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Convict Cichlid:

Scientific name: Amatitlania Nigrofasciata 

Family: Cichlidae

Difficulty: Easy 

Temperament: Aggressive 

Minimum Tank Size: 40 gallon for a single, 55 gallon or more for tank mates 

Average Size: 5"

Water Perameters: 74-82F, 6.2-8PH

Diet: Omnivore

Origin: Central America 


The Convict is a small central American cichlid that can now even be found living wild in parts of Australia. A popular aquarium fish due to its ease of keeping broad range of water tolerance and ease of breeding and their quirky attitudes. this cichlid will grow to and average of 5" in an aquarium but some could also grow larger possibly around the 7" mark. It is known to be an aggressive fish, but can work cohesively with tankmates, but when breeding a pair of convicts can turn psychotic protecting the spawning site and fry. Sexing is simple with a visual check, males often grow a fair bit larger with a silver body and (8-9) black bars and when older grow a smaller nauchel hump. whereas a female will grow and orange flash on their underside and up the side of their body next to pectoral fins.


Minimum Tank Requirements, Setup and Tank Mates:

Due to their general size a single convict could live in a minimum of 40 gallons, a pair can live and breed comfortably in a 50 gallon. if a pair, a smooth flat rock or a plant pot in the aquarium will help with a spawn site. They enjoy a good flow rate in the aquarium a soft sand substrate with plants (floating) and driftwood. Tank mates for the convict are most advised to not be timid species of fish, common tank mates range from Oscars, the salvini cichlid, Plecos, T-bars, Gold Saum, And Jack Dempsey.



The Convict is an undemanding eater, In the wild eating insects, crustations, small fish and algae. For an aquarium, A quality staple omnivore pellet, mixed with veggie based foods or foods based on spirulina and treats of insects, worms and other easily available protein sources. As with all fish that aren't piscivore, it is not advised to feed them feeder fish, the only benefit to that is your own entertainment, it's risky for your fish.