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What to do with unanticipated convict spawning?

Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center: archive: What to do with unanticipated convict spawning?




Sunday, July 29, 2001 - 05:03 am
I have an 85 gallon tank in which I keep two Convict cichlids, two Jewel cichlids, a Jack Dempsey, a Haplochromis (an adopted fish that I'm very close to identifying), and five Giant Danios. Its normal to find one of my plastic plants floating every few days as these fish like to shuffle gravel but tonight, when I went to replace the plant near a rock formation the Convicts have staked out, I was attacked! I finished placing the plant and then took a look at their cave from under the tank......eggs everywhere. Any suggestions on what to do when they hatch? I'd like to try and raise the fry, pass them to friends and/or the local shop but I have some pretty aggressive, carnivorous fish in the tank. I have a second, 40 gallon tank, but I keep five Boesman's Rainbows and a Geophagus (also adopted and as yet unidentified) in it because all the fish in the 85 gallon tank beat up on the Geophagus. Any advice on what to do when the Convict's eggs hatch would be greatly appreciated.

Also, maybe someone might be able to help me ID the Geophagus. Its (I'm going to call it "it" because how can I say he or she when I don't even know the genus or species) a year old and about five inches long. It is a silver gray with blue/silver/green irridescent flecks on its operculum, sides, dorsal, caudal, and anal fins. It has a large black spot midway down the lateral line and vertical black bands running down from the eyes. The pectoral fins are absent of color but the pelvic fins have brilliant blue stripes similar to a male Jack Dempsey. Its general body form is similar to a Firemouth (highly sloped forehead). Its tempermant is peaceful as it doesn't harass the Rainbows. Its a beautiful fish but all the pictures of common Geophagus don't match....hybrid? Again, I greatly appreciate any input.




Sunday, July 29, 2001 - 06:07 pm
I think I read that convict fry are pretty easy to raise. I will try and check my mags unless Kick pops in and knows. If they are big enough you can probably feed them finely crushed flake. It's possible your dempsey may eat some of them if given an opportunity. I think convicts make pretty good parents, so they may protect them somewhat. If you move the fry to the tank with your rainbows without the parents to protect they stand a better chance of being eaten. Fish fry are a favorite of almost all fish that can fit them into their mouths even peaceful ones.




Sunday, July 29, 2001 - 06:38 pm
Matt Aquarium fish mag for September has a great convict article. Your fish will guard those fry for about seven weeks. They will mob and try to exterminate any other fish that even gets near them. If the fry do stray of course they will be eaten by other fish.The article did say they are very prolific and will keep you better look for something to do with subsequent fry. The main problem you may have is feeding the fry in the community tank. The other fish may get to the food first. If they are too small to eat the finely crushed flake you may have to go with hatching brine shrimp.






Sunday, July 29, 2001 - 07:08 pm
Matt following is a link from someone breeding convicts. I think your tank may turn into a war zone.




Sunday, July 29, 2001 - 07:29 pm
I agree with Joyce, and thanks for saving me some typing. She is right when she says that your tank is going to turn into a war zone unless you find something to do with either the fry and parents or the other fish in your tank. Whether you plan to raise the fry or not, by leaving them together, you are going to see much fighting going on.....the parents trying to protect the fry and/or the others fighting to get to the new food source. I don't have any great answers for you on who exactly to move because I am sure you won't have adequate housing no matter which way you go unless you are ready to invest in an additional tank so the convict parents and fry can be left by themselves. Sorry I don't sound too optomistic, but that would be the best arrangement for rearing the fry.




Monday, July 30, 2001 - 03:42 pm
I have several Geo's and the only one that comes close to your description is the GEophagus Brasilensis, because of teh stripes and the black spot that you mentioned. My local Geo expert that turned me on to these fish told me that tehy change colors often and throughout their lives, so I am not sure since mine are a greenish color as opposed to your silver grey (mine are only 6 months old, though.) They are also known as "pearl cichlids", which would lead me to believe that your color description makes sense.
However, still a total guess.




Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 10:51 pm
Thanks all for the input. As soon as I get my computer back I'll check the sites etc.........its been one of those weeks,the day after I posted my hardrive crashed. Actually, the eggs hatched and the fry(larva) seem to have gotten lost in the gravel. The parents have been less aggressive in defending the area so I'm thinking they gave up, I dont know. Since they are obviously going to probably continue to attempt a family, they are most likely destined for their own tank. Again, thanks.


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