Animal Stories - Jack Dempsey Fish

Animal-World Information about: Jack Dempsey Fish

The Jack Dempsey Cichlid is one of the most interesting and beautiful of the American cichlids!
Latest Animal Stories
mike - 2011-08-09
I have a male and female blue gene jack dempsey there about a year or so old, I had got them from a friend who was going to flush them(or try to they are huge). I was wondering how do i get them to breed? Any help would do wonders. I also have a proven pair of red devils that I wanna figure out how to hatch there eggs myself.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-08-10
    I really don't understand the question. How would you attmept to hatch eggs? Found something that you will probably understand but I don't. It says " You can remove the eggs and use a slow airstone as a surrogate mother. The eggs need a slow flow of water near them for the best hatching rate. Most people consider it much more enjoyable (though less predictable) to watch the parents tend the eggs and herd the fry around". It can be done so look up things like artificial incubation fresh water fish, using surragate to hatch eggs etc. That should help.

    Also, breeding conditions??? Article on Animal World regarding breeding fresh water fish Link is I had circhlids and they would pair off and make all thse little caves using gravel, stones, plants whatever. Then they would just sit. I would then rearrage the tank cuz I thought they were bored. Well almost 35 years have gone by and I have been told that i was supposed to do that. I don't know but he breeds cichlids. Do they need to create a comfortable home? Mine did breed and then I had a whole mess of babies.
Anonymous - 2011-06-23
My 5 inch oscar and 3 jacks which are 2 inches and 2 are maybe 1inch an half do well. I had a red tail shark at one time but moved him to his own tank. The 3 jacks an oscar live well in a 55 tank for the moment as long as you keep plenty of feeders roseies on hand. Ron my oscar can get chassy. But I move things around when i see him acting out.

barb - 2011-04-14
I bought two jack dempsey's and they were the same size but its been about 3 months now. One of them has grown really big but the other one is still the same size that it was when I got them. Now the little one just hides all the time and when I go to feed them the bigger one won't let the other one eat as much. My question is are the they same and if so why wont the little one get any bigger? Yes, they looked just alike when I got them.

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  • barb - 2011-04-14
    I have a 20 gallon tank right now and the little one I call fluffy is just hiding all the time. Should I just get a bigger tank or take some of the stuff I put in there out? Like some of the rocks? If I do that then fluffy wont have any where to hide from keven. Thanks
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-14
    The article in Animal World states that you need a 50 gallon tank for one Jack Dempsey and you have two of these fish in a smaller tank. A 20 gallon tank is too small for even one of these fish. It would make no difference if you removed the rocks and decorations. The probability would be great that the larger (Keven) would harm the smaller (Fluffy).
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-14
    Let's start with the easy stuff. Click on the Jack Dempsey article attached and see if there is anything obvious. It sounds like you would need 100 gallon tank to maintain 2 of these fish. It sounds as if the more dominate fish is getting all the food. If the tank is not big enough to let two Dempsey's feed easily, that could be the problem.
stefan - 2011-04-04
I just bought a 2nd jack dempsey and I'm not sure they will both live in my cold water tank. The person at the petshop said they will. Wll they? Please anwser quick.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-04
    You need a large tank, at least 50 gallons. They can be agressive but if they both have their own space, you should be fine. Maybe you have a male and a female. Good luck.
Pappa J - 2009-09-25
I have two JD's a male and a female and the are only 2 inches in size but are definately my favorite fish the way the colors change and how aggressive they are. I used to have 3 tiger oscars and they could demolish 40 feeder fish in 10 minutes, 15 bux for that much entertainment.

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  • Krystina - 2010-03-02
    I also have 2 JD's, amazing fish with great personalities! both mine have aired up and are about 5 inches! I got them when they were each 2 inchs. I rescued the first who had jumped out of the tank in the middle of the night!
  • TJ - 2010-03-23
    I have an elec blue JD, but all the pics I see online look longer than mine. It's 6in long and is more round the the ones I've seen. Do you know why?

  • Jack Dempsey Dude - 2011-03-06
    Feeding large quantities of feeder fish to your Cichlids or any fish, is generally a bad thing to do. First of all, feeder fish (especially gold fish!) can carry disease. They are usually not very nutritious because of the conditions they are kept in.
    Also, feeding large quantities of feeder fish can be harmful to your fish because this can cause them to over eat. Over eating can lead to things like fatty liver disease and can really shorten the lives of your pets.

    I raise my own guppies for my my Jack Dempseys. This allows me to insure that my fish are being fed a clean, healthy food. Always remember to feed in moderation.
Ace - 2010-12-07
I have a Jake Dempsey and he's not eating. I've put live as well as dead (dried of course) fish and shrimp. I also put in flakes and pellets but still nothing? Should I be worried or are Dempsey's "shy eaters". first time having a dempsey I got it from my mother and she had it for a while. Could it just need time 2 adjust?

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  • Ray - 2011-01-13
    Hey Ace, you don't mention how long you've had him or how long he's been off his food. JD's are definitely not fussy eaters (I regularly get splashed at feeding time). They do need to feel comfortable in the new tank before they'll overcome their shyness. Keep an eye on him. When you pass by the tank drop one or two small pieces of flake food in the water (for the smell). Fish can actually go a couple of weeks without food but he should start to respond to you and his new surroundings soon. If it starts to drag on, seek some local help (like your local fish store). Keep us posted on how he does. Good luck.
Jon Hurley - 2009-03-29
I just got a JD today and he is already my favorite fish. I have an oscar that tries to boss him around (might I add that he is 3x his size), but the JD is boss. Whenever I walk into the room he shoots back into his little cave. I also HAD guppies for the oscar to eat, but guess who ate them! If anyone knows tricks on how I can get him to like me, pls add in your next comment! Hope you definitely get one!

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  • TT - 2010-04-07
    In spite of being aggressive, JD's are quite shy. Give your fish some time to acclimate to his/her new home. If that does not work, and if you are willing to perform a weekly water change, (1/4 of the tank should suffice, given that you have a larger aquarium-55 gal.+) introduce some "dither" fish (fish that are non-agressive, but are large enough to take care of themselves- I have had luck with larger silver dollars and plecos, the former tend to swim around more actively). This should signal to your JD that it is safe to show himself. Hope this helps, and good luck.
  • roy doplans - 2010-04-09
    Try taking every thing out of the tank for it to hide in.
  • Ray - 2011-01-13
    JD's are very intelligent as fish go and will not only learn to know that people equal food, but sometimes will recognize their owner specifically. They ALL have their own personality traits.

    Fish have a sensitive nose, and will associate your presence with the odor of food. Pretty soon he will beg at the glass when you walk into the room. I have a mated pair who both will take cichlid sticks or mealworms from my fingers at the surface. Give him time and he will amaze you more every day.

    BTW he may hide a lot at first. If it continues, you might try adding some Giant Danios (5 or 6) in with him. Seeing other fish out in the open and unharmed makes a Dempsey feel more comfortable. He may catch one now and again when he gets larger, but they're fast enough that he'll have a difficult time of it. Dempseys and Danios both like to jump though so cover your tank completely. Good choice and good luck.
RW - 2010-10-25
I have a jack dempsey and just put him in a new tank. He has been really aggressive the past few days and I figured he needed a bigger tank, since he was only in a 10 gal. I got him in the new one, and now he just lays on the bottom on his side...he gets up and a darts around from time to time, but I'm not sure what else to do?

Please help if you think you know whats up.


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  • JH - 2010-12-07
    If you don't all ready have more JDs in there you should put more in there (females). You can tell if they're females if they have a little patch of light scales on the side of them and they don't have as many spots as the male. -JH
shad - 2010-11-14
I have a 7 in electric blue jack dempsey in a 55 gal and just bought a small young texas cichlid. For now I keep the texas in a small 10 gal sick tank until I can find out if it's safe to put him in with my eb jack. If anyone can inform me please do.

nevar0185 - 2010-06-07
I have just had my fish lay for the second time. The first got eaten by my little texas, this time I might set up my other tank and take out the texas and my red forest jewel. It's been 4 weeks since they last laid, I have a half blue jack so it would be cool to see some grow up this time.

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  • the fish whisperer - 2010-06-21
    I have been breeding JDs for a year now. I have 2 adults and over 700 fry. I'm running 6 large tanks and I still need more room!