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BarbH 08-01-2011 07:26 AM

Thinking about getting a pair of convicts
 
Okay first off I am going to say that this fish bug has bit me bad :-D Started with a 10 gallon which quickly moved to a 50 gallon, with the addition of a 5 gallon and soon adding 2 20 gallons. As I mentioned to one of the people at the pet store yesterday, this is not just a hobby it is an obsession!!!

So I have had my eye on a pair of pink convicts at the pet store, which currently have fry in the tank with them, about a month old now. I love the look of the fish, and decided to start doing some research on them. What I am thinking of is setting them up in a 20 gallon, they would be the only fish in the tank, providing them with a lot of hiding spots, flower pots, rocks and such. Making sure that the female has places to hide from the male if needed. My water is soft and in my 50 gallon I know it is acidic, from the help of driftwood that is in there. With the type of water that I have would they work with convicts? Also would a 20 gallon with plenty of hiding spots be okay for a pair, or would that be too small? Thanks for any thoughts that you may be able to provide and information. I also do realize that they are prolific breeders.

rrcoolj 08-01-2011 01:47 PM

20 gallons is about as small as you can get for a pair. I would recommend a 30 but 20 will work if that is all you have. Sounds like you have everything figured out. Although convicts come from hard water in central america they will breed in a toilet bowl. Water really doesn't matter as long as it is clean. These guys are extremely prolific and my only concern is having a place to put the fry. Some people use the babies as feeders, some try to sell them(very hard to sell convicts) and some might be able to give them away to a LFS. But the problem is most LFS won't take them because they are so freakin common so just keep that in mind.

BarbH 08-01-2011 10:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rrcoolj (Post 760544)
20 gallons is about as small as you can get for a pair. I would recommend a 30 but 20 will work if that is all you have. Sounds like you have everything figured out. Although convicts come from hard water in central america they will breed in a toilet bowl. Water really doesn't matter as long as it is clean. These guys are extremely prolific and my only concern is having a place to put the fry. Some people use the babies as feeders, some try to sell them(very hard to sell convicts) and some might be able to give them away to a LFS. But the problem is most LFS won't take them because they are so freakin common so just keep that in mind.

Thanks, I will have another 20 gallon that can be used to raise some of the fry,once I grow out my current platy fry. Today I also found a possible lead on a free 29 gallon. Will have to wait to see if anything comes out of that. If so I would use that for the convicts once I was able to get it set up. Some of the fry I could always think about putting into the community tank and allow my angels to do some hunting. They already do that with the platy fry which are born in the community tank. The store that I will be getting them from are always willing to buy fish from local breeders, and there is another one down the road that will also. Would have to check to see if they would be interested in convicts.

jeaninel 08-02-2011 01:43 AM

A 29 gallon should be fine for a pair. If you go with a 20 gallon try to get a 20 long. The longer length gives more room for territory than a 20 high. I have my pair in a 20 long and right now it's perfect for them. They still have some growing to do though. The male is about 3" and the female is slightly smaller. Eventually they will move into a bigger tank.

rrcoolj 08-02-2011 02:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BarbH (Post 761427)
Thanks, I will have another 20 gallon that can be used to raise some of the fry,once I grow out my current platy fry. Today I also found a possible lead on a free 29 gallon. Will have to wait to see if anything comes out of that. If so I would use that for the convicts once I was able to get it set up. Some of the fry I could always think about putting into the community tank and allow my angels to do some hunting. They already do that with the platy fry which are born in the community tank. The store that I will be getting them from are always willing to buy fish from local breeders, and there is another one down the road that will also. Would have to check to see if they would be interested in convicts.

Sounds great. Cons are excellent parents you are going to enjoy raising them. In fact you shouldn't need a grow out tank. Cons will a lot of times watch their fry for a long time and might have several spawns going on in the same tank.

BarbH 08-02-2011 04:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeaninel (Post 761728)
A 29 gallon should be fine for a pair. If you go with a 20 gallon try to get a 20 long. The longer length gives more room for territory than a 20 high. I have my pair in a 20 long and right now it's perfect for them. They still have some growing to do though. The male is about 3" and the female is slightly smaller. Eventually they will move into a bigger tank.


I am hoping to be able to get the 29, it pays to talk about your obsession... I mean hobby at work. Never know what will pop up. The ones that I am going to get have some growing to do also I think, they don't look like they are full size to me yet.

BarbH 08-02-2011 04:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rrcoolj (Post 761747)
Sounds great. Cons are excellent parents you are going to enjoy raising them. In fact you shouldn't need a grow out tank. Cons will a lot of times watch their fry for a long time and might have several spawns going on in the same tank.


Thanks for the info :-D As always it seems when researching on the internet always find differing info and opinions. It is always nice to be able to hear from people who have first hand experience. The second 20 I will have eventually, so if needed it can always be used. If everyone seems to do fine in the one 20 than I always have a back up for either raising other fry from the platys, or even try with some of my angels when they get old enough and if any do pair off. Also eventually I would like to have one of my tanks dedicated to being a hospital tank, which I might do with my 10. Another question how would a mystery snail do with a pair of convicts?

rrcoolj 08-02-2011 06:07 AM

I am not super familiar with mystery snails but if I remember right thy get pretty big. I would think their shells would keep them safe so they should be ok

ladayen 08-02-2011 11:50 PM

I can agree with Rrcoolj's statement that they will breed in a toilet bowl. I recently rescued 19 convicts consisting of 3 generations(at least) in a 20g tank that closely resembled a dirty toilet. Well I've never tested dirty toilet water I dont imagine it would be that far off.

It took 5 tanks 10-20g to get them spread out enough to stop the fighting. I managed to rehome most of them now, still have the big male in a 20g and he seems happy enough. As others have mentioned due to the ease and speed at which convicts breed it can be difficult to find good homes for the fry.

Just a warning on MTS( Multiple tank Syndrome) dont let it get ahead of you. It's far to easy to get overwhelmed and become stressed out over fishkeeping when it should really be a relaxing hobby with little work.

BarbH 08-03-2011 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ladayen (Post 763379)
I can agree with Rrcoolj's statement that they will breed in a toilet bowl. I recently rescued 19 convicts consisting of 3 generations(at least) in a 20g tank that closely resembled a dirty toilet. Well I've never tested dirty toilet water I dont imagine it would be that far off.

It took 5 tanks 10-20g to get them spread out enough to stop the fighting. I managed to rehome most of them now, still have the big male in a 20g and he seems happy enough. As others have mentioned due to the ease and speed at which convicts breed it can be difficult to find good homes for the fry.

Just a warning on MTS( Multiple tank Syndrome) dont let it get ahead of you. It's far to easy to get overwhelmed and become stressed out over fishkeeping when it should really be a relaxing hobby with little work.


I saw your post on the convicts that you had rescued, and the water parameters that you posted was just insane to think that they where living in such conditions. Happy to hear that you have been able to get most of them rehome.

As for MTS I am at my allowed limit for tanks other than the additional 20 I will be getting for grow out. The only other expense that I am planning on investing in is one of the water changers, like the python, to help make things a bit easier on the water changes. Otherwise I am at my limit due to space.


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