Convict cichlid tank mates- Best and Compatible

Here in this article, I will recommend best suitable and compatible Convict cichlid tank mates.  Choosing a tank mate is never an easy task and most people tend to make mistakes while pairing them.

convict cichlid tank mates

There are various factors you should take into consideration before pairing them with other fishes. Factors like the pH value, temperature, Hardness or softness level of water, the lighting of fish tank, Filter pump speed, and the type of tank setup are some of the factors that play a major role.

However, I have considered all these factors and recommending the best tank mates for Convict cichlid.

The convict cichlid is available in various parts of the world making it a good choice. You shouldn’t find any problems when it comes to its availability as they are mostly available in all the pet stores.

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If you are a beginner then I highly recommend this fish as your first fish. The reason behind this is convict cichlids are quite easy to care for and requires very maintenance making them the best choice.

For a beginner, Fish keeping can be hard and complicated as you are very new and have the least experience in fish keeping.

But It’s not that hard if you have that interest to know and more things related to it. There is a saying “Practice makes the man perfect” So, once you get started you shouldn’t find it difficult.

I have covered all the necessary points that you should be worrying about Convict cichlid tank mates. My recommendation is with considering all the varioius points amd other

Convict cichlid has vertical black stripes on their body making them great-looking fish with very little care and maintenance required. Also, they aren’t much aggressive as compared to other fishes and can be handled with ease.

As convict cichlid is an omnivorous fish, finding a tank mate that shows similar nature should be great easy. They like to swim around caves and rocks you can try building this type of fish tank.

Pro tip: Place a driftwood in your aquarium to lower pH safely and natuarly.

They are quite aggressive and territorial during their breeding phase. With proper care and maintenance, they can live up to 8+ years and can even grow up to 6 inches in length.

Some people call Convict cichlid as Zebra cichlid due to its looks similar to Zebra.

They are considered to be the most popular fish in their Cichlidae family. Convict cichlids also have vibrant colors making them a good choice. When you compare them with other fishes they are quite smaller in size thus you shone have to get a medium-size aquarium depending on the number of fishes.

Usually, Males grow somewhere around 6 inches and females grow around 4.5 inches. I recommend at least 40 gallons of tank size for convict cichlids as this provides plenty of space.

They might be aggressive in some cases; Hence, I recommend you to pair them with other Convicts to ensure a peaceful environment. If incase a fish tries to come into its territory Convict cichlid usually frights them and scares them off their territory.

You will also find a Black Convict cichlid that is named after its color and in some parts of the world, people call them Zebra cichlids. They have around 8 to 9 stripes on their body.

As said above they like to swim around caves and rocks consider setting up the tank with plants and rocks, also a moderate flow of water current is what they prefer. I recommend you keep the water clean and clear.

Convict cichlid requires a temperature of around 79 to 84° F Hence, a fish that is comfortable with a similar temperature is what you should be looking for as this is one of the aspects you should consider while choosing the tank mate.

If in case the temperature range of both the fishes isn’t similar then this might not be the fish you should be looking for. As they are living in the same aquarium they should be comfortable with a similar temperature.

Convict cichlids are comfortable with the pH level of around 6.6 to 7.8 a tank mate with similar should be good.

In the next section, you will find the best tank mates for Convict cichlids.

Convict cichlid tank mates

These are the best and compatilble convict cichlid tank mates that are very similar to each other with the living habitat and environment. You can choose any of these fishes to pair them with convict cichlids.

Oscar fish

Oscar fish would be a great tank mate for Convict cichlid.

This is a very popular fish that belongs to the Cichlidae family. You will find Oscars in almost all of the pet stores. They are very colorful and attractive and this is the reason most people prefer this fish.

Convict cichlid tank mate
Jón Helgi Jónsson (Amything), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Just like Convict cichlids, Oscars are aggressive and territorial in nature. You will find Oscar fishes in different colors and you can choose any color you like.

They require a moderate level of care. Although, Oscar fishes are found to be compatible with Convict cichlids in most of the aspects.

Both Oscars and convicts require a similar type of tank setup. Oscars have a lifespan of around 20 years depending on the level of care and maintenance.

Convicts have half the lifespan of Oscar fishes. They both are omnivores in nature, meaning they can eat both plants and animals that make your work much easier while feeding.

You can feed them a mixed diet as they are highly nutritious and provides a variety of nutrients and minerals. Though they are aggressive in nature you can control their level of aggression by providing them a comfortable environment.

Convict cichlid and as well as Oscar fish like a similar type of tank setup. You can add Rocks, caves, substrate, and some of the decorations to make them feel more natural.

You can add a heater to maintain a temperature of around 74 to 81° F as both of them are comfortable within this range. You should also add a filter to keep the aquarium water as clean as possible because dirty water directly affects the health of fishes.

Add moderate lighting set up to make your fish tank look more natural and beautiful. Convict cichlid likes a moderate lighting setup similar to oscar fish.

Get similar-size fishes to avoid fights conflicts between them due to their size. During their breeding, they show territorial and aggressive behavior towards other fishes. They require a tank size of 55 gallons for the first fish.

But if you are willing to add more of them then increment your tank size 20 to 30 gallons for each extra fish you are adding. A bigger tank size is always preferred because fishes are more comfortable with larger tank sizes.

You can feed shrimps, pellets, flakes, and vegetables to both Convict cichlids and Oscar fishes. You can also feed them bloodworm, brine shrimp, and daphnia. Oscars like to eat feeder fishes that allow them to hunt and feed.

You can also feed them green vegetables that provide a variety of nutrients that keeps them healthy.

When it comes to caring they require a moderate level of care, an adjustable pH, temperature, and hardness of the water. Perform a water change at least once a week.  Oscars and Convict cichlids like clean and clear aquarium water.

When you talk about breeding they are quite hard to breed and require a lot of care and maintenance. Aquarists say that they are very picky while choosing a fish to mate with and this makes it hard for breeders to breed Oscars.

Although for Community tank you shouldn’t be worrying about breeding them.

Lastly, Oscar fish can be a very good tank mate with Convict cichlid as they are very similar in all aspects.

Pictus Catfish

As Pictus catfish is a peaceful fish it can be a very good convict cichlid tank mate. They have a lifespan of around 9+ years that varies with the care and maintenance level.

Just like Convict cichlid and oscar fish, they like tanks set up with Driftwood, caves, and decoration and this type of natural setup will make everyone happy. Diet and feeding shouldn’t be a problem as Pictus catfish and convict cichlids both are omnivores in nature.

Pictus catfish as tank mate for Convict cichlid
Claire H., CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pictus catfish is comfortable at a temperature range of 75-81° F that is similar to Convict cichlid and an average temperature should be fine. Maintain a neutral pH (7.0) this will keep both the Convict cichlid and Pictus catfish happy.

In the wild conditions, they like eating things like insects, larvae, eggs, dead material, and algae. They like eating a variety of food add some food and they will just snap it. They are very comfortable with different types of food.

A high-quality food will help the fish grow much faster and healthier keeping them free from diseases. Pictus catfish is available in two colors are white and black that suits your Convict cichlids color.

This fish is great for beginners as they are peaceful in nature and require very little maintenance. Considering the factors like the pH, temperature, Water hardness, or softness they show very similar behavior.

Try making your tank set up match a natural environment. You can find driftwoods, caves, rocks, and other equipment in the pet store or you can buy them online. Most of the fishes like to hide inside the caves, and rocks making them feel like a natural home for living.

Additionally, try adding moderate lighting to make your fish tank look more beautiful.

Pictus catfishes are a popular fish and are available almost everywhere making it a great choice of picking it as a tank mate for convict cichlid.

Jack Dempsey fish

Jack Dempsey fish is an aggressive type of fish that could fit in with Convict cichlid as a tank mate. They have a lifespan of around 8-10 years. However, their lifespan completely on how you care and treat them.

Both the convict cichlid and Jack Dempsey comes from the same family called “Cichlidae“. They are tropical freshwater fishes that require clean and clear aquarium water. They can grow up to 10-15 inches and even more in their wild habitat.

Convict cichlid tank mate jack dempsey fish
Juan Carlos Muor, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Their shape is similar to that of Green terror. You will find jack Dempsey’s in slow-moving water.  They cost somewhere around $5 to 10 depending on the place you are buying.

They aren’t that aggressive in a fish tank that has too many fishes in them. Although, when kept with Convict cichlids as tank mates they get along easily without much trouble. If you are a beginner at fish keeping then this might not be the fish you should be caring of.

If you observe them carefully you will find them spending most of the time swimming around caves, and rocks. Male Dempsey usually marks their territory and will try to defend it from invaders trying to come into their territory.

You will spend them swimming mostly in the bottom of the tank. Jack Dempsey is quite colorful and attractive looking fish that adds up to looks. Their color changes with their age.

Blue color variety in Jack Dempsey is very popular and widely available in most places. They require a temperature of around 72-86° F you can choose an average temperature of both the Jack Dempsey and Convict cichlids.

Pro Tip: Never try to look for perfect temperature or the pH. It is fine if your fishes are happy and peaceful.

If your pH level is way too high and you wan to lower it a lower pH then you can check this article to lower pH safely.

If you find them stressful only then you should try altering the pH level or temperature else it should be okay. As Jack Dempsey fishes are slow-moving fishes, There is no necessity for any water pump or air; Just add a water filter that produces medium current flow.

As these are aggressive and territorial in nature I recommend you to add caves and rocks because Dempeys will make their territory in such hideouts. Feeding both convict cichlid and Jack Dempsey should be easy as they like to eat both plants and animals.

Feeding them twice a day is what I recommend and in this way, they grow much faster than usual. Try feeding them a mixed diet to both Jack Dempsey and Convict cichlids that provide high nutritious content.

A dirty fish tank will attract diseases to these cute little pets. Hence, It is necessary to maintain and make water change once in 10 days.

Pro Tip: When Jack Dempsey’s are ready to breed you will find their color to be darkened.

Overall, Jack Dempsey fish can be very compatible with Convict cichlid as a tank mate because they match almost all aspects.

If you are at a moderate level in fish keeping then I recommend Jack Dempsey as Convict cichlid tank mate.

Clown Loach

Clown loach tank mate for convict cichlid
Fish-Hed, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Clown loach belongs to a group of loaches. They are peaceful in nature making them a perfect tank mate for Convict cichlids. Clown loaches are mostly swimming the bottom of the tank. They require a minimum tank size of 100 gallons.

When compared to Convict cichlid the Clown loaches are carnivores in nature and this might a little tricky with the Diet and feeding part. If you are familiar with fish keeping then you shouldn’t find any difficulty in the maintenance and care.

A pH level of 6 to 7.5 is what you will find them to be comfortable. However, you can try maintaining a neutral pH that is 7.0 because at this pH, both Convict cichlid and clown loaches are comfortable making them a good tank mate.

I recommend you to set up a heater with a temperature range of 75- 85° F as this is the ideal temperature for Convict cichlid and as well as Clown loaches. You can feed them frozen food, pellets, flakes, and other types of food.

In order to keep them healthy, you should be keeping your aquarium healthy. They are prone to Itching diseases and due to this reason, you should be taking care of water quality.

If you are willing to add substrate that should be fine as they like substrate in aquariums. They like foods like earthworms, live foods and etc. Convict cichlids are omnivores too hence you can feed them flesh or meat kind of foods.

Although, Clown loaches are carnivores in nature and due to this reason if you are feeding plant-based foods for Convict cichlids then you should feed clown loaches meat-based food separately.

They like a tank with Rocks, caves, and other decorations So, It is a great idea to add these equipment to your fish tank as both of these fishes like to be in a fish tank with this setup.

Clown loaches don’t like light, consider adding a moderate light even if you are willing to add one. You will find them hiding in the rocks and caves most of the time. They mostly try to hide from the light.

Convict cichlids are aggressive when compared to Clown loach but still if you provide them plenty of space they can really be a great tank mate with each other.

To be a good tank mate it is necessary to cross verify their living environmental conditions and here in the case of convict cichlids and Clown loach they match in most of the aspects and are been found to be tested by the most aquarist keeping them as tank mates.

Overall, Clown loach can be a good choice as a tank mate for Convict cichlids keeping in mind all their living requirements

Final Thoughts

As discussed above,  I have mentioned the best and compatible tank mates for convict cichlids.

These convict cichlid tank mates require a very similar living environment and can be compatible in most of the aspects like behavior, pH value, water temperature, lighting,  the type of aquarium set up, and many other aspects.

For a beginner, It might be hard as they have just started but as they start they will eventually start learning more and more new things as they proceed into more of the stuff.

Fishkeeping is not hard if you have a keen interest to learn and it’s quite enjoyable in my opinion.

Convict cichlids can be a good choice when you pair them with the mentioned above Convic cichlid tank mates. They might be territorial but they can be still manageable with ease.

If you find your fishes are adapted to a certain pH it should completely be fine and you don’t have to worry at all. Overall, The best and compatible tank mates for convict cichlids are Oscar fishes, Pictus catfish, Jack Dempsey fish, and clown loach.

People have tried these tank mates for convict cichlids and have found no issues with it. Although, they are work great and even look beautiful when you pair them with these fishes as tank mates.

Most of the aquarists are not much aware of these factors and due this reason they often fail. Hence, I have analysed all the fators that are affects the life of these aquatic animals.

Convict cichlids are quite territorial. Although, this can be controlled if you are taking proper care and maintenance. They are not much familiar with all of these stuff and they usually make mistake.

Thanks for reading this Convict cichlid tank mates Blog! I hope all of your confusions are clear. If unclear you can ask them in the comment section.

Do you think any other fish can make a tank mate with Convict cichlid? Drop your comments down below.

This is Praful writing Blogs from somewhere in Bangalore. Planet fish is one of my Hobby Blog that mainly focuses on fishes and aquatic animals.

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