredients.
- Suitable for all cichlids, South American and African.
- Some found they crumbled too easily.
- Some found the flakes weren’t that big.
- Not suitable as a complete supplement for adults, best used in combination with something else.
- Some found they smelled funny.
NorthFin Cichlid Food: A Good Premium Foods ChoiceCheck Price On Amazon
Made with premium ingredients like organic kelp, Spirulina, herring meal, and whole antarctic krill meal, this cichlid food is rich in nutrients and natural ingredients. They’re slow sinking pellets made in Canada.
Feeding Directions – They recommend to feed them 1-2 times daily, and an amount of only what the fish consume in 5 minutes or less.
- Proteins: Whole Antarctic Krill Meal, Herring Meal, and Whole Sardine Meal.
- Grains: Wheat Flour.
- Vegetables: Kelp, Spirulina, and Garlic.
- Additives: Astaxanthin, and Calcium Montmorillonite Clay.
- Vitamins & Minerals: Vitamin A Acetate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, D-Activated Animal-Sterol, DL Alphatocopherol, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Thiamine, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline Chloride, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Selenium, and Zinc.
- The formula is free of any artificial ingredients, hormones, and products.
- Fast increases the quality of the cichlids’ colors.
- Very high quality.
- Satisfies even picky eaters.
- Excellent size for a variety of cichlids.
- Some found it clouds the water, suggesting the use of a good canister filter may be necessary.
- Some fish will stop eating it after a few weeks.
- A bit expensive.
TetraCichlid Balanced Diet Flakes Food For Feeding CichlidsCheck Price On Amazon
A scientifically researched and tested floating flakes formula from a company that was founded in 1951, Tetra Cichlid has years of tried and tested experience in creating a great cichlid food.
Feeding Directions – 2-3 times daily, as much as fish can eat in 3-4 mins.
- Proteins: Fish Meal, Shrimp Meal, Soybean Meal, Wheat Gluten, and Algae Meal.
- Carbohydrates: Ground Brown Rice, Dried Yeast, and Feeding Oat Meal.
- Fats: Soybean Oil, and Fish Oil.
- Binders: Potato Protein, Lecithin, and L-Lysine Monochlorhydride
- Additives: Sorbitol, and Yeast Extract.
- Vitamins: Vitamin C, Riboflavin-5-Phosphate, Inositol, Niacin, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, A-Tocopherol-Acetate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Palmitate, Biotin, Vit. B12 Supplement, and Cholecalciferol.
- Colors: Beta-Carotene, Annatto Extract, Blue 2 Lake, Red 3, Yellow 5 Lake, and Yellow 6 Lake.
- Preservatives: Ethoxyquin.
- Enhanced with Vitamin C.
- Designed so it doesn’t cloud the tank water in the fish tank.
- Available in a variety of different size containers.
- Lots of nutrition and necessary nutrients.
- The flakes don’t disintegrate, less waste and a cleaner fish tank.
- Great for all cichlids, and excellent value for the price.
- The flakes are quite big. You’ll need to cut them up for smaller cichlids.
Dainichi Colors Cichlid Food: Color Sinking Small PelletCheck Price On Amazon
Specially formulated for enhancing the color in your cichlids, these sinking pellets have enhanced natural ingredients. This is the perfect food for cichlids to bring out fantastic coloration.
Feeding Directions – 2-3 times daily, as much as the cichlid fish can eat in 3-4 mins.
- Proteins: Whitefish meal, Wheat flour, Krill, Pea protein, and Copepod meal.
- Carbohydrates: Wheat germ, Spirulina, and Brewers yeast.
- Minerals: Montmorillonite clay, and Calcium carbonate.
- Enzymes: Protease.
- Binders: Gum acacia.
- Additives: Astaxanthin, and Garlic.
- Vitamins: Vit A Acetate, D-Activated Animal Sterol, DL-alpha-Tocopherol (Vitamin E), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (Vitamin C), B12 Supplement, Choline Chloride, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Inositol, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, and Biotin.
- Small pellets, great size for all cichlids.
- Good quality food full of necessary nutrients.
- Good price.
- Helps cichlids develop their colors while also keeping them healthy.
- If you prefer floating pellets, don’t buy these for your fish tanks.
Aqueon Cichlid Food PelletsCheck Price On Amazon
Combining balanced nutrition with added ingredients to help promote happy and vibrant fish, this a great all-rounder sinking pellets food is for all sorts of cichlids from big to small.
Feeding Directions – Small amount once daily, adjust amount as necessary.
- Proteins: Whole Fish Meal, Squid Meal, and Whole Dried Krill.
- Carbohydrates: Whole Wheat Flour, Soybean Meal, and Wheat Gluten Meal.
- Vitamins & Supplements: Fish Oil, Kelp Meal, Vitamin A Acetate, Cholecalciferol, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Menadione Sodium Bisulphite Complex, Folic acid, Thiamine, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, DL-Alphatocopherol, Manganese sulfate, Cobalt sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, and Copper Sulfate.
- Additives: Dried Yeast, Garlic, Spirulina, Marigold Powder, Chili Powder, Natural Astaxanthin, Choline Chloride, Calcium Propionate, and L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate.
- Designed not to cloud the water.
- Available in a range of sizes for different sized cichlids.
- Designed to satisfy even the picky eaters.
- Great, affordable price.
- Some found they didn’t float. They were more like sinking pellets.
- Some found they had a strange smell.
New Life Spectrum Cichlid Formula Freshwater FoodClick to Learn More / Buy from Amazon
These Ssnking pellets are for cichlids with an enhanced formula for better nutrients and colors with no artificial ingredients. New life Spectrum makes a variety of different cichlid foods, perfect for any need.
Feeding Directions – 1-2 times daily.
- Whole Ingredients: Whole Antarctic Krill, Whole Wheat Flour, and Whole Menhaden Fish
- Seaweeds: Ulva Seaweed, Chlorella Seaweed, Wakame Seaweed, Kelp, Eucheuma cottonii, Chondrus crispus, and Spinosum Seaweed.
- Extracts: Garlic, Ginger, Astaxanthin, Spirulina, Marigold, Zeaxanthin, and Capsanthin.
- Minerals: Sea Salt and Bentonite Clay.
- Vitamins & Supplements: Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Choline Chloride, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, and Manganese Sulfate.
- Made in the USA.
- Full of great ingredients designed for happy, healthy fish
- All sorts of cichlids love them and will even satisfy picky eaters.
- Brings out colors well.
- The pellets are tiny, so may not suit larger cichlids.
- They sink, and uneaten ones might get lost in the substrate, making the tank messy.
- Smells a bit strange.
Royal Pet Supplies Spirulina Flake Fish FoodCheck Price On Amazon
Primarily composed of Spirulina, (biomass made of blue/green algae), these are protein-rich flakes suited for almost any type of fish, not just cichlids.
Feeding Directions – 1-2 times daily, only what fish can consume in 5 minutes or less.
- Proteins: Salmon Fish Meal Shrimp Meal, Dried Krill Meal, and Plankton Meal.
- Plants: Spirulina Algae Meal.
- Carbohydrates: Soy Flour, Wheat Flour, Brewers Dried Yeast, and Corn Starch.
- Oils & Supplements: Vegetable Oil, Lecithin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, and L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate.
- Not too many ingredients, only the natural essentials are included
- Spirulina is rich in protein and is a natural source of 7 different vitamins
- Made in the USA
- Natural color enhancers included
- Good value for the price
- Unfortunately, it creates lots of waste.
- Inconsistent size of the flakes, some are huge and some are small.
Repashy Superfoods Green: Plenty Of Vegetables & nNtrientsCheck Price On Amazon
These cube-shaped pellets are created with a veggie-based formula and plenty of natural, nutrient-full ingredients. These are high in protein and essential vitamins and omega-3, fatty acids, and omega 6.
Feeding Directions – 1-2 times daily.
- Algae & Plant Material: Spirulina Algae, Algae Meal, Pea Protein Isolate, Alfalfa Leaf Meal, Dried Brewers Yeast, Coconut Meal, Stabilized Rice Bran, Flax Seed Meal, Schizochytrium Algae, Dried Seaweed Meal, Garlic, Rose Hips, Hibiscus Flower, Calendula Flower, Marigold Flower, Paprika, and Turmeric.
- Protein: Squid Meal, Fish Meal, and Krill Meal.
- Binders & Thickeners: Lecithin, Locust Bean Gum, and Potassium Citrate.
- Minerals: Taurine, Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Manganese Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Copper Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, and Selenium Yeast.
- Preservatives: Salt, Calcium Propionate and Potassium Sorbate.
- Vitamins: Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D Supplement, Choline Chloride, Calcium L-Ascorbyl-2-Monophosphate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Beta Carotene, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, and Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex.
- Plenty of nutrient-rich ingredients.
- A great substitute for green veggies like green peas and cucumber.
- Suitable for a wide variety of fish, not just cichlid ingredients.
- More suited for goldfish as a complete food, for cichlids, it’s better as a supplement to other foods.
Hikari Cichlid Gold Floating Pellets: Great Source Of Color For OmnivoresCheck Price On Amazon
These floating pellets contain beta-carotene as a natural color enhancer and promote long life and a healthy immune system. Made with natural ingredients. It’s easy to monitor how much your cichlids eat.
Feeding Directions – 1-2 times daily.
Ingredients: White Fish Meal, Wheat Flour, Wheat Germ Meal, Brewers Dried Yeast, Soybean Meal, Shrimp Meal, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, and Carotene.
- Doesn’t cloud the water.
- Contain stabilized vitamin C.
- Great for a variety of different cichlids
- Some found they disintegrate too quickly.
- Can clog up the water sometimes, but this is rare.
- Some found they were too big.
FAQs About Food For Cichlids
How Do I Make My African Cichlids Color Improve?
Here are some ways to help your African cichlids (from Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika) color improve.
- Feed them live/freeze-dried foods and others as well so they get the nutrient-rich diet they need.
- Make sure there’s not too much or too little tank lighting.
- Do regular water changes and maintain good water quality to keep the cichlids healthy.
Many factors effect the color of African cichlids in an aquarium. Like genetics, maturity, aggression/stress levels, water quality, diet, environment (lighting, background, substrate, and decor), and cleanliness.
Here’s an excellent video by Cichlidscape on Youtube, explaining more solutions to this problem.
Why Are My African Cichlids Losing Color?
Here are a few reasons why your African cichlids are losing color.
- They may not have a varied enough diet, commercial foods and pellets aren’t enough by themselves.
- The water quality might not be good enough.
- Perhaps there’s not enough tank lighting or too much tank lighting.
Other reasons include stress, illness or disease, poor water quality, overfeeding, lack of proper nutrition, and genetics. Stress can be caused by overcrowding, aggression, or poor water conditions. Illness can also cause color loss, and may be accompanied by other symptoms like lethargy or loss of appetite.
Poor water quality can lead to color loss, as can overfeeding or a lack of proper nutrition. Genetics can also play a role in color loss, as some cichlids naturally lose color as they age.
Do Cichlids Change Color?
Yes, many cichlids do change color to match their surroundings, communicate with other cichlids, intimidate other fish, attract mates, or camouflage themselves. The reasons vary depending on the species and their environment.
Does Color Enhancing Fish Food Work?
Yes, color enhancing fish food does work if used correctly. To promote color enhancement, the foods contain high levels of carotenoids. A nutrient suited for creating brighter colors. However, cichlids need a balanced diet, and commercial food with color enhancers alone doesn’t cut it.
Hopefully, this post helped you find the best food to help your cichlids showcase their beautiful, bright coloring. It’s sure to enhance the wow factor in their coloration and add real interest to your tank.
Do you have product recommendations or general tips on how to enhance the color of your cichlids? I’m sure other readers would appreciate your knowledge, leave a comment below.