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However, this isn’t something to be worried about as long as you put them in the right environment. Convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) are a freshwater species of cichlid that come from Central America. Our recommended minimum tank size for convict cichlids 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. 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. 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. These fish come from lakes and streams in this region with a moderate amount of current. 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. The female will wave with its fins to get the mud up from the tank substrate. This makes caring for them a little bit easier and gives you a little bit of flexibility when it comes to tank mates (more on that later). Temperature: 70°– 80°F. Proper convict cichlid care requires you to have an understanding of the behavior and temperament of these fish. Because convict cichlids are aggressive, you may be better off purchasing a tank of around 40 gallons or more in size. 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…. Their temperament is also why including hiding spots in their tank is so important. While the bars that cover the body of convict cichlids are black, the rest of the body is a greyish-blue. It’s highly recommended to use rather powerful external filter since the fish likes digging tank bottom. fast-moving fish like Giant Danios may also be used as dither fish. Hi, I have a 20 gallon long with a 30 or 40 gallon filter (i don't remember, sorry). 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. Body size is from 8 cm (3 in) to 12 centimeters (4.7 in). Convict Cichlid Breeding Tank. Due to being extremely territorial and aggressive, they are known to attack, bite, and chase the other species present in the tank. For this reason the tank you place them in should be at least 30 gallons for a pair of Convicts. None of the coloring or stripes make their way onto this fin, unlike the dorsal fin. 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. Even though these fish are hardy it’s smart to invest in an accurate testing kit to make sure you’re getting correct readings. The minimum tank size for a Convict Cichlid male and female is 30 gallons. Water movement should be moderate to strong in areas and calmer in other areas to feed and rest. This causes a neat visual effect when they swim and makes it quite fun to watch them. With that being said, it’s important to know their ideal parameters backward and forward. This fish has black and white stripes on its body. Some large grained bottom substrate, snags, roots, stones make the fish feel comfortable. Convict Cichlid tank size? It is aggressive and will attack any tank mates that aren’t another Convict Cichlid. But if you have a tank large enough for a common pleco, then these fish make great tank mates for convict cichlids. I myself give some of this food to my pets and as for the rest I’ve heard and read lots of good reviews. Female has to a greater or lesser degree orange coloring in form of small spots on its abdomen and near dorsal fin. 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. We’ve addressed each of these diseases in separate guides, but they’re worth mentioning so you know to keep an eye out. In small tanks it is recommended to keep a couple of cichlids. Lets say you have, or want to buy, a 55-gallon aquarium. Breeding convict cichlids is as easy as setting up a simple aquarium and successfully getting a breeding pair. In our experience convict cichlids are much less territorial when living in a large tank with plenty of places to hunker down. 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. 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. Convict Cichlid Size Difference Between Male and Female. The most important thing you can do is make sure their habitat is conducive to the breeding process. The bars are one of the most important things that sellers look for with these fish, so if you’re making a purchase from a reputable party the fish you buy will likely have plenty of well-defined stripes. Author Note: Another factor that can influence the lifespan of convict cichlids is their genetics. Learn more. These fish are rather small compared to other cichlid species. This space should accommodate the cichlid tank but you may also need to think about the additional equipment needed. Due to their small size they don’t need a whole lot of water to live in. When a species eats just about anything, this can trick inexperienced owners into thinking a subpar diet is acceptable. After the eggs have been fertilized the pair will diligently protect the eggs. The more you add, the higher the chance for territorial and aggression. 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. Chemical parameters of tank water don’t play an important part. You should install filtration and aeration in a tank with juveniles and you should renew the water about twice a week. As always, the best course of action is to not let your fish get sick at all. Male is much larger than a female, its anal and dorsal fins are elongated. 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. A bad test kit can lead you to believe there’s a shift in water parameters when there really isn’t! Set the fish tank as per the comfort of your pet Cichlid by considering these suggestions: Tank Size. Understanding the aggressive tendencies of the convict cichlid is essential if you want to provide them with good care. Convict Cichlid are very aggressive. However, through the years he’s had experience of keeping almost all types of freshwater fish and shrimps. 55 gallon aquarium weight. Temperament: Aggressive. Thereare three aspects of this step that you need to keep in mind: Ideal tank mates for convict cichlids are robust fish of a similar size. This comes down to the individual behavior of your fish since some like to root around in the substrate more aggressively than others. The minimum tank size for a common pleco is 100 gallons – yes, that’s the minimum size. 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. To avoid this male is taken back to the community tank and the female stays to look after their juveniles. it eats everything you give. Things like Ich or fin rot are both possibilities if these fish live in subpar conditions. Convict Cichlids are among the hardiest fish in the fish keeping hobby. To prevent tank pollution with feed leftovers, feed twice a day with small portions of food. But I just have a few questions 1.) They actually look pretty much like African cichlids but with a different color and pattern. However, it’s important to mention that this isn’t the safest possible option you can take. 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. 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. 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. It’s always smart to give your fish a close inspection from time to time. Convict cichlid Tank mates. These fish usually spend most of their time near the middle of the tank. Territorial fish that are prone to aggression tend to behave significantly worse in small aquariums. 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. It’s better to keep the fish alone or with other Central America cichlid species in a very spacious tank. Fish body has about 8-9 vertical dark stripes on it, due to which the fish has got its name. Life span: 8 – 10 years. It’s desirable to keep this fish in large capacity tanks and some open spaces for the fish to swim. However, things get a bit trickier when you start thinking about planning how they’ll get along with other fish. Convict cichlids have a fairly normal growth rate, so there are no special accommodations you’ll need to make in that department. 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. You will most likely need at least a 30-gallon tank. There’s always a sweet spot you should aim for! Consistently elevated stress levels take their toll over the years. Establishing a regular feeding schedule is recommended as well. You need to have a sizeable tank for the convict cichlid. The fish is monogamic, it becomes reproductive at the age of 7-10 month. There have been plenty of instances where these fish have exceeded this range, but that’s the average assuming proper care is given. As far as their general activity level goes, this species loves to move. At the same time this is definitely not the fish for beginners due to its quarrelsome temper and the habit of digging the tank bottom. This is why trying to encourage breeding in a community tank is a terrible idea. Their natural habitat has plenty of wood and rocks for them to use as a place to hide in between feeding. Would a 10 gallon tank with 30 gallons of filtration work? Now, a captiveenvironment will never be the same as the natural habitat of these beings. For a few extra bucks you can make your fish a lot more comfortable. Their different types can be found in countries all along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts such as Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. :) I kept one in a 29 gallon by himself, and he was awesome! 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. The Black Convict Cichlid (Archocentrus nigrofasciatus), also known as the Zebra Cichlid, is a freshwater fish native to the warm rivers of South America. 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. Convict cichlids are omnivores and aren’t picky when it comes to finding food! This means they will be far less likely to develop one of the common diseases that can possibly afflict them. Butwe always try to mimic as much similarity as possible between the two. We always like to start with the substrate because it will impact the kind of plants you can include. Purchasing from reputable sellers is an easy way to avoid this. The ideal tank size will be no smaller than 30 gallons. Smaller=friendlier? Their caudal fin is shaped a bit like a symmetrical shell which helps them generate power and have well-rounded mobility in the water. 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. Some buyers think they’re getting a different color convict cichlid when in fact it’s just the tank lighting playing tricks on them! While this might sound too good to be true, it really isn’t. Our two favorite live foods to give them are brine shrimp and bloodworms. The advantage of this is it means you can keep them in smaller tanks than other species as well. But I am looking for smaller. However, there are the cases when males become aggressive and they may eat all the juveniles. The hue of this color can vary slightly, but it’s usually rather consistent. The fish that gets into local ponds from tanks has created a stable population in Australia and North America. You may put some tank plants, but these should be some tolerant and strong kinds, since the fish often digs tank bottom substrate and moves it, so some small and tender plants may be dug out completely. Because of their appealing look, convict cichlids have been sought after in the aquarium scene for many years. Also, don’t put a male and female in a community tank! The waters where convict cichlids come from have these in abundance. Giving these fish enough space and pairing them with the right tank mates should keep them happy. Always do your homework about what’s needed before purchasing one! Author Note: Keep an eye on how much food your fish are eating (especially early on in your ownership). Convict cichlids get their name from the series of black vertical bars that run down their bodies. This isn’t a fish that’s afraid to investigate different areas of the aquarium. Their anal fins begin at the midpoint of their body and stop at the beginning of the caudal peduncle. Breeding. There was also bred a short-body (balloon cichlid). 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.. 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! Convict Cichlid Breeding. Happy fish = healthy fish! You’ll also learn some nifty facts about this species that will make you a more informed owner! Once larvae hatch from the eggs their attentive parents take them to some other place. Cichlasoma nigrofasciata is very easy in keeping and care. How many convicts would work in a 20 gallon? Start feed for the juveniles is some milled live and dry feed. Or sometimes it may be a big leave of a tank plant. They might be one of the easiest freshwater fishes to breed in a home tank! It’s important to have a strong understanding of their diet if you want them to live as long as possible. To get good and healthy juveniles still it’s better to put them into a separate volume. 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. 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. 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. The Pink Convict Cichlid is a tough little species that originates in Central America. Convict cichlids have average-sized ventral and pectoral fins that are fairly see-through. The dorsal fin continues to the start of their caudal peduncle and is semi-transparent. Smaller=friendlier? Depending on what stage of like your Convict Cichlid is in will determine the size of tank you will need for them. Convict cichlids do best with a sandy substrate. His favorite aquariums are biotopes (Amazon River),  with Echinodorus and Angelfish. Breeding convicts is as simple as having a male and a female in the same tank with adequate water quality and feeding. Convict cichlid prefers slow flow waters with rocky bottom. Once you understand their territorial and aggressive tendencies it actually becomes rather easy! In other words, convicts can breed in almost any reasonably environment. If these fish are bred and raised by a subpar breeder, this could hinder their ability to live a long and healthy life. The convict cichlid is a very hardy fish that can tolerate a wide range of water parameters. Convict Cichlid tank size? Water: Freshwater. This should be all you need to get things started. 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). This isn’t something to agonize over, but if you can provide it we believe it will help keep them happy and stress-free. Their caudal fin is partially transparent and average in size. The ideal diet for convict cichlids is a mix of pellets or flakes with live food options as well. This species becomes very aggressive during the spawning period as well as any other time – it may attack other fishes. Both their dorsal and anal fins dangle back a bit like a sail. This particular size tank is usually not sold at chain pet stores, so a specialty fish-only store may have to be contacted. The average convict cichlid lifespan is roughly 8 to 10 years. If you are looking at adult Convicts then you will want to increase the tank size to 52 gallons or above. This is because these fish will periodically do a bit of digging and rooting around, and a coarse substrate will end up scratching them. If you take convict cichlid care seriously right from the start, your fish will thank you for it later. 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. In case you are interested in breeding them as well, then it would be best to buy a 50-gallon tank. The fish is native to Central America: Guatemala, Panama, Costa-Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras. Community tanks do come with some element of risk with this fish even if you pair them with recommended species. Its coloring intensity may vary. When it comes to convict cichlid care there aren’t any diseases that go after this species specifically. Older males frequently develop vestigial fatty lumps on their foreheads. The Convict Cichlid requires ample space to let off all of its energy. Convict cichlid care is not as hard as it seems. Convict Cichlid are naturally omnivorous, they eat both meat and plant matter. At minimum, you will want to have at least a 26-gallon tank for your Convict. The average convict cichlid size is around 4-5 inches when fully grown. Quite often you may encounter pink convict cichlid – its body is pinkish and yellow, the eyes are dark colored. The tank that you keepyour Cichlid will be their habitat while they grow up. Their interesting pattern and active nature make them a very entertaining species. Silver arowana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum), Convict cichlid, convict fish, tiger convict, sicklied fish, zebra convict. 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. Its average lifespan is about 8 — 10 years, though provided with proper care the fish may live longer. Convict Cichlids need a minimum of 30 gallons of water. The convict cichlid parents will flat-out attack any other fish that wanders too close! I've been researching Convict Cichlids non-stop for awhile now, and I'm very interested. All you need to do is try and mimic their natural environment as best as possible. Setting up a tank for convict cichlids is pretty straightforward. Amatitlania nigrofasciata) is one of the most spread and the least demanding cichlid fishes. 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). When being just juveniles create stable couples. 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. Convict cichlids have a fairly normal growth rate, so there are no special accommodations you’ll need to make in that department. Diet requirements, ideal tank mates, breeding tips, size, and growth rate are all covered in-depth. Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:22 am. It has a very interesting feature – how the couple takes care of its juveniles, a process which is rather exciting to observe. When it comes to their recommended tank and water requirements, these fish aren’t that challenging. Fish that happily eat anything can be prone to overfeeding. There are many different types of aquarium catfish out there. This fish is not a community fish. Look at the normal range and take it up to the higher side of the spectrum (somewhere 80°F and 84°F). For example, the additional space needed for a canister filter. 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. Moreover, if you are interested in maintaining two breeding pairs, a … These fish are an absolute delight to own, and they’re definitely one of our favorite cichlids. Convict Cichlid - NEW FISH FACTS & TIPS in 2020 - Everything You Need To Know - water, ph, size, breeding, gender, varieties, tank mates, diet, colors, sexing Because these fish are the opposite of picky eaters, beginners assume you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to their diet. It’s also a good idea to include some plants in the aquarium as well. You might find that some plants you want to include are a bit too flimsy to handle any digging. You have some room to be flexible when making this choice based on your own personal preference. If you are keeping them for breeding, then the tank should even be larger, at least a 50 gallons tank. Convict cichlid keeping is quite the same as for a classical cichlid species. He’s been fond of aquarium husbandry since his early childhood. By minimum, we mean that you should only put them in such tank if you absolutely have to. This simply means taking an extra minute to really watch each of them and see if you notice anything out of the ordinary. This can be some flower pot, flat stone, coconut shell or a big sea shell. Convict Cichlid Diet and Feeding. In fact, they’re one of the most popular…, Clown Loaches are one of the most popular freshwater fish in the aquarium scene. If you are planning to keep a pair in your aquarium it should be at a minimum of 30 gallons. This has led to some concern of overfishing/capturing, but so far the population hasn’t been impacted outside of normal levels of fluctuation. As a sidenote, the bigger you choose, the better. After roughly a week the fry will be ready for you to feed them (we recommend brine shrimp). Spawning happens all the year round with some small breaks. Convict cichlids have the classic cichlid body. 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. If you have any questions or stories about convict cichlids that you’d like us to add to the guide let us know! Tank size: 30 gallons. There are a ton of great options such as hornwort or even one of the best floating plant species. Author Note: This behavior isn’t constant by any means. The Black Convict Cichlid is a beautifully marked cichlid. Male courtship process takes rather long time, once it’s finished the female lays the eggs in some place she likes. Convict cichlid (lat. 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. 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. Sergey is a founder and author of Meethepet.com. Author Note: This will impact their lifespan and general health as well. It might be a change in behavior (like malaise or disinterest in eating) or something visible on their body. 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). This will ramp up the aggression and territorial behavior significantly and surely lead to someone getting hurt. This makes for fun viewing since they always seem to be up to something! 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. Despite their potential to be aggressive freshwater fish, you do have some options when it comes to convict cichlid tank mates. Once you have the general layout of your aquarium ready, simply crank up the water temperature a bit. Taking the time to look for these signs will help you nip anything unwanted in the bud before it becomes a larger problem. This is not a natural occurrence and is only sustainable due to the similar conditions that certain parts of the country offer. Males grow to be roughly 6 inches long, as females grow to be roughly 4.5 inches in length. It will mostly be found in larger streams and rivers, sheltering itself near rocks and sunken branches. Otherwise, buy a 40-gallon tank or bigger. And what combinations (Male female) would work? We’re a big fan of these fish and recommend them to anyone looking to take the next step into intermediate territory. They are omnivorous fish, which means they can eat both plant and meat 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. All you need to achieve successful reproduction of convict cichlids is a breeding pair and a cycled, heated and filtered tank. Finally, the weight of a Cichlid tank of this size should also be … Convict Cichlid - Amatitlania nigrofasciata. This concerns both separate spawning tanks and community tanks. The advantage of this is it means you can keep them in smaller tanks than other species as well. 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 Tank Mates While the acclimatization of convict cichlids is probably the easiest, keeping them with other species of fish is hard. While a pair of convicts can live in a 20-gallon aquarium, it is technically not feasible to breed them in these size tank. The standard morning and night combination is fine.

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