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Feeding Cichlids - 1973 Style


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#1 humbug

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 02:27 PM

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.  :rolleyes:



#2 malawiman85

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 02:55 PM

Old people are funny :-)

#3 humbug

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 03:06 PM

The black book is out and I'm taking notes  . . . . . . :rolleyes:



#4 Delapool

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 03:48 PM

Lol - I have an old photo somewhere from a book on stocking goldfish at every 5gal or something.

On another note I've always wondered what exactly is good beefheart made of (if there is any such thing)?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Delapool, 04 June 2017 - 03:50 PM.


#5 Chopstick_mike

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 06:32 PM

I've read that discussion hum was quite a debate :)
That is crazy as now beefheart is a big no no for mbuna

#6 humbug

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 07:36 PM

I laugh when I see people suggesting a high protein diet causes bloat. We didn't see bloat in beefheart fed fish. Not that I suggest its a good diet!!!!

Im currently leafing through some 1959 TFH magazines. The fish food adverts are very entertaining.  :) So much of the advertising spin is similar to today, but a few other selling points like packaging dont seem to be on the radar in current ads. I'll see if I can scan a couple.

. . . . and before you lot start, no, Im not THAT old!
 


Edited by humbug, 04 June 2017 - 07:42 PM.


#7 Chris Perth

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 07:58 AM

I laugh when I see people suggesting a high protein diet causes bloat. We didn't see bloat in beefheart fed fish. Not that I suggest its a good diet!!!!

Im currently leafing through some 1959 TFH magazines. The fish food adverts are very entertaining.  :) So much of the advertising spin is similar to today, but a few other selling points like packaging dont seem to be on the radar in current ads. I'll see if I can scan a couple.

. . . . and before you lot start, no, Im not THAT old!
 

I think I must be that old as i remember all too well the books and Mags of which you speak. So much so that I used to keep my TFH aquarium atlas up to date with the loose leaf supplement pages that were included in each TFH magazine. I do remember a guy by the name of Geof who had a shop called Finland here in Perth, who set me up with my first African cichlids 'johanni' with the recommendation that Wardleys flakes were the way to go! Beef heart was the primary food for Oscars and the like = but this was a little later probably about the early 80's'ish. before that I only had Oscars, a couple of other South Americans and a few tropicals, and I used to collect a lot of live foods. Commercial stuff was very expensive when you were on a budget with a family.  Ahhh for the good old days NOT! :D  :D



#8 humbug

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 02:10 PM

Its reassuring to know that I'm not the only old fart here, Chris :)

 

Here's a selection of fish food ads from the February 1960 issue of Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine. 
 

img012a_zpsmko3f5ot.jpg

 

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img008a_zpsqhp4yfnr.jpg

 

img010a_zpswhgvwopa.jpg

 

img009a_zpsouxpmzp8.jpg

 

img013a_zps2rdctomk.jpg

 



#9 sajica

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 10:21 AM

What was the range of cichlids like in the 1970s? I presume American (Neotropica/ New World) cichlids were a lot more common at the time of publication so the beefheart and such would have been a more applicable diet for them? 



#10 Chris Perth

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 09:36 AM

Good question - though you are correct in as much that I do recall there being more South Americans, eg Oscars, jewel cichlids, firemouths, blue acara, etc but that was late 70's  say 78 - 80. I did know a chap Ron Barnes, who had a glazing business in Walliston (near Kalamunda) who had Frontosa in that same period, but where he acquired them from I do not know, though he used to bring in fish from Singapore and of course no quarantine back then and I don't think schedule 6 was in existence then or not? or in fact if there were any restrictions as to what could be imported under the guise of the Ornamental fish trade.

I have just done a bit of looking up and it seems Schedule 6 (as we know it) came into force in 2001 what restrictions applied prior to that - I do not know but I imagine there would have been some either under the umbrella of AQIS or Customs etc - if any one knows I would like to hear



#11 humbug

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 02:07 PM

What was the range of cichlids like in the 1970s? I presume American (Neotropica/ New World) cichlids were a lot more common at the time of publication so the beefheart and such would have been a more applicable diet for them? 

 
I've just gone back and taken a look.  Not sure how a good a "measure" this is of the ratio of American to African involved, but the "New World Cichlids" portion of the book is 132 pages long, while the "Cichlids of Africa" section is 127 pages.  Of the "Cichlids of Africa" chapter, only around 45 pages are dedicated to the "Great Lakes of East Africa".  In the listings of Malawi species, a higher proportion are "haps" than are "mbuna".



#12 Chris Perth

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 11:05 AM

 
I've just gone back and taken a look.  Not sure how a good a "measure" this is of the ratio of American to African involved, but the "New World Cichlids" portion of the book is 132 pages long, while the "Cichlids of Africa" section is 127 pages.  Of the "Cichlids of Africa" chapter, only around 45 pages are dedicated to the "Great Lakes of East Africa".  In the listings of Malawi species, a higher proportion are "haps" than are "mbuna".

As is often is the case we (Australia) were a bit behind in getting the latest trends - I don't recall Rift lake cichlids gaining widespread popularity in WA at least, until the 80's whereas they were well established in the American and European hobbys in the 70's hence our reliance on American publications for pretty well all our information.






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