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

Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:23 pm

Yesterday I got a mated pair of adult convict cichlids in my 37 gallon tank from one of my fish stores close by, and I was wondering if there's ANY chance that anyone has any idea or experience with keeping tank mates with Convicts? I was thinking something a long the same size or close to the same size as them, such as Giant Danios, Rainbowfish, I also hear that Tiger Barbs are okay tank mates with them. Im just trying to have a little bit more variety with these guys, even though I'm aware that it may not work. Anyone have any ideas???

Re: Possible tankmates with pair of Convicts

Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:27 am

Terrordactylll wrote:Yesterday I got a mated pair of adult convict cichlids in my 37 gallon tank from one of my fish stores close by, and I was wondering if there's ANY chance that anyone has any idea or experience with keeping tank mates with Convicts? I was thinking something a long the same size or close to the same size as them, such as Giant Danios, Rainbowfish, I also hear that Tiger Barbs are okay tank mates with them. Im just trying to have a little bit more variety with these guys, even though I'm aware that it may not work. Anyone have any ideas???

Of those listed, I think giant danios would have significantly better odds. In a 6 ft. tank, IME, it is likely to work, but in only 37 gal. it's going to be hit and miss, as breeding cons can be rather aggressive and need some space. Any schooling dither needs to be able to swim back and forth, yet be able to stay out of the way. IMO, ginat danios are worth a shot even in a 37 gal.; the others listed have much lower odds of thriving with cons, even in much bigger tanks.
But as far as size, convicts get considerably larger. Males can get 6" and over 100 grams. Females from 3 1/2" to close to 5", 20 - 45 grams. Ginat danios get to around 4" at their large size, and are lightweights at around 10-12 grams. Some types of rainbows could get a little larger, but tiger barbs are definitely smaller yet.

Re: Possible tankmates with pair of Convicts

Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:34 am

Terrordactylll wrote: Anyone have any ideas???

Another possibility would be the 3 spot gouramis (gold, blue, opaline). They are generally pretty smart in staying out of the way of breeding cichlids, and while they will count as part of the pecking order, they are generally seen as less of a threat then another cichlid. They would benefit from some plants, either real or plastic that come to the surface, or floating plants. They can have very high conspecific aggression so your choice is either a single or a larger group (3 or more) with no more then one male.

Re: Possible tankmates with pair of Convicts

Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:47 pm

Thank you so much. I’ll look into either Three spot Gourami’s or Giant Danios, and if they don’t work I’ll probably bring them back to the store, or give them to my teacher’s/friends. My Convict cichlids are still getting settled into their new tank(which if you guys would like I can post a few pictures of them and the tank), so I’ll wait awhile until their eating normally and show normal behavior. Yesterday I fed them for the first time and they destroyed their food, and I did this morning too and as I was leaving they went to the surface to eat. I’m new to the aquarium keeping hobby so I’m still learning more and more each day. Thank you all so much, and I’ll post updates. (:

Re: Possible tankmates with pair of Convicts

Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:54 pm

BC in SK wrote:
Terrordactylll wrote: Anyone have any ideas???

Another possibility would be the 3 spot gouramis (gold, blue, opaline). They are generally pretty smart in staying out of the way of breeding cichlids, and while they will count as part of the pecking order, they are generally seen as less of a threat then another cichlid. They would benefit from some plants, either real or plastic that come to the surface, or floating plants. They can have very high conspecific aggression so your choice is either a single or a larger group (3 or more) with no more then one male.


Question, between giant danios and three spot gouramis, which one would you suggest over the other? I feel like Giant danios would do good for a short amount of time before getting forced into a corner of the tank, while the three spot gouramis would stand a better chance against the cichlids simply because of their size, and like you said they’re smart enough to stay out of their way. Let me know.

Re: Possible tankmates with pair of Convicts

Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:39 am

I would try both. A group of 4-6 giant danios and either a single male or female 3 spot gourami or a group of 3 female gouramis or 3 females plus a male gourami.
I'm not really an advocate of just a pair of CA cichlids with out incorporating a divider. In about 4 decades of keeping the convict cichlid I don't recall ever losing a female to male aggression. In community tanks, with lots going on, male and female co-exist well enough. But I never kept a pair by their lonesome that did not have to be divided. In such circumstances, with nothing else to focus on but themselves, it usually just a short period of time before the male ends up picking on the female. The very same pair that gets along fabulously in the community tank, ends up needing a divider in matter of a few months, when placed in a tank with out tank mates. A lot easier to house convict male with female then some of the big CA, but it is still the same principle. If you set up a tank with just one male and one female CA, then you should plan to incorporate a divider. Either a full divider that can be pulled out from time to time or a divider with a hole of a smaller size that allows only the female to escape to the other side.
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