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TOPIC: Convict dilemma

Convict dilemma 7 months 3 weeks ago #71719

  • oscarmeyer11
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So, I have two convicts, a male and a female in my 40 gallon breeder. I’m wondering if that tank is overkill for just one pair of convicts. Should I get more fish to go in the 40 with them? If so, what fish? Or, should I get a 29 gallon and move the convicts to that tank? Just seems like a 40 is a lot for just two of these guys. Any suggestions are welcome!
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Convict dilemma 7 months 3 weeks ago #71720

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Generally speaking a 40b is probably more than what most people provide for a pair of convicts. My personal opinion is that a 40b could be a great life time tank for a pair of convicts.

1 - A male convict can grow as large as 5 inches. I've seen them. They are uncommon because most people keep cons in small tanks, and view them as really versatile dither fish. But if kept in conditions that are favorable to the convict they can flourish and are a stunning sight at a full healthy 5 inches.

2 - Something that a lot of people forget is how aggressive convicts can be. A peaceful breeding pair may not need quite that much space, but if they decide to get rowdy, the extra territory and hiding spots may be crucial in keeping one or the other alive.

3 - Just because it's not what everyone else does, doesn't mean its wrong. I pass no judgment either way since I've been on both sides of this coin, however if you go with a smaller long term tank just because that's what everyone else does, I would say you should re think the process.

A 29g is still more than suitable for a pair for several years. If you keep them in the 40b you can probably add other very fast dither fish, but adding other cichlids will be very difficult once the pair spawns. They become other worldly aggressive when defending their fry - and believe me, it will happen. If you really desire more fish, then I would recommend the 29 go to the convicts, and leave the 40b as a clean slate.

If you want to shoot for that rare beastly jaw dropping male convict... keep them where they are. :)
"My Country is the World, and my Religion is to do good." -Thomas Paine
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Convict dilemma 7 months 3 weeks ago #71721

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Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! After everything you said, I’m thinking that I am going to keep them where they are and really let them grow to their full potential! If I did add a couple other fish, what would be a good option that would be fast enough to coexist? I was thinking possibly 1 red tail shark??
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Convict dilemma 7 months 3 weeks ago #71722

  • Northstar5
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I can concur with everything rush states. I can also add that a male Con can reach 7ins. I had one that size. I wouldn't put the pair in a smaller tank. Bigger is always better for cichlids. I would also not add any other fish. A breeding pair of Cons can and will take out damn near anything that swims. Even a fish 3x their size, like an adult Oscar. In a 6ft community with 4-5x current volume, with space the fish can claim as their own, other fish may be ok. In 40g, the Cons own all of that, other fish will not be ok
1600gals of South and Central American cichlids. Some with just a "wee" bit of attitude!
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Convict dilemma 7 months 3 weeks ago #71723

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Thank you Northstar5. From what you and Rush have said, I think I am going to just give the 40b to these two wonderful convicts as their forever home. I would very much love to see these fish reach their full potential! Then I don’t have to worry about transferring fry or them attacking other fish etc.
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Convict dilemma 7 months 3 weeks ago #71724

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Like North said it will be tough adding other fish to the tank. If you are ok gambling, I would say Giant danios would be your best bet. They hit around 2.5-3 inches long and are super fast. They also occupy the upper portion of the water column, so the convicts may just ignore them most of the time. Another option that might be worth a shot is a tough catfish like a Striped or spotted Raphael. Provide a cave (like an actual cave, not just a terracotta pot leaned on a rock - www.google.com/search?q=clay+pleco+caves...imgrc=XjKxETPQOorneM:) that is suitable to the catfish so he can have a home. PCV pipes work good for this. IME convicts never bothered my Raphael, but then again he did hide most of the day.

A RT shark is fast and may be ok but its a gamble.

And full transparency once the pair spawns and have free swimming fry - nothing is guaranteed.
"My Country is the World, and my Religion is to do good." -Thomas Paine
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Convict dilemma 7 months 3 weeks ago #71725

  • toom
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A 40G is a good size tank for Cons and like said bigger is better but side stock is possible.

Still would avoid bottom depending fish like Plecos or Loches. Nigrofasciata can be very mean and they fight for any cave or rift with catfish and plecos especially while breeding or guarding.

Perfect side stock would be Platys, Swordtails or the more fancy live bearers like Eiseni. They depend more on the surface layer and leave the cichlids alone. Also if you catch from time to time a Baby they are easy to replace.

Also you will have more fish on the bottom in regular intervals. Convicts like to breed and have a very high rate of success.
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