jack dempsey's - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-13-2009, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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What is the smallest tank that 2 dempsey's can live in comfortably? Right now they are only 2 or so inch's long.
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post #2 of 19 Old 09-14-2009, 01:24 AM
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i would have to say atleast a 30 for him to be comfortable
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-14-2009, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Ok that guy at the LPS told me 29 but I wanted to verify with someone else
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-14-2009, 07:24 PM
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Ok that guy at the LPS told me 29 but I wanted to verify with someone else
That is way too small of a tank long term for a pair of dempseys. If this is a temp home then it should suit you fine for a little bit. I would say 2 dempseys when full grown would need a 75 minimum IMO.
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post #5 of 19 Old 09-15-2009, 09:05 AM
Agreed with NC Frank.

A 55 gallon is about the minimum for a fully grown dempsey. A pair needs about 70.

You have got a pair right, not just two random sex fish?
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post #6 of 19 Old 09-17-2009, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Agreed with NC Frank.

A 55 gallon is about the minimum for a fully grown dempsey. A pair needs about 70.

You have got a pair right, not just two random sex fish?
Havent bought any yet, wanted to get info before purchase
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post #7 of 19 Old 09-17-2009, 06:14 AM
Ah ok, great! That's what I like to hear.

I would recommend a 75 at least, with a male and a female. Two of the same sex fish WILL kill each other.

Having said that, I have one in my 32 gallon (along with two 3" texas cichlids and a 2" firemouth) and it's very happy. No sign of it going over 6" though. Been that size for a good couple of years.

You could well be fine with a 30 for a breeding pair, it's hard to tell how big fish will go in captivity.

Depseys are FANTASTIC fish. Superb predators two. I introduced 15 cherry barbs as dithers 2 days ago. There were 5 left yesterday. He just vacuumed them up. INCREDIBLY fast across the tank and very agile. Great reflexes.

Far better predators than people give them credit for. The 5 barbs I did rescue are actually doing far better in greasers tank!
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post #8 of 19 Old 09-19-2009, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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So if I get just one with a couple of cichlids will it off the cichlids. I have heard they are super aggresive
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post #9 of 19 Old 09-19-2009, 07:59 PM
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So if I get just one with a couple of cichlids will it off the cichlids. I have heard they are super aggresive
Depends on the tankmates. In a large enough tank there are a lot of tough cichlids that can do well in a tank with a dempsey. I have kept larger convicts and green terrors with dempseys. I know people who keep oscars with dempseys and I am sure a red devil could be a decent tank mate. I know somebody who had a 250 gallon tank who has a Texas cichlid, red devil, green terror, convict and a dempsey
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post #10 of 19 Old 09-20-2009, 05:56 PM
I have an oscar in with my dempsey too as of about 3 days ago.

Still no conflicts.

No two fish are alike though, which is where a lot of people slip up.


Lowering the temperature can also help calm aggressive cichlids. Bringing it down to 25ish from 27/28 can do wonders.
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