Jack Dempsey Fish

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The Jack Dempsey fish is a fairly popular Central American Cichlid and is named after the famous boxer from the 1920's. The common name for the Jack Dempsey may make you think that this fish is a bruiser. But, given the right setup, it can be a good tank mate if kept with similar cichlids. They will get more aggressive the more cramped they feel, especially if you have a mated pair. They will hold their own against more aggressive tank mates. Provide them with a cave or other territory they can call their own and they should settle in quickly.
The Jack Dempsey fish can be very hardy once acclimated to your tank and should live for a very long time if properly fed with a varied diet. Also, please keep in mind that they have no problem eating smaller tankmates.
If you have a mated pair you will soon find out that they breed easily and are remarkable parents. They will need a sandy or smaller sized gravel bottom so that they can dig a pit to transfer the fry to once they hatch. The adults will then guard their fry against any and all comers! You may need to remove the other fish from the tank if they become too dangerous to the other fish in the tank. Or use an aquarium divider to prevent any aggression.
The Jack Dempsey Fish can be a very cool fish to keep if you have the space and compatible tank mates. It's a very nice looking fish and they have great personalities.

Jack Dempsey Fish Profile and Cichlid Care Information

Scientific Name : Cichlasoma octofasciatum

Common Names : Jack Dempsey Fish, Electric Blue Jack Dempsey

Care Level : Easy

Size : Anywhere from 6 - 10 inches (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 years or longer

Origin / Habitat : Wild caught specimens originate from Central America, Guatemala, and Southern Mexico but hobbyists usually will be buying a farm raised fish. They are often found in slow moving rivers and canals in Central America.

Jack Dempsey Fish Temperament / Behavior : If given a large enough tank (55 gallon or larger) you may not see them being overly aggressive. If you cramp them into smaller tanks, like most fish, they may become more aggressive. Watch them closely.

Breeding Jack Dempsey / Mating / Reproduction : If you have a mated pair, it is very easy to breed them. Give them a pot or cave structure and the female will drop the eggs with the male following after her fertilizing the eggs. Once the eggs hatch the parents will move them to a pit and defend them from tank mates. The parents can get very aggressive during this time and do a remarkable job of protecting their young fry. They will breed often and can produce hundreds of eggs per spawn. It is important to prepare for this and breed them responsibly.

Tank Size : 55 gallon minimum for one Jack Dempsey, much larger for multiples.

Compatible Tank Mates : Try to keep them with fish of similar temperament (other Central American Cichlids). Watch for aggressiveness and remove or use an aquarium divider if necessary.

Jack Dempsey Disease : Freshwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment

Diet / Fish Food : Usually very good eaters, they will take flakes, pellets, freeze dried (blood worms, brine shrimp) and especially live foods.

Tank Region : Middle to bottom

Gender : Females may be smaller and less colorful.

Similar Species : Cichlids

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