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Convict Cichlids - Breeding And Care

By: Micah (Zero)
Common Name: Convict Cichlid (breeding and care)
Latin Name: Archocentrus nigrofasciatus (Formerly- Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum )
Origin: South America
Temperature: 70 - 82 degrees Farenheight
Ease Of Keeping: VERY Easy
Aggressivness: Timid - Super Agressive
Lighting: Dim - Quite Bright
Adult Size: Males- 6 inches, Females stay a bit smaller.
Minimum Tank Size: 10 Gallons
Feeding: Cichlid Flakes, Cichlid Pellets, Brine Shrimp (pellet or live/frozen), Earth Worms, Tubifex Worms and/or Blood Worms
Spawning Method: Egg Layer
There are two convict cichlid varieties that actually are the same, the Pink Convict and the Black Convict.The only real difference is their coloration.
Convicts make a great starter cichlid. They are a more timid species, though males can be territorial. These fish really don't care what the pH is, you may read something saying "pH is best at...", don't really listen for this fish, most regular town/well water is fine.
These fish come from South America and like a rocky set up. Large rocks, caves, slate, etc. work great. Some plants, such as Java Fern , Java Moss and Erect Moss, can be attached to the rocks if you would like some vegitation. These fish like to remodel their tank to their liking, so planted plants may not do so well.
These fish are not picky eaters, and will eat usually whatever give them. Yet they should be fed some of the following: Cichlid Flakes, Cichlid Pellets, Brine Shrimp (pellet or live/frozen), Earth Worms, Tubifex Worms and/or Blood Worms.
Sexing convicts is amazingly EASY! Here is how:
Males- Larger in size, longer more pointed dorsal fin.
Female Black- Have orange scales on their belly region, some fins may be tinted a yellow or orange.
Female Pinks- Red scales on its belly region, may have tinted dark pink fins.
This takes us into breeding. These have got to be the easiest cichlids to breed. The female and Male must first pair off. The female will dig out a cave or pit in the gravel near a corver and lay her eggs. Then, the male will come and fertilize and the eggs should turn a brownish color. The female will primarily guard the eggs while the male patrols. The eggs should hatch in 2-5 days. Then the male and female become very very extremely fiesty and agressive. They will tear up and chase away whatever comes near those fry.
The first 1-2 weeks, the fry (baby fish) should be fed eaither some type of liquid food, baby brine shrimp or micro worms. Then, ones they get large enough, should be feed crushed flakes, crushed shrimp pellets, or older brine shrimp. Withing 1-2 months, the fry should be at about 25% - 50% of an inch long and ready to be sold or given away.
I have already bred my convicts twice.

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