The Jack Dempsey fish is a relatively popular central American Cichlid and also is called after the renowned boxer indigenous the 1920"s. The common name because that the Jack Dempsey might make you think the this fish is a bruiser. But, given the right setup, it have the right to be a an excellent tank girlfriend if retained with comparable cichlids.

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They will certainly get much more aggressive the more cramped castle feel, specifically if you have actually a mated pair. Lock will host their own against an ext aggressive tank mates. Provide them through a cavern or other territory castle can call their own and they should settle in quickly.


If you have actually a mated pair you will soon uncover out that they each other easily and also are exceptional parents. They will need a sand substrate or smaller sized sized gravel bottom so that they can dig a pit to move the fry to as soon as they hatch. The adults will certainly then guard your fry versus any and also all comers! You might need to eliminate the various other fish from the tank if they end up being too dangerous come the other fish in the tank. Or use an aquarium divider come prevent any type of aggression.

The Jack Dempsey cichlid deserve to be a very cool fish to keep if you have actually the an are and compatible tank mates. It"s a really nice spring fish and they have great personalities.


Electric Blue and also Neon Blue JD"s


Scientific surname : Rocio octofasciata

Common surname : electrical Blue Jack Dempsey

Care Level : Easy

Size : anywhere from 6 - 10 customs (15 - 25 cm)

pH : 6 - 8.0

Temperature : 75°F - 80°F (24°C - 27°C)

Water Hardness : 5° to 15° dH

Lifespan : 10 - 15 year or longer

Origin / Habitat : Wild recorded specimens originate from central America, Guatemala, and also Southern Mexico but hobbyists typically will it is in buying a farm increased fish. They are often found in slow moving rivers and also canals in central America.

Temperament / actions : If provided a large enough tank (55 gallon or larger) you may not watch them gift overly aggressive. If you cramp them into smaller tanks, like many fish, they might become more aggressive. Watch them closely.

Breeding / adjustment / Reproduction : If you have a mated pair, the is really easy to breed them. Give them a pot or cavern structure and also the female will certainly drop the eggs through the male following after she fertilizing the eggs. Once the eggs hatch the parents will relocate them come a pit and also defend them native tank mates. The parents deserve to get an extremely aggressive during this time and do a remarkable task of protecting their young fry. They will breed often and also can create hundreds of eggs every spawn. The is vital to prepare because that this and breed castle responsibly.

Aquarium dimension : 55 gallon minimum because that one Jack Dempsey, much larger for multiples.

Tank Mates : shot to store them v fish of comparable temperament (other main American Cichlids). Watch for aggressiveness and also remove or usage an aquarium divider if necessary.

Disease : Freshwater Fish condition - Diagnose, Symptoms and also Treatment

Diet / foods items : generally very an excellent eaters, they will take flakes, pellets, frozen dried (blood worms, brine shrimp) and especially live foods.

Tank an ar : center to bottom

Gender : Females might be smaller and less colorful.

Site references :FishbaseWikipedia

Fish Lore Forum : Jack Dempsey Cichlid Forum

Jack Dempsey Cichlid Comments and also Tips

From: JoThe Jack Dempsey is by far the best fish I"ve ever kept. Right now I have actually 1 5" mrs JD that lives with a typical pleco. Despite I"m thinking about getting a few convicts. Ns feed she tropical flakes v the occasional rosy red gold fish the she loves. She likewise loves worms and crickets, and rarely she"ll eat the birds wafer I placed in because that the pleco. One more thing is, never keep it through something smaller sized than the (there space some exceptions) due to the fact that they will certainly kill it.
From: DarrenI acquired mine from my brother since they eliminated all the fish in his tank including a 12 customs pleco. The only method I have uncovered is to provide them a enlarge tank, favor 55 gallons or larger!
From: MichelleI just obtained one and he is simply a baby. Every time i feed him flakes the attackes them together if they were lively (lol). The is therefore cute!
From: AllisonWe gained our (2) on a whim one day and also they have been the most entertaining fish we have had. They surprised united state (after a month of owning them) and also now we have actually hundred"s! We have other fish in the tank and they have actually been defending your young and also have been doing a remarkable job of gift parents! We are so happy to have actually them and also we will proceed to care for them and also possibly breeding them accordingly.
From: TayHi, I visited a pet save today where I was told that they do well in just a 20 gallon tank. Would this it is in true if it were the just fish in the tank? Also, ns would prefer to get some Blue Rams come go in addition to it. Would these two fish it is in compatible? any information would certainly be significantly appreciated!
I would certainly recommend the you not follow that advice. This fish gets way too large for a 20 gallon tank. The blue rams stay quite little for cichlids (2 inch maybe) and also would make a quite snack for a complete grown Jack Dempsey.
From: TomI have had actually Jack Dempseys due to the fact that I was a kid. You have the right to put them with other fish if friend go v a big enough tank. Currently I have actually 1 big male v a Red evil one Cichlid the the exact same size, a Deboise about 4", 2 Jewels about 3" and some cat in a 120 gallon tank. They all look great, no fin nipping and only minor are chasing. A good way to start is with a few aggressive fish every bought in ~ the same time (young) and also they will all loss in line. Right now the Jack and also the adversary swap supremacy in the tank. Lock truly room a great fish to have.
From: SteveI"ve had my fish for 5 years or more, freshly bought a 77 gallon tank, and also decided to execute a small research top top him. You view I have constantly known him together an "Oscar" till I observed the snapshot of lock in your site, i couldn"t believe it, "that"s mine fish". Thanks to your website I can now ultimately say "I have actually aJack Dempsey", and he"s in wonderful health. By the way, 20 gallons is not enough, my poor guy to be cramped up like that for a long time sad to say. It"s a very expensive commitment to make, but to watch them glide around a large well lighted aquarium is well worth it.
From: HardyI had one for roughly three years, throughout which time i came house several time to uncover it had jumped out of the aquarium and also landed the carpet. I have no means of knowing just how long it had been out before I uncovered it, however once I placed it ago in the water each time, the was completely fine. For this reason it"s a pretty difficult fish. Regrettably it killed every other fish in mine tank, including another (presumably male) dempsey. So I had a love/hate relationship with this fish. When I went far to college, it suddenly, mysteriously died.
From: Adam R.The JD is a really beautiful and colorful fish. Through the 2 I have, the female has grown to around 5" as the male has grown to about 8". The male appears to have more aggression then the smaller female. I have actually them in seperate tanks since the masculine was as well aggressive because that the community tank. The is with male convict cichlids and they execute fine together. These fish require a minimum that a 55 gallon tank.
From: DenineI love mine jack! He"s very aggressive and also loves his live food. That is awesome that you can feed crickets and also worms come them! mine Jack watches every little thing I do. When he look at his food that wiggles approximately excitingly. As soon as he desires my attention he"ll jump the end of the water to make a splashing noise and also gets so excited. My friends can"t believe it when they see it. Lock think it"s a fish wanting to it is in a dog. So clever and very entertaining.
From: UtsavI"ve had actually Jack D for around a year. Castle are an extremely calm fish as much as mine experience however they do not like strangers in your tank in ~ all. I had tried keeping two Jack D (Male and also Female) and also two texas convicts. I never saw the convicts because they to be constantly hiding. I am still wait for castle to prosper to their full size, so finest of luck come me.
From: Andrew DasilvaI rescued my JD native my regional university, after ~ it was left just to "exist" after the animal behavior research studies were completed with him. He to be cramped in a 25 gallon tank, being end 8" long. That is currently comfortable in a 55 gallon tank, all alone (Just like he was after that supposedly ate every one of his friend five-to-eight years ago). He"s old, and I hope to save him happy for the rest of his life.

Is it just me or do Dempseys love caves? I have actually a huge PVC pipeline elbow (6"), and also that is his favorite spot.

The fish needs many filtration. Very messy eaters. Twin the lot of filters typically needed for her tank (I have actually two Penguin 350"s going).

The fish is very hardy though. As soon as I first met that in his aquarium in ~ the college, his water had actually a pH that 5.5, and 8 ppm of ammonia, and also he to be still looking quite healthy. Ns couldn"t recommend any type of other fish to spend money on.

He is additionally in love with one of my 6 cats. He will stay and also watch it because that hours and also hours if the is in mine room. He"ll overlook eating or whatnot if the cat is in the room. Ns am happy he has actually such interaction, even if the is still a solitary fish. Ns am glad i am offering him a much better home. Its just creepy some times how smart he is. He also loves come hide in his flower pot and PVC pipe elbow. He"s so big, I had actually a hard time figuring the end what to provide him to hide in. He also uproots the fake plastic tree I collection in there.

From: Max - Tank is also smallI was wondering how long can I keep a youth JD in a 20 gallon tank?
You need to gain your JD into a much bigger tank as quickly as possible. Keeping them in a smaller tank such as the 20 gallon can stunt that is growth and also shorten it"s life span.

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From: man D. - lengthy lived Jack DempseyWe have a JD the is now 19 years old he had a 80 gallon tank and also 2 years back I moved him into a 150 gallon tank. Us feed that flakes and live food. 2 years ago I put 12 yellow Fish in his tank as food and also he ate all but 1 of them. The 1 is still right here today and also we contact him the JD"s pet. A couple of months back he occurred a been in the center which has actually not gone away and also he is remote in 1 eye however we love him so lot we cannot part with him. We know he will be unable to do soon but we hope no to soon.
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