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Costa Rican Convicts

Jumped on kijiji one day and a post was the sale of Costa Rican Convicts. There was no picture and minimal words so I responded how do you know they were from Costa Rica and the response I received was thats where I caught the fish out of the water and brought back to Canada. The Cons are from Coterc’s biological station at Cano Palma ( I wonder if that’s also the name of the river its on?) which is north of Tortuguero on the north east coast of Costa Rica. Since wild type cons at that time were my intrest in reading online I was intrigued to get some of these fish. I met the seller at a local fish store and he also brought me 2 pairs of parents which look to be about 5 years old roughly. These were F1 from the wild caught pair which had passed away from an overfeeding  accident from a fish baby sitter but the fry survived and these have grown up to now reproduce. I just had my first batch of fry from my pair and I honestly have  no idea how many babies there are, maybe over 100? its allot!! Great looking fish  with a story added to them, check them out.

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Fish bring luck

In China going into many stores whether it was a large restaurant, banks or even a retail store there is a possiblitiy of finding an aquarium setup somewhere. Long ago someone told  me the thought in the asian culture  if you had an aquarium with fish inside the business and if the fish grew and  flourished then your business would do the same.

fish at Toronto zoo

Sometimes  you don’t always think about going to the zoo to see fish but the Toronto zoo has a very impressive spectacle when it comes to african cichlids. The tank is enormous with hundreds of fish. Just click on the pictures to enlarge them!!!

LHRP x Marble convict babies

Forgot to write the date down when they were born but I had fry from a male leucistic honduras red point and a female marble convict . Pictures were taken before the  baby group was separated. I ended up basically only keeping the majority  of the leusistic looking marble fry. In this batch I ended up with 4 kinds of fish:

Regular marble : color reflects that of a regular marble con

Regular white(or pink) : color reflects of a regular white/pinkish con

Leucistic marble : appearance of a marble but full iridescent  shine over the full body( very hard to capture on film)with more pure white color base

leucistic  white :whiter than the pink output and vertical white iridescent bars on the sides of the  body

Basic goal was to make  more vibrant colored cons with a cleaner black + white contrast like the ones of my friend has been able to create. To me its actually a very solid hybrid, theres more overall color contrast with this mix. I think the young exceed the potential of the original parents. I have raised this cross before and they looked great.

PJ Pets

I recently went out to look for some new convicts but I first called around to the stores to make sure they had some first. A local PJ’s Pet said they had some up to 2 inches in size. I arrived to the store to find a good variety of fish along with some deformities and hybrids to boot.

The tank had some stripped females,marbles, a disfigured marble some possibly hybrid cons mixed with fire mouth and I’m not sure if the yellow fish is a Cryptoheros septemfasciatus (not sure really). A good mix of fish but I never picked anything up.

convict hybrids

I have noticed allot of the first  few posting from home breeders on the internet (since around 2005) when it came to  creating hybrid Central American crosses always seemed to have convicts in the mix. Convicts always seemed to be known for their willingness to breed but when the hybrid fry grows up I have always really looked at the final product and can’t help but notice the very dominance in the visual characteristics that are from the convict.  Anything half  convict always turns out to be mostly grey/green with washed out stripes. I have noticed  most  fish carry  the wild stripping as the default in the body color if a stripped con is in the mix. The shape of the head is generally very convict looking as well.Convict genetics seem to be very strong and stand out in a genetic mix.  Something to think about when pondering  the cross of 2 species. Remember if the other fish has bright colors that will not follow through on the body if crossed with a stripped con.  Generally your brighter colors have been bred into the genetic line( more recessive and will always be trumped by the look of wild type genetics) . Compare it to having a load of white t-shirts and accidentally throwing a red sock in with them – those shirts will never be the same color- so once you get the con genetics in there its hard to bred out the stripes. Below are a few hybrid pictures from the net just to give you examples how a convict can affect the outcome of  a potential cross.

texas x convict

cuban x convict

blood parrot x convict

spilurus x convict

Old Town

On my travels to China Outside of Shanghai I visited a city named Xitang, its english translation I was told is Old town. Inside the town, there are many well-preserved architectural groups constructed during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Xitang is level, densely distributed with rivers and has a very quiet natural environment.9 rivers converge in this town, dividing it into 8 sections, but many bridges link this water town together(anciently called as “nine dragon old pearl” and “wind from 8 sides”). This conveniently designed town must have been amazing in its prime. People do still live there but ideally a place for tourists now. There are tons of stone bridges over the canals(reminds me of navigating thru Amsterdam). Crossing one of the bridges I found an old man on a chair with buckets of fish. I was unsure why he was there and what he was doing. He was a street veneering and he was there to help you find luck. If you released a fish into the river (for a fee of course) you would recieve good luck.  If you were more giving(financially) you could release more appealing fish in to the river if you also choose to as well. In the large bucket basically for a $1.00 you could let a goldfish go and for $5.00 you could release a snakehead into the water. I gave the old man money to take pictures of fish but I never released the fish because it was so cold outside I did not want to kill a fish, the pictures were enough for me.

Grass carp drying outside of a home in Xitang

Snook being sold in the market

6 inch snakehead (the big spender fish)

The lucky goldfish

fish in Asia


I was lucky enough to take a trip to China in 2008 and got to see how the fish world runs in Hong Kong. The asian are the masters of  maximizing what little space they  have to sell things. In the stores they were so packed with tanks you could barely get your hand in them. The fronts of the stores had fish individually bagged simply because the stores were so small this is how they sold their fish. Think of the person that has to re bag each fish everyday… man thats a ton of work just to sell a few fish..Some stores produce swelled out of the streets onto the sidewalk such as tubs of fish and boxes of food. I also have a video of this market too. check it here –     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHBVVLPEOK0

Old school Flowerhorns

Back in the day when I was raising and selling flowerhorns my gold mine at the time was a local store called Wongs Aquaruim.  Located in the city of Toronto this family owned store was one of the greatest places for me to find fish. Back then a lot of fish would come through the store and the owners would accept drop offs so it was a get source for young flowerhorns to pick out and raise. Remember back then the flower horns did not look as good as they do today.  The fish would only  start to show good color around 5 inches or so back then. Todays flowerhorns can show more color at 1.5 inches than an old style  flower horn at 8 inches. Here are a few old pictures of what young fish looked like when there were predominately Trimac/red devil based. These were there pre pearl era flowerhorns. You will also notice these were labeled small so  up to 3 inches were selling for only  $3.00. These guys at first glimpse would look very much like young red devil babies.

My parrot tank I kept 2005-2007