Best Food For Flowerhorn Cichlids Color & Growth Reviewed 2021

Flowerhorns have taken the fishkeeping world by storm in the 1990s and haven’t let up ever since. As ornamental fish, they have vivid colors and attention-grabbing head protuberance that make everyone want to have them in their aquariums.

Yet, the nutritional needs of ornamental fish are often ignored.

Like any other aquatic species, they need a balanced diet if you want to maximize health, color and growth. If you’re interested to know about the best food for flowerhorn and its ingredients, continue reading.

TLDR- Top Foods For Flowerhorn Cichlids

The best food, or rather best diet for Flowerhorn cichlids would be a rotation of the following foods: Omega One Super Color and the Fluval Bug Bites

These will give you the best results for health, color, and growth

Preview Product
Omega One Super Color Floating Cichlid Pellets, 8mm Large Pellets, 6 oz Omega One Super Color Floating Cichlid Pellets, 8mm Large Pellets, 6 oz
Fluval Bug Bites Cichlid Fish Food, Pellets for Medium to Large Sized Fish, 3.53 oz., A6581 Fluval Bug Bites Cichlid Fish Food, Pellets for Medium to Large Sized Fish, 3.53 oz., A6581

Last update on 2021-04-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Flowerhorn Cichlid Feeding Guide

Flowerhorns have sparked the curiosity of many aquarists and scientists, especially when it comes to what they eat.

The truth is, nobody knows what flowerhorns eat when they’re not in captivity. Their natural habits are harder to track than the average fish because they’re human-made hybrids. 

They were made in the early 1990s in Taiwan and Malaysia. This creation involved crossing a variety of species of South American Cichlids together.

However, it seems like, over the years, fish keepers have had the best luck feeding this ornamental fish a primarily carnivorous diet. So, they mostly eat fish meat with some aquatic plants on the side.

Always Check the Ingredients

Beginner fish keepers tend to feed their fish any kind of fish food. However, you should always check the ingredients. Even “name brands” (like Tetra) actually contain lots of fillers that cause more harm than good.

Low-quality Ingredients to Avoid

Some of the highly common fillers in fish foods are fish leftovers, such as scales, skin, guts, and bones. They sound bad because they are, so try to avoid them at all costs

Also, try to stay away from filler grains such as wheat, corn, and soy. The problem with terrestrial grains and legumes is that they’re not meant for aquatic animals. 

Fish can’t digest grains, so they just pass through their bodies as waste, which means more tank cleanup for you and no nutritional benefits for your fish.

High-quality Ingredients You Want

The first thing on the list should be whole fish or crustaceans. These are the highest-quality source of protein for flowerhorns. Also, look for spirulina, easy-to-digest blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria that are packed with protein and vitamins.

Worms are another great source of protein. Black soldier fly larvae are perfect for insectivores like flowerhorns that can’t digest exoskeletons because they don’t have any. They’re also a source of protein.

A Varied Diet is Best

Most fish keepers resort to feeding their flowerhorns one type of food that’s more convenient for them or has “worked” for them. However, this is not what’s best for your fish, and what works for you may end up killing your fish or lowering the quality of its life, such as polluting the tank. 

Fish, like us, need a variety of foods to ensure they get all of the nutrients they need. So, make high-quality, commercially prepared foods the staple diet of your flowerhorns. In addition, mix in frozen foods and some veggies, like frozen peas, to spice up your fish’s diet.

Best Foods for a Flowerhorn Cichlids Reviewed

1. Omega One Super Color Floating Cichlid Pellets (Top Pick)

Floating pellets should be the type of food that you feed your flowerhorn the most, and there’s no better option than the Omega One Cichlid Pellets. 

Omega One is the best fish food company in the business, famous for making nothing but high-quality fish food that’s packed with nutrients and free of filler nonsense. These Omega One pellets are on the larger side because they’re meant for adult fish. 

They include extremely high-quality ingredients, like whole salmon,  herring, and shrimp, making the perfect combination of raw, unprocessed cold-water proteins. As the brand name suggests, the essential fatty acids in seafood increase the immunity of your flowerhorn.

The pellets also include valuable ingredients like ocean kelp and spirulina, giving your fish exactly what it needs in a staple diet. I’ve also noticed that there isn’t much starch, so the pellets won’t directly turn into waste.

Not to mention the Super Color pellets contain natural color-enhancing ingredients, like beta-carotenes, to revive the beautiful, vibrant colors of your flowerhorn.

Finally, the pellets are naturally insoluble with a maximum of 8% ash, which means easier cleanup for you.

Omega One Super Color Floating Cichlid Pellets, 8mm Large Pellets, 6 oz
Omega One Super Color Floating Cichlid Pellets, 8mm Large Pellets, 6 oz

    Last update on 2021-04-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    2. Fluval Bug Bites Cichlid Formula (Top Pick)

    The Fluval Bug Bites Cichlid Formula is another high-quality food, but it relies on insects instead of fish as the main ingredients. Not many fish keepers consider how beneficial some insects can be for flowerhorns, but here we are.

    Unlike most fish food, the Bug Bites manage to stand out by having up to 40% black soldier fly larvae as the first ingredient, which is a great source of easily digestible protein, thanks to the lack of exoskeletons.

    Better digestion means less waste and more benefits. Overall, black soldier fly larvae are a great option to rotate with fish-based proteins for a varied diet that doesn’t lead to too much waste.

    The pellets are also high in salmon, which is rich in essential fatty acids that are important to the health of your fish’s skin, scales, fins, and so much more. 

    In addition, they have essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, leaving nothing that your fish needs behind. So, who says commercial food can’t be good?

    Fluval Bug Bites Cichlid Fish Food, Pellets for Medium to Large Sized Fish, 3.53 oz., A6581
    Fluval Bug Bites Cichlid Fish Food, Pellets for Medium to Large Sized Fish, 3.53 oz., A6581

      Last update on 2021-04-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      3. Northfin Cichlid Pellets

      If you’re looking for slow-sinking pellets that have what it takes to feed your ornamental fish, I highly recommend the North fin Cichlid Pellets. They come in a variety of pellet sizes good for small to medium fish, so there’s a variety of options.

      These slow-sinking pellets provide an excellent variety of ingredients, such as whole krill, whole sardines, kelp, and spirulina. This selection of ingredients is abundant in nutrients, such as proteins, vitamins, fatty acids, minerals, and more. So, it’s basically what your flowerhorn needs and more for a balanced diet.

      If you want to enhance the colors of your fish with natural ingredients, you’re in luck. These pellets contain color-enhancing ingredients that will help the colors of your fish pop. Feeding your aquatic friend these pellets on a daily basis will make the aquarium come alive with colors.

      Finally, another one of my favorite qualities in these pellets is the lack of fillers, by-products, and artificial pigments that wreak havoc on fish that consume them.

      Northfin Food Cichlid Formula 2Mm Pellet 250 Gram Package
      Northfin Food Cichlid Formula 2Mm Pellet 250 Gram Package

        Last update on 2021-04-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        4. New Life Spectrum Thera-A Large

        If you have a new malnourished or stressed fish that needs some strengthening, the New Life Spectrum Thera-A Large will definitely help. The pellets are large because they’re meant for adult fish, but they’re also available in small sizes for smaller fish.

        These pellets contain highly beneficial ingredients, such as whole krill and whole fish, as well as spirulina, omega 3, Ulva seaweed, and chlorella algae. The combination of fish and aquatic plants is interesting and beneficial for all fish, including malnourished ones.

        They’re also fortified with extra garlic to support the immune system of your flowerhorn. It sounds like a balanced, digestible diet to me.

        Thanks to natural color enhancers, such as beta-carotene, your fish will look more vibrant and active than it’s ever looked. Many fish have experienced dramatic transformations just because of this one ingredient.

        As sinking pellets, they let your fish take their time finding and eating them as they slowly sink and settle on the bottom of the tank.

        New Life Spectrum Thera A Large 600g (Naturox Series)
        New Life Spectrum Thera A Large 600g (Naturox Series)

        Last update on 2021-04-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        5. Omega One Freeze-dried Krill

        Omega One makes another appearance on my list because its foods manage to check all the boxes of what I’m looking for. 

        Frozen and freeze-dried foods are the perfect treat for your flowerhorn. My favorite treat is definitely the Omega One Freeze-dried Krill. 

        As you can probably tell from the name, it contains whole freeze-dried krill. I love it because it’s high in protein, which is exactly what your fish needs. In addition, a freeze-dried krill has the benefits of a live one without the risk of parasites or bacteria. So, everybody wins.

        Finally, this food also contains the natural color enhancer beta-carotene. It has the ability to turn your fish from colorless and weak to reach its maximum potential of colorfulness, and who’s to say no to that?

        Omega One Freeze Dried Krill, 0.74 oz
        Omega One Freeze Dried Krill, 0.74 oz

          Last update on 2021-04-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

          Final Thoughts On Flowerhorn Food

          As I’ve said before, a varied diet should be your top priority when feeding your flowerhorn. Unlike what amateur fish keepers may think, these fish need proteins, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and color enhancers to be in their best conditions.

          You can easily achieve a well-rounded diet by including a mix of these nutritious foods and adding krill as a delicious treat.

          All of these foods are great, but I have to admit that my favorites on this list are the Omega One Super Color and the Fluval Bug Bites. I rotate both of these foods with my big cichlids and have seen amazing growth and color. The krill also make a great treat that can help bring out the red coloration of your flowerhorn.

          Preview Product
          Omega One Super Color Floating Cichlid Pellets, 8mm Large Pellets, 6 oz Omega One Super Color Floating Cichlid Pellets, 8mm Large Pellets, 6 oz
          Fluval Bug Bites Cichlid Fish Food, Pellets for Medium to Large Sized Fish, 3.53 oz., A6581 Fluval Bug Bites Cichlid Fish Food, Pellets for Medium to Large Sized Fish, 3.53 oz., A6581

          Last update on 2021-04-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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          Christopher Adams
          Hey there, my name is Christopher and I'm the creator and editor of this site. I've owned successful aquariums for the past 23 years. My mission is to educate, inform, and entertain on everything that's fish.

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