This kind of fish is also known as Zebra Cichlids to aquarium enthusiasts. Convict Cichlids have eight to nine black vertical bars on their blue-grey bodies hence the name "convict." Breeding Convict Cichlids is not as hard as taking care of other species of tropical fish. This is because the adult Convict Cichlids are quite attentive parents and as such will require very minimal human supervision or intervention.
- Set up the breeding tank. Setting up your tank system in preparation for breeding Convict Cichlids is the first step. Get a tank that can hold up to 25 gallons of water. Fill up the tank with at least 20 gallons of water. Put in aquatic plants for hiding places of the fish. Get a good filter and water heater.
- Choose healthy Convict Cichlids. Buy only from reputable pet stores that uphold strict sanitation standards. This way, you are assured that the animals they sell are at their healthiest state possible. When choosing your Convict Cichlids, get those that are alert, have vibrant dark eyes, intact scales and fins that don't have any tears. Get at least six pieces of Convict Cichlids that are an inch to an inch-and-a-half in length.
- Set the right breeding environment. Once the Convict Cichlids are inside the tank, make sure that the water temperature does not exceed 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Replace 20% of the water each day to assure that the water toxicity levels are kept in check.
- Feed the would-be parents. Feeding your Convict Cichlids with protein-rich food is very essential in the breeding stages. Flake food, brine shrimp or dried blood worms. Live black worms are also very good fish food. Feed the adults with three worms each day.
- Laying eggs. Parent convicts will most likely nest in the pit or cave they dug out in the gravel and drive away other fish to protect their eggs.
- Feed the Convict fry. Baby convicts have to be fed with powdered flake food. You can prepare this by grinding the flake food thoroughly in a plastic bag.
Convict Cichlids are lovely aquarium pets. They also require very minimal supervision during the breeding stage that is why they are a popular choice among aquarium hobbyists. If the aquarium is set to replicate the Convict's natural environment then there should be no problem breeding and caring for this type of aquarium pet.