Surmising your convict cichlid male or female without grasping any groundwork behind it may not sound like a bright idea to go for. Instead, why don’t you take a stab at another productive approach, perhaps the more intellectual one?

Lucky for you, the launch of our article is spot on for whatever you require. Read on for further details not yet got hold of!

Source: Wikipedia

Convict cichlid male or female – How To Tell the Difference?

After Angelfish and Oscars, the convict cichlid is one of the Cichlidae family‘s most well-liked species. Their resilience, minimal maintenance requirements, and brilliant colors have made them quite popular in the fishkeeping community.

This species’ openness to mating also makes it an excellent novice breeder fish. Don’t rush to let your hair down, anyway – It can be not at all simple to determine the gender of such a pet fish!

Body Size

Cichlid males are often bigger than females. Let’s look at the real numbers, so you know it is not our conjecture. As such, a male averages 6 inches in length, while a female is just closer to 4.5 inches.

However, bear in mind that the size only speaks volumes when your cichlids have entirely reached their adulthood.


As for convict cichlids, it’s like one of the species’ functions that males commonly have anal fins and dorsal longer yet more pointed. What about females? We would say almost the exact opposite (more rounded and shorter fins).

Eventually, you must know not all fish will fit this description tightly.

Female convicts have been observed having fins so long that they even pass their tail fin. Additionally, a few hobbyists have mentioned having males with small, spherical fins and vice versa on fish boards.


As females develop and get ready for breeding, their bellies take on a lovely orange hue. The dorsal fins will also be where they exhibit orange flecks.

So once you behold that little orange belly featured on your convict cichlid, be bold and prepare to welcome new puny guppies to share the tank.

Source: Wikipedia

Nuchal Hump

The nuchal hump is another indicator to answer the question: How to tell if a convict cichlid is male or female? That said, the forehead of the male is steeper, and there is a little hump there that is composed of a relic of fat.

Although it is not noticeable like the hump on a flowerhorn, it is still conspicuous enough to catch your eyes at the earliest sights.


The majority of fish regularly feature females that have less vibrant colors than males. As far as we study, that is not quite the case for convicts.

The black stripes on females get more pigmented than you could imagine ever.

Gender Papillae

The difference in papillae of each gender will surely clarify partially whether you should label your fish as female or male.

The papillae, so-called ovipositor, of the female, are flattened and large, which facilitates the depositing of eggs.

On the contrary, a male’s gender papillae, which are somewhat protruding, aid in sperm release and deposit onto the eggs.

Egg Tube’s Direction

The egg tube of convict cichlid is a trait to not overlook as well.

Things get easier as you look at the male’s one, which is downward and straight. Meanwhile, the egg tube of a female is addressed directly rearward.

Size Of The Vent

If the lengthy list above has not yet taken you to your destination, each gender’s size of the vent may be of superb benefit somehow.

In this sense, a female convict’s vent is normally bigger than the anus so that it can lay eggs more effortlessly, while a male’s anus and vent are virtually the same sizes.

Is Male or Female Convict Cichlids More Aggressive?

Do not take us wrong for the answer. Though both male and female convict cichlids usually get themselves involved in territorial interactions, the latter seems like they always have equitable reasons to call the shots in such an aspect.

Females utilized more biting and direct confrontation. They also consume more time displaying their aggression against nearby species (to protect their offspring, we suppose).

Things go pretty asymmetrically when the story comes to male convict cichlids. Having said that, as they engage in antagonistic quarrels, they tend to maneuver around their rivals, expressing dominance laterally.

We are not quite sure if such a struggling way ever works wonders or not, but this tendency of fighting is more likely to get them to thump their tails than female convict cichlids.

You may infer that at least six individuals or less will be a safe zone. That’s also our question to the riddle: how many convict cichlids should be kept together.

Source: Wikipedia

When Can You Sex Convict Cichlids?

In the vicinity of 7 months from the day of birth is a number granted for the convict cichlid to be ready for reproduction.

How do convict fish have babies? After female convicts lay eggs on their territory, the males will fertilize them and protect those fertilized eggs from other tank mates (or anything else coming close). The females will stay at that spot to guard their unborn babies.

This procedure may freak you out as a fresh new fish breeder, but let’s take a deep breath, prepare as needed, and you are good to go.

The only thing left to do at that instant is to purchase a large enough tank and fill it with plants, rocks, and caves where the mother can conduct her egg-laying.

Keep your nose over to the grindstone, and there will be pay-off after such a long-term fish farming of yours, sooner or later!

Is Pink Convict Cichlid Female Or Male?

Actually, the color mainstream does not affect the gender of this fish species much. Either female or male, pink convict cichlid can be both!

For those who urge further details, the females of pink convict cichlids will be somewhat smaller than the males. Females also feature shorter, less flowy fins compared to the others.

It might be challenging to discern the orange belly of females against a pink background. Yet, once you get the task done right, it’s unmistakably a female.

Source: Wikipedia


That must be most of what you wish to catch on regarding today’s topic – convict cichlid male or female. Now that you get a clearer picture of this spectrum wait for no more but pave the way and conquer your upcoming best fish breeder’s trip!

We hope that this article can be of much help to you. Also, don’t forget to leave a comment if there are any concerns not yet resolved!

Alex is a pet freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. He attended Colorado State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, which was where he first got some experience in animal nutrition. After graduating from University, Alex began sharing his knowledge as a freelance writer specializing in pets.

Comments are closed.