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Old 12-01-2003, 01:14 PM   #1
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Convict Cichlids

Hello Everyone,
I had purchased two cichlids that were marked as Firemouths but, look more like Convicts. They are both the same size, about 1.5 inches in length and noticed one of them has orange dots on its belly on both sides. Is this an indication that she is a female? The other Convict does not have the dots, what other signs can I look for to confirm the other is a male? I have see both confront the other similar size Jack D. and Green Terrors in the tank. I was not planning on breeding them, but if they are a pair, I will breed them and move them into a 18 Gal tank after I sell the angel fish to the LFS. Also are the Convicts at the the correct breeding age/size? Any suggestions and comments is greatly welcomed. The convicts are currently in a 130 Gal with a couple Oscars, 2 Catfish, 2 Jack D, 2 Green Terrors, and 3 tinfoil barbs. Thanks in advance for your comments.
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Old 12-01-2003, 01:17 PM   #2
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I'm not sure on breeding size, but the orange blotch does indeed mean that the fish is a female. I would imagine if they aren't yet, they will be by 2in. As they say, to breed convicts, just add water.

The fry will make good live feeders for those oscars and such
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Old 12-01-2003, 02:10 PM   #3
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Um wow. Firemouths and convicts look pretty different....

Any chance you can send a picture?
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Old 12-01-2003, 02:52 PM   #4
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Wish I could send a picture, but no digital Camera yet. Thanks for the replies. If the female and the other Convict with out orange dots gangs up on another fish, that mean the non-dot Convict is a male correct? Yes I was also thinking of the fry as another food source for the other fish. If the Convicts do mate and have frys, do I need to worry about the parents eating the young? If so, when is a good time to begin separating the parents from the frys?
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Old 12-01-2003, 03:07 PM   #5
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Not entirely sure on the parenting behavior of convicts, I don't have fry yet myself, my female is rather small, under an inch.

I would imagine he'll guard them for a short while, then promptly kick their butts when the next batch comes along. If they pair up, they'll probably terrorize everything in the tank. Or at least half of it. You have a really large tank so they MIGHT be okay staying in there. Most people suggest nothing less than a 55G to have convicts with other fish (I think 55G is the smallest you can manage to keep 2 pairs in). With 120 gallons they'll probably be able to stake out a corner and will just keep all the other fish out of that area.
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Old 12-01-2003, 03:30 PM   #6
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ferret,
From your knowledge, do you think moving the 2 Convicts into the 18gal tank will be two small of a tank for them, even though they are small? They would be the only fish in the tank after I sell the Angel fish. Or would it be better to remove the fry, after they have hatched, into the 18gal, in order to raise them as a source of food, to sell to the corner pet store, give to friends, and possibly keep a couple for the 13gal tank. Which route would you suggest going and normally how long should I wait before I can separate the fry's from the parents?

Thanks for your info.
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Old 12-01-2003, 03:31 PM   #7
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130gal tank not 13gal tank, my bad.
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Old 12-01-2003, 04:07 PM   #8
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My convicts recently had their first (I thought) brood about a month ago. I have noticed that I have 3 different sizes of fry. So I think they're really on their 3-4th batch. Convicts don't boot their young out so I wouldn't worry about separating them. They seem to be wonderful and attentive parents--but VERY territorial when breeding!
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Old 12-01-2003, 04:47 PM   #9
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I think an 18 gallon would be fine for a pair, but its probably a bare minimum. Mine are in a 20L, and I plan to remove the fry after they grow up just a little to a grow out tank until they become food.
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