I think alot of the color comes from age/maturity and water quality. But good foods are probably just as important. When i had mine, in a community tank with other danios, rasboras and tetras they ate a great variety of things. Frozen foods, decapped brine shrimp eggs, golden pearls, arctic copepods (the natural non genetically modified version of Cyclopeeze), crushed up high quality flakes, and crumbled up freeze dried earthworms. They seemed to eat pretty much anything, but i think they were most fond of the golden pearls, decapped brine shrimp eggs and the fd earthworm.
Higher protien foods will bring out more color and faster development. Mine were extremely fussy and a few came with concave stomachs. All were fed with mixed diets consisting of golden pearls, veggie/spirulina pellets, & soft krill with great success. Nowadays I feed them whatever I have access to as their color and round stomachs have grown in nicely. I've tried new life spectrum granuals and found them to be less than popular.
I also find releasing the food below the water was also more successful than dropping the food above the tank, at least ime.
My original five CPD were tiny and pale when I got them..didn't do anything special, just feed them frozen brine shrimp and crushed flakes and sometimes they scavange some shrimp cuisine. After a month they are huge, fat, and just gorgeous! The six I got today are also pale and tiny though, so I think it really just takes some time.
wow i didn't expect this much reply but i appreciate all of the suggestions.
I have noticed a difference in the color but not much. and i have had them for a good bit. I know its not my water cause my RCS are still breeding like crazy.
I did pick up a different type of flakes today. it has more protein than the ones i feed them.
I was told not to feed them krill's or brine shrimp bc they will crave for more shrimps and eventually hunt my baby/juvies RCS down.
is that true? =o
I fed mine Ocean Nutrition Marine flakes on a suggestion from this forum. Now I feed all my fish that stuff! They take it down quick! The colors were also a lot brighter, but that could also have been my tank maturing. Ocean Nutrition I believe is 56% protein?
micro tubifix+white worm and once a week normal tubifix (all live)+ spirulina granules dipped in garlic juice on sunday's. This is the feeding schedule for all my omnivore fish (and i only keep omnivores) great color naturally and brings them upto breeding conditions really fast as well..particularly with CPD's have been successful twice (I love them)
mine love cut-up frozen bloodworms.
i also feed golden pearls, crushed flake food, frozen daphnia, and there is a decent amount of microfauna in the tank (though their numbers are dropping since i added the CPDs).
I give mine a variety; the females are always a bit more pale than the males but when they color up they are stunning to look at. I don't know if it's the food or what that is causing their colors to come out but I feed New Life Spectrum .5mm small fish formula (staple) and then for variety I alternate mixing with crushed flakes and golden pearls. They also like to nibble on the shrimp and veggie or algae pellets I give to the corys. On weekends they get frozen bloodworms or daphnia. I think their colors also come out more when they are surrounded by live plants and have a lot of hiding places to feel secure. A good number females probably doesn't hurt either.