Jack Dempsey is an aggressive fish. Though they are well known in cichlids, they are not so popular because of their aggressive nature. Why we need the beginner’s guide? The guide has all information necessary information to grow this aggressive fish.

Jack Dempsey Fish – Overview

CategoryDescription
Common NameThe fish is commonly called Jack Dempsey (name of a boxer- Jack Dempsey) due to its aggressive nature.
Scientific NameThe scientific name of the fish is Rocio octofasciata.
Habitat or OriginThis fish is from Africa and America. Their habitat is slow-moving water. They are also found in Australia and Thailand.
Average SizeThe male fish grows 10-15 inches. the female fishes grow a little shorter.
ColorationThe color of the fish is grey with bright flecks. They are available in a variety of colors which include gold, blue and pink.
Life SpanThis fish can live up to 8 – 10 years of time. In a healthy environment, they can be kept for 15 years.
DietThe fish eats crustaceans, other fishes, and worms. Pellets and flakes can also be given. Frozen and live foods can be given as a change in diet. Brine shrimps and bloodworms are the best options. 1 -2 times a day an adult fish can be fed. 2-3 times a day smaller fishes can be fed.
Gender IdentificationThe males have longer dorsal and anal fins. The males are larger than the females.
BehaviorThese fishes have territorial disputes. Hence a tank with lots of rocks and caves might reduce their dispute. They are also less aggressive in a populated tank.
CompatibilityTankmates include fishes that are aggressive like Jack Dempsey. Such fishes include Oscar fish, Mbuna cichlids, Angelfish, Blue Acara, convict Cichlids, Plecostomus, fire mouth Cichlids, Silver dollars, etc., Jack Dempsey can be kept together. But one male per tank is safe.
Ideal Tank ConditionsThey require an 80-gallon water tank at a minimum.  The environment should be slightly acidic with low light. The muddy substrate or that is sandy is also suitable. The tank should have enough caves.
Water ParametersThe temperature should be around 72 – 86 degrees F. the pH should be 6-7. The hardness of the water should be 9-20 dGH.
BreedingThe color of the fish gets darker when the fishes are ready to mate. 84 degrees F is an optimum temperature to initiate spawning. The larger males seduce the female. During spawning, the female lays up to 500 eggs. It takes 3 days for them to hatch. The parents are very protective of the young ones when the adults are not stressed due to poor environmental conditions. The young ones will be fed food which will be crushed by the parents until the young ones can eat on their own. 
Common DiseasesJack Dempsey can harass each other. The most common disease is Ich. This can be seen as white spots on the body. Another common disease for this fish is Head and Lateral Line Erosion. This forms pits or cavities on the head.
Approximate CostThe approximate cost of this fish in the pet store is $5. They can be bought for $10 to the maximum. Sometimes rare species can cost a little more.
What to look when buyingCheck if the fish do not have any white spots on the body. It is advisable to keep only one male fish in the tank. So buy one male and other females if you want more than one fish of this kind.
Species in the MarketThere are many types of Cichlids in the market. In Jack Dempsey, you can choose your choice of color of the fish from blue, gold, and pink.

Gallery of Jack Dempsey Fish

References