Converting Cichla off Live Food


Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Apr 24, 2005
figured I'd post this over here as alot of people ask this question, and this is what I do to convert my pbass off live foods.
Heres what to do to condition them:

--------------DO NOT THROW THE FEEDERS IN ALL AT ONCE! start to feed them by throwing one feeder at at time....let the bass see you in front of the tank and hold your hand right above the water surface with the feeder....when you have their attention..drop the feeder.....if they hit it immediately-great! if not, wait untill they dispatch that it. then repeat with every feeder....this is a little time consuming but will condition them to hit whatever drops to the water.....after a week of using this process the bass will come to the surface awaiting you to drop the food and will hit the feeders with tenacity!!!
-----------------once you've accomplished this...have some freeze dried krill at hand....after approx 2 feeders drop a krill in the will be hit! but dont be discouraged if they spit it out....keep up the process...feeder....krill....feeder....then cut back to dropping krill only....they will take it. eventually they will nail the krill just as they did with feeders...then you can continue the cycle by trying other foods to see what they may prefer better........and every so often give em some feeders to keep them on their toes!! This is a fool-proof method of breaking them of live food and it works.
good luck....and after they start hitting the surface...add a mop to your aquarium supplies
Also...dont start too early...fatten them up until they are 6-7" before converting them over, by this time they should be nice and healthy and ready for other foods.
*Cichla properly converted feeding on thawed shrimp


MFK Member
Mar 30, 2005
That is the best way to do it...

I have had success using a similar method and im sure a lot of other members have too.


Feeder Fish
MFK Member
May 2, 2005
I had my LM bass eating anything i put in the tank, i just with held food for about three days and anything that swam past he bit on.

Thats the main reason i look at those huge tanks at sporting goods trade shows. You know the ones with the big bass and blue gill they use to show how their lures work better than the next guys.

I think you could toss rocks in there and something would bite on it. Hell mine woudl have bitten on rabbit droppings for all the hesitation he had.

Oddly enough i kept a LM bass for a summer, but have never really pondered keeping cichla.....oh well all things in time. My current obsession are clown knife fish so when that wears off i'll try something else.

Btw this method does work on clown knives as long as the other fish let the CK find the food, my reg CK needs a bit to get to the food, but now eats shrimp, krill, worms, squid...and rarely tries to get a live fish.

I also no longer offer live feeders to him since i dont want to end up doing this all over again if he has a moment.


PS thank DM and once again...damn nice fish in an amazing tank