Name: Archocentrus nigrofasciatus
Origin: Central America
I have a black convict that is about 13 cm long. I have it in a 40 liter tank. This fish loves to eat, I will feed him vegtables to help improve his color and heath, I also feed him bugs, pellet food, brine shrimp, meat from my dinner, and feeder fish. I relly enjoy this type of fish.
These fish are the axe wielding, homicidal maniacs of the tropical fish world...and I love them. If they were dogs you would have to muzzle them and license them as a dangerous breed. I've kept and bred Convicts for years and never get bored with them. What people forget is that this species is a true survivor and a magnificently beautiful fish in full breeding colours.
My convicts are in a 110 L tank ALONE! And there is a very good reason for that! The homicidal axe wielding desription is very apt - the male is about 10 cm long and the female only 8 cm long. I added the male first and then the female. Within 5 minutes of adding the female they were courting and within three days I had eggs and in a further three days I had fry. And that is when the issues started. In the same tank WAS a 23 cm and a 15 cm oscar - the biggest weighing half a kilo! The little convict male ripped into the smaller oscar and bailed up the bigger one and injured the smaller oscar to such an extent that I've had to set up a new tank for the oscars! Definitely the street brawlers of the cichlid world. Pound for pound they are one of the toughest fish going (btw - the little oscar is doing fine).
If you don't want to see fish breed, don't get convicts. I had a pair in a 75 liter tank and they had a new fry every two weeks! If your convicts do begin breeding, remove all non convict fish from the tank to avoid any bodily harm or death to them! Convicts have a nasty disposition and aren't afraid to kick some butt, despite size or shape of the adversary!
I think you're all going a bit overboard here. You are right though - Convicts are awesome fish, they're definitely my favourite. I have a breeding trio (15 cm and 20 cm males, and a 10 cm female) in a 2 meter tank with a colony of other Cichlids (15 others) and they all live in perfect peace and harmony. Of course, they're very territorial if someone else comes near their home, but in a large enough tank, there's no problem at all.
I have a pair of pink convicts. I have generally swept the eggs up but this time I let nature take its course and now I have fry. I have since removed them and have them in a 40 liter tank. I had to remove the female from the main tank because the male was beating her up. Upon removal of the fry, the female was reintroduced and now they are courting again. By the way, the male killed my red tiger oscar. I was not happy about that one but soon learned my lesson. So to concur with the other folks on this one. These fish are not, by any means peaceful. I get nipped the whole time I clean the tank, and if there are eggs, watch out. hahahaha. Cool fish though.