There was a discussion on another group about fish foods, and I commented that back in the dim, dark ages, we used to feed all our Malawi cichlids, including mbuna, using 100% minced beef heart. It was a common practice in the hobby here in Australia in the early 1980’s.
Out of interest, I went and dusted off a few of my old books, looking for info. I thought this might amuse others as it demonstrates just how far things have changed in the feeding of our fish in the past 40 years. We just didn’t have access to the quality commercial fish foods we have now!!!
“Cichlids of the World”, by Robert Goldstein, printed in 1973, has an 8 page chapter on “Foods for Cichlids”.
Most of the chapter is dedicated to types of live foods such as mircoworms, brine shrimp, minnows, gambusia and other wild fish, snails, earthworms, tadpoles, crickets, etc. Less than a page of the 8 page chapter is dedicated to other options.
A largish paragraph starts “Beefheart by itself is an excellent food, but some considerable trouble to prepare.” It continues with a detailed description of that preparation.
There is a small section on preparing frozen foods which suggests the addition of liver (but not pork liver – too fatty) to fresh fish fillets, and using Gerber’s baby food as a binder.
The only mention of commercial foods in the entire 8 pages chapter amounts to three lines. “Flake foods and trout chow are good foods. The former is very much more nutritious, but also more expensive. It is up to you which to use, if either. I recommend some flake food in the diet. “
Things have come a long way in the hobby in the past 40 years.