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Old 08-09-2014, 12:18 AM   #1
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Convict breeding behavior

Hello all! Thanks for reading in advance! Any advice greatly appreciated!

I have 2 males cichlids (one slightly larger than the other) and a female. Have had them all for about 3 weeks now. My larger male was the king of the tank until recently. When I introduced the female, it seemed almost instant that they paired up, swam together, did the "dance", and even picked a cave that he protected.



For the last couple days my smaller male has constantly been around the cave with the female inside and my large male is badly beaten up and has taken to constant hiding in another cave.



Questions: is it normal for a female to switch from one male to another? Could they have spawned if the small male is willing enough to fight the large male? (The small guy doesn't have a mark on him!) and the female hasn't come out of the cave in about a day and half as far as I can tell, maybe once or twice for a "stroll" around the tank. Could I possibly gently tip up their cave for a peak inside?

Just very curious/concerned. My female also looks very swollen and her tube protruding from what I've read. But she was even like that in the fish store I got her from.

I moved the beaten up male to a different tank for observation.


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Old 08-09-2014, 07:53 PM   #2
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Sell/give the other male back to the LFS. It's clear the small male and the female paired up (which yes, sometimes females will change their minds in short matter pairings) and are going to breed soon. I wouldn't recommend looking inside the cave. Many times the cichlids will have a "If I can't have them, nobody can!" complex when it comes to possible danger to their eggs or young. I found out first hand lol, if you see at least one of the convicts constantly inside the cave then there are most likely eggs. I'm currently dealing with convict eggs and they don't like to be bothered especially now that their eggs are about to hatch. Just lay low and watch from a distance. No need to freak them out and blow the whole thing "out of the water". *Ba dum-tss!*

But getting them to breed isn't hard at all. I found out that I had been using AFRICAN cichlid salt in my tank, and they had still been breeding lol.

(Note: I corrected the salt thing, better safe than sorry.)
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:32 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info! I'm glad I hadn't tipped the cave up to look yet. It's been about 2 days she's been camping out in there. I gave her some sinking food that fell a couple inches from the fave and she came out for a small bite but acted to torn to eat or go back to the cave! Lol. My male ended up dying. sad day. He was so pretty.

Now my concern is that she may have laid eggs but the cave is kind of small...don't know if the two fit in there at the same time to get the eggs fertilized! I guess I will just patiently wait a few more days. She's so swollen up though...should she "deflate" after laying eggs. She seems to be a pretty mature female though, maybe 3 1/2 inches even.

Will I be able to see the fry right away once free swimming? I've read baby brine shrimp is good to feed them to start out. But I would need to grow them, should I wait until I see free swimmers?


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Old 08-09-2014, 08:40 PM   #4
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The female may deflate but mine never has. She's always been a bit round. You should also be able to see the babies when they're wigglers which usually happens about 2-3 days after the eggs have been laid. Wait until you see free swimmers to start hatching brine shrimp, if you really want to feed them that first day you could finely grind some sinking pellets and put them in. Most people say "If you don't use all the hatched brine shrimp within 24 hours of them hatching they're no good" but honestly, they'll have just grown a bit. You can still use them. Even if they're dead, the fish will eat them.
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Old 08-10-2014, 02:38 PM   #5
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I have free swimming fry!!!!


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