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SnailM 09-15-2012 01:14 AM

Lighting for Jack Dempsey EB
My Jack Dempsey Electric Blue has finally (or should I say already) reached the size when he needs to get rehomed into a larger tank. I'm setting up a 55G, sand substrate, driftwood, random stones and live plants. I read that he may dig them up, I'll take my chances. He is not interested in the plants in his current tank, so maybe I can keep my plants in there. I will get larger sized teracotta pots so serve him as "caves".

A question I have for anyone willing to help with this. I think that Jack has some problems with his sight. I'm trying to vary his diet (dry, frozen, live) to get him the vitamins he needs. But I read somewhere that the bright fluorescent lights may affect his eyes. Has anyone heard of JD's going blind due to bright light? If so, what lights can I use to not kill whatever eyesight he has left, but to still be able to see him and possibly grow some low light plants?

Also, I want to make sure I make the move as smooth for my Jack as possible. What would be the best strategy? Move him from and into a dark tank? Keep him in a secondary container and submerse that in the new tank till temperatues adjust (just like you would when adding new fish) or maybe pour some of the new tank water into his container to get him adjusted to the pH as well? Say what you want, but I believe he's a smart guy and I'm scared that the change of environment will stress him out, so whatever I can do to make him comfortable I will. (within reason :-P)

Any other suggestions? Thanks!

fish monger 09-15-2012 09:33 AM

What makes you think he has vision problems ? Anubias and Java Ferns can be attached to driftwood and rocks and won't be uprooted. Additionally, they will do well in low light. I really like sand substrate.

SnailM 09-15-2012 09:56 AM

That's a good question. I don't know much about fish vision. :oops: I just thought he does because he frequently misses his food. He seems to not get the distance right anymore. He used to have much better aim. He also used to chase and eat feeder guppies with more precision. Know he's just knocking into things (but then again, that may be because his tank is too small for him).

So do you think the bright light does not have adverse effects on his vision?

fish monger 09-15-2012 10:38 AM

Does he seem to be getting enough food ? I don't mean to ask obvious questions. If he is healthy and not thin, maybe it's a matter of him not being very interested. Maybe try feeders only for a couple of days and see what happens.

SnailM 09-15-2012 10:45 AM

He seems to be getting enough food. He is not thin by any means. Should I experiment with that "diet" before or after moving him to the 55G?

3ndler3nvy 09-15-2012 01:58 PM

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How big is he, how long have you had him? Tank size? Water parameters?

I've got a dual 48inch t12 strip about 2 feet above my tank that has a Jack Dempsey, he doesn't have any issues seeing.

I've had my Dempsey for about 2 years. JD's don't like super bright light but they shouldn't be going blind.

fish monger 09-16-2012 06:35 AM

I would use 6500K daylight or grow tubes. Not too bright, but will support medium-low light plants. Might be easier to observe Jack in the the smaller tank. Depending on the sand, that could make things look brighter also, so keep that in mind.

Tazman 09-16-2012 07:32 PM

I would also recommend not feeding feeder guppies too regularly. They can carry disease which could infect your whole tank.

While they do prefer low level lights, they may also eat live plants so this has to be considered as well.

SnailM 09-17-2012 10:52 AM

3 Attachment(s)
I got my Jack D. in early March 2012. He is about 7 inches long right now. I've attached a picture, I hope you can see it, it's the first time I've tried doing that.
I haven't checked the water parameters this weekend. Last week it was Ammonia - 0, Nitrites - 0, Nitrates - 40 ppm. I don't recall pH, but I think it's just slightly acidic.

I also attached two pictures of his new home to be. As you may see, I have some white sand substrate that transitions into black. The tank was formerly set up for other fish, so I found the white sand was ok. I know that the JD would probably prefer all black sand, but I just didn't want to have to replace it.

This is what I have for lighting in the new tank: 2 x 55W 6700 K bulbs, 1 x 54W T5H0 2-6-10 bulb. That is very bright, I was going for 5+ Watt/gallon because I have live plants. Should I reduce that or try to get floating plants that will cover the water surface and make it a bit darker (or combination of both)?

By the way, I raise the feeder guppies myself. Is there still a risk of them carrying disease?

As for plants, I will just have to see how he behaves. He is not uprooting the plants in his present tank, but that may be cause they are in a heavier gravel substrate. It will be easier for him to pull the plants out of sand. I'll worry about that later.

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fish monger 09-17-2012 06:00 PM

Very nice photos. Beautiful fish and, apparently, well behaved.

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