Our interest was piqued when we were introduced to the Pink / Golden color morph of the Convict Cichlid. They are a highly prolific, medium / small sized, wolverine-like tempered Central American cichlid. Mature females of any color morph can be distinguished from males by a very light orange hue on the belly. Our project was very successful. These fish can easily produce multiplied hundreds of fry, and outdo every other fish in their parental skills.
PVAS BAP SPAWNING REPORT
18 June 2020
(Pink / Golden) Convict Cichlids
Method of Reproduction: Egg Layer
Number and Gender Distribution of Parents: Single Pair
Origin of Parents: Tank Raised (Purchased from LFS)
Approximate number of fry: ca. 200-250
Date of Birth: Fre-swimming (05/17/2020)
Approx. Number of Fry at 30 Days: ca. 200
pH — 7.0-7.2
KH/GH — 2 drops / 35.88 ppm
Temperature: 78-degrees Fahrenheit
Average Nitrate: 10-40 ppm (weekly water changes)
Aquarium Size: in inches, 30" long x 12” front-to-back x 12" tall— 20 gal. long
Water Source: town / city water
Water Changes: 30-50% 1x per week
Filtration System: One large + one small sponge filters
DECOR & ENVIRONMENT
Live Plants: Java moss, marimo moss balls, duckweed, anacharis, pothos
Caves or Similar Hiding Places: One coconut hut, a chunk of red lava rock, some small lake stones
Substrate: black diamond blasting sand, and a sprinkling of crushed coral
Lighting Type and Timing: 5,000-K shop light LED filtered through cabinet liner grid for diffusion
Food Fed to Parents and How Often: 2x / day. Parents fed on a variety throughout each week, including frozen krill, frozen bloodworms, Xtreme Krill flakes, Fluval Bug Bites, Omega One Veggie Pellets, Live Baby brine shrimp, Northfin Community formula, and more
Food Fed to Fry and How Often: 2x / day. Fry fed on live and frozen baby brine shrimp and crushed flake food, and any fish food that has been first ground into powder with a mortar and pestle. By 30-day mark, they eat anything that they can fit in their mouths. Fry also ate a good bit of the moss, and shredded the anacharis.
Let little brother tag along on this project. The tank was low on the rack, and he really gets excited about seeing baby fish!
Single pair, bought at LFS. Female is front / right. Note slightly shorter dorsal and anal fin compared to the male.
They took to the coconut hut we had prepared straight away, eventually clearing the sand away to make a sort of little "welcome-mat" for the fry (seen here free-swimming)
For a bottom tank that often gets less fish-room love, this was definitely a pick-me-up! Enjoy watching these guys every day. Hundreds of fry . . . great parents!
COMMENTS & ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
This was our first experience with breeding convict cichlids. By reputation, they are “extremely easy to breed.” They definitely lived up to this! We got interested in a pair of Pink / Golden / White Convict Cichlids at our LFS. A helpful employee helped us to select a pair that had already paired off in the aquarium.
We brought them home, set them up oni a 20 gal long with a large coconut cave, black diamon blasting sand, and a smattering of plant life sort of recklessly strewn around the tank. We noticed slmost immediately once we had them under good lighting that the male had ich. We treated aggressively for a week, and it cleared up immediately.
The pair ate readily, and heavily. To prepare them for spawning, we fed them a mixture of foods, but focussed on high quality frozen foods like krill, bloodworms, and brine shrimp. The female began to zero in on the coconut hut, and before long, the pair began courting around the tank, followed by excavation of the black sand.
Of the handful of egg-laying cichlids we have spawned so far, these were definately the best parents. In fact, this is probably the most notable thing about convicts: they are a very encouraging fish to watch raise their young!
Everything has proceeded without much of a hitch. The parents were on the verge of starting off a new brood, but for one reason or another, they abandonded the project until the next window of opportunity. With the fins sporting a very slight bluish tint, and the belly a slight blush of pink, this particular color morph is quite pleasing.