Above: In this picture a mature Premium Jack Dempsey Cichlid is swimming in one of our aquariums, when one of us snapped this picture.
Comments: These are awesome fish that grow big and develop great rich colors.
Origin: The ancestors of the Jack Dempseys lived along the east coast of Central America from the Río Actopan river in Mexico south to eastern Honduras.
But now they live in aquariums all over the world.
Maximum Size: In aquariums they can grow to be about 8" long.
Behaviors: Jack Dempsey are usually very aggressive and ornery, they can be territorial as they mature.
Compatibility: These fish do best with similar aggressive cichlid species plus a large Plecostomus and prickly catfish like a Pictus.
Click here to read more about compatible groups of pet fish.
Temperature: Jack Dempsey live best from about 75 to 80-degrees F. with 78 being perhaps ideal.
Click here to learn about aquarium temperature, aquarium thermometers, and aquarium heaters.
Feeding: Premium Fish Food Pellets is the best food for Cichlids to eat. Feed them small pellets when young, then gradually increase the size until they are mature.
Click here to learn more about and shop online for premium fish foods.
Water Conditions: These fish can adapt to most types of water, and so as usual it's best not to try to change the pH or alkalinity.
Click here for a lot more information about aquarium water conditions.
Aquarium Size: Jack Dempseys will eventually need to live in an aquarium with at least 80-gallons of water.
Decor: Jack Dempseys do not need gravel, and a layer of gravel more than 1/4" thick will usually fill with bits of uneaten food that will contaminate the water.
Click here for more about aquarium gravel.
Live plants are beautiful and improve the water quality, but these Jack Dempseys will constantly dig in the gravel and uproot any plants that may be in the tank.
They like medium size gravel about the size of rice mixed with a few aquarium-safe rocks.
Aquarium Filter: Bio-Wheel Filters are highly recommended. Most 80-gallon aquariums have room along the back for two Penguin 350B Filters, and this is sort of the minimum set up for Jack Dempsey.
Better is a 120, 150, or 200-gallon aquarium with as many Penguin 350B Filters as will fit across the back. Click here to learn more about aquarium filters.
The addition of Lava Rocks will keep nitrates in the ideal range. Click here to learn more about using Lava Rocks in aquariums.
Life Span: Jack Dempseys can live for several years. Keep the water conditions excellent and feed them premium foods, and they'll most likely live for many years, and breed to produce the next generation of fish for your aquarium.
Gender: It's nearly impossible to tell males from females just by looking at them, when hey are young.
As they begin to mature the males develop more pointed fins and a bit more intense coloration. When mature the males are much more colorful.
Breeding: Jack Dempseys females lay their eggs on flat rocks on the bottom of the aquarium, as the male fertilizes them, both parents then protect the eggs.
Click here for a lot more about breeding various tropical fish in aquariums.
Popularity: Jack Dempseys have been a very popular aquarium fish for a long-long time.
Names: Their scientific name is Rocio octofasciata.
Variations: There are several variation including the Electric Blue variation and a pinkish variation.
Click here for a lot more information about keeping and caring for Jack Dempseys, including a picture gallery.
We hope you've enjoyed reading these comments.
DrT - 01/14/2015
We have 380-aquariums with lots-and-lots of popular aquarium fish plus lots-and-lots of rare fish!
We consider ourselves to be the link between the world's best sources of fish and the world best customers. We love our work, and we are very responsible.
All of our fish are Premium Quality Fish from the best suppliers in the world. Our fish have better health, more energy and brighter colors, as you can see in our pictures on this website.
We also offer lots and lots of information about keeping pet fish, all from the knowledge of the Bailey Brothers, who have a combined total of 100+ years of experience as breeders, wholesalers, and retailers of pet fish!
Our fish and our customers are treated with the best of care, and we work energetically everyday to make sure every customer enjoys their new fishy friends.
When you purchase pet fish from us, you know you're receiving premium quality fish and premium quality service.
"Received my fish last night and was so pleased! They all arrived alive and appeared to be healthy.
"Once in the tank, they became very active and are now thriving in their new home.
"Beautiful fish, I asked for color and aquariumfish delivered. Processing and shipping was extremely quick."
Nevin and DrTom, the Bailey Brothers
This website is owned and operated by the Bailey Brothers, DrTom and Nevin, who've been together in the fish business for more than 50-years.
The Product Manager has been with the company for more than 35-years.
So we feel very confident that this is the fishiest crew anywhere.