Asking for trouble if I introduce convicts into my tank?

  • #1
Current Stocking (180 Litre tank)

  • 2 x SAE (one is about 4", the other about 3")
  • 3 x Ellioti Cichlids (one is about 5", the other two are about 3")
  • 2 x Apistogramma Cacatuoides (one is about 4", the other about 3")

I'd like to add a couple of convicts into the tank, mainly because I like the look of them and I would like to see them breed. I called my LFS and they have

Snow White, Polar Blue and normal variants in stock.

I'm hoping everything is big enough that there won't be any issues, or am I simply asking for trouble by introducing them into this tank?

  • #2
No expert on convict cichlids but I can imagine a breeding pair would be pretty aggressive.

Maybe if you selected just one gender it would work out.

  • #3
In a word, yes. Convicts are very aggressive even when not breeding, and when they breed even worse. I really like convicts, but in a 180l tank I would keep a pair alone, or possibly with some tough dither fish that could take a hard time and eat some fry. It’s possible that one, if you introduce it at a small size, MIGHT get on OK with the other cichlids, though even that I rather doubt.

If I am not mistaken the polar blue and maybe the white ones are the deformed parrot variety? I think they might be smaller than normal convicts and maybe less aggressive, I don’t know as I have never kept them but in any case I am sure they would still be aggressive when breeding.

Also I think you have enough cichlids in that tank.
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Sorry for the delay, and thanks for the replies all.

FishLore has been having some serious issues over the last few days and, as a result, I wasn't able to see/add replies.

I decided to make a decision, and did go and purchase two juvenile (~1") polar blues. They are apparently too small/young to sex, so I've no idea what I have.

Now I'm reading the replies, this may not have been the best decision, but I'll keep a very close eye on everything and will move stuff around if needs be!
  • #5
We too were curious and excited to see those cute little convicts with their blush bellies and entertaining mating dance pair off and breed and decided to pick up a three in hopes two of the three would become a breeding pair. They did sure enough literally the day we introduced them into our tank with our juvenile jack Dempsey and tiger Oscar. We had also hoped to break up the two fish had in there by busying up the traffic a little. Within a matter of days we had hundreds of tiny little wigglers and the first time parents seemed to be very attentive to their children and extremely protective as they did not allow the Dempsey or the Oscar anywhere near their cave. In fact the father became so protective that we decided to move the breeding pair and their babies into a solitary tank allowing the Oscar and the Dempsey the freedom to move about their own tank once again. They quickly settled down into their cave in the new tank with their fry and by morning the father had killed the mother chewing her fins nearly completely off so that she was unable to swim. We placed the divider in the tank to keep the father from eating the babies and eventually moved to the Dempsey and the Oscar to their own separate tanks splitting up the fry as well and dividing them into the two. Originally we had discussed breeding a pair and then allowing the Oscar and the Dempsey to feed on the fry however being that the fry had mainly grown up in the tank with the Dempsey and the Oscar they were not interested in eating them and instead allowed them to grow. With each set of convicts that tried to pair up we watched the aggression grow out of control to the point where the parents were not allowing any fish in the tank to even come out of their corner or cave to eat and decided it was best to radar tank of the convicts for good. As it turns out there were a few tiny tiny slow growing convicts that had hidden themselves throughout the tanks that decided to come out of hiding once the other fish had been eliminated and of the two in one tank and three in the other they still managed to develop two pairs, one in each tank and again we were faced with the same issue. Unless you are planning on raising convicts and you're thick skinned enough to watch them tear each other apart then I would not suggest it. If you must and you plan to breed them then I suggest not putting them in with any other fish.
  • #6
I had a albino (pink) convict cichlid when I was in high school decades ago. It was the most aggressive fish I have ever owned. It would attack anything else in the tank. I finally had to set up a tank for that single fish. He lived over 7 years in solitary confinement.

I have owned a several other cichlids, but none have been as aggressive as that convict. Perhaps it was an unusually aggressive specimen, but I have never been tempted to purchase another one.
  • #7
I had a Blue convict that would attack everything in my tank. Even an Oscar. If you really want one, get just one and make him a huge cave to stay in all day. It is asking for trouble though.

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