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 Profiles Central America Amatitlania Amatitlania nigrofasciatus
Amatitlania nigrofasciatus
Scientific Name: Amatitlania nigrofasciatus
Pronunciation: n-gr-fs--t-s
Common Name(s): Convict, Zebra Cichlid
Geo. Origin: Nicaragua & Costa Rica
Diet: Omnivore
Gender Differences: Dimorphic
Breeding: Substrate Spawner
Temperament: Aggressive
Conspecific Temperament: Extremely Aggressive
Maximum Size: 6"
Temperature: 75 - 80°F
pH: 7.0 - 8.0
Water Hardness: Hard
Difficulty: 2
Photo Credit: Ismo Korjula
This has got to be one of THE most popular cichlids in the fish-keeping hobby today! An amazing little fish, their popularity has seen them line-bred into an interesting selection of color morphs, with Banded, Albino and even a so-called 'Calico' colored version available for purchase! All of these different color variations will behave the same and are kept in the aquarium to identical standards. To call these cichlids merely 'spunky' would be a classic understatement, as a Convict will bring a whole level of aggression and dominance to any aquarium it is stocked in, far in excess of it's actual size. These pugnacious fish are definitely best regarded as 'Tough Guys', in every sense of the word. Females are easily distinguished from the larger growing, chunkier males by a orangey/red area coloration on the belly that will only become more larger in size and intense in coloration in readiness to spawn. Which, in the Convict cichlid, means just about all the time! The ol' saying that these fish started spawning IN THE BAG on the way home from the Pet Store, is not too far from the truth! Beware of conspecific aggression in this species. A spawning Convict pair is only really assured of long-term, adult sized compatibility with each other, when stocked in four foot long aquariums. To keep more than one pair together of this feisty little fish in an aquarium, a six foot long tank is considered the minimum size. Stocking a spawning pair of Convicts in 'mixed' species community tanks, should probably be considered a 'challenging' undertaking, at best. They are very protective - aggressive - parents. A six foot long tank is recommended as the minimum size for keeping this cichlid as a spawning pair in a tank set up like this. Keep with tank mates that are 'robust' and hardy in nature, but not so large in size they will just simply eat your pair!
 Profiles Central America Amatitlania Amatitlania nigrofasciatus
 Key To Species Profile Terms
 Pronunciation: Refer to our Pronunciation Key for an explanation of the phonetic symbols.
 Habitat: This is the primary location where the cichlid is found and is a generalization. This does not
  mean a fish cannot be found in other habitats.
 Diet: Many cichlids specialize in eating one type of food; notwithstanding, some of these specialized
  feeders are flexible and can be opportunistic feeders.
 Temperament: This describes the overall demeanor of a cichlid toward other tankmates that
  are of a different species. Consider that there is variability in temperament due to various factors,
  including aquarium size, tankmates of similar appearance, stocking levels, and order of introduction.
  There may even be some variability among individual specimens.
 Conspecific Temperament: This describes the overall demeanor of a cichlid toward other tank-
  mates of the same species. Consider that there is variability in temperament due to such factors as
  aquarium size, stocking levels and order of introduction. There may even be some variability among
  individual specimens.
 Maximum Size: This is in regards to total length (including the tail) of typical aquarium specimens.
  Wild specimens may not attain this size, or may in fact grow larger than aquarium raised individuals
  due to various factors. Also consider that this is the typical maximum size and there are exceptional
  individuals that will exceed it.
 Difficulty: This measure is a relative value, comparing a single species against all other cichlids.
  This only accounts for maintanence in the aquarium and not breeding considerations.
  1 = easy and forgiving, 5 = extremely challenging.
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