Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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yippee 09-28-2009 02:23 AM

Breeding pair of Jack Dempseys
Hello all. I have been contemplating the idea of getting a pair of JD's for a while. One day i was at one of the LFS, and they had a really nice, mated pair of JDs that were really up there in size. Since then i have been pretty much convinced i wanted to get a pair. I have looked around on the internet looking for information, but every source seems to say something different. Plus i really like hearing personal experiences.

First of all, I would like to know what size tank a solitary pair of JDs should be kept in. I've heard no less than a 75 gallon tank - how true is this? I keep up on my tank maintenance really well, so i will keep the water where it needs to be. If it wasn't already apparent, the JD pair will be the only fish in the tank. Sand, good filtration, and decoration. Do they do better with holey rock or driftwood style decoration? Or something in between? I assume being larger cichlids, they are better suited for fake plants? Or do they do well with live plants? If a 75 is an adequate sized tank, what size water changes should i be doing and how often?

Thank you very much for taking the time to read all of this and help me out.

Thanks, matt

aunt kymmie 09-30-2009 11:03 AM

Hopefully someone will respond to this thread soon as I'm also curious as to the answers to your questions. :-)

1077 09-30-2009 11:43 AM

A mated pair of Jack Dempsey's ,could work in a 75 gal with a filter that is turning over six to eight times the volume of water in the tank in an hour. 75x8 =600gal per hour. Water changes of 25 to 30 percent weekly or perhaps twice weekly depending on feeding schedule and nitrAte readings. There are in my view, no other fish that could be placed in the tank. The trick is finding a mated pair of Dempsey's. So if the pair you observed are indeed a pair ,and are for sale ,and appear to be healthy, no pitted foreheads,are eating well, no stringy poop, then I would suggest trying these fish. If your aim is to find a pair of younger fish, then you will need to purchase several juveniles and let them decide when, or if ,they will pair. Many cichlids are like humans with respect to choosing mates. They often reject one another for any number of reasons.Best to have a group of young fish all the same size or approximately, and let a pair form naturally.
A wide variety of foods will help keep the fish strong and healthy. NO FEEDER FISH. Hope some of this helps.

aunt kymmie 09-30-2009 11:44 AM

I knew 1077 would have the answers. ;-)

yippee 10-01-2009 02:13 AM

Thank you very much for the help. There is currently a mated pair of JDs at a LFS for $150 right now, which is very tempting. But since i don't have the 75 set up yet i'll probably wait and get 6 juvies down the line to let them pair naturally. Or is it wise to get more to start with? I know with angels, they say 6 is a good number. No feeder fish at all? even if they are raised by me with healthy specimens? I have very healthy guppies i was planning on breeding for this reason. The filtration and water changes are nothing alarming to me. I'll probably have two good sized canisters on the tank and some HOBs to create good current in the tank - they like decent water movement right? I only plan on having the pair of dempseys in the tank. As far as aggression they should be okay together in the 75?

1077 10-01-2009 04:06 AM

One hundred and fifty dollars for a pair ,mated or otherwise,seems a bit steep to me. I would probably opt for six juveniles and odds are pretty good that at least one pair will form from that group. A mated pair would be fine with regards to aggression, but the remaining dempsey's from the original six juveniles will need to be removed. A male and female ,breeding or not,would not in my view,tolerate tankmates and the 75 gal could not support more than two adult fish .
It is not current, but rather the filters ability to remove suspended particulates and organics that requires the heavy filtration. These fish do not do well with nitrAtes above twenty so the added capability of the filtration is helpful in this regard.
I have observed fish that quit eating anything BUT feeder fish once they are introduced and feeder fish alone, will not support healthy immune sytem. There are far more nutritional prepared foods on the market today. Personally ,, I would offer my fish nothing but the best vitamin enriched prepared foods I had available to me. The only benefit to feeding feeder fish is the almost perverse since of excitement that some people derive in doing so. But that's just me. I want the healthiest fish possible and the use of feeder fish doesn't provide anything that benefits the fish in that regard.

yippee 10-02-2009 01:53 AM

I agree completely. The only reason i ever offer feeder fish is because some of my fish benefit from live feeders. If live fish isn't a normal part of their diet in nature, i do not feed them.

I guess i forgot to mention the pair is grown and has raised successful spawns a few times. Maybe this still isn't that good of a deal, but it seems within reason to me. Everyone puts a different price on things.

I will most likely go with the juvenile method. And of course, i planned on rehoming the rest.

What type of filtration would you suggest? Would two canisters and two good HOB be too much?

What foods would you suggest?

1077 10-02-2009 02:19 AM

I cannot speak to canister filters for I have not used them other than a HOT magnum used for clearing tanks after maint. I have an Electric Blue Dempsey,A Synodontis Multipunctatus,and seven Adult blue red columbian Tetras in an 80 gal with (2) Emperor 400's by Marine land turning over slightly less than 800 gal per hour.
I use (2) Emperor 400's on 75 gal with Polleni Cichlid,two Synodontis Multipunctatus,and two Bristlenose. Were it me, I would get the filter that could produce the flow rate closest to what you need. Could very well be one large canister, but I might also use a hang on the back and that would make it possible to service one while leaving the other running and vice versa.

NC Frank 10-02-2009 08:21 AM


Originally Posted by 1077 (Post 251581)
Were it me, I would get the filter that could produce the flow rate closest to what you need. Could very well be one large canister, but I might also use a hang on the back and that would make it possible to service one while leaving the other running and vice versa.

I like the idea of having two filters on a tank. I have an Aqueon 55 and a Rena XP2 canister on my 55g (discus, angels). I alternate maintenance on the filters so I am always leaving one undisturbed when doing tank maintenance. Having a canister + a hang on is always a good suggestion (+ you are safe if one of your filters burns out for some reason).

yippee 10-09-2009 01:48 PM

It's a 75 gallon tank and it currently has one penguin 350, and i plan on getting another one soon.

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