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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ihave been wanting to retrofit my community tank for a while now with some cichlids and I saw some juvenile convicts at my lfs. Is this a good idea? I would be aiming at having a breeding pair in there.

If this is a bad idea it won't be my first lol. Any other cichlid types that I could keep and breed in a twenty long gallon tank are welcome to be suggested. Only problem is my ph is 8, so rams are pushing it (ph wise, don't want to have them uncomfortable all the time) and my lfs can't get shell dwellers in, I've asked.

BTW this would be a species only tank of course.
 

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Idk, you could get by with it I guess but I think you'd be better off trying to do rams or apistos if you can find any that have been born in water in your area (that way they are already used to the pH of 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have posted on our major aquarium club form some, but I'm kinda out of luck with finding stuff lately. Yesterday there was 2 different types of convict cichlid in the lfs which is definitely a irregular occurrence, that's why I'm considering it. If I decide to go with it, any advice for me? Should I start off with 4-6 to help make sure I get a pair then take the others back?
 

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Just a FYI convicts are not community fish. 1 pair for a short period of time less then a year will be ok in that size tank. However you need to make sure there is hiding place's as there will be domestic violence between the pair if you get a pair every-time it's breeding time which is ALL the time. The male is going to want to have babies every waken minute of the day, she will not.

It's one of those fish that is hard to get rid of, so have a real plan in place to get rid of the babie's when of size which can be as early as 2 months. Years ago i started with a pair, must of had 10k babies, and grew out close to 1k before i decided to not deal with convicts anymore.

If you want a quick, and easy way to figure out a male, and female look for the tell tale coloration of the belly. Males rarely ever have a coloration of the belly, females will. Look for a tinting of color consisting of orange, blue, purple, green on the sides, that will be the female. Convicts can be fun if you havn't been down that road before, but honestly it gets old after awhile. I always felt like a marriage counselor, and i'm not into killing fish so finding homes was always a pita.
 

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+1 ^ ive been down the convict road before. it can be fun at first. then you start to look at them as the devil with fins. most LFS wont take convicts because they are so readily available. you might be better off looking into some electric yellows or another type of small African cichlid, especially with an 8 ph. with the elec yellows you can get a half dozen or so and most likely end up with a breeding colony. and they don't mind being crowded because that's what theyre natural habitat is like anyways. just have to have the filtration to handle an over stocked tank.
 

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+2
just say no, especially in a 20g. That tank is great for either German or Bolivian rams, that you can find reasonably at PetSmart or check WTS threads by Matt13.

The dwarf rams are generations and generations away from beeing in pH 6. My out of tap is 8.4.

v3
 

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Have you successfully bred the rams in your 8.4 water?

I also know convicts were not community fish, that's why it was stated as species only tank idea.
After hearing you guys complain about them though it sounds worse than guppies.
Maybe you could elaborate on the electric yellows?

thanks for the advice, all! I will probably do a journal when I finally decide on a tank. :)

also the tank in that video is gorgeous!! very inspirational.

I live in an area loaded with quartz crystal. Its laying around our house everywhere. I've thought about using it in the past to make a fantasy scape but lacked any real ambition for it.

Please do post pics if you decide to use lots of quartz. I'd be interested to see how it turns out!
The specimen shown above looks great!
alas that particular one is about $400!

you should talk to me if you find any particularly cool clusters :)

I live in an area loaded with quartz crystal. Its laying around our house everywhere. I've thought about using it in the past to make a fantasy scape but lacked any real ambition for it.

Please do post pics if you decide to use lots of quartz. I'd be interested to see how it turns out!
The specimen shown above looks great!
alas that particular one is about $400!

you should talk to me if you find any particularly cool clusters :)
 

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Carpe Diem
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Up to free swimming stage, after which the fry got eaten by neighbors. The tank water pH tends to drop in planted tanks anyways.

v3
 

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20 gallon long is pretty small for ciclids, they are mean and very territorial, and are going to be fighting over real estate. Personally I wouldn't go anything smaller than a 55 gallon with ciclids but that's me. If you want to try it, look for dwarf ciclids or bumble bee ciclids.
 

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elec yellows are really quite beautiful. fairly mellow for an African cichlid. pretty easy to breed and are always easy to get rid of at the LFS. keeps just like any other African at a ph of 8+. just google them. there should be a wealth of info on them. theres also a blue variety but they need to be kept in a species tank or they will interbreed with the yellows and muddy the colors.

and a small school of six or so will be fine in a 20 long if you give them plenty of rock work to hide in when somebody gets pissy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
They sound cool! Are they also referred to as yellow lab cichlid?
Price is a factor for me, what will they normally cost?
What size tank did you keep them in (how many in mine also?)?
 

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They sound cool! Are they also referred to as yellow lab cichlid?
Price is a factor for me, what will they normally cost?
What size tank did you keep them in (how many in mine also?)?
between 8 and 10 bucks a piece at ichco.

Heres a peacock and a bumble bee.
 

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They sound cool! Are they also referred to as yellow lab cichlid?
Price is a factor for me, what will they normally cost?
What size tank did you keep them in (how many in mine also?)?
yes yellow lab is one of the many names they are found under. I had a 55 with somewhere around 50 cichlids in it at one time. they average somewhere around 8-10 bucks each if I remember correctly (could be a little more or less depending on availability in your area). I would say 4-6 fish in a tank that size. they grow to about four inches or so, males usually a touch bigger. need to have a group of females for every male or he will harass them to death for a little boom boom.
 

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Lol that blue thing is creepy...
That's my lobster, if he had it his way, he'd be the only one in the tank. haha

Is there a reliable way to tell the gender since I would want more females?
the only reliable way is venting ( picking them up and checking the under side of the belly) males have two small holes, females have a small and big hole. Good luck with that. Males are always a little bigger then females. I'd go with the smallest ones they have and hope their females.
 

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Is there a reliable way to tell the gender since I would want more females?
the males will have black on their gill plates, dorsal, pectoral and anal fins. the females will usually have just a small black stripe along their dorsal like the pic greaser84 posted. that's a female from the looks of it. theyre a little harder to sex as juveniles because they all look the same. one good tell for the juvies is fin shape. the males dorsal and anal fin will be a little longer and come to point (if theyre not chewed up) where the females will be a little shorter with rounded tips. as long as you get several of them all at once your pretty much guaranteed to end up with a breeding group. if possible get from a LFS that buys from local breeders. you will be much happier with them then if you went to the box stores. will be much healthier too.
 

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You'll notice mine has a black stripe but both males and females can get the stripe. I'm not 100% sure whether mines male or female.
I would be willing to put money on it being female. males will have very vibrant black markings, and sometimes a small splash of blue on the gill plates when they mature. I had one that had an almost solid black face with blue gill plates. very beautiful fish when they mature.
 

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the males will have black on their gill plates, dorsal, pectoral and anal fins. the females will usually have just a small black stripe along their dorsal like the pic greaser84 posted. that's a female from the looks of it. theyre a little harder to sex as juveniles because they all look the same. one good tell for the juvies is fin shape. the males dorsal and anal fin will be a little longer and come to point (if theyre not chewed up) where the females will be a little shorter with rounded tips. as long as you get several of them all at once your pretty much guaranteed to end up with a breeding group. if possible get from a LFS that buys from local breeders. you will be much happier with them then if you went to the box stores. will be much healthier too.
I was told that the males and females can both have those stripes. I've never tried to breed them though, so I never really cared.

I would be willing to put money on it being female. males will have very vibrant black markings, and sometimes a small splash of blue on the gill plates when they mature. I had one that had an almost solid black face with blue gill plates. very beautiful fish when they mature.
Interesting, learn something new everyday
 
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