Breeding. A Friendly Online Community For Cichlid Enthusiasts. While this might sound too good to be true, it really isn’t. One convict cichlid alone or a male and female combo are two common choices. Author Note: Another factor that can influence the lifespan of convict cichlids is their genetics. Start feed for the juveniles is some milled live and dry feed. If you are planning to keep a pair in your aquarium it should be at a minimum of 30 gallons. This will ramp up the aggression and territorial behavior significantly and surely lead to someone getting hurt. The Black Convict Cichlid is a beautifully marked cichlid. If a person is planning to breed convict cichlids, or hopes (and I stress the word hopes) to keep them in a community tank, then they should be kept in at least a 55 gallon (208 litre) fish tank. Even though these fish are hardy it’s smart to invest in an accurate testing kit to make sure you’re getting correct readings. It’s always smart to give your fish a close inspection from time to time. Our recommended minimum tank size for convict cichlids is 30 gallons. But I just have a few questions 1.) Just like all other cichlid species, this fish eagerly takes care of its breed, taking dead and non-fertilized eggs from the nest from time to time. They’re found in tanks…, The 15 Best Types Of Freshwater Aquarium Catfish, Clown Loach Care: Tank Size, Food, Lifespan, Tank Mates…, Malaysian Trumpet Snail 101: Detailed Info & Care Tips, Bucktooth Tetra 101: Care, Feeding, Aggression, & More, Glowlight Tetra 101: Care, Tank Mates, Breeding & More, Lemon Tetra Care: Diet, Tank Mates, Size, Behavior…. Some rocks and driftwood are also a great idea. The first thing that you need todo is to buy an appropriate tank for housing your Cichlid. My Simple Cichlid Tank Size Formula. The next couple of sections will cover the basics of setting up a suitable habitat for them so they’ll be healthy and not tempted to rumble all the time. This can be some flower pot, flat stone, coconut shell or a big sea shell. The fish is native to Central America: Guatemala, Panama, Costa-Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras. Smaller=friendlier? Convict Cichlid are naturally omnivorous, they eat both meat and plant matter. While they do spend a lot of their time in the middle of the tank, convict cichlids will often check out the substrate and even do some digging. Convict cichlid Tank mates. Convict Cichlid Diet and Feeding. Convict Cichlid Tropical Fish Learn all about the Convict Cichlid's feeding habits and food types, its behaviour, its origins, its natural habitats, is it male or female, breeding advice and information, suitable tank mates, its sizing and growth range, minimum tank size, water PH and more. Thereare three aspects of this step that you need to keep in mind: When a species eats just about anything, this can trick inexperienced owners into thinking a subpar diet is acceptable. When being just juveniles create stable couples. Convict cichlids do best with a sandy substrate. Its coloring intensity may vary. They might be one of the easiest freshwater fishes to breed in a home tank! Some aquarists say you can get away with tanks as small as 20 gallons, but we disagree. Author Note: This will impact their lifespan and general health as well. Convict Cichlid are very aggressive. Convict cichlid prefers slow flow waters with rocky bottom. Also, don’t put a male and female in a community tank! In other words, convicts can breed in almost any reasonably environment. However, this isn’t something to be worried about as long as you put them in the right environment. Including them will help your fish feel comfortable and give them places to hide and get their own space (this is also useful for managing aggression). Yet, all of the food is of high quality and it is the best one for this fish kind as well as it keeps the tank water clean. To get good and healthy juveniles still it’s better to put them into a separate volume. While this is obviously a good thing to hear, it doesn’t mean they can’t get one of the other common freshwater illnesses. Males get larger, but (for once) females have a brighter coloration. You’ll also learn some nifty facts about this species that will make you a more informed owner! This means they will be far less likely to develop one of the common diseases that can possibly afflict them. Aquarium Source is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. However, through the years he’s had experience of keeping almost all types of freshwater fish and shrimps. That’s why even in a spacious tank you should choose strong and proper sized tank mates (green terrors, jewel cichlids, firemouth cichlids, blue acara). The fish is monogamic, it becomes reproductive at the age of 7-10 month. The convict cichlid is one of the most popular species of cichlid you can find. Taking the time to look for these signs will help you nip anything unwanted in the bud before it becomes a larger problem. Sometimes called Zebra Cichlid or Convict Cichlid, this fish has a pattern of black stripes on a grayish background and a greenish tint on the fins. Convict Cichlid - Amatitlania nigrofasciata. These fish usually spend most of their time near the middle of the tank. The convict cichlid parents will flat-out attack any other fish that wanders too close! If you are looking at adult Convicts then you will want to increase the tank size to 52 gallons or above. Tank Size: 20 gal (76L) for a pair of smaller fish, but 50 gal (189L) for adults; Convict cichlids get their name from the bands of black and white down their sides, mimicking stereotypical “jailbirds.” On the smaller side, they average 5-6 inches (13-15cm) at full size. There are many different types of aquarium catfish out there. Understanding the aggressive tendencies of the convict cichlid is essential if you want to provide them with good care. It is aggressive and will attack any tank mates that aren’t another Convict Cichlid. Its average lifespan is about 8 — 10 years, though provided with proper care the fish may live longer. This makes for fun viewing since they always seem to be up to something! Breeding convict cichlids is a breeze. This means providing them with enough space (50-60 gallons ideally) and including some rocks and even a cave for the female to lay her eggs. The dorsal fin continues to the start of their caudal peduncle and is semi-transparent. It’s worth noting that makes tend to be larger than females, but you won’t be able to identify their gender until they’re adults. 2-3 days later, when the juveniles are without their yolk sac already, they start swimming around the tank carefully guarded by their parents. The average convict cichlid lifespan is roughly 8 to 10 years. Amatitlania nigrofasciata) is one of the most spread and the least demanding cichlid fishes. The tank that you keepyour Cichlid will be their habitat while they grow up. While convict cichlids are definitely not an “expert-only” species, there are a few things you’ll need to be aware of as an owner (namely their potential for aggression). Convict cichlids have the classic cichlid body. The ideal diet for convict cichlids is a mix of pellets or flakes with live food options as well. Male is much larger than a female, its anal and dorsal fins are elongated. Its relatively small size, along with ease of keeping and breeding, make the convict an ideal cichlid for beginners and advanced aquarists alike interested in observing pair bonds and brood care. Males grow to be roughly 6 inches long, as females grow to be roughly 4.5 inches in length. The Convict Cichlid requires ample space to let off all of its energy. Instead, you should realize that since they’ll eat anything you put in the tank it’s on you to find out the right dietary balance. And what combinations (Male female) would work? However, things get a bit trickier when you start thinking about planning how they’ll get along with other fish. So, you need to create a similar ambiance when you are petting a Convict Cichlid. Life span: 8 – 10 years. Convict cichlids have a fairly normal growth rate, so there are no special accommodations you’ll need to make in that department. Due to their small size they don’t need a whole lot of water to live in. This particular size tank is usually not sold at chain pet stores, so a specialty fish-only store may have to be contacted. A couple of young Cichlasoma nigrofasciata can live in a tank of 100 liters capacity (26 gallons), but reproductive adult fish require about 200 liters (52 gallons) capacity tank. But if you have a tank large enough for a common pleco, then these fish make great tank mates for convict cichlids. There are a ton of great options such as hornwort or even one of the best floating plant species. The advantage of this is it means you can keep them in smaller tanks than other species as well. Female has to a greater or lesser degree orange coloring in form of small spots on its abdomen and near dorsal fin. As far as their general activity level goes, this species loves to move. The coloration can vary based on age, gender, and type, but we’ll speak to the standard convict cichlid variation that most people know about. Some large grained bottom substrate, snags, roots, stones make the fish feel comfortable. The female has orange scales on her lower body and dorsal fins and the male is larger, less colorful, has a steeper forehead and longer fins. Millie is a passionate aquarist who caught the fishkeeping bug in high school and has been addicted ever since. These fish are rather small compared to other cichlid species. These fish are an absolute delight to own, and they’re definitely one of our favorite cichlids. Convict Cichlids are among the hardiest fish in the fish keeping hobby. This species becomes very aggressive during the spawning period as well as any other time – it may attack other fishes. Convict Cichlids need a minimum of 30 gallons of water. I've been researching Convict Cichlids non-stop for awhile now, and I'm very interested. Body size is from 8 cm (3 in) to 12 centimeters (4.7 in). The hue of this color can vary slightly, but it’s usually rather consistent. These fish fit right in with a lot of their cichlid relatives and are quite territorial and feisty. They have the common name of "convict" because of the white and black contrasting patterns they sport. For aquarium hobbyists who are hoping to one day breed their convict cichlids, you should purchase a tank that is at least 50 gallons in volume. To prevent tank pollution with feed leftovers, feed twice a day with small portions of food. Breeding convicts is as simple as having a male and a female in the same tank with adequate water quality and feeding. Convict cichlid care is not as hard as it seems. He’s been fond of aquarium husbandry since his early childhood. Consistently elevated stress levels take their toll over the years. Cichlasoma nigrofasciata is very easy in keeping and care. Because of their appealing look, convict cichlids have been sought after in the aquarium scene for many years. Their natural habitat has plenty of wood and rocks for them to use as a place to hide in between feeding. Establishing a regular feeding schedule is recommended as well. it eats everything you give. The waters where convict cichlids come from have these in abundance. The minimum tank size for a non-breeding pair should be a 20 gallon (75 litre) tank , though the ideal size is closer to 29 gallons (100 litres). You should install filtration and aeration in a tank with juveniles and you should renew the water about twice a week. We would, however, recommend you keep the size of the tank larger than 40 gallons due to their aggressive nature. It’s worth noting that makes tend to be larger than females, but you won’t be able to identify their gender until they’re adults. For a few extra bucks you can make your fish a lot more comfortable. You have some room to be flexible when making this choice based on your own personal preference. Updated August 5, 2019 Author: Mike - FishLore Admin Social Media:. When it comes to their recommended tank and water requirements, these fish aren’t that challenging. Pink Convicts are one of the most aggressive Cichlid species and tank mates should be considered carefully and should be as large as or larger than the resident Convict(s). Convict Cichlid tank size? In our experience convict cichlids are much less territorial when living in a large tank with plenty of places to hunker down. Sergey is a founder and author of Meethepet.com. Their anal fins begin at the midpoint of their body and stop at the beginning of the caudal peduncle. His favorite aquariums are biotopes (Amazon River),  with Echinodorus and Angelfish. Let’s say you’re doing a great job as an owner and your convict cichlid is living in an ideal habitat with great water, food, and low stress. When it comes to convict cichlid care there aren’t any diseases that go after this species specifically. It’s important to have a strong understanding of their diet if you want them to live as long as possible. :) I kept one in a 29 gallon by himself, and he was awesome! It’s highly recommended to use rather powerful external filter since the fish likes digging tank bottom. If you’re someone who doesn’t want even the slightest possibility of a fight or aggressive behavior in your aquarium, keep them alone. Author Note: Keep an eye on how much food your fish are eating (especially early on in your ownership). For successful breeding all you need is a male and female, but if spawning happens in a community tank – it’s a trouble for all its inhabitants. The minimum tank size for a Convict Cichlid male and female is 30 gallons. At minimum, you will want to have at least a 26-gallon tank for your Convict. Parameters like water temperature, water quality, and tank size aren’t nearly as vital to this type of fishes as they are with many other aquarium species. It will mostly be found in larger streams and rivers, sheltering itself near rocks and sunken branches. You should have no more than one inch of full-grown fish for every two gallons of water in your tank. This fish has black and white stripes on its body. Due to their unique look and straightforward care requirements, it’s only natural that they’re a go-to option for many freshwater aquarists. Smaller=friendlier? This isn’t something to agonize over, but if you can provide it we believe it will help keep them happy and stress-free. If you take convict cichlid care seriously right from the start, your fish will thank you for it later. 40 Gallon Breeder: If you're interested in keeping two breeding pairs of Convict cichlids, the 40 gallon breeder is the smallest you should go. Convict cichlid keeping is quite the same as for a classical cichlid species. There have been plenty of instances where these fish have exceeded this range, but that’s the average assuming proper care is given. Because these fish are the opposite of picky eaters, beginners assume you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to their diet. Convict cichlids have average-sized ventral and pectoral fins that are fairly see-through. Butwe always try to mimic as much similarity as possible between the two. Proper convict cichlid care requires you to have an understanding of the behavior and temperament of these fish. Or sometimes it may be a big leave of a tank plant. Now, a captiveenvironment will never be the same as the natural habitat of these beings. Setting up a tank for convict cichlids is pretty straightforward. It’s a weird, I know… but it’s the easiest way I’ve found. Convict cichlids are omnivores and aren’t picky when it comes to finding food! If you want such couple to be created in a tank, you need to keep a small school of the fish with equal number of male and female in it. These fish usually have around eight of these bars, but this number can be slightly higher or lower depending on genetic components. Set the fish tank as per the comfort of your pet Cichlid by considering these suggestions: Tank Size. The average convict cichlid size is around 4-5 inches when fully grown. The smallest size of tank you should use is 30 gallons, but not any less. Community tanks do come with some element of risk with this fish even if you pair them with recommended species. There was also bred a short-body (balloon cichlid). This isn’t a demanding fish and it’s easy in care. This has led to some concern of overfishing/capturing, but so far the population hasn’t been impacted outside of normal levels of fluctuation. These fish come from lakes and streams in this region with a moderate amount of current. Convict Cichlid - NEW FISH FACTS & TIPS in 2020 - Everything You Need To Know - water, ph, size, breeding, gender, varieties, tank mates, diet, colors, sexing By minimum, we mean that you should only put them in such tank if you absolutely have to. Their caudal fin is shaped a bit like a symmetrical shell which helps them generate power and have well-rounded mobility in the water. As always, the best course of action is to not let your fish get sick at all. You might find that some plants you want to include are a bit too flimsy to handle any digging. We’re a big fan of these fish and recommend them to anyone looking to take the next step into intermediate territory. Once you understand their territorial and aggressive tendencies it actually becomes rather easy! How many convicts would work in a 20 gallon? Our two favorite live foods to give them are brine shrimp and bloodworms. For this reason the tank you place them in should be at least 30 gallons for a pair of Convicts. In small tanks it is recommended to keep a couple of cichlids. Otherwise, buy a 40-gallon tank or bigger. Diet requirements, ideal tank mates, breeding tips, size, and growth rate are all covered in-depth. Depending on what stage of like your Convict Cichlid is in will determine the size of tank you will need for them. Happy fish = healthy fish! Convict Cichlid Breeding Tank. Hi, I have a 20 gallon long with a 30 or 40 gallon filter (i don't remember, sorry). This should be all you need to get things started. This simply means taking an extra minute to really watch each of them and see if you notice anything out of the ordinary. Convict cichlid (lat. The Convict Cichlid is probably ranked number 3 out of all cichlids as far as popularity goes, with Angelfish and Oscars being 1 and 2 respectively.. fast-moving fish like Giant Danios may also be used as dither fish. Look at the normal range and take it up to the higher side of the spectrum (somewhere 80°F and 84°F). In case you are interested in breeding them as well, then it would be best to buy a 50-gallon tank. You will most likely need at least a 30-gallon tank. As a rule we don’t take the fish parents from the tank. Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:22 am. They actually look pretty much like African cichlids but with a different color and pattern. Usually, their black stripes will continue into the dorsal fin a bit too. All you need to achieve successful reproduction of convict cichlids is a breeding pair and a cycled, heated and filtered tank. After roughly a week the fry will be ready for you to feed them (we recommend brine shrimp). Fish that happily eat anything can be prone to overfeeding. By the end of the day all juveniles get together in their nookery. If these fish are bred and raised by a subpar breeder, this could hinder their ability to live a long and healthy life. Author Note: This behavior isn’t constant by any means. Finally, the weight of a Cichlid tank of this size should also be … Territorial fish that are prone to aggression tend to behave significantly worse in small aquariums. As far as other species go, here are some possible convict cichlid tank mates: Author Note: If you decide to put a male and female convict cichlid in your tank there’s a strong possibility that they will breed. This is why trying to encourage breeding in a community tank is a terrible idea. Always do your homework about what’s needed before purchasing one! The advantage of this is it means you can keep them in smaller tanks than other species as well. While you could get away with having a pair in a 30 Gal tank, it’s worth noting that any additions will require a larger tank. None of the coloring or stripes make their way onto this fin, unlike the dorsal fin. This will ensure that they get the necessary variety and nutritional intake to stay healthy. It’s better to keep the fish alone or with other Central America cichlid species in a very spacious tank. It’s a good idea to separate the parents to prevent any aggressive behavior toward the little babies. Chemical parameters of tank water don’t play an important part. These fish have a long dorsal fin that starts about a fourth of the way back from their mouth (this point is where their pectoral fins begin as well). All you need to do is try and mimic their natural environment as best as possible. Spawning happens all the year round with some small breaks. In particular the species thrives on the western coast of Honduras.Convicts are considered one of the easier varieties of Cichlids to keep due to their size; males grow to around 2.5 inches and females around 2 inches. Once larvae hatch from the eggs their attentive parents take them to some other place. Water: Freshwater. After the eggs have been fertilized the pair will diligently protect the eggs. Convict cichlid likes warm water 26–29 °C (79–84 °F), it can live under various parameters of water acidity and hardness, however it’s preferable for tank water to have ph about 6.6–7.8 and hardness 6 — 8 dGH. Also remember, if you have a 40-gallon or smaller breeding pair of convicts you will most likely be unable to keep the convicts with any mates of the tank. Temperature: 70°– 80°F. If you fail to care for these fish properly and keep them in an unsuitable environment, it’s unlikely that they’ll reach eight years. While the bars that cover the body of convict cichlids are black, the rest of the body is a greyish-blue. Purchasing from reputable sellers is an easy way to avoid this. It might be a change in behavior (like malaise or disinterest in eating) or something visible on their body. Would a 10 gallon tank with 30 gallons of filtration work? Ideal tank mates for convict cichlids are robust fish of a similar size. Despite their potential to be aggressive freshwater fish, you do have some options when it comes to convict cichlid tank mates. However, it’s smart to plan for these sporadic digging episodes ahead of time. This is because these fish will periodically do a bit of digging and rooting around, and a coarse substrate will end up scratching them. However, it’s important to mention that this isn’t the safest possible option you can take. The fish that gets into local ponds from tanks has created a stable population in Australia and North America. If you are keeping them for breeding, then the tank should even be larger, at least a 50 gallons tank. To stimulate the fish spawning raise tank water temperature up to 29 oC (84 °F) and renew ¼ of tank water with the fresh one. This is not a natural occurrence and is only sustainable due to the similar conditions that certain parts of the country offer. It’s also a good idea to include some plants in the aquarium as well. Convict cichlid likes warm water 26–29 °C (79–84 °F), it can live under various parameters of water acidity and hardness, however it’s pr… Convict fish are in the shape of an oval. Similar to many other varieties of Cichlids, the Convict Cichlid is native to the streams of Central America. The average convict cichlid size is around 4-5 inches when fully grown.These fish are rather small compared to other cichlid species. Convict Cichlid tank size? The female will wave with its fins to get the mud up from the tank substrate. The convict cichlid is a very hardy fish that can tolerate a wide range of water parameters. Because convict cichlids are aggressive, you may be better off purchasing a tank of around 40 gallons or more in size. We’ve addressed each of these diseases in separate guides, but they’re worth mentioning so you know to keep an eye out. It has a very interesting feature – how the couple takes care of its juveniles, a process which is rather exciting to observe. For example, if your convict cichlid has Ich you’ll see white spots on their body that will progressively get worse as the disease spreads. Convict cichlids get their name from the series of black vertical bars that run down their bodies. Lets say you have, or want to buy, a 55-gallon aquarium. Due to being extremely territorial and aggressive, they are known to attack, bite, and chase the other species present in the tank. However, there are the cases when males become aggressive and they may eat all the juveniles. It’s desirable to keep this fish in large capacity tanks and some open spaces for the fish to swim. The convict cichlid breeds so easily that the tank capacity and the quality of the water become quite irrelevant, although extremes should be avoided. A bad test kit can lead you to believe there’s a shift in water parameters when there really isn’t! For example, the additional space needed for a canister filter. 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