The Black Convict Cichlid is a beautifully marked cichlid. Sometimes called Zebra Cichlid or Convict Cichlid, this fish has a pattern of black stripes on a grayish background and a greenish tint on the fins. The female has orange scales on her lower body and dorsal fins and the male is larger, less colorful, has a steeper forehead and longer fins. As it ages, the male will acquire a fatty lump on the forehead. A stunning addition to any aquarium, they are not recommended for the community tank due to their aggressive tendencies.
The Black Convict Cichlid requires a 30 gallon minimum tank, with a gravel bottom, rocks and plenty of hiding places among the rocks or some inverted pots. Floating plants are recommended as a form of cover. Because of their aggressive nature, Black Convict Cichlids should only be housed with other more aggressive fish of the same size or larger.
The Black Convict Cichlid is a cave-breeder and will accept a range of water conditions. To promote breeding, increase the water temperature between 75-79°F. Some females will spawn between a cave and an open area. The Black Convict Cichlid readily pairs and forms a patriarch/matriarch family and both the male and female will care for the young. The fry will respond to signals from both the male and the female.
The Black Convict Cichlid is omnivorous and will eat most prepared and frozen foods, including freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and ocean plankton, as well as flake food and Cichlid pellets.