Breeding Convict Cichlid is perhaps the easiest task and even novice fishkeepers will get it right. As long as you have a male and a female convict, slowly they will form a bond and become a mating pair. Usually getting about 4-5 young fish and raising them to adulthood will ensure that you have at least the opposite gender. Sometimes the pairing up process takes time and until that happens, the convicts can be aggressive towards each other. Identifying a male and female convict cichlids should not be difficult because the male can be easily distinguished based on its pale colorization and less profound black bands while the females have darker and intense appearance. Males are also larger in size and they have pointed dorsal fins with some showing a large lump on their foreheads.
One interesting fact about this fish species is that they will breed without factors to induce spawning as everything will occur naturally without your intervention. Furthermore, the mating pair will also become good parents protecting their young and fend off other intruding cichlids fish with the female staying close to the fry while the male will be guarding the surrounding area. Perhaps the only thing that you need to do is to prepare a proper breeding environment such as coming up with well-arranged clay flowerpots tilted to its side so that the mating pair can hide inside it. Decorative caves work as well and as long as they can find a place to retreat to their hiding spot, that should be fine. I would also recommend putting an aquarium heater to control the temperature during this critical period and it’s best to maintain around 27 to 30 degree Celsius usually slightly higher than the normal temperature in which you raise them. Ensure also that the pH does not fluctuate using digital pH meter to constantly monitor the water quality.
Growing the fry should also be relatively easy because once they have consumed off the yolk sac, you can start feeding them with brine shrimp and other live foods like microworms. If everything is well taken care off with clean water condition without outbreak of aquarium fish disease, the fry should have high mortality rate of about 80 percent and above. Don’t be surprised that most convict cichlids fish owners have already successfully bred several generations and choosing the best among the lot. All in all, they should make a wonderful pet. If you are a cichlid fish fan, then you might want to have a read up on Midas Cichlid as well.