The convict cichlid is a fish species from the family Cichlidae, native to Central America, also known as the zebra cichlid. Convict cichlids, Amatitlania nigrofasciata, are small, highly aggressive, territorial freshwater tropical fish.
Convicts will dig, so a sandy substrate is recommended with plenty of hiding places such as caves, bog wood, and aquatic plants. Convict cichlids come from lakes and streams with a moderate amount of current. Their natural habitat has plenty of wood and rocks for them to use as a place to hide in between feeding. Convict cichlids are omnivores.
What fish can live with Convict Cichlids?
Finding companions can be a little tricky. The most popular inhabitants to house with convict cihlids include Pictus Catfish, Green Terrors, Firemouth and Jewel cichlids, Acara, large barbs and plecos. Co-inhabitants should be of similar size, or larger. Not suitable for housing with shrimp. They can live with other fish, but the more convicts you have, the greater the chance of territorial aggression. It is not recommended that you house a male/female pair in a community aquarium.
Approx. size: 2-3"
Maximum size: 6-8"
Origin: Central America - Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras
Lighting requirement: Low
Ideal number kept together: to minimise aggression, 1 or a pair male/female
Our conditions: pH 7.5
Ideal pH: 6.5–8.0
Hardness: 10-15 dH
Water flow: moderate
Temperature: 25–28 °C
Ease of care
Moderate. Requires fine substrate and plenty of hiding places.
Omnivore - Not picky at all. The main food we recommend would be granules, flake and cichlid pellets. Mixing in some live or frozen brine shrimp, bloodworm, or other fresh alternatives can help enhance their health.
Aggressive and territorial, care must be taken when choosing tank mates. A larger aquarium with plenty of room to swim and establish territory will help manage aggression.
Fairly easy. Egg layers. Parents will become highly protective of their eggs once laid.
They can live to 8-10 years in perfect conditions.
For more information on general fishkeeping and our shipping procedures click here.