Central American Cichlids • Is my Convict and Male or Female???

Discussion regarding only Central American Cichlid species. (Guapotes, Jack Dempseys, Red Devils, Firemouths, Convicts, Texas Cichlids, etc.)

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Postby Hubbynz » Tue May 13, 2008 4:40 am

ok so if I dont get a female convict do you recommend any other type of fish to go in the tank that the male wont kill????.......a rock?
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Postby dwarfpike » Tue May 13, 2008 11:57 am

Not sure if a rock is tough enough to hang with a male convict. :P
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Postby TheFishGuy » Tue May 13, 2008 8:25 pm

:lol: maybe a BIG rock... :lol:
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Postby cage623 » Wed May 14, 2008 12:11 am

Well if you do want to try a rock you could get some fake plants too. That will allow the aggression to be spread around and give the rock a better chance. ...Did I take it too far? :P
125 gallon

1 Texas Cichlid
1 Firemouth Cichlid
1 Jack Dempsey
8 Cutteri Juveniles
12 Giant Danios
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Postby Hubbynz » Thu May 15, 2008 12:26 am

you know what...I'm going to give a female convict ago....the male I brought was in a tank with 5 other males who were all chilling right next to each other ...no aggression at all while a tank of red forest jewels right next to them were killing each other.....
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Postby TheFishGuy » Thu May 15, 2008 6:37 am

Things will change once a female shows up....
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Postby Big Vine » Thu May 15, 2008 1:18 pm

Hey Hubbynz, welcome to the forum! :)
Very nice male con you got there.
His barring doesn't seem to be all that prominent in the pics you posted, but he definitely has a nice overall shape to him---lots of potential there. And of course, those bars are likely to show up like crazy with a subordinate tankmate in with him.

You've apparently added a female in with him, is that correct?
If you end up trying this---and I do not recommend it (although I can certainly understand your desire to do so!)---there are some things you can do to try to ensure as smooth a pairing as possible.

First off, I'd give him several options to choose from for a potential mate.
Something in the range of 2-3 females; no more, no less. And make sure the females are all very close to the same size as one another, but also make sure that they are just a 'bit' smaller than he is. Provide several hideouts for each of the fish, and just keep a close eye on things. Any fish you find 'hiding' while jammed up in the corner or behind a filter intake/heater at the water's surface is almost surely destined to die unless you remove it. Any signs like this, along with rapid gill-movement and/or torn fins/missing scales are red flags which should tell you that some intervention is required!

Signs of pairing should be fairly evident as you begin to notice one of the females receiving 'preferrential treatment' from the male. The other female(s) will be outcast and chased off---eventually beaten to a pulp if spawning ensues (so be sure to keep an eye out for those 'red flags' I mentioned earlier). The spawning female will develop somewhat of a bulge in her lower abdominal/vent region as she becomes more and more gravid. Eventually you'll see her breeding tube protruding from this same area, and you are likely to notice the pair clearing off a spawning site. This would be a good time at which to remove any other females.

Just let us know how things go, and we should be able to provide more advice as the situation warrants. Your cons won't have a lot of space in that size of tank over the long-haul, but for now it may do just fine. The limited space will mean it will be much more difficult---if not impossible---for a post-spawn female to retreat from an overly-zealous male whilst getting ready for another spawn. That, in my opinion, ought to be the main concern here with this size of tank once you've gotten a pair to spawn. If it really hits the fan, you may find it necessary to separate the fish by means of a divider (or by temporarily rehoming the aggressor).

Sorry for the long-winded reply, but hopefully it'll help give you a sense of what ought to be taking place with your plans of breeding convicts. It's not something I'd typically recommend be done in a 20 gal. tank, but it can work for a while---just as long as you stick to as many of our recommendations as possible. I just don't see it working out long-term with fully-mature cons, but I guess we'll find out eventually...but hopefully you'll have a bigger setup for them by then too! :wink:

BV
75 gal. - 11" tiger oscar
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Postby Hubbynz » Sat May 17, 2008 12:41 am

ok I did it...went and purchased a female con

unfortunately the fish shop didn't have any female close to the size of my male con only less than half his size.....I was reluctant to purchase one due to this mis match but she was so pretty I couldn't resist. She has very strong black stripes on a very light grey background with yellow rainbowee streaks on her dorsal fin and orange on her stomach as well as a dark grey head. Complete looker I'll put pics up soon.

Anyway as soon as I put her in the tank and for the rest of the first day he followed her around the tank with his gills puffed out...he wasn't attacking her or anything just just following her and she would follow him.

Second day he would chase her around the tank trying to attack her at any opportunity...however she was much to quick and due to her smaller size has alot of places to hide where he can't get to her.

Day three....the female is digging a hole as the male is in another spot....the male no longer attacks just hovers around her...she is still warry of him though.

Does this mean that they could be parring up....or getting ready to breed.....I have a backup tank prepared if he gets to aggressive for her and I have to move her.

As I am actually studying at the moment I can closely observe their behaviour right from my desk.
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Postby TheFishGuy » Sat May 17, 2008 10:31 am

Yes, they're nesting. They'll use one or both of the pits to move the wrigglers to when they come. They'll more than likely pick and out of the way spot to spawn. You'll have more fry than you'll know what to do with very shortly.... :thumb:
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