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Old 01-08-2007, 02:34 PM   #1
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Should I start breeding convicts?

I've tried breeding convicts before and always failed. It's always been because they'd pick on each other to the point that one of them was inevitably killed. Now I have a 29 gallon that I have one female convict in. She's settled in there about a week now (moved her from a smaller 10).

My original plan was to move the female in there to kill all the snails that were over running the tank (a plan that seems to have worked). Then I was going to find another home for some guppies living in a 20g, move the convict in there and redo the 29 as a catfish only tank. (Yes, I suffer from MTS.) My thinking was to make the 29 a home for some pygmy cats, some cories, a BN pleco or two and maybe some glass cats or a twig cat. Basically show that there's more to catfish than just bottom feeders.

Anyway, seeing how well the convict has settled in, I'm tempted to try breeding them again. The tank is currently overgrown with some java moss that went out of control. I was going to remove it in the overhaul, but leaving it in there gives all kinds of cover for the female to hide if the male is picking on her. Is this a do-able plan? Is it a wise idea to introduce more convicts into the world? Or am I better off sticking with the catfish idea?
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Old 01-08-2007, 03:51 PM   #2
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I am surprised. You're the first case I have read of someone who COULDN'T breed these fish... I would breed them only if you really, really want to, because they are going to spawn, especially in an established tank like yours. All you have to do is put a male in there with her of an appropriate size. The love connection WILL happen. If you do, I would leave the moss in there, as it will be good cover for the fry too, as well as nourish them since it is probably home to lots of established critter colonies that they will feed on. I know it's hard to get rid of the fry, but there are places that will sell them, just don't expect to get any money for them... But you could always start a big tank of larger predatory fish and use the fry as feeders
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:43 PM   #3
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I do have a Jack Dempsey that was a rescue effort. I think part of my problem in the past was that I had them in smaller tanks (a 10 and a 20t) and didn't have enough cover. Eventually, the male picked at the female until she died. I've never bred egg layers before so I'm kind of thinking of getting my feet wet so to speak. Then there's the catfish tank that I've always wanted to do......
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:39 PM   #4
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Hulk... my friend... I was in a Pet Supermarket and saw two juvenile cons in a ten gallon display tank with 35 of their brothers/sisters from the same fry, spawning in a nest they dug in the FRONT corner of the tank... For all the customers to enjoy.. They had zilch for decorations, only blue gravel. These fish will breed in mud.

The male was beating her up cause she wasn't conditioned (fattened up) on good food and she couldn't make eggs. That is another thing you need to be prepared for, cause he will want her to spawn at least every three to four weeks. Feed them and they will spawn. Many times.

Have fun!
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:17 PM   #5
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My male con beat up my female about a week after the fry were born and free swimming. They had had 4-5 batches before that with no problems at all.

I put up a divider and once the fry are removed I will see if they mate or fight. If they fight I will probably give them to the LFS.

I'm only doing it as a treat for my pred tank. They never get big enough to be actual meals.
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:03 PM   #6
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So, should I try to find a male that's smaller than her then? At least she'd be able to stick up for herself if she had to. Then there's the problem of finding the males. The females are usually pretty obvious, but I have a hard time telling juvenile (which is pretty much all that seems to be sold) males from washed out females. Any advice in that department?
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Old 01-09-2007, 02:16 AM   #7
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Yeah, their dorsal and anal fins (I think) are pointed, the females will be rounded off at the tips. Thats the large fins on top/bottom. Also, the females are usually red/orange in the belly, and are slightly plumper, or "wide-bodied". If they are old enough, you may even see a slight nuchal hump on the males forehead, but that is not always common. The fastest way to tell is the fins.
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Old 01-09-2007, 08:27 AM   #8
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Sounds like you are going for it, good luck! My first con couple ever just laid eggs!
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:34 PM   #9
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I know mine's a female from the red belly, but I always seem to have problems telling the males from the washed out females. Does the rounded versus pointed fins thing work on juveniles?
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:45 PM   #10
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http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...=672017#672017

Here is a link I posted a picture of my convicts in a few months ago. It shows pictures of other's convicts as well, so you can get an idea of sexing them.

IME, the males have much longer, flowing fins than the females...who yeah, usually are more rounded. The pink belly comes and goes with breeding times.
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Old 01-09-2007, 03:47 PM   #11
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Thanks. That's helpful. I had a male before and he was an adult and clearly a male. He had pointed, flowing fins that extended well past his tail fins. He survived many, many mistakes I made, but not the one of trying to use him as a tank mate for a Jack Dempsey. I still miss that fish.
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Old 01-12-2007, 12:42 PM   #12
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What happened with the JD?
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Old 01-13-2007, 05:56 PM   #13
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The Dempsey suceeded in killing the male convict and one of the females I put in there as well. I rescued a second female I had in there and she's the one in the 29g now. I added a 4 inch male Dempsey to the tank and they seem to be getting along fine. Neither of them bother each other or the upside-down cat that has made his home there.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:00 PM   #14
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Im suprised that u havent been able to breed them yet. I have a pair and 2 or 3 weeks they bred with NO help AT ALL! My temp is at about 79 degrees and i fed them a blood worm cube which is my usual 1 time a week and i saw eggs 2 days later. Whats your temp and what do u feed them
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