Convict Cichlids

Scott Lehmann

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Hello I am currently in the process of cycling a 75 gallon aquarium wanted to stock my tank with an easy to maintain cichlid. From my research I belive convict cichlids would be the best for me, however I do not want to get into breeding. One of my major questions is would be can you have a tank with just males or just females. If anyone has any helpful advice I would love to hear it or if someone would recommend a difrent species
 

NavyChief20

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You can do an all female tank with very little issue for the most part. An all male tank you need tomake sure you have decent numbers and monitor them. Cichlids as you will find out have a natural mean streak but this gives them personality. If you dont have your heart set on convicts then there are some other cichlids that are pretty easy to keep and they are alot of fun. Look at Jack Dempseys and Green Terrors. Convicts, JD's and GT's all have similar temperament but convicts are smaller.
 
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Scott Lehmann

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I did start to read in to those however I did want to stick with something more community baised not just having a single fish. Also I was trying to find a species that you don't need feeder fish. Enless of course convicts need them but I couldn't find anything about them eating feeder fish. If I were to stock my tank with convicts what would be a good number to go with like 3 males or 4 females and still leaving plenty if room for the fish?
 

david1978

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I had a breeding pair in a 55 and no fish was safe with them. Convicts, an oscar and tiger barbs were the only fish i could never get to work in a community tank.
 
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Scott Lehmann

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Sorry didnt mean community like that. I ment in the sense of having multiple fish of the same species not having different species with them
 

NavyChief20

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i keep Green Terrors and Jacks together only problem time is spawning. My son has convicts and NOTHING is safe in there when they breed. a pack of 3 or 4 males or females would work. THey get about 4" make sure you have hiding spots and plant coverage. They will be timid when young.
 
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Scott Lehmann

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I plan on starting with young ones. My only concern is at what point can you sex them I read that females tend to have an orange belly and are smaller. Are there any other distgueshing charectoristics other then that as to keep my tank all the same sex
 

NavyChief20

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So here is my sons convicts. You can see the orange bands on the female and how the fry hang out around her.
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Scott Lehmann

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Thank you for the image I was curious to do they like a good current or not fast moving water also I was curious too why do a lot of cichlid tanks don' have an air pump
 

NavyChief20

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the return line from the sump is pumping at 850 GPH in that tank so it creates a bit of turbulent flow. I have toyed with current in my other cichlid tanks. Some like it and play in it others get annoyed by it. Most cichlid tanks you see dont have airstones because we use heavy duty filtration that aeriates the water quite well. Also most of my cichlid tanks have plants in them so that helps too.
 
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Scott Lehmann

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That is what I though I probably need to dial it down but with just the filtration system and a few plants that will put enough oxegen in the water? I have a FX4 its rated for a 250 gallon and I have a 75g tank. It definitely flows but I also have a fan and 2 100 gallon airpumps I'll probably take the fan and the air stones out. I was also wondering about lighting do cichlids tend to like a more dimly lit tank

Tank so far
15259125354982085121543.jpg
 

NavyChief20

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Most are not huge fans of alot of light but its a trade off with plants. Though alot of cichlids will dig up or shred plants so you have to get creative with them. You need alot of filtration. Im not super familiar withthe FX4 as i dont really go with canisters. @AquaticJ is my go to on canister advice.
 
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Scott Lehmann

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Yea didn' really think the plants would last long but I'll see how it goes obviously I need some more decore and caves. Thank you for all the helpful advice
 

NavyChief20

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Yup. Do you like being able to see through the back of the tank? You can spray it with plastidip or roll on some latex or acrylic black paint and it really gives it a diffrent look(outside back not inside back).
 

NavyChief20

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to a certain degree i think it helps that. I always did it for looks before i started doing 3D backgrounds
 
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Scott Lehmann

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I was thinking about African cichlids I was concerned about having the pH at such high levels and was not really sure what ones you can mix together there being so many differnt kind if African cichlid species
 

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As long as your PH is stable, don’t worry about that. You can mix most types of Haplochromis, peacocks, as long as they’re close in size and temperament. They’re often mixed in together at the stores anyway.
 
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