francais anglais
Convict cichlid

Convict cichlid
(Amatitlania siquia)

This pretty cichlid is robust and resistant. Moreover, its strong character is expressed only during the breeding season. Outside of this period, it is relatively calm. It will be perfectly suitable for a beginner aquarist.

Names

Scientific name
Amatitlania siquia

Common name
Convict cichlid
Honduran Red Point Cichlid

Origin

what are its countries of origin?

Origin: America Central (Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras)
Biotope: American

Dimorphism

what are the physical differences between males and females?

Males are larger and their fins are tapered. They also have a slight nuchal bump.

Group

Group

Cichlidae

Volume

what is the minimum volume for this species?

150 L / 33 imp gal / 40 US gal

Parameters

what are the water parameters for the maintenance of this fish?

T°: 23 to 28°C or 73 to 82°F
pH: 7 to 8
Hardness: 9 to 20°dGH

Difficulty

Difficulty

Easy

Size

what is the maximum size of this fish?

7 to 10 cm (2.8 to 4")

Longevity

what is the average Longevity of this fish?

10 years

Living zone

in which area of the aquarium does this fish live?

Middle and depth

Individuals

sociability of the species

2 (couple)

Alternative species

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Food

How to feed the Convict cichlid?

Food

How to feed the Convict cichlid?

Very easy to feed, the only point of vigilance is to vary the menus to avoid deficiencies (alternate meat and vegetable foods in the form of fresh, frozen or dry food).

Behavior

What kind of behavior does the Convict cichlid have?

Behavior

What kind of behavior does the Convict cichlid have?

Quite quiet, this fish is nonetheless territorial (incidentally, it rarely leaves its territory). Thus, it does not appreciate the fish with too territorial temperament with which it will not share its zone of life. In the same way, its congeners can be the object of its aggressiveness. However, note that compared to many cichlids, its aggression is moderate (except during the breeding season when it defends its offspring with passion).

It lives mostly near the bottom of the aquarium.

Cohabitation

Who can live with the Convict cichlid?

Cohabitation

Who can live with the Convict cichlid?

Cohabitation with non-territorial species is generally quite good. For the territorial species, it is especially the volume and the surface on the ground which will determine the good agreement of the species: if each one finds its place and is satisfied with its territory, the things will be well. Do not hesitate to offer a lot of space for your fish for this type of configuration. In addition, it will be useful during the breeding season when the avocado cichlid becomes very territorial: the other fish will have room to move away from the fiercely defended territory.

Attention to the association with other Amatilanias because there are risks of hybridization between these species.

Breeding

How to breed the Convict cichlid?

Breeding

How to breed the Convict cichlid?

Breeding of this species is very easy! No particular protocol needs to be followed: breeding is spontaneous if your fish are in good health.

The laying is deposited in a cavity, on a flat stone, where the couple can also dig a hole under a rock (beware of the risk of landslide, see "Its aquarium"). The brood has between 100 and 150 eggs that will incubate about 48 to 72 hours (depending on temperature). The couple takes care of their little ones: the female ventilates and watches the eggs. The male goes to defend fiercely the place of laying and can be very combative during this period. Without predators, the fry survival rate is pretty good.

Fry food: finely chopped strawberries, artemia nauplies...

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Convict cichlid?

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Convict cichlid?

In their natural environment, these are fish that live in a rather congested setting, and always under cover. The water is fast and well oxygenated.

In aquariums, propose a mainly rocky decoration. The arrangement of the stones must form caves and hiding places for these cichlids. Ideally, a layout imitating a cave would be perfect! Pay attention to the stability of your decoration to avoid the risks of landslide with these big diggers (install your rocks BEFORE putting the sand, and stick the elements between them if necessary). Fill in with some big roots. Finally, when you compose the rocky environment of your aquarium, think to constitute territories, distinct and satisfactory for all the species which you plan to make coexist: you will limit the risks of disputes for the best place. To separate the territories, use the roots, plants or any other element visually separating the different areas of life.

To reproduce its natural habitat, the presence of many plants is essential. The best is either to ballast the plants that you’ll install in the ground, or to fix them to the decor. The Anubias will be useful. In all cases, choose very robust plants (Vallisneria, Cryptocoryne ...)! Floating plants are also welcome. The soil will be composed of sand (or any other non-cutting soil) and some pebbles.

Like many American cichlids, Amatitlanias are not very sensitive to the parameters of their water. Most driving water will be sufficient for good maintenance in captivity. Make sure that the water is well oxygenated with a sufficiently powerful filtration.

Good To know

Find all additional information!

Good To know

Find all additional information!

This species has been described only relatively recently (2007).

Scientists discovered for the first time in 2019 signs of attachment within a couple of Amatitlanias: "Such emotional attachment to the partner is one of the first criteria defining romantic love, which is generally considered our species. Yet this study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 20190760, suggests that romantic love may be a feeling found in other species as well. It also seems that they are making efforts within the couple to adapt to each other, changing their initial behavior to adapt to their partner!

Easy to maintain, this species can be offered to novice aquarists.

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