Best Cichlid Food: Formulas For Color Enhancement & Growth

If you want your Cichlids to look their best you’ll need to use the best cichlid food for color which will help bring all the natural bright colors of these awesome fish to life.

Whenever you approach the tank and grab the cichlid food jar don’t you want your cichlids to be “wagging their tails” in excitement and just waiting to gobble the food up!

Most cichlids are omnivores meaning they will eat food from both plants an animals.

So when it comes to selecting the right food for your cichlid be sure to feed them sinking pellets or flakes with the occasional live treat of brine shrimp or bloodworms.

If you want to jump to our #1 Recommendation click here to see the Best Cichlid Food For Color

Best Cichlid Food For Color and Growth - Frontosa cichlid

While their diet is one thing you also need to make sure that the food you are using will help keep their colors bright an vibrant.

Further Reading: Find more awesome ideas in our Fish Food section.


Our Top 3 Cichlid Food Picks That Will Bring Out The Vibrant Colors Of Your Cichlids

Best Cichlid Food: What To Look For?

When looking at all the different options for your Cichlid food you want one that is specifically formulated to provide all the nutritional benefits your buddies need to stay colorful and grow big and strong.

Here are a few things you should be looking for in your Cichlid food:

  • It should be formulated with a variety of fresh seafood and increased levels of color enhancers
  • It should be rich in omega 3 & 6 for strong immune systems
  • It should have Natural beta-carotene to provide extreme color enhancement

We reviewed all the best Cichlid food options available and found a few that really stood out!

Here they are:

Best Cichlid Food: Color Enhancement & Growth

1. NorthFin Cichlid Food

Northfin Cichlid Food

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Hands down this is the best Cichlid food you can buy, I personally use it daily and my fish love it.

Their Cichlid formula is made to enhance your Cichlids health and colors naturally. They don’t use any unnecessary artificial color additives or fillers which ensures your Cichlids are able to easily digest and absorb more nutrients.

Just look at some of the great natural ingredients you’ll get in this Cichlid food.


Whole Antarctic Krill Meal, High Omega-3 (DHA) Herring Meal, Whole Sardine Meal, Wheat Flour, Kelp, Spirulina, Garlic, Astaxanthin (Haematococcus Algae), Calcium Montmorillonite Clay, Vitamin A Acetate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), D-Activated Animal-Sterol (D3), DL Alphatocopherol (E), 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, Zinc.

I don’t know of any other food that has this much to offer. Your Cichlids will soon show their full-color spectrum, grow big naturally and have loads of energy.

2. Omega One Cichlid Food

Omega One Cichlid-Food-Super-Color

Buy Omega One Cichlid Food On Amazon

Another great Cichlid food is by Omega who claim to be the only Cichlid food in the world made directly from fresh seafood.

Their formula is made with a bunch of fresh seafood which helps increase the color levels of your Cichlids.

It’s also rich in Omega 3 and 6 to help build strong immune systems. Oh, and the food is also naturally insoluble which keeps cloudy water and pollution to a min.

Omega also notes they are free of fillers and other pre-processed proteins which is great for your Cichlids.

Here is a look at what’s in the Omega Cichlid Food Formula


Salmon, Whole Herring, Wheat Germ, Wheat Flour, Whole Shrimp, Pea Protein, Rice Bran, Kelp, Wheat Gluten, Astaxanthin, Canthaxanthin, Marigold Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Ethoxyquin (Preservative), BHT (Preservative), BHA (Preservative), Natural and Artificial Colors, Ascorbyl Monophosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Niacin, Inositol, Folic Acid, Biotin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

When compared to Northfin, Omega formula looks pretty good.

3. NLS Cichlid Food (New Life Spectrum)

NLS cichlid food-New-Life-Spectrum-Color-Enhancing-Cichlid-Food

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Another good Cichlid food you can try is New Life Spectrum Cichlid food.

They are known in the industry to provide improved coloration and vitality using premium natural ingredients that even finicky eaters will consume

New Life Spectrum is made with high-quality ingredients that are easily digested by your Cichlids.


South Antarctic Krill, Herring, Squid, and New Zealand Mussel protein, and all-natural color-enhancing ingredients for a balanced diet that boosts the immune system and enhances the full spectrum of your fish’s color.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find the full list of ingredients or any indication that they don’t use any fillers.

That said what we can see is that they do provide some quality ingredients that your fish will enjoy.

4. Hikari Cichlid Food

Hikari cichlid food-Bio-Gold-Plus

Buy Hikari Cichlid Food On Amazon

Hikari is a well-known brand in the Cichlid food industry and notes themselves as the originator of pelleted Cichlid diets with more than 135 years of experience.

Does that mean they are the have the best Cichlid food formula?

They use only natural proteins in easily digestible form, including the highest grade of carotenoid available today which offers far superior color enhancement for your Cichlids.

The Hikari formula contains uniquely blended nutrients, including stabilized vitamin C, to help support immune system health.

5. Dainichi Cichlid Food

Dainichi Cichlid Food-Color-FX

Buy Dainichi Cichlid Food On Amazon

A new Cichlid food that is available is one made by Dainichi who claim to have something special.

What’s so special about their Cichlid food.


For one, they have a unique process where they coat their food with a vitamin and mineral coating to ensure all heat sensitive ingredients are not damaged during the cooking phase.

They say this is important because your fishes immune system lacks long-term memory, I guess we will just need to believe them.

Dainichi also notes that the vitamin and enzyme formula they supplement their food with is essential to boosting and maintaining the immune system so your Cichlids can fight off all types of disease, infection, and repair body damage all while increasing their luster and sheen.

So what’s in their food besides their special vitamins:


Whitefish meal, wheat germ, wheat flour, krill, spirulina, soybean meal, brewer’s yeast, calcium montmorillonite clay, powdered milk, vitamin mix, mineral mix, garlic, protease, and natural gum.

While I’ve never used Dainichi it might be worth the while trying it out.

What Is The Best Food For Cichlids?

NorthFin Cichlid Food is hands down the best Cichlid food you can buy, I personally use it daily and my fish love it.

Each bag is nice, thick and resealable so it always stays fresh.

I’ve never seen it cloud up my water and I never see any leftovers.

My Cichlids LOVE it! Even my loaches eat it up every last bite.

Highly recommended and less expensive than some of the other brands listed above. You can sometimes find this product in bulk in retail stores so it’s even cheaper.

Overall great value!!!

Cichlid Food & Feeding FAQ

1. How often to feed Cichlids?

Typically you should feed your Cichlids 2-3 times per day. Sometimes you’ll notice your Cichlids may become aggressive when they are hungry.

But keep in mind Cichlids will always seem hungry it’s their nature.

So start out feeding 2 times per day and if you feel they need more than that work up the 3 times per day, but no more than that.

2. How much food to feed Cichlids?

Similar to what we mentioned above, try not to feed your Cichlids more than 2-3 times per day. It’s also okay (recommended) to skip one day a week to help prevent bloating.

Tip: Never overfeed your cichlids, excess food will rot and dirty the tank water. Only feed what they can eat in about 1-2 minutes.

3. What foods can you feed Cichlids?

As we mention above most Cichlids are omnivores, eating mostly pellets and flakes composed of meaty proteins and plant matter.

Cichlids can also eat frozen treats like brine shrimp and bloodworms. Just remember to not only feed them one source of food. Cichlids in the wild have a more varied diet.

Try mixing up some of the following into their diet.

Did you know you can keep some Cichlids in tanks as small as 10 gallons? Read our guide about some easy 10-Gallon Cichlid Tank Ideas.

Learn More About Cichlids

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