'New' Tank! Full of babies!
I just bought a 10-15gal Hex tank with about 60 convict cichlid babies in it (max size 2"). Anyone have some tips on keeping these guys. I hear there "just add water" fish. Any tips? I'm hoping to have a local pet store help me thin the herd and trade some of these guys for a pleco either a rubbernose or a bristlenose.
Well, you're going to need a much bigger tank if you plan on growing these guys out to a larger size. Tips for rapid growth (apart from getting a larger tank): feed often (three times a day) and do LOTS of water changes. Apart from keeping down nitrate, which will certainly be an issue with lots of messy, growing cichlids, water changes also dilute the pheromones that growing fish give off that prevent the other fish in the same tank from growing. Think of it as sort of a natural population/resource control. Less pheromones and waste = faster growth. Be on the lookout for fighting, too, as before too long these fish are going to start not getting along with one another.
Do you want to breed them or do you just want to have a tank with some? Convicts are mean little suckers and unless you have a big tank (55gallon+) one pair will pretty much thrash the other fish. Combined with the fact they pair off very early, I would keep watch. As stated above give them space and places to hide as they will get mean very fast and you will start loosing fish(then gaining fish again).
I've tried to keep more than one pair of convicts. It does not work. The strongest will survive, especially when they start breeding. They will kill all the other convicts.
I've even had them with a large Oscar. They chased my poor big oscar into a corner until he couldnt move a fin.
They are the most agressive fish I've ever seen, and they are not afraid of anything. They will even attack your hand when cleaning the tank and will not stop until you remove your hand.
But they are the easiest fish to breed. They are the hamsters of the fish world. Great parents.
My pair of convicts turn out a bunch of frey nearly every month. I keep them with their parents for about two weeks them place in another tank for another two weeks and then I feed then to my Forntosa's for snacks.
Harsh but cheap.
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