In the article I’m going to tell you about Convict Cichlid. Convict cichlids (AKA zebra cichlids) are probably one of the best choices for “beginner cichlid enthusiasts”. They’re fairly easy to keep healthy and just as easy to breed.
One reason convicts are a good “beginner cichlid” is because of how well they adapt to different tanks. They’re very hardy and aren’t too picky when it comes to water quality.
As you probably could tell by the picture, convicts get their name because of their black-striped coloring.
As you can see from the profile above, they’re considered to be aggressive fish. Be careful when choosing their tankmates. Smaller, or timid, fish won’t do so well with these guys. Instead, pair them up with fish bigger than them or faster than them.
Like I mentioned earlier, convict cichlids are probably one of the easiest cichlids to breed. If breeding is what you’re after, I suggest just keeping a pair of convicts together in a tank all by themselves. Without the distraction of other fish your convicts will feel less stress and will breed at a much faster pace.
But don’t worry, even if you have other fish in the same tank as your pair of “soon-to-be-breeding” convicts, they’ll pick out a nest and protect it with their life. Remember… these fish are aggressive.
So, what do they eat? Well, just about anything you want to give them. They’re not picky. Another reason they’re such a great choice for first-time cichlid owners. They do well with pellets, flakes and plants. In fact, be careful when planting live plants. They WILL eat them. There are few plants that will survive the wrath of convicts though… Amazonian Sword plants and Java Fern plants.
That’s the basics of the convict cichlid. I’d love to hear about your convicts… leave a comment below and let me know any tips, tricks or secrets you’ve discovered about raising them.