This fish has black and white stripes on its body. You should install filtration and aeration in a tank with juveniles and you should renew the water about twice a week. The convict cichlid parents will flat-out attack any other fish that wanders too close! Convict Cichlids need a minimum of 30 gallons of water. It’s desirable to keep this fish in large capacity tanks and some open spaces for the fish to swim. Some aquarists say you can get away with tanks as small as 20 gallons, but we disagree. Because of their appealing look, convict cichlids have been sought after in the aquarium scene for many years. This means they will be far less likely to develop one of the common diseases that can possibly afflict them. The Convict Cichlid requires ample space to let off all of its energy. Author Note: This behavior isn’t constant by any means. However, you should keep in mind that this species is very aggressive towards its tank mates, that’s why in case of small capacity tanks the couple has to be kept on its own in a tank. It will mostly be found in larger streams and rivers, sheltering itself near rocks and sunken branches. It might be a change in behavior (like malaise or disinterest in eating) or something visible on their body. Some buyers think they’re getting a different color convict cichlid when in fact it’s just the tank lighting playing tricks on them! Convict Cichlid are naturally omnivorous, they eat both meat and plant matter. 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. Male is much larger than a female, its anal and dorsal fins are elongated. In the wild convict cichlids are omnivores and eat a mix of insects and plant matter to get nutrition. Female has to a greater or lesser degree orange coloring in form of small spots on its abdomen and near dorsal fin. Convict cichlids have average-sized ventral and pectoral fins that are fairly see-through. Our two favorite live foods to give them are brine shrimp and bloodworms. All you need to achieve successful reproduction of convict cichlids is a breeding pair and a cycled, heated and filtered tank. Male courtship process takes rather long time, once it’s finished the female lays the eggs in some place she likes. This will ramp up the aggression and territorial behavior significantly and surely lead to someone getting hurt. The fish is monogamic, it becomes reproductive at the age of 7-10 month. 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. As a sidenote, the bigger you choose, the better. 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. Their temperament is also why including hiding spots in their tank is so important. Convict Cichlid Tank Mates While the acclimatization of convict cichlids is probably the easiest, keeping them with other species of fish is hard. Author Note: Another factor that can influence the lifespan of convict cichlids is their genetics. Purchasing from reputable sellers is an easy way to avoid this. You need to purchase a 30-gallon aquarium for this 6” fish because it needs a spacious area to dwell, and without space, it cannot have a great lifespan. Their interesting pattern and active nature make them a very entertaining species. I look online for the minimum tank size, and it all says, "20 gallons is good....for a pair" I would like to know how many gallons is good for just one! After the eggs have been fertilized the pair will diligently protect the eggs. 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. Also Read: Bala Shark Care. Breeding convict cichlids is as easy as setting up a simple aquarium and successfully getting a breeding pair. The ideal tank size will be no smaller than 30 gallons. The Black Convict Cichlid (Archocentrus nigrofasciatus), also known as the Zebra Cichlid, is a freshwater fish native to the warm rivers of South America. Convict Cichlid tank size? There are many different types of aquarium catfish out there. One convict cichlid alone or a male and female combo are two common choices. There was also bred a short-body (balloon cichlid). Water: Freshwater. Their anal fins begin at the midpoint of their body and stop at the beginning of the caudal peduncle. 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. Chemical parameters of tank water don’t play an important part. 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). In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about convict cichlid care. When a species eats just about anything, this can trick inexperienced owners into thinking a subpar diet is acceptable. 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. Convict cichlids have a fairly normal growth rate, so there are no special accommodations you’ll need to make in that department. Older males frequently develop vestigial fatty lumps on their foreheads. Convict cichlid prefers slow flow waters with rocky bottom. Otherwise, buy a 40-gallon tank or bigger. In other words, convicts can breed in almost any reasonably environment. Even though these fish are hardy it’s smart to invest in an accurate testing kit to make sure you’re getting correct readings. However, it’s important to mention that this isn’t the safest possible option you can take. 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. The minimum tank size for a Convict Cichlid male and female is 30 gallons. 2-3 days later, when the juveniles are without their yolk sac already, they start swimming around the tank carefully guarded by their parents. This comes down to the individual behavior of your fish since some like to root around in the substrate more aggressively than others. Updated August 5, 2019 Author: Mike - FishLore Admin Social Media:. 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.. The convict cichlid breeds so easily that the tank capacity and the quality of the water become quite irrelevant, although extremes should be avoided. Smaller=friendlier? If you’re someone who doesn’t want even the slightest possibility of a fight or aggressive behavior in your aquarium, keep them alone. The most important thing you can do is make sure their habitat is conducive to the breeding process. When it comes to their recommended tank and water requirements, these fish aren’t that challenging. The ideal diet for convict cichlids is a mix of pellets or flakes with live food options as well. They have the common name of "convict" because of the white and black contrasting patterns they sport. Stay consistent and disciplined with what you’re feeding them, and always look to see if there’s any food that’s not being eaten. Convict cichlid care is not as hard as it seems. Because convict cichlids are aggressive, you may be better off purchasing a tank of around 40 gallons or more in size. Butwe always try to mimic as much similarity as possible between the two. Quite often you may encounter pink convict cichlid – its body is pinkish and yellow, the eyes are dark colored. When being just juveniles create stable couples. Life span: 8 – 10 years. 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). Due to their unique look and straightforward care requirements, it’s only natural that they’re a go-to option for many freshwater aquarists. 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. Convict cichlids get their name from the series of black vertical bars that run down their bodies. As always, the best course of action is to not let your fish get sick at all. Depending on what stage of like your Convict Cichlid is in will determine the size of tank you will need for them. 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. There’s always a sweet spot you should aim for! The advantage of this is it means you can keep them in smaller tanks than other species as well. Things like Ich or fin rot are both possibilities if these fish live in subpar conditions. None of the coloring or stripes make their way onto this fin, unlike the dorsal fin. I've been researching Convict Cichlids non-stop for awhile now, and I'm very interested. The more you add, the higher the chance for territorial and aggression. Spawning happens all the year round with some small breaks. Water movement should be moderate to strong in areas and calmer in other areas to feed and rest. By minimum, we mean that you should only put them in such tank if you absolutely have to. Also, don’t put a male and female in a community tank! This is because these fish will periodically do a bit of digging and rooting around, and a coarse substrate will end up scratching them.