Jack Dempsey Cichlid (Rocio Octofasciata) The Jack Dempsy Cichlid was named after a boxer who made himself a household name in the 1920s. And when a fish is named after a boxer, it should give you an impression of what its character is like. Fortunately, that aggression is only directed towards other Jack Dempeys or similarly shaped fishes. They can be maintained in a community of other large fish with dissimilar forms such as large plecos, giant gouramis and other fish too big to swalliw. When they are young, Dempseys can be kept in a group, but once they pair off, the trouble begins and the couple should be removed from the group. Interestingly, the ‘Electric Blue’ variety, created from line breeding individuals showing a color mutation, is less aggressive than the natural color form. They also do not get as large. If you want to keep a pair, the minimum size that the aquarium can be is 50 gallons, 180 liters. Just buying a male and female will not result in a pair, however. Dropping two adult fish into a tank will more than likely result in 1 badly beaten fish. This is true of most of thearger cichlids including, to an extent, angelfish. Then how can you get a pair for spawning? The safest way to do it is to buy a small group of young individuals and let them select their own mates. Afterwards either rehome the non-paired fishes or return them to the fish store. (It would be wise to check in advance if they would be willing to take them back).
Electric blue ones also seem more sensitive to water conditions and seem a bit weaker than normal colored
Origin: Eastern Mexico and Central America
Size: 15- 20cm/ 7-10 inches.
Temperature: 20-30°C/ 70-82°F
Feeding: Jack Dempseys eat almost everything you give to them including sinking tablets. While the will eat vegetable matter, the majority of their diet should be invertebrates such as bloodworms, shrimp, and mosquito larvae.
Habitat: the substrate should be sand or small grade gravel as Dempseys like to dig. Because of their digging, rooted plants are difficult to raise with them so use floating plants ot plants like Java ferns that can be attached to driftwood. In addition to driftwood, add on or two flat rocks or pieces of slate as potential spawning sites.
Breeding: Jack Dempseys lay eggs on flat rocks and both parents look after the eggs and baby fish. They are excellent parents!