Here are the 3 best methods to feed watermelon to African Cichlids. We have also added the pros and cons of eating watermelon for the fish.
Can African Cichlids Eat Watermelon? Africa Cichlids love to eat watermelons. You can make small pieces, watermelon paste, or mix it with other food to serve it your Cichlids fish. Cichlids stay healthy by eating the watermelons daily.
Some cichlids are true grazers means they eat plants and vegetables. Plants containing pigment are necessary to maintain the bright color. They should eat carotene at least once daily to keep the color and integrity of the skin.
- 1 Can African Cichlids Eat Watermelon?
- 1.1 How much and how often to feed watermelon to cichlids?
- 1.2 How to feed Watermelon to African Cichlids?
- 1.3 Can Cichlids fish eat watermelon seed and skin?
- 1.4 Is watermelon harmful to Cichlids?
- 1.5 Benefits of feeding watermelon to Cichlids
Can African Cichlids Eat Watermelon?
Cichlids are aquarium or freshwater fish, and it has more than 1300 species. Each species is different in its characteristics and behavior. Cichlids also have their requirements for food.
They need proper food that contains all the necessary nutrients and minerals. A healthy and balanced diet includes carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and all minerals. Cichlids have different categories depending upon their food. Some of them solely depend on small invertebrates, fish flakes, and other small animals for their food.
How much and how often to feed watermelon to cichlids?
Different species of cichlids have a different schedule of eating food. The amount of treatment also varies among other species. They like to eat 2 to 3 times a day. The amount depends upon the hunger they feel.
On average, some of them can eat for 5 minutes. Some types of them keep eating until the food is present before them. Always feed them lunch food so that they can easily digest it in the day time.
You should remove all the residues after that time. Never overfeed them any food. When it comes to watermelon, it is an occasional treat. You can not eat more than once or twice a week. Feed them in small chunks of the approximate size of 1 to 2 inches.
Feeding more than that can cause an extra intake of sugar to them. Excess sugar intake can increase the risk of diabetes in them. Watermelon also contains an excess of water in it. The excess fluid intake is also unhealthy for this delicate creature.
How to feed Watermelon to African Cichlids?
You can feed them watermelon in various ways. Here I am describing some of them to help you give them a better feast.
Feed small chunks
First, choose a fresh and fully ripe watermelon. Then peel the skin of it with the help of a knife. Properly remove all the skin because it is difficult to digest the hard skin. Then cut a small piece of it and remove all the seeds from it. Then cut this piece into little chunks of approximately one inch.
The amount of cichlids is short, and it can not swallow big pieces. Then take 2 to 3 pieces and drop them in the aquarium. When the fish is hiding in some safe place, just carefully place it before them. This way, it can easily approach the food to fill its tummy.
The paste or purry is easy to swallow, and it can quickly reduce the chunk size with its short teeth. To make a paste, you need a blender and a knife. Again choose a fresh watermelon. Peel off the hard skin of it with a sharp knife. Then take a small piece of it.
Add water and run the blender at medium speed to turn it into a smooth paste, withdraw it from the blender, and put it in a small bowl. Cover it with a lid and place it in the freezer. After that, cut it into small pieces and drop them in the aquarium.
Mix it with other foods
Mix it with other foods that are available in the market at affordable prices. They contain various types of foods in small chunks or powder form. Omega flakes, brine shrimps, spinach, broccoli are some of the dried freeze food of them.
Take a bowl, wash it with soap, and dry it thoroughly. Then take a few chunks of the dried food in it. You can further reduce its size by grinding it in a pestle and mortar. Then take a small slice of watermelon and peel off the skin.
Then remove all the seeds from it. Then turn it into small chunks; after this, put it in the bowl and mix it with the dried food with a stirrer or spoon’s help. Finally, serve it to the cichlids in the aquarium.
There is also an option of purchasing dried watermelon from the market. Like other dried food, it is also available as a dried fruit. This eliminates the tedious process of peeling and cutting the watermelon.
Can Cichlids fish eat watermelon seed and skin?
When we talk about the watermelon seeds, African cichlids can quickly eat the seeds. They can eat one small seed once weekly—the rest of the species cannot eat them. For safety and concern, you should not give them seeds.
The seeds can get stuck into the throat and belly of them. It can cause impaction on them. Impaction is the inability to pass any content from the gut or the stomach. The food gets entrap in the belly, and it can cause many problems.
The fish can suffer from various diseases, and even death can occur. Death occurs because they are not able to pass out wastes from the body. The accumulated waste in the body can produce many toxins. These toxins can cause the death of fish.
You should not feed cichlids watermelon skin. There are various reasons for that. First of all, the skin of it is very hard. They can not digest it properly. The chunks of skin are difficult to chew and even can cause choking and impaction in them.
Both these conditions can lead to many diseases in them. Abdominal pain bloating, and other GIT dysfunctions are associated with it.
Secondly, the skin of the watermelon contains many chemicals in it. These chemicals are poison, and it can cause the death of them. The skin also has pesticides absorbed in it. The farmers spray pesticides when they grow them. All these chemicals are hazardous to the health of cichlids.
Is watermelon harmful to Cichlids?
You can only feed them watermelon in minute quantities and on rare occasions. Overfeeding can cause so much trouble to them. It can cause digestive problems like bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Sorbitol present in it can cause watery stool in them.
Overhydration and increased glucose level is another problem associated with it. High water content in the fish body can cause toxicity of various toxins in them. Lycopene in watermelon can also cause inflammation in body parts like the liver.
It is essential to remove uneaten food from the aquarium. You should remove at least 30 minutes of serving the treat.
Living there can create many issues for this delicate creature. The leftover food gets stale after some time. The stinky fruit produces a stinky odor and affects the chemistry of water and can cause Popeye disease in fish.
The bad water chemistry also causes different diseases in fish. It harms their bright skin color. This leftover food also promoted overfeeding and its related problems. Some of the fish may spit out the food while eating.
Benefits of feeding watermelon to Cichlids
The most obvious benefit of it is that it keeps the African Cichlids hydrated. It can fulfill the daily water requirements of cichlids. It contains calcium, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B1 B5 B6, carotenoids, and lycopene.
It can also regulate the flow of blood and prevent heart stroke. Lycopene can avoid the risk of high cholesterol in them. Thus it also prevents obesity in all species. Citrulline, a compound, can produce nitric oxide in the body and help expand blood vessels.
All antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents present can help prevent and treat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. It also helps brighten the color to bright orange and golden. It also reduces muscle fatigue by relaxing them and helps in fast swimming in cichlids.