If you are thinking of keeping yellow convict cichlids in your tank, you need to know how to look after them so you can make sure that they will thrive inside your aquarium. This involves finding out how much space they need, what they can be paired with, and how many you can keep.
Yellow convict cichlids are pretty little fish with striped bodies, and that makes them popular with many hobbyists – but they do need quite specific care. You need to give them a soft substrate, at least a 30 gallon tank, and some plants to hide in.
If you set your tank up correctly and make sure that the conditions are correct, your yellow convict cichlids should flourish. Poor conditions will cause your cichlids to die, so be careful about this.
Convict Cichlids Tank Conditions
A single yellow convict cichlid needs at least 20 gallons, even if it is housed on its own. 30 gallons is the minimum recommended tank size if you are keeping more than 1 fish. Ideally, they should have more space, so look at 40 gallon tanks if possible.
The water will need to be kept between 73 and 84 degrees F, which may mean that you need a heater, depending on where you live and how warm your home is.
The pH value of the tank should be between 6.5 and 7.0, and yellow convict cichlids prefer a gentle flow of water, not a fast one. They also like to have rocky crevices and plants to hide in, and you should create multiple spots that they can dart into for safety and security.
Hornwort is one good option, but you can also use floating plants if you prefer.
You should fill the bottom of the tank with fine river sand or another soft substrate. Convict cichlids spend at least some of their time digging around in the substrate, and any sharp or large substrates may scratch them. Avoid gravel for this reason.
You need to make sure your tank has been well cycled before you add the cichlids to it, as yellow convict cichlids are sensitive to high levels of ammonia.
How Big Will Convict Cichlids Get?
On the whole, male convict cichlids grow to around 6 inches long, and females to 4.5 inches. This is considered small for cichlids.
They are by no means the largest fish you might add to your aquarium, but if you are buying the convict cichlids as babies, make sure you have thought about their adult size when assessing how much room you have for them.
They need enough space to swim comfortably without constantly running into fish, and if you have added babies to a small tank, you will need to upgrade them pretty quickly as they grow.
What Type Of Fish Can Live With Convict Cichlids?
Because they are quite aggressive fish, it can be difficult to find suitable tank mates for convicts – but not impossible. You should choose fish that are similar in size and aggression levels. Some people find that rainbow fish, giant danios, and Jack Dempsey fish are good options.
You can also choose the Green Terror, the Pictus catfish, or some other cichlids, like the Firemouth or the Jewel.
As long as the fish are big and aggressive enough to hold their own against the convict cichlids, they should cope in the same tank. However, you do need to make sure that the tank is big enough for all of the fish to establish their own territories, especially if you are choosing aggressive species.
Do not put yellow convict cichlids into a tank with small and non-aggressive fish, such as small tetras or guppies. The convicts will attack and eat the smaller fish. You should also avoid keeping convict cichlids with significantly bigger or more aggressive fish, as these will cause high stress levels and may eat the convicts.
How Many Convict Cichlids Should Be Together?
Most people keep just 1 pair of yellow convict cichlids, although you should be aware that this species breeds readily and will reproduce quickly. If you are going to keep more than 2 convict cichlids in one tank, it needs to be a large space with lots of decorations and hiding spots to prevent the fish from stressing each other out.
You should also bear in mind that these fish are highly territorial, especially when they are breeding. That means you need to make sure they have plenty of space so that they aren’t attacking and injuring each other.
If your tank is cramped, do not keep more than 2 convict cichlids in it. However, it has been noted that lone convicts sometimes seem stressed and unhappy, and that these fish generally do better when they have a companion. Overall, therefore, 2 is often the optimum number.
Are Convict Cichlids Good Pets?
Yellow convict cichlids are generally considered a great option for people who have some experience in the fish-keeping hobby. They are hardy fish and tend to be easy to care for. You do need to make sure your setup is correct, but convict cichlids will put up with a lot of different conditions.
That said, you do need to be aware that this species is quite aggressive, so they may be hard to deal with if you want to keep them with other fish. Some people view them as an intermediate, rather than a beginner fish, so make sure you do plenty of research before purchasing any – especially if you plan to put them in a community tank.
It’s best not to make convict cichlids your first fish, but they are ideal for those who have got a little experience and want to try something slightly more complicated.
Yellow convict cichlids make interesting and fun additions to your tank, provided you have sufficient space and you plan to keep them alone or with fish that have a similar size and temperament. Make sure you provide a sandy substrate, warm water, and plenty of hiding spots to minimize stress and aggression.