The Convict Cichlid is one of the most popular Cichlids among the aquarist. Their unique look makes them popular. The black Convict Cichlid is also known as the zebra Cichlid. They are also the most popular member of the Cichlidae family.
In this Guide, you will learn about Convict Cichlid care, diet, tank setup, water parameters, tank size, ideal tank mates.
|Color Form:||Black, White.|
|Size:||Up To 6 inches.|
|Minimum Tank Size:||30 Gallons.|
|Tank Setup:||Freshwater, Driftwood, Caves.|
Overview of Convict Cichlid
The black Convict Cichlid is a freshwater fish native to the warm rivers of South America. They are also known as the Zebra Cichlid. You can find them in large streams and rivers. Mostly they found sheltering themself near rocks and sunken branches.
After Oscars and Angelfish, Convict Cichlid is the most popular member of the Cichlid family. They are not hard to keep in aquariums. Males Convict can grow up to 6 inches long and females to 4.5 inches. The minimum recommended tank size is 30 gallons.
The appearance of Convict Cichlids
The Black convict Cichlids get their name from their appearance of white and black stripes. They are also called the Zebra Cichlid. The adult Zebra Cichlid will have 8 to 9 black stripes across the length of its gray body. The males will have larger anal and dorsal fins. The females will be smaller with more coloration.
The males can grow up to 6 inches whilst the females can grow up to 4.5 inches.
Difference between male and female Convict Cichlid
You will not find any specific difference when they are young. You will have to wait till they are sexually matured. Females body is smaller than males. The mals have large anal fins and large dorsal. The females will have a better coloration.
The behavior of Convict Cichlid
They are very active fish and are also known for their aggressive and territorial behavior. This territorial and aggressive behavior is common in many Cichlids. They will spend most of the time near their territory.
Are Convict Cichlid fish Aggressive?
The straightforward answer is Yes. Most members of the Cichlid family are aggressive and territorial.
The tank requirement of Convict Cichlid
They naturally inhabit the warm rivers of Central America. They like slow-moving waters and are used to sandy and rocky substrates. You can find them hiding beneath fallen branches. They can survive in a wide variety of water conditions.
Use rocks and lots of plants when you setting up your aquarium. Use sand as your substrate and also use driftwood.
Sometimes they dig out the substrate. This will cause a lot of mass. For this reason, you should make sure to have a strong filtration set up to stop the water from getting murky.
You should make sure to keep your water temperature between 79 and 84oF. Keep the pH level around 6.6 to 7.8.
Suitable tank size for Convict Cichlid
The small suitable tank size would be 30 gallons. If you want to keep two of them then you should consider a bigger tank like 40 gallons. For breeding, at least use a 50-gallon tank.
Convict Cichlid Diet
They are omnivore means that they will eat both plants and meat. In Their natural habitat, they will eat small insects, mosquito larvae, and plant debris. They can survive off a wide variety of food. To raise a healthy Cichlid, you should ensure their diet fulfills their nutritional requirements.
Their recommended diet should be high-quality flake or pellet. Make sure that this pellet is produced specifically for Cichlid. You can also feed them live food such as Blood worms, Black worms, Daphnia, and Brine Shrimp. You can also give them blanched vegetables such as Lettuce, Broccoli.
Make sure to feed them smaller portions throughout the day instead of a single large portion. Aim to feed them 2-3 times per day instead.
Compatibility with other fish
They are extremely territorial and will be very hostile and aggressive if any fish enter their territory. They do not make a good choice for a community tank, especially if you are new to fish keeping.
For beginners, we recommend keeping Cichlid in their own tank with no other species. However, if you gave some experience then you can add them to a community tank. Make sure you follow the rules.
Make sure that you do not keep them with any smaller or less aggressive fish. You should only keep them with large species that can stand their own ground. For example:
- Green Terror.
- Jack Dempsey.
- Pictus Catfish.
- Giant Daino