Convict Cichlid

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Species group:

Other common names: Zebra Cichlid

Scientific name: Archocentrus nigrofasciatus

The basics:
The Convict Cichlid is native to streams and lakes throughout Central America, where it feeds on small fish, crustaceans and plants and algae. The Convict Cichlid is a popular because is it very hardy and easy to keep and they are also easy to breed.

Finding tank-mates for Convicts can be challenging, they are usually kept in species tanks. Feeding Convicts is easy because they will eat most foods offered including flakes, pellets, and frozen meaty foods.

The most prominent details visible on the Convict Cichlid are the 8-9 vertical black bars on its blue-grey body. The bars give the fish their name because they look like old prison uniforms. Females have an orange patch near their gill cover that males lack and males have longer and more pointed dorsal fins. There is also an albino form with a white body and light cream colored bars.

4 inches

Convict Cichlids are aggressive and will attack other fish especially when they are breeding. They should only be housed with other aggressive fish of the same size like Jewel Cichlids, and Slavinis.

Convicts need a minimum of a 20 gallon tank for a breeding pair and a 55 gallon if housing with other fish. A tank with tough plants and rocks for hiding places is ideal to reduce aggression. They do best and are more likely to breed if water quality is kept clean with a good filter and regular water changes.

75 - 80 °F

7 - 8


striped pattern, energetic fish, hardiest fish, amazing parents, fish love algae


community tank, aggressive cichlid, predatory, bad attitude, buyer beware, convict related horror


breeding habits, new world cichlids, exceptional parents

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