Honduran Red Point Cichlid vs Convict Cichlid – What Are the Differences?

Are you considering getting a new freshwater fish but aren’t sure what species would suit your tank? Many people choose between the Honduran red point and the convict cichlid but aren’t sure how they differ. 

Since both are cichlids, they have some similarities, but you want to ensure you are taking care of them properly. So, make sure you know the answer to the differences between Honduran red point and convict cichlids.

What is a Honduran Red Point Cichlid?

This species of fish requires low levels of maintenance. They are peaceful and are much more friendly than the convict cichlids. You want to make sure they have a tank that is at least 50 gallons in size.

When compared to the convict cichlid, this species is a much more peaceful cichlid. You will want to avoid keeping them with aggressive fish and offer them plenty of caves and hiding spaces.

They are blue, and many have an orange marking near their gills. You can quickly tell the difference between males and females since the males have longer dorsal fins while the females have rounded-off fins.

How to Keep Honduran Red Point Cichlids?

Raising this species of fish is very easy. They need a clean environment, but achieving their recommended water conditions is achievable for most fish keepers. They prefer an alkaline, soft environment.

Additionally, Honduran red points prefer to have caves to relax in. If you enjoy creating aquascapes, you will have fun crafting an environment for them to live in. The red points tend to be timid and will prefer to hide from other fish.

Recommended Water Conditions

They are very hardy and can survive in most settings. These are the Honduran red point cichlids prefer the following water conditions:

  • Slightly acidic water
    • 6.2 to 7.5 pH
  • Intermediate hardness
    • 3 to 12 GH
  • Slightly warm water
    • 72 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit

What is a Convict Cichlid?

The convict cichlid also referred to as the zebra cichlid, is known for its unique black and white markings. They are moderately easy to care for, although they are very aggressive. The species can’t live with other fish due to their temperament.

They enjoy driftwood and caves in their habitat. Plus, you should make sure that you have a tank of at least 30 gallons in size to house them. The convict cichlid is perfect for beginners- but you want to ensure they aren’t with other fish species.

Can Convict Cichlids Live With Other Fish?

Convict cichlids are very aggressive and territorial. The species will often chase and fight with other fish in the tank. The cichlids will take over certain sections of the tank as their territory; they will defend the area and not stray far.

Since they are very aggressive, you can’t keep them with many other types of fish. However, you can keep them with fast-moving fish. For example, danios can easily avoid the convict cichlids. Plus, they will mostly ignore bottom dwellers, such as catfish.

Some similarly sized species of cichlid can live just fine with the convicts. For instance, you could try keeping them with jewels, Honduran red points, or t-bar cichlids. If you are new to fish keeping, it would be best to keep them on their own for the time being.

How to Keep Convict Cichlids?

If you are raising the convict cichlids alone, you can use a smaller 30-gallon tank. However, if you are housing them with other fish, you will need a larger tank. We recommend that you use one of at least 55 gallons in size.

Convicts like to dig in the tank, so you should use a powerful filter. Some people even set up two filters in a tank with these cichlids. 

When the water is kept clean, these fish will breed often. Males and females aren’t picky with their mates, making them some of the easiest fish for beginners to raise and breed.

They prefer a warm tank and like having a gravel substrate. You can also include plenty of floating plants, which they use to hide. They will dig up any rooted plants they find.

Recommended Water Conditions

Convict cichlids prefer the following water conditions:

  • Slightly acidic water
    • 6.5 to 8 pH
  • High hardness
    • 10 to 15 GH
  • Very warm water
    • 79 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit

How Do These Fish Do in Planted Tanks?

Honduran Red Points

The red point cichlids do very well in planted tanks. The fish may uproot some of your plants when breeding, but they will otherwise leave your vegetation alone. These fish prefer to have plenty of rocks, driftwood, and overturned pots in their tank.

It’s best to include plenty of hard decorations in their tank, with very few plants. Their natural habitat does have some vegetation, but it’s mostly rocks and sand.


The convict cichlids love to dig- you will be better off using more hard decorations. The convicts will likely uproot all of your plants, given enough time. The fish may even eat certain species of plants in the tank.

Since they uproot greenery, you will want to create your aquascape out of rocks and driftwood. The fish prefer to have caves to hide in, so be sure to offer them. When keeping them with red point cichlids, you should still not use plants.

However, convicts will leave java ferns alone. You can decorate your tank by connecting a few pieces of the fern to driftwood or rocks.

Many people enjoy watching the convicts dig, so be sure to include sand and gravel in their substrate.

Final Thoughts

While the Honduran red point cichlid and the convict cichlid are of the same species, they have very different personalities. You will also want to check your water conditions thoroughly if you’re going to keep them together, as there are some minor differences between the two.

Overall, both of these cichlids are easy to keep, making them perfect for beginners to learn fish keeping.