Archocentrus nigrofasciatus, the Convict Cichlid, is a cichlid from Central America. There is a lot of confusion about the scientific name for the species. We use https://www.itis.gov/ because America laws refer to it, and that agency uses the above. Complicating things, this fish has been in the hobby a long time and may be a hybrid. We acquired this fish a long time ago from a source our records don’t show. Males are much larger than females and some grow a nuchal hump. They often reach 15cm (6 in.). Females are about half that size and don’t grow humps. Unusually for cichlids, males are less colorful than females, which often display blue, orange, and yellow bellies. Juveniles resemble males in coloration.
Convicts are substrate breeders and form pairs bonds that often last a lifetime. A pair will defend a territory from other fish and when ready to spawn will clean a space on a rock or sometimes in a cave. The pair will lay 100-200 eggs. The pair guards the eggs and keeps them clean until they hatch. The pair then diligently defends the resulting fry from predators. This species is among the easiest of the cichlids to breed.
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