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Old 11-18-2003, 09:59 PM   #1
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Cichild Tank

I just started a Cichlid tank in a 29 gal. I have a pair of Convicts and a pair of Jewels. I believe each should grow to 4 or 5 inches...is this correct? and are they going to get along? And if possible could I add any more to this tank.
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Old 11-18-2003, 10:33 PM   #2
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Well, a few things of advise.

#1) 4-5 cichlids in a 29 gallon should be fine, depending on the species.

#2) The species you got won't be fine. Jewels are a West African cichlid, while the Convict are a South American variety. The two live in completely different water conditions in the wild. Jewels like a ph around 7.8-8.0 and hard water, while the Convicts prefer soft water, and a ph close to 6.2.

The jewels, while aggressive like any cichlids, are not particularily so, while the convicts are very very well known for their aggression. If you have a male and female convict, the jewels will be killed almost 100% gaurenteed once the pair begins to breed.

Generally, you will not be able to keep anything with a breeding pair of convict cichlids. You might be able to in a tank larger than 55 gallons, but you'd probably get a second pair. They'll attack anything in their territory (The entire tank) with intent to kill during and even after breeding. Also, they have anywhere from 100 to 300 fry per batch, and breed about every 3 to 4 weeks. They won't eat or kill the fry necessarily either, until the next batch they'll be very protective I believe (Most SA cichlids are, not sure about Convicts).

It is generally suggested to never mix African cichlids with South American cichlids. Some people even go a step further and say never mix the various varieties of African cichlids (West African, Lake Malawi, Lake Tang, etc)

#3) My suggestions.. I would return the convicts. If you want cichlids, stick to africans. Get some electric yellow labs, maybe another jewel. You could possibly get some Zebras or Bubblebees without any issues as well. All these fish can grow between 4 to 5 inches, 6 if long lived. Avoid melachromis auratus (Petsmart stocks these in the tank with "Assorted Kenyi"s). You may also want to avoid the Kenyi's. Both species are especially noted for aggression, with the auratus being known as the MOST aggressive Malawi Mbuna.
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:23 PM   #3
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I think your fish should be fine I have a pair of breeding convicts in a 15 gallon tank with two baby blue zebra, and the zebras get chased around but they dont get there tails bit or anything just chased away. My friend has a very similar setup as your he has a 29 gal and has a breeding pair of convicts three jewel cichlids and one unknown cichlid , his ph is around 8 and so is mine and the convicts have never had a problem,and his convicts and jewels are happy. The convicts in his tank havent killed any of the fish and the unknown and one of the jewels ar smaller then both convicts. His convicts have breed at least 7 times and have never hurt the fish in the process. Mine have breed 3 times and havent kiled the smaller zebras.
My convicts are fine with the 8 ph and having other fish in while breeding and my tank is smaller then yours, but every fish is different.
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:26 PM   #4
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You're welcome to try. Synergy's situation is the rarer one though. I've posted based on lots of research and experience of my own.
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:41 PM   #5
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i agree with you all the way farret, synergy you and your friend must have small convicts, iv had 1" convicts breed and take up a 33gall for them selfs and 6" male and 4" female claim a 125 gal with a 10" jag and 5" salvini and a jag and salvini are tuff fish and they wouldnt mess with the convicts. that pair killed a 12" pleco that wouldnt leave there teritory as well as jack dempseys and green terrors.
not too mention that you and your friends tanks are over crowded.
spence IMO you might be able too keep the 2 convicts in a 29gal for quite a while but keep them by them selfs, if you want too have fish breed for you then go with convicts all you need is water and they wil breed, there tuff as nails and will live in waters with a ph of 8 but try and keep it lower for there long term health.
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Old 11-19-2003, 12:03 AM   #6
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My male convict is around 4 inches and the female is 3 and my friends are slightly larger then mine. I really dont think that his 29 gal is overcrowded, My 15 gal is but I put the zebras in the 15 because I read in a couple places that it was good to have other fish in the tank so the parents will guard the babies and not eat them, and the zebra are not that big 1 inch at the most. I will agree that having convicts might not be a good idea because they could be agressive, but i dont think the ph has anything to do with it. In all the pet shops that i have ever been to all the fish have the same water, meaning same ph, and if they had to have a certain ph most would die, and secondly most of the fish in pet stores are captive breed, the fish in the pet stores could be the tenth generation and the fish would have had plenty of time to adapt and get used to the new ph. Organisms are the most vulnerable in the juvenile and reproductive stages and if bay convicts can live in water witha ph of 8 i am sure the adults will be fine.
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Old 11-19-2003, 12:17 AM   #7
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who said PH make a fish agressive,lol, i dont think you will ever find a wild caught convict any more. neither I or farret said convics HAD to be in a certian ph value either, if you raed right you would see that i said there tuff as nails and i should have added that they will live in and threw bad tank conditions made by and owner that doesnt know how too care for them properly. im also guessing that both you and your friends con dont have nuchal hump do they? with no space too swim and they wont be healthy enuff too fuly mature and a 4" con and a 3" con is too much for a little 15gal plus 2 africans, your asking for a failing tank. well im done with this thread unless spence has any more questions, as for you all i can say is i feel sorry for your fish.
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Old 11-19-2003, 12:29 AM   #8
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I didnt mean ph makes fish aggressive,but that is how I made it sound, sorry for the bad wording. I was trying to say that the difference in ph preferene shouldnt keep him from buying the fish. And ferret clearly say that his fish wont be fine, because jewels like different water then the convicts. I know that my tank wont fail, and im sure that my convicts much rather be in this tank then the ten gallon at the pet store with 20 othe convicts. So you should be glad that I saved the fish or they could of ended up being the fish that the lady at the pet stores goes around and scrapes from the filter intake tube.
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Old 11-19-2003, 09:42 AM   #9
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Let me clearify then. Yes, convicts can survive 8.0ph, and Jewels can survive 6.0ph. I stated the nature of their wild habitats, which most major cichlid hobbist try to mimic as closely in possible for a 'natural' tank, a biotope.

A 29 gallon is not truly suitable for more than 5 mid-sized (4-6 in) African cichlids. It is definately not a truly suitable situation for anymore more than a pair of Convicts. If you're had 'success', congrats, but its rare and as e-cat has stated, I seriously doubt you have the most healthy or well matured specimen.

The convicts, correctly raised and matured, kill South American cichlid tank mates. Let me point out that SA cichlids are in general twice as large, twice as aggressive, and twice as tough as African cichlids. In what would generally be viewed as a cramped unhealthy environment for these fish, you're going to see different behavior.

Just cause something CAN be done, doesn't mean it SHOULD be done.

Another example would be the common pleco, a 2 foot long fish often pushed on new fish keepers at a length of about 3 inches, with no warning of its true size. People put these fish in ten gallon tanks. It stunts their growth and causes deformaties. Those fish are affected physically, and I suspect mentally. In the wrong environment this can happen to any fish, even cichlids which are well known for personality and 'apparent' intelligence.

Do you think a human could grow completely healthy to 'full' adult size and muscle mass if he/she never left an 5 foot by 5 foot room?
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Old 11-19-2003, 09:17 PM   #10
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Cichlids are wonderful fish, and they really should be kept in a biotope. There are many reasons for this, e.g. difference in breeding habits and difference in water parameters. IMO, you should keep one pair or the other. This will open up possibilities for other fish, to act as dither or target fish, and will make for a remarkable tank. JMHO.
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Old 11-20-2003, 07:47 PM   #11
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Jewel cichlids aren't Rift Lake fish...rather they are found in West and central Africa in a wide variety of habitats. In my personal experience I've found them remarkably adaptable as to pH. I kept a breeding pair of them in a well-planted 55 gallon tank with some half-grown Polypterus ornatipinnis, some African Butterfly Fish and a small school of Congo Tetras. There were many hiding places available and the Jewels immediately took over a spot under a rock shelf that they defended from all comers. The pH of the tank was about 6.8. The Jewels spawned so many times that I finally got rid of them just so I wouldn't have to find people to give the fry to!!!

I found the Jewels to be VERY aggressive, especially (of course) around breeding time.

As for keeping Jewels and Convicts together, I don't think water quality would be the issue. Both types of cichlids are territorial and pretty aggressive, though the Jewels seem to be in a bad mood most of the time where the Convicts only get really testy when they're being romantic. Personally I wouldn't keep them together but theoretically both types of fish should be able to stand up to the other reasonably well.

Um....you're not planning on keeping a whole lot of live plants in this aquarium, are you? My Jewels LOVED to clear any and all plants away from their chosen breeding spot and Convicts are well-known to do the same.
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Old 11-20-2003, 07:58 PM   #12
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No chance. I've learned my lesson with live plants in a Cichlid tank. Those guys just love to dig and tear at them.
And just in case anybody was curious about how they were doing together so far so good. Neither pair has seemed to claim a territory of their own. All four spend most of the time together moving from one side of the tank to the other, and its not in any way aggressive. Hopefully this will work out, but just in case I'm getting a 10 gal. ready to go in an emergency.
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Old 11-20-2003, 09:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
All four spend most of the time together moving from one side of the tank to the other, and its not in any way aggressive.
IME, all my cichlids have done this for about a week or so after purchase, it's after they settle down that the gloves come off and it's a free-for-all.
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