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Re: feeder convicts

> Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 19:27:36 -0600
> From: "Michael Seifert" <mseville at txdirect_net>
> Subject: Convict Feeders
> Hello Everyone!
>     I was planning on breeding convicts as feeders for large South American
> cichlids. Since I am very new to this, I was wondering if I had the
> "optimum" set-up for fry. What I have so far is as follows:
>     2 pairs of convicts (all about 1" in length - I wanted them to grow up a
> bit)
> All in a 25 gal high tank. Temp approx. 80 deg F  ph 6.8 - 7.0   The
> substrate is coarse river rock (I don't know if this makes a difference) I
> have a 4" diameter clay pot, turned over, and an opening cut to form a cave
> for them. There is also a slate rock formed cave on the other side of the
> tank.
>     Other than the 4 convicts there are 2 Chinese algae eaters and 2 Dwarf
> Otocinclus. I plan to remove the 2 Chinese algae eaters. I fear they attack
> the parents (mine are pretty aggressive) and eat the fry.
>     As far as filtration goes, I have a biowheel filter and an undergravel
> filter. There are some plants in the tank, not a dense arrangement.
> That's it. Now what I was wondering, after I spot a bonding pair should I
> remove the other pair? How large will they be before they start breeding?
> Also should I have a sponge filter instead of the Biowheel? (Sucking up fry)
> Any information would greatly be appreciated. Thanks everyone!

  A great idea!  about a year and a half ago, I bought six convicts for
dirt cheap at an auction.  I had never had any experience with them and
though them to be a nice addition to a S.A. community tank.  They were
about one inch long and quickly doubled their size.
  They had no trouble breeding as they kept the eggs and fry in a small
cave, but ended up killing about everything except for a 12 inch pleco
(which is still in the tank).  I move two convicts that were getting
harassed to a ten gal. tank and now have about fifteen without any help
on my part.
  The original tank is a 35 gal.  with an under gravel, and three
overflow filters (two are powering the U.G.).  Now the tank is too
crowded for any spawning (twenty odd convicts and one 12' pleco).
  The ten gal. has only a small biowheel filter, and this tank is quite
crowded as well.  I find that having no caves is best in this tank, as
there is no territory to defend.

  The idea of using convicts as feeders only occurred to me after they
crowded the tanks and no longer breed (at least no fry are ever
produced), but my goal is to sell (read as give away) all but one pair,
which I will keep in the ten gal.
  You should have no problem at all getting enough fry to feed to your
fish because convicts are prolific breeders, and will breed every week
if they are fed enough.

  I hope this helps, the two pairs in a 25 gal. will keep your other
fish quite happy  for quite a while

Jason Miller
Sherwood Park, Alberta
(403) 464-9635