Can African Cichlids Eat Watermelons? 5 Things to Consider
Yes and no. Watermelons can make a great treat for most African Cichlids, but only in very small amounts. Giving them a little bit occasionally is an excellent way to keep them happy. However, if given too much, they will be more likely to suffer from malnutrition.
Also, not every African cichlid breed will eat watermelons. If you have herbivorous African cichlid species in your tank, then it is highly likely they will like watermelons very much.
They are sweet and tasty, which the fish will love. They are also full of healthy nutrients, making the watermelons a nice, sweet treat to the fish’s diet.
Although you have to be mindful of a couple of things when it comes to watermelons. Namely, you should not feed it as the primary source of food and only use it as a supplementary type of food.
It’s good for nutrients, especially vitamins. Although it’s also full of sugar, so it might not be the best in the long term.
Also, you need to keep in mind that fish will not consume the entire watermelon. You need to cut it into smaller pieces, and you should keep certain parts away from the tank, such as seeds and the green skin of the watermelon.
In this article, let’s take a look at how you can feed watermelons to your African cichlids and what to be careful of when you do so.
How Often to Feed Watermelons?
Even though watermelons should not be the primary source of the diet of your cichlids, it doesn’t mean you can’t feed it to them frequently.
You can feed watermelons to cichlids several times per week, but make sure the diet is already varied and full of different types of nutrients.
Watermelons have some good nutrients, too. Mainly, the good nutrients inside the watermelons include vitamins and some minerals, although they don’t have that much in terms of protein. Still, it can make for a very nice supplementary type of food for your fish.
Another thing to keep in mind is that watermelons have relatively high sugar contents, so they should not be fed every day. If you feed too many sugars to your fish, they might get diabetes or might even get fat, so you want to keep the diet balanced in any case.
Can African Cichlids Eat Watermelon Seeds?
African cichlids will eat watermelon seeds. But you should not feed them watermelon seeds because they can cause impaction, especially if they consume several seeds at the same time.
There is nothing very wrong with feeding seeds to your fish. They will eat them, and there won’t be any adverse effects if they eat just one seed, for example.
But if the seeds get stuck in the fish’s belly or in their gut, they can cause impaction. But what is impaction?
It’s a congestion in the fish’s belly where the fish can’t get the materials out of their stomach, or out of their guts. It means the contents are stuck inside, and in the long-term, it can really harm your fish. It can cause serious problems and even diseases.
Some owners have even reported that it caused their fish to pass away, so you need to be careful with seeds. Try to make sure that all seeds, or at least most of them are not in the watermelons you feed to the fish. It can be managed easily if you slice the watermelons into smaller pieces, though.
Can African Cichlids Eat Watermelon Skin?
No, you should not feed the cichlids the watermelon skin. Here’s why.
Firstly, the skin is not the most digestible for your fish, because it’s relatively hard, so some fish might struggle to break down the skin. This can also cause impaction, especially if you keep larger pieces of the skin in the tank.
Secondly, the skin can be very harmful to the fish, and that’s because it can be full of chemicals. As such, it can cause health problems to your fish, and they might even die because of this.
The skin might have chemicals because it was raised this way, and these chemicals were used to promote the growth and to make the watermelon last for longer.
So you should always make sure the skin of the watermelon is off before you feed the melon to the fish.
Which Cichlids will Eat Watermelons?
As we’ve already mentioned, you should only feed watermelons to herbivorous African cichlids, if you have any. Some omnivorous cichlids will also eat watermelons, although it’s less likely that they will.
Some of the herbivorous cichlid species include:
- Lake Malawi cichlids
- Mbuna cichlids
- Rift Lake cichlids
- Peacock cichlids
Some other African cichlids might also eat watermelons. If you have an omnivorous cichlid in your tank, you should try it out and see if your fish will like to eat watermelons.
We might have left some omnivorous fish out of the list because we don’t know for sure whether your particular fish will like to eat watermelons.
What to do with Uneaten Watermelon?
If there is some leftover watermelon that your fish didn’t eat, then you should remove it from the tank at least 30 minutes after the fish are done eating.
This is very important, because uneaten watermelons will star to rot, and it will pollute the water heavily, which can create very cloudy water, and the water quality will start to suffer greatly.
As a result, it will be harder for you to maintain the quality of the water, and you might need to perform daily water changes in order to get the quality of the water back.
It’s better to prevent this from happening and to remove the watermelon that’s leftover as soon as possible.
Watermelons can be a good source of food for your African cichlids, especially the herbivorous sorts. They have some healthy nutrients, and they are especially full of healthy vitamins for your fish.
But there are some things you need to keep in mind if you want to feed this type of food to your fish. Hopefully, you now know everything there is to know about the fish and watermelons.