How to Care for Convict Cichlids: Tips for Guaranteed Healthy Life

Are you looking for a fish that is easy to care for and won’t require much time or effort? If so, you should consider adding convict cichlids to your list of fish options. These cichlids are easy to care for, but they also have many different personalities that make them fun to watch.

Convict cichlids are tropical fish that require much attention and care to thrive. Provided you have the proper setup, these lively fish can be pretty rewarding pets. In addition, they are great with very little space due to their diminutive size. Please keep reading for tips on how to care for your convict cichlids the right way and make them an excellent addition to people dancing joys that are hardy fish, require much less can sometimes be difficult keeping convicts thriving in larger tanks as they often outgrow smaller ones (especially within captivity). Still, there are some things you can do if possible).

Convict Cichlid Care: Guide and Instructions

Large Aquarium

A large tank is best for accommodating a convict cichlid; they can get up to five inches in length and 1.3 ounces in weight. Provide plenty of hiding spots and plant material and an area where they can rest on their own during the day. In addition, a large tank will help maintain a stable water temperature and prevent the fish from feeling stressed.

Habitat and Tank Requirements

Convict cichlids are tropical fish and require a water temperature between 70 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees Celsius). They should be kept with other similarly-active pets but should not be mixed with slow-moving or passive fishes. Provide them with a good quality tank that has plenty of plants and gravel to hide among and an area where they can sunbathe or rest. Feed them small amounts of food three or four times a day, and be sure to change their water frequently.

Regular Cleaning

One of the critical things you need to do to care for a convict cichlid is to keep their environment clean. Regular cleaning will remove food and debris and any parasites or diseases that may be present. Use an appropriate water temperature for your fish, and make sure the tank is filled with fresh water every day. In addition, you must maintain water quality as they are often prone to external parasites that can affect their health. Therefore, it is essential to keep ‘clean’ aquaria with minimal amounts of residue floating on the water’s surface. In addition, regular partial water changes are required to maintain a healthy pH balance.

Healthy Diet

Convict cichlids are active fish that will require small amounts of food two or three times a day. You can use a good quality commercial feed, or you can give small pieces of fresh vegetables and fruit. Avoid giving them excessive amounts of food, which can lead to obesity and health problems. In addition, it is vital to remove all uneaten food from the aquarium, as debris and waste will reside in the water, which can damage your fish. This also makes it easier for you to keep an eye on things.

Right Aquarium Conditions

In the wild, convict cichlids live in waters with a soft substrate where they can bury themselves and escape danger. Keeping these fish happy in their home aquarium provides plenty of hiding spots and plant material. In addition, they create subtle bottom currents to feel secure while swimming around their tank.

Gentle Water Flow

As convict cichlids are often powerful swimmers, they require a gentle water flow. Avoid strong currents and turbulent waters that can cause them to become stressed. A steady stream of water is ideal, with no sudden changes in direction. In addition, observe the water temperature. These fish often tend to become sluggish when their body temperature drops too low, so consider keeping them at a warmer level as this gives them more energy.

Good Filtration

To keep your tank clean, consider using a good quality filter. A power filter will help remove waste and debris from the water while providing beneficial bacteria essential for a healthy aquarium. In addition, weekly partial water changes are recommended to maintain the correct pH balance and avoid problems with salt build-up or Ich (a parasite that can be harmful to fish). In addition, a sound quality filter system should be able to remove both organic and inorganic materials from the water and provide plenty of oxygen.

Common Possible Diseases

One of the risks with keeping these fish is that they are susceptible to various diseases. Monitor them regularly and treat any problems immediately if they occur. Some common disorders include dropsy, dental issues, and fin rot.


These fish are compatible with most other tropical community fish, though they may get territorial around their territory and the fry. They do well in groups of six or more and should not be kept with any non-native species. If you’re keeping these fish together, it’s essential to choose a suitable tank size and make sure the water temperature stays within 70-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Provide plenty of hiding spaces and some rocks or plants that can offer them security and privacy.

Convict Cichlid Facts & Overview

Typical Behavior

Convict cichlids are active fishes by nature, requiring plenty of space and many plants to live in. When they’re not swimming around or eating, they will usually be found sunbathing or resting on the bottom of their tank.


Convict cichlids are small, hardy fish that typically range in size from 4-to 5 inches. They have buccal (oral) and pelvic fins separated by a short spine. The body is dark green or black with splashes of yellow or orange, and they usually have a white patch on their belly.