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Best Cichlid Food For Growth and Color – Top 7

Cichlids are among the most popular aquarium fish. Their pleasant appearance and outgoing nature make them especially appealing for fish lovers. Of course, as is the case with most pet owners, you only want the best for your cichlid.

Proper care for your cichlid includes providing them with a good aquarium to live in, making sure they are living in the right kind of water, keeping their environment clean, and feeding them the best cichlid food for growth and color you can find.

You may be wondering, “what do cichlid eat?” or “where can I find the best food for my cichlid?” Don’t worry, because these are exactly the types of questions that this article aims to answer.

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Best Cichlid Food for Growth and Color – Top 7 Reviewed

1. Aqueon Cichlid Food Pellets

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The Aqueon Cichlid Food Pellets are made with premium natural ingredients for balanced nutrition. They contain krill and squid, which are sure to appeal to your cichlid.

Because the Aqueon Cichlid Food Pellets are made with the highest quality ingredients, they bring out the brilliant color of your cichlid.

The pellets come in three sizes: mini, medium, and jumbo. The medium pellets are the size of peppercorns, and the minis are about half that size.

When buying your Aqueon Cichlid Food Pellets, make sure that you are getting the proper size for your fish. The mini pellets may be more suitable for babies and smaller-sized fish.

They also come in different quantities. No matter which size you get, they are all definitely affordable.

Slow sinking

These pellets are also “slow-sinking.” This means that they do not sink to the bottom as quickly as other kinds of pellets do. This is ideal because once the pellets sink to the bottom, it will be more difficult for the fish to eat them. The slow sinking feature of these pellets will ensure that your cichlid will get every single bite.

However, some customers claim that they sink very slowly, or do not sink at all, and just float. Experiences vary for each customer.

Some customers also report that the product is not just for cichlids, even their other pet fish love the Aqueon Cichlid Food Pellets. They feed it to their minnows, goldfish, catfish, and angelfish.

With their premium natural ingredients and affordable prices, Aqueon Cichlid Food Pellets definitely makes it easy to give your cichlid the best.


  • made with premium natural ingredients
  • slow-sinking pellets
  • affordable
  • three pellet-sizes
  • comes in different quantities


  • pellets may remain floating
  • may make aquarium water cloudy
  • some fish may not like the taste

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

2. Repashy Soilent Green

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The Repashy Soilent Green is not like your average fish food. It does not come in pellet form or in flakes, but in powder form. The food must be manually prepared to create a gel. They come in two sizes: a 3-ounce jar and a 12-ounce jar.

These gels are not just for cichlids. They are also suited for other fish, invertebrates, amphibians, or reptiles that feed on algae and other small living organisms.

They are made up of a good composition of essential nutrients, ensuring that your cichlid remains healthy. It consists of a minimum of 45% crude protein, a minimum of 8% crude fat, a minimum of 8% crude fat, and a maximum of 8% crude fiber.


Preparation of the Repashy Soilen Green is very simple. There are two ways to prepare the gels. The first method is to thoroughly mix one part powder to three parts water, then heat it up in the microwave.

Make sure to microwave it long enough for it to boil. After this, it must be removed from the microwave and stirred again.

The second method is to boil a pot of water on a stove. The powder is then stirred into the hot water. In both methods, the mixture is poured into a mold after it has cooled. The mixture is left to firm up in the mold or storage container.

Once it is firm enough, the gel can be shaped into different forms, depending on your pet’s preference. You can cut it into cubes, shred it, or leave it as is, to be consumed whole. As for storage, the gel can be both refrigerated and frozen.

The advantage of being able to manually prepare your cichlid’s food is the ability to customize. You can adjust the firmness of the gels by adding or reducing the amount of water that you use.

You can also customize the size of the gels to fit the size of your pet. For baby fish, reptiles, or amphibians, you can grate or shred them to produce a smaller gel. For fully-grown pets, cut them into cubes.

Repashy Soilent Green is truly one of the best cichlid food for growth on the market.


  • can be fed to a wide variety of algae-eating animals
  • high-quality ingredients
  • easy to prepare
  • customizable
  • affordable


  • has to be manually prepared

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3. Northfin Cichlid

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The Northfin Cichlid are slow sinking pellets made with premium ingredients. They are free of fillers, by-products, artificial pigments, and added hormones.

Some of the ingredients include whole Antarctic krill meal, high omega-3 DHA herring meal, organic kelp, and spirulina. The Northfin Cichlid pellets are made in Canada.

The clean, high-quality ingredients ensure that your cichlids are brightly-colored and healthy. The pellets are composed of 40% crude protein, 5% crude fat, 5% crude fiber, 9% moisture, and 9% ash.


The pellets come in 3 sizes: 1mm, 2mm, and 3mm. They also come in two quantities: 250 grams and 1 kilogram. The 1mm and 2mm pellets are suitable for smaller, younger fish, and the 3mm are more suited for larger fish.

Much like the previously discussed Aqueon Cichlid Food Pellets, the Northfin Cichlid pellets are also “slow-sinking.”

Slow-sinking pellets ensure that your fish are able to get every last one of those pellets before they hit the bottom of the tank. However, some customers say that the pellets sink very easily, and are not slow sinking.

The high amount of protein does not make it suitable for all types of fish and other aquatic animals. When left uneaten, the high percentage of protein also causes the water to become cloudy. This also causes it to give off a strong odor.


  • high-quality ingredients
  • affordable


  • can not be fed to other fish

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3. TetraCichlid Cichlid Crisps Advanced Clear Water Formula

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Tetra offers a wide variety of fish and reptile food. They specially formulate each of their products to fit a particular kind of fish. They create flakes, crisps, granules, tablets, algae wafers, sticks, pellets, gel foods, and supplements.

Their products that are geared towards cichlids are in the form of “crisps.” Although it is in the form of crisps and not pellets, it still has the slow-sinking feature.

These crisps also float longer and produce less waste. They are best suited for small and medium-sized fish. It comes in two sizes. The 3.28-ounce jar, and the 8.82-ounce jar.


The crisps are composed of 43% crude protein, 16% crude fat, 3% crude fiber, 9% moisture, and 1% phosphorus. It also contains 192 mg/kg of ascorbic acid, or vitamin c, and 121 mg/kg of carnitine. Looking at this composition analysis alone, you can see that the TetraCichlid Cichlid Crisps are made up of really good ingredients.

The main ingredient of these crisps are krill and shrimp. It is called the “clear water formula” because the main ingredients are micro-milled and pure, which leads to less waste, and therefore a cleaner aquarium.

They claim that it will produce up to 35% less waste. The purity and quality of the ingredients also ensures that it will bring out the vivid colors of your cichlids.

The TetraCichlid Cichlid Crisps Advanced Clear Water Formula is one of the most popular cichlid food on this list and a contender for the best cichlid food for growth and color.


  • very high-quality ingredients
  • does not cloud water
  • affordable


  • cannot be fed to other aquatic animals, only cichlids
  • crisps only come in one size

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

4. Omega One Super Color Cichlid Pellets Small Sinking

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The Omega One Super Color Cichlid Pellets are made with a good assortment of fresh seafood, ocean kelp, and spirulina. They do not contain any meals, hydrolysates, digests, or any other type of pre-processed protein. It is composed of 42% crude protein, 11% crude fat, 2% crude fiber, 8.5% moisture, and 8% ash.

They come in three sizes.

These pellets offer a number of benefits. Because it contains no meals and other pre-processed proteins, it produces less waste and cleaner water. The food also consists of beta-carotene, which comes from salmon skins.

Beta-carotene enhances the color of fish scales. Vitamins are also added to the pellets for the healthy development of your fish’s bones and scales.

Another benefit of the Omega One Super Color Cichlid Pellets is increased immunity. It contains high levels of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which strengthens your fish’s immune system. Because it is made from freshwater seafood, it’s taste also appeals to a variety of fish.

High quality

Omega One also boasts that the way they produce their pellets contributes to its high quality. First, fresh seafood is sourced from Alaska. The seafood is then flash-frozen in order to keep its freshness and high quality.

The frozen ingredients are transported to a facility. This is where they process the seafood, adding the necessary vitamins and nutrients. The end result is, according to Omega One, the best cichlid food for color.

Compared to the previously discussed products on this list, these pellets are not described as “slow-sinking.” They are described as “sinking,” and some customers claim that they are heavy pellets and that sink very fast.

As compared to other fish food, the Omega One products do not contain preservatives and are not made from fish meal.

They also do not contain starch and fillers, but only the best ingredients and essential vitamins. If you want “clean” food for your fish, without fillers and preservatives, then choose Omega One.


  • very high-quality ingredients
  • made from fresh seafood and not fish meal
  • no preservatives, starch, and fillers


  • only comes in one pellet size
  • sinks fast

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

5. Zoo Med Spirulina 20 Fish Food Flakes

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This particular fish food is made with spirulina, which is a protein-rich blue-green plankton. It is also full of vitamin A1, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, and E. It also contains beta-carotene, which naturally enhances the color of your fish. Additionally, it has essential fatty acids and amino acids, which are necessary for proper nourishment of your fish.

It contains 45% crude protein, 4% crude fat, 3% crude fiber, and 8% moisture. In addition to spirulina, it is also made with salmon fish meal.

These flakes are made with 20% spirulina. It provides a balanced, high-protein diet for freshwater fish, marine fish, goldfish, crustaceans, and invertebrates. Spirulina is also proven to improve the behavior, health, coloring, and growth of cichlids.

It can also improve hatching rates and egg production. It acts as a reproductive stimulant, and it can also increase the survival rate of eggs.


The Zoo Med Spirulina 20 is also the first product on this list that is in the form of flakes. The risk of buying food that comes in flake form is that the flakes will not all be the same size. Because flakes are delicate and easily torn, they can get smaller in transit, as reported by some customers.

They come in varying package sizes: 1 ounce, 2 ounces, 4 ounces, 2 lbs, and 5 lbs. You can save more money by buying the bigger buckets of Zoo Med Spirulina 20. The 4-ounce packages also come in 2-packs, 4-packs, and 6-packs.

The Zoo Med Spirulina 20 Flakes are definitely one to consider when it comes to buying fish food.


  • rich in vitamins and nutrients
  • affordable
  • good quality ingredients


  • sizes of flakes are inconsistent

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

6. New Life Spectrum Cichlid Formula

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The New Life Spectrum brand of fish food is one of the most well-known popular brands in the market. They are known for using good quality ingredients that are sure to enhance the color of your fish.

They also test the quality and safety of the food during production. It is made in the USA.

Their cichlid formula is made up of squid, South Antarctic krill, herring, and New Zealand mussel protein.

In addition to these meat-based ingredients, it is also made up of algae meal. This is made up of kelp, seaweed, and Haematococcus Pluvialis, which is a kind of spirulina.

These pellets contain fruit and vegetable extracts as well. In particular, it contains tomato, green cabbage, red cabbage, green cabbage, peas, spinach, red pepper, zucchini, and broccoli. As for fruit, it has peach, papaya, mango, kiwi, apricot, apple, and pear. It also contains garlic, which is a natural anti-parasitic ingredient.

Do not cloud the water

In addition to the balanced ingredients, the pellets do not cloud the water. One thing to note is that these pellets sink faster than others because they are not made to be slow-sinking.

Some customers say that their fish eat all of it before it even hits the bottom of the tank. Others say that their fish have to look for the pellets in the sand at the bottom of the tank.

The material at the bottom of the tank is another thing to note. Aquariums that have sand or substrate at the bottom may not be suitable for these pellets.

Some customers say that the food gets lost at the bottom of the tank. The fish have a more difficult time getting the food, and not all the pellets are found. The uneaten pellets may cause the water to become cloudy.

However, some say that the size of the pellets is very small, around 2mm. As compared to some of the other brands that have been previously discussed on this list, these particular pellets only come in one size.


  • balanced ingredients
  • high quality
  • does not make the water cloudy
  • affordable


  • pellet only comes in one size
  • sinks quickly

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

7. Tetra TetraCichlid Balanced Diet Flakes Food for Cichlids

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This is the second product on this list that is produced by the brand Tetra. This particular product comes in the form of flakes, while the other Tetra product on this list came in the form of crisps. Tetra has two different forms of cichlid food because they want to suit the needs and preferences of every kind of fish.

The TetraCichlid Balanced Diet Flakes are formulated to keep the water clean and produce less waste. It also includes Tetra’s ProCare blend. The ProCare blend consists of various vitamins, nutrients, biotin, and Omega-3 fatty acids. These essential ingredients are proven to improve metabolism, immune health, energy, behavior, and growth.


The flakes are composed of 48% crude protein, 9% crude fat, 2% crude fiber, 6% moisture, and 1.3% phosphorus. It also contains vitamins A, D3, C, and E.

These flakes remain firm even as they hit the water. They don’t break apart and dissolve quickly, which gives the fish a chance to eat them. Because they do not sink quickly, they are ideal for top and mid-water feeding cichlids.

The flakes are also big, making it ideal for bigger fish. It can be easily cut up into smaller pieces for smaller fish.

If your fish prefers food in the form of flakes, this is a great alternative to the Zoo Med Spirulina 20.


  • good quality ingredients
  • contains Tetra ProCare blend
  • flakes are big and do not sink


  • some fish may not like the taste

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

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With the amount of cichlid food currently available on the market, it can be hard to choose the best cichlid food for growth and color.

Every fish is different, and what may be the best for others may not be the best for yours. Keep in mind that the species of your cichlid may also affect their diet. Be sure to research well so that you can provide your cichlid with only the best.

Hopefully your decision has been made easy with the information we have provided. Thanks to Amazon, most brands of fish food have been made accessible. You can also find the full details of each brand there. If you want more reviews, you can also check out the ones on Amazon.

Aaron Boyd
Aaron Boyd

Hello, I’m Aaron Boyd, the proud owner and author behind Aqua Movement. I hope my article was able to answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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