When To Separate Cichlid Fry From Parents – 5 Insightful Answers!

When To Separate Cichlid Fry From Parents - 5 Insightful Answers!

When newborn cichlid fry appears, it is an exciting and fun scene for you. Especially when you are observing their behaviors inside the tank. It is time that you consider a few factors as the volume increases. 

While observing, you would be asking when to separate cichlid fry from parents. Is there an age or correct time to separate them?

The right time to separate the newborns from their parents is between 2 to 4 weeks. The spawning and coloring areas cannot be overruled as physical maturity grows. The survival in a community tank factor is also essential to notice. This is to stay in touch with the breeding scenario.  

I shall advise you to take a deeper look into the Cichlid development process. With a proper understanding, you can invest wisely in their longer lifespan. 

The Right Time When Convict Fry Survive Without Parents

Separation can happen within 2 weeks after the birth of the convict fry. This is to assure a completely safe and sound area for growing. 

When newborns appear, you would want to know how to keep baby cichlids alive. By ensuring a good environment, you can do the job. 

Make sure the temperature is set the right way. This should be no greater than 82 degrees Fahrenheit and no lower than 75 degrees. 

Also, you must decorate a completely new tank. This means a habitual flourishing ground for newborns should include plants and rocks. Make it as natural as possible. You can also use Tetra Bubbling LED Aquarium Kit to decorate your tank. 

When To Separate Cichlid Fry From Parents - 5 Insightful Answers!


Spawning is an essential part that dictates the growth of the cichlids. The spawning process takes around 2 weeks. A common majority indication is to separate the newborns as soon as the spawning is complete. 

When the spawning process ends, you would ask when can convict fry survive without parents. One idea is to remove it as soon as the spawning is completed.

However, many experts would suggest waiting for another 2 weeks before separating. This means keeping some time for the parents to invest in the safety of the newborns. 

Usually, after a month or so, the parents would stop the investment. That means they wouldn’t take care of the growing newborns. They would feel that their children can survive on their own. 

At this very time, you would realize what to do with convict cichlid fry. Many would want to sell the newborn fish. Others would try to invest in it. 

You would probably try to keep them from not dying. Or perhaps not eaten up by predatory creatures. 

That is why removing them before a month is important. 

Coloring in cichlids

In a general scenario, you may query when baby cichlids get their color. This is to ensure that you have enough ground to develop a safe growing area. 

The colors start to develop within 2 to 3 weeks of hatching. The colors keep getting developed all throughout the year. It can be between 6 to 12 months of growth. 

In a contextual scenario, the question would be about the relationship between coloring and safe growth

There is a direct correlation between color development and the health of cichlids. In an absence of a safe area, color development would slow down. The faster color development is necessary for the cichlids to reach their brightest levels. They should reach that level by 12 months. 

If you want newborns to have a long and healthy life, make some investments. This can be done by setting up a new tank that has a natural environment. Lightahead Aquarium is a great alternative to regular aquariums. 

Surviving The Community Tank

Most cichlids would lay hundreds of eggs. In the process, only a few would survive. If you want to make your newborn cichlids live longer, make some adjustments.

The question is will cichlid fry survive in a community tank? In a dense tank, it would be very difficult for the newborns to survive. That is why at times putting clay pots or hiding caves in the tank becomes necessary. 

This is when the predatory behavior sets in. This can happen with the parents as well. Either way, you the ones that got hatched and growing should be removed. 

This safely answers the question of when to separate cichlid fry from parents

Let’s say, around 20% of the newborns would survive, but the number is still big. You can apply a cost-friendly approach to feeding these fry. 

Breeding Process

The breeding process of many fish is unusually varied depending on certain factors. Here, you would ask how convicts breed. The answers come in a typical scenario that drives the cichlid breeding process.

The newborns would reach 16 weeks of maturity and growth process at some point. This is when sexual instincts develop within the males and females. They are just able to reproduce that early!

However, the most resourceful, fruitful, and mature synthesis arrives in 6 months. This is when the breeding happens in the most resourceful manner. 

This is the reason why the cichlid fry is encouraged to be separated that early. The parents lose touch with the parental safety standard due to biological reasons. The growing newborns would develop survival instincts pretty early. 

Breeding Behavior

The convict cichlid breeding behavior is very interesting. This is like many other fish that are found in ponds and pools. When in a tank they start to compromise in a territorial ownership stage. 

The serially monogamous convict cichlids strive for territorial dominance. This is when the bonding between pairs gets stronger. 

As you can imagine, many convict cichlid kinds are surviving with built-in mechanisms. For example, the parents are just aware of when the newborns can be on their own. 

The African cichlids are known to not spare their newborns when it comes to survival. Some cichlids would just give birth to eat more!

Tips To Ensure Proper Growth

There are many approaches you can apply to ensure fast and proper growth. You could be asking how long it takes for cichlid fry to grow. At an optimal level, the growth should stop after reaching 7 to 10 inches. 

The African newborns can grow fast – as much as 4 to 5 inches within a year. In an average scenario, the rate is 4 inches in the first year. The growth rate slows down in the next few years. 

Some suggestions for faster growth come such as

  • Ensuring a balanced diet. 
  • Setting up a dense free environment
  • Plenty of rocks and plants
  • Maintaining good water quality with proper renewals
  • The right temperature setup of around 75 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

With proper attention and investment, you can enjoy success. This is with a greater number of cichlids to enjoy in a safe tank environment. 


Should I put the newborns in a completely new fish tank?

Yes, you should put the newborns in a new fish tank. This is because as they grow older, they need more space for territorial dominance. Also, in order to survive, they would be free from the editorial behavior of other species. 

Why do cichlid parents stop caring for the newborn’s safety so soon?

This is because the cichlids grow fast and the parents care more about personal survival. The newborns learn to survive as early as 2 weeks after being born. 

What is the difference between American cichlids and African cichlids?

The difference is that Africans live and grow in lakes. On the other hand, American cichlids grow in rivers. They develop more territorial dominance than the African fish. 


This article has admired a successful ending to when to separate cichlid fry from parents. Hope the answer has served you the right way. 

Wishing you all the best in your endeavors. If you have any further questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.