Some Convict appreciated

Discussion in 'Convict Cichlid' started by ccb04, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. ccb04

    ccb04Well Known MemberMember

    I want to get two cons ... still unsure if I want a male/female or two females.

    The questions:

    - If I didn't want to breed ... will two females be OK together? I've heard two males wouldn't work. When a male and female breed, how many fry are usually produced?

    - Can pink and stripped cons breed? At the LFS, it looked like a pink male and stripped female (I'm assuming female given the reddish belly) had paired off (both looked like good specimens). In the same tank was also another stripped male, whom the pink male kept chasing away from the stripped female.

    - What's the average full grown size of males and females?

    - If I decided to go with two females ... could I get one pink and one stripped? Also, would it be OK to if one was larger than the other ... or could that cause aggression issues with the larger one picking on the smaller one?

    - When sexing cons ... the female has the reddish color on the belly area correct? Does the reddish color on the belly also distinguish pink female cons?

    - If I went with two females, would I be better off getting them small so they can grow together?

    - What's the best temperature to keep them at? What type of decor and subtrate works best?
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  2. platy ben

    platy benWell Known MemberMember


    - you would be fine with 2 females together, males are likely to fight

    - yes pink and striped can breed :)

    - I would say males 4-5" and females 3-4"

    - Yes the reddish belly applies for all types of female convict :)

    - I would recommend getting them both from the same tank at the LFS

    - Best temperature I would say 76-80 degrees, decor and substrate, a small type of gravel as they like to move it around, decor, various caves and rocks with plants :)
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  3. harpua2002

    harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    I tried keeping 2 females in a 75 gallon once and one killed the other. It can work, but it's far from a sure bet.

  4. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    what size tank will they be going in ? that makes a huge difference....

    I have one tank with all males (who by the way my male is a good 7inches) and one tank with all either will work with space and hiding spots(caves and such) to call their own....they produce hundreds of fry per spawn...the older they get the bigger spawns t hey have....they will begin breeding every 2-3 months and kill off any prior spawns when doing so..up until that time, they are fabulous parents...all fems have the orange/red belly no matter jellybean cons, pinks, marbles, or stripes..they are tropicals so 76 ti 80is a good temp ...GREAT fish but not ones that play nice at the playground ;)
  5. Tony G.

    Tony G.Fishlore VIPMember

    Agreed with Shawnie. I reccomend minimum 29g for a pair. The reason i say this is because my boy isn't that big (5 inches) and i can tell he struggles around the tank (35g). Also, i reccomend the deco you put on there is sturdy and it gives space for the con to be able to turn behind it and swim behind it. I havent had mine spawn, but i am sure they will eventually. If they havent killed eachother yet, then most likely they wont. I also suggest you add them at the same time. Last time i had cons (i had pinks) the male wouldnt accept the female i got for him, so its a 50/50 chance he will like her, and one he wont.

    Males and males do ok together, but in larger tanks. Mainly because of territory. As shawnie said, her male is a wopping 7 inches! Thats huge, but i believe he is that big because of all the room he has and the quality food he gets.

    Convicts are by far the craziest fish i've ever owned, but i love them :)

    As far as substrate, i have regular pea gravel. They carry pebbles with their mouth when they are building pits. Sand is easier for them to scoop out with their mouths, so they wont get so torn up with the rocks.

    whew i wrote alot haha

    temperature... ive read around they tolerate alot of temos, but i keep mine at 78-80... pretty warm :)

  6. OP

    ccb04Well Known MemberMember

    Thanks for the replies.

    Well, as far as the two females ... if one killed the other in a 75g tank, then that possibility would certainly exist in a 20g long or 30 gallon (haven't decided which to put them in ... leaning towards the 20g long given I'll only be able to put two fish in it).

    I may go with the pink male and stripped female from the same tank who appear to have paired off. There is also a stripped male in the same tank ... but the pink male constantly chases the stripped male if he gets too close to the female. Would that be one indicator of the of the pink and stripped pairing off?

    Regarding a pair, I just don't know what to do with the fry. I would just get the two females ... but if the possibility exists for fatal aggression, I don't know if I want to chance that. Any opinions on giving it a chance?

    If I purchase a pair ... would you guys go with the pink male and stripped female ... or the stripped male and stripped female?

    Thanks again. :)
  7. Tony G.

    Tony G.Fishlore VIPMember

    If the striped and pink paired off i would go with them.
    You could pull out the fry or catch them and use them as feeders. Many members use the fry as live food for other fish they own. For example i feed my convicts guppy fry... once i have convict fry i will use them as food as well LOL

    Like I said above, there's a 50/50 chance they will get along... you have to risk it. If they dont you could just take them both back and try with other ones :;dk
  8. OP

    ccb04Well Known MemberMember

    Tony and Shawnie.....

    The tanks I have available are a 20g long (same footprint as a 29g right?) ... and a 30g.

    However, given that I'll only be putting two fish in the tank ... I would like to put them in the 20g long and use the 30g for some type of community.

    Shawnie, should I even try two females in a 20g long?
  9. OP

    ccb04Well Known MemberMember

    I'm leaning towards the pink male and stripped female that look to have paired off. Unfortunately though, the only other fish I have at the moment is a betta, lol. So, the fry as food wouldn't work.
  10. Tony G.

    Tony G.Fishlore VIPMember

    i use guppy fry for the betta also ;D

    Maybe its time to get another tank with some other fish LOL

    i agree with you in the 30. My 35 looks so empty LOL but who cares :giggle:

    I'm not sure on the 2 females in the 20L... i know shawnie keeps her's ina 55g... i think LOL
  11. OP

    ccb04Well Known MemberMember

    Oh Shawnie, where did ya' go? lol ... I'm getting ready to go get them.

    What does the con queen think about 2 ladies in a 20g long ... or should I just go with the pair?

    Tony, would a small smooth pebble gravel be OK for them as a subtrate?
  12. Tony G.

    Tony G.Fishlore VIPMember

    Absolutely! They are ok with pretty much all substrates LOL

    shawnie was probably taken by calgon... :;laughing
  13. OP

    ccb04Well Known MemberMember


    That's good to know on the subtrate.
  14. Tony G.

    Tony G.Fishlore VIPMember


    So when are you planning on getting the cons? I reccomend when you go you stare at them for a LOOOOONG time so you see which ones get along with eachother :)
  15. harpua2002

    harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    I would not try 2 cons of the same sex in a 20L, but that's JMO. My 75 gallon has several pieces of driftwood along with about 75 lbs. of rock work, so there were plenty of places for them to hide. I never wanted a pair because I knew I wouldn't have anything to do with all the fry. Most pet stores won't even take them. It was a shame my females didn't get along.
  16. OP

    ccb04Well Known MemberMember

    I'll be leaving to get them today (likely within the hour).

    I spent a good hour observing the pink male and stripped female earlier today ... but came home empty handed because I had some questions to pose before I bought them. :)

    It was harder to gauge if the stripped male in the same tank and the stripped female would get along. The stripped male would try to approach the stripped female ... but the pink male would chase him away.

    Tony, if going with a male/female pair ... would you go with the pink male/stripped female or get the stripped male/female?
  17. OP

    ccb04Well Known MemberMember

    Thanks, harpua. I wouldn't even consider 2 males ... and after your experience with the two females in the 75g, I have great reservations about two females as well.

    As far as a pair ... that's my dilema, what to do with all of the fry?
  18. harpua2002

    harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    Are you specifically interested in cons? There are a lot of other cichlids that would do well in a 20 gallon as a pair. Kribs, rams (blue or Bolivian), apistogramma, keyholes, nannacara anomala, and laetacara curviceps immediately come to mind. Any of the fish I mentioned play a lot nicer than the cons, aren't nearly as prolific, and could be kept in a community setup. Don't get me wrong, cons are cool, but the amount of fry was always a big consideration for me.
  19. Tony G.

    Tony G.Fishlore VIPMember

    There are also firemouths... a pair could also work in a 20L...

    Personally i would go with the pair... there's always the chance that the female will kill the striped male. So i would go with what you have already.

    I also wondered what i would do with the fry as well... in the first place i would remove the eggs (risking my hands LOL) and just get rid of them... :;dk
  20. OP

    ccb04Well Known MemberMember

    Cons are among my favs. As far as Rams ... Bolivians might work, but the water is harder with a higher PH here (eliminating blue rams & German golds), and seemingly excluding some others eg: cockatoo, etc.

    What about firemouths? Not even sure how to sex them. Or would I be looking at similar agression issues between two females?

    Would 3 female cons work in the 20g long to spread out potential aggression? Or would that simply be too much?
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009

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