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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello i wanted to ask how i would stop my convicts from constantly breeding -i am being in andated with babies. i have had to buy another tank to accomadate them-i have 2 breeding pairs which i have had to seperate because of the aggression . the one pair is in a 2 foot tank with their approx 50 babies. they laid their eggs in a barrell , which i have taken out to stop them laying more. but i think they are just making holes in the gravel to lay them there., because the female is starting to get aggresive towards me again when i clean them out , which usually means she is laying more. i also have a 4foot tank with the other mating pair with their hundreds of fry (which they raised in a ship) -with them is approx 10 other convict cichlids -which are their babies from the prev. 2 litters they had. The mating pair have their own section of the tank which they wont let the others get near. i dont want to completly remove the ship because then they would have no where to hide. i would appreciate any comments . thanks :fish:
 

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About the only thing you can do to stop convicts from breeding is to seperate the males from the females.
 

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Convicts will breed constantly, if you don't want them to breed so much. You can leave the fry with the parents and they will protect them instead of breeding. Then once they are ready to breed, they'll eat the fry and breed again.

You might have one or two survive each spawn but not many will.
 

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jason_nj said:
Then once they are ready to breed, they'll eat the fry and breed again.
In a lot of situations, you really can't count on that. I supose it depends on the particular convicts and how good the fry are at avoiding predation but as Lisa123 points out, she has 10 survivors from 2 previous batches. With my convicts, I have at least a couple survivors from every single batch.....in tanks full of other cichlids and predators. Even with a belly crawaler pike in the tank, I still had convict fry surviving and growing up. Actually, previous batches, up to a certain size, are amongst the most effective predators, as less will survive from succeeding batches.

At a larger size, I use convicts as feeders for my dovii and RT.......again I had some convicts survive for many months. They would hide behind decor that the 2 larger cichlids could not fit into, and the convicts would gill them back from behind the protective decor annoying the dovii and RT to no end! :lol: Finally I got smart and removed any decor that wasn't 100% functional....now it's a bare tank with 1 large cave for the dovii, and I have no problem with surviving convict feeders!

Seperating male from female is one solution. The other is to have a predator (a real piscivore!) in a fairly bare tank, and feed the convicts.....or find someone who does, and give away the extra convicts. Culling is also an option. Into a bag, then into the freezer. I do not see being frozen as really any worse way to go then being swallowed whole. It's how fish die when you go ice fishing----they freeze when you take them out of the water.

You have to be practical. Not all fish can live. A fish's mode of reproduction is based on the reality that the overwhelming vast majority of offspring will not survive......very, very few grow up and reproduce and continue the species. In aquariums, if you severely over- populate you will eventually affect the quality of life, to the detriment of your fish.

I thinks cons and mbuna have great ability to avoid predation in aquariums, because of how these fish have been kept in multigenerational groups, for many years. It's been bred into them. It's been selected for, as succeeding generations are often fry that have managed to avoid predation with in an aquarium. An example of a fish that doesn't have this ability, IME: salvinis. I have bred them 75-100 times, and have removed fry much less then 20 times.So that's a good 60-80 batches that have been left in various community tanks......and there are zero survivors!
 

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It took me years to find a pair that would actually eat their fry. Most of the time the older siblings would eat most of the younger but once they started breeding it was a mess. What I ended up doing, which won't make me popular, was blending them up and freezing them into home made "treats" for the parents and other fish. Some feeders would inevitably survived in any tank I put them in and it always ended up a hassle, this alleviated that problem.

Edit: I recommend getting a cheap blender and some ice cube trays or a shallow pan exclusivley for this purpose from a thrift store if you go this route. Especially if your wife is a 25 year vegetarian like mine. :p
 

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I had planned on using convicts as feeders for my Oscar and my Flowerhorn.

Had to abandon that idea as there were too many hiding places in the Oscar and Flowerhorn tanks, and too hard to retrieve the survivors, who started breeding in those tanks where I didnt want them.

I had them in a 55gal tank and they soon overpopulated that tank. I tried to give them away, somebody took one of the breeding pairs but another soon filled their place. It got to be a never ending cycle of euthanizing to keep the population in check, which I soon got tired of doing. So finally euthanized the entire school. Not fun.

No more convicts for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks for all your replys - seperating males and females? wont all the males then fight?? -i dont think i could blend the fry for food (wouldn t have the heart) -the ones i have now -the pet shop will have off me they said. wat do the eggs look like ?? perhaps if i give the tank a good clean every week underneath ornaments etc . they wouldnt be able to lay any more eggs . would that be an option wat do u think?? :fish:
 

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lisa123 said:
thanks for all your replys - seperating males and females? wont all the males then fight?? -i dont think i could blend the fry for food (wouldn t have the heart) -the ones i have now -the pet shop will have off me they said. wat do the eggs look like ?? perhaps if i give the tank a good clean every week underneath ornaments etc . they wouldnt be able to lay any more eggs . would that be an option wat do u think?? :fish:
Remove the eggs as a solution? Possibly. The eggs are whitish, somewhat transparent dots, no more then a millimeter or two in diameter, and adhere to a surface. You can tell when convicts have eggs as the female will hover over them almost all of the time, fanning the eggs to give them more oxegen. Very mature females often will not eat for 3-4 days; never leaving their eggs for even a split second... or even a longer period of time, until the larvae (wrigglers) become free swimming fry (another 3-7 days). Young growing females generally will eat during this period, but will often dart up to get food and run right back to their eggs. By removing eggs, you definately run the risk of a domestic dispute, that could possibly result in the death of the female(hiding spots that the male cannot fit into, but the female can, could possibly save the life of the female, though that is definately not fullproof). If the cons keep laying on a surface that never works out (because your removing it), quite likely they will try laying them on the glass of the tank, sooner rather then later.

All male convict 4 ft. tank? Conceivably, yes it could work, if the group is large enough, and there are lot's of hiding places. You certainly could expect some fighting at times......though excessive chasing is far more stressfull to a fish, and should be of much greater concern. A group of females have a better chance of working, though they can be very competitive amongst each other as well. Female convict pairings, in the abscence of a male, are actually quite common......IME such pairings never proved to be much of a problem, if at all. Of course with out a male present, the eggs never hatch.
 

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When my convict matures so I can tell if it is male or female, is it wise I get the opposite sex for them to spawn? I really don't like the idea of forcing them to mate, I'd much rather get a huge tank and a group of cons and have them pair off. But can I pull that off?
 

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I know many moons ago The Fish Guy had 55g convict tank with multiple pairs as an ongoing thread/experiment with at least two pairs and offspring. You might be able to find it or he may chime in. I don't recall how it turned out.
 

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hmmnn... It's been a while since I've had a 55 set up.... No more convict experiments here... If I remember correctly one male ended up taking over the whole tank.

To the OP:

f you're taking fry to your local pet store then give them all your males along with the fry. Problem solved.

I used them as feeders for a long time. You can't use them if they get over 1/2". They're too smart by then and will hide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
hi i decided to seperate male and females - they seem to all be getting on ok and hopefully will get no more eggs . i have given away alot of the fry now and have a few left which i will keep c how they get on . thanks for all your advise .
 
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