Convicts are onery! They also have lots and lots of babies. They are very interesting to watch. They dig holes into the gravel and make little caves to lay their eggs in. The eggs take about 2 days to hatch. While the the parents are waiting for the eggs to hatch they dig out a new cave. As soon as the little fish swim out of their eggs the parents escort them to the new cave. There in the new cave the parents gaurd their babies agaist all the other fish in the tank and my hands. They bite me when I put my hand in the tank! Convicts are very good parents and spend all of their time protecting their young.
My convicts laid a new batch of eggs six weeks after the first group had hatched. The parents then gaurded both their new eggs and their older fry in the same cave. I have read everywhere that Convicts chase off their babies as soon as they start to lay a new batch of eggs but mine did not.
I took away the eggs because I really do not have room for hundreds of convicts. But two weeks later they laid more eggs so I took them out too but two weeks later they laid yet another batch of eggs! This time I am letting them gaurd their eggs because I have a jewel cichlid in my tank that will probably eat the babies.
I feed my convicts cichlid pellets, live earthworms, frozen bloodworms, broccoli, flake food and freeze dried shrimp. I keep their tank temperature at 80 degrees.
In spite of their varied diet and great water conditions they have a fungus. I think the stress from breeding and gaurding young has made them succumb to this fungus. I tried to treat the female with fungus medicine but it made her gasp for air and it did not do much to kill the fungus. I am going to try treating both of them again after they are done with this current batch of fry.
Jack Dempsy Cichlid