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#95849 Jul 23rd, 2007 at 02:24 PM
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Well, here is a picture of Jack, my Jack Dempsey Cichlid. Please excuse the dirt under my nails but I've been gardening. He's turned into a big wuss recently, hiding in his corner, acting like a fraidy cat and always banging himself into the glass. Anyone fish expert here who can say why my super aggressive jerk is suddenly a pansy? Maybe getting too big for his 29 gallon tank?

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
LandOfOz #95890 Jul 23rd, 2007 at 06:17 PM
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i don't know, but he sure is pretty!

#96651 Jul 24th, 2007 at 07:33 PM
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Thanks, I think so too. I need to stop looking up tomatoes and cukes for next year, and start researching why he's being so grumpy. He does these lazy circles and goes from the top of the tank, where he is swimming right-side up, to the bottom of the tank, where he is upside down. Purely intentional. Weird fish, I tell ya.


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
LandOfOz #96653 Jul 24th, 2007 at 07:38 PM
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Do you know if he is male or female?He may be ready to mate,if that is the case he should turn back to normal after the mating season is over.

#97380 Jul 26th, 2007 at 09:59 AM
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I'm assuming he's male, but only because he killed the other jack. Females can be just as aggressive as males, though. And there is no good way to identify the differences in this particular breed.

I gave his tank a very thorough cleaning and it seems to have helped. He will come up to eat now, which is a very good thing.


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
#97562 Jul 26th, 2007 at 01:25 PM
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Oh, yes, he is the only fish in the 30 gallon tank. We once had another cichlid (a small pink female) in the tank, with a divider that extended just above the water level. We kept hearing splashing but didn't think anything of it until one day I discovered Jack over on the female's side and the female half-eaten. Apparently he'd been practicing and finally had jumped over the divider sideways, just to get in there and kill her. They are well known for being very aggressive (jack dempsey was a boxer, I believe, and the breed is named after him). He is so aggressive, normally, that he'll attack me when I clean his tank. I keep telling him that a perfect fish-stick sized fish shouldn't bite the hand that feeds him, but he doesn't care.

If we want to put another fish in there, it would have to be the same species and bigger than him, and probably would have to put 2 in, so that way the abuse gets spread out a little more. He's best all by himself. The big bully.

The coolest thing today: I fed him a 1.5 inch long grasshopper and he darted up to it and ate it in one bite! All that was left was a back leg. He does the same with our giant emperor crickets we have here, except it takes about 3 or 4 bites.


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LandOfOz #104834 Aug 7th, 2007 at 10:34 AM
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I read online that you need a 55 gallon tank minimum for one jack dempsey. The site said that the fish will become much more aggressive if put into a smaller tank.

The jack dempsey may be compatible with other cichlids of the same temperament, but be prepared to separate them if necessary. They would then need a much larger tank, probably larger than a 55 gallon!

The jack dempsey fish can live longer than 15 years! The females are smaller & less colorful, but I don't know what you would be able to compare it to. Maybe check out other jack dempsey's in a fish store? But they would all probably be babies.

Good luck with your fish! He/she is very beautiful!




popogeejo #105080 Aug 7th, 2007 at 05:29 PM
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I just had another thought! Do you know if your jack dempsey can see his reflection in the glass of the tank? Maybe he is acting like a fraidy cat & banging into the glass because he thinks he is seeing another fish?


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