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Diet for Pelvicachromis?

jantan

New Member
Messages
12
What do you guys feed your Pelvicachromis? Some sites say they're omnivorous, while others say stomach analysis of wild fish have shown that they tend to eat a lot more vegetable matter than previously thought. Could them eating mostly vegetable matter be because that's just what is more readily available in the area at the time?
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
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2,904
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Germany
Stomach content analysis are most often just a glimpse of one certain point in time. Season, locality and simply the last meal of the fish have influence.
"Vegetable matter" may very well refer to detritus, maybe half rotten leaves, that have a lot of infusoria on them, that the fish are actually after. So, just that it's found in their stomach does not yet say they ate this as their main diet. I see my (definitely carnivorous) Apistogramma often chew sand and plantbased detritus to get microorganisms out of it. I would assume the same for Pelvicachromis. Mine back in the day were also avid chewers of substrate and mulm.

I'd feed them a balanced diet of frozen and live foods and high quality dried foods (such that neither contain grains nor fish meal). But I'd stay away from bloodworms. Nutritionally they are junk and often lead to intestinal problems.
 

jantan

New Member
Messages
12
Stomach content analysis are most often just a glimpse of one certain point in time. Season, locality and simply the last meal of the fish have influence.
"Vegetable matter" may very well refer to detritus, maybe half rotten leaves, that have a lot of infusoria on them, that the fish are actually after. So, just that it's found in their stomach does not yet say they ate this as their main diet. I see my (definitely carnivorous) Apistogramma often chew sand and plantbased detritus to get microorganisms out of it. I would assume the same for Pelvicachromis. Mine back in the day were also avid chewers of substrate and mulm.

I'd feed them a balanced diet of frozen and live foods and high quality dried foods (such that neither contain grains nor fish meal). But I'd stay away from bloodworms. Nutritionally they are junk and often lead to intestinal problems.
Thank you that makes sense that they were trying to get to the little microorganisms or bugs hidden in the algae rather than the algae itself!!


Vegetable matter in this case meant (quoted from the site): In studies conducted on wild fish, crustacean food was found in the bellies of under a quarter of all Kribs with detritus and higher plant matter (fragments of leaves and stems) being found in the majority.

What might be of surprise is the amount of algae ingested. Diatomaceous algae (think the sludgy algae that sometimes occurs on substrates) featured highly, as did blue-green and plain green algae types.

In every single belly looked at, sand was present making it rather clear that the fish were ingesting substrate as they rooted around for algae and detritus. It’s suspected that they even digest the nutritious biofilm that forms on individual grains.

 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,904
Location
Germany
Totally makes sense. The vegetable matter is just conincidentally eaten, the microorganisms among them are what the fish are actually after. It's parallel to what we know of aufwuchs eaters like Otocinclus and Mbuna.
 

jantan

New Member
Messages
12
Thank you!! In that case I'll get them a pellet meant for carnivores/omnivores instead!!
 

yukondog

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
664
Location
N.W. Fl.
I feed mine a diet of mostly flake food and live food/frozen three times a week, I have watched more than one grab a strand of java moss rip it off and eat it, I think it's probable that some plant matter is there diet.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,339
The ones i had were not picky eaters; they would eat plenty of rasphery soilent green i would feed the oto/pleco; along with bug bites and plant matter. To be honest they were extremely hardy fishes and were the least of my concerns with regards to care. Unfortunately they were proficient breeders, for more efficient than guppies, and after a couple of rounds i removed them to preserve sanity.
 

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