View Full Version : Jack Dempseys in a 55

01-19-2007, 04:21 PM
I was thinking of starting a new tank in the near future and just thinking about what I want to stock it with. Would I be able to keep one or a pair of Jack Dempseys in a 55 gallon tank. If so would/could there be other fish in there with him/them. I know they grow to about 8-9'' but I also know that the 1 inch to 1 gallon rule kinda gets thrown out when dealing with bigger fish.

01-19-2007, 07:38 PM
hey, hi! I just saw this thread at the cichlid-forum! LOL

From what I've read about JD's, is that they will probably get a little larger than 8-9 inches. Probably closer to around 10 or 11, it seems, but it takes a while for them to get that big.

Anyway, considering their size and messy eating habits, I would suggest only one JD for your 55, but you have a few options for some tankmates. Of course, it all depends on the individual JD, but some good places to start:

If the JD is super aggressive and territorial, he may not allow any tankmates at all. Just keep an eye for the first few weeks when introducing.

If your JD is mostly aggressive, you may want to try a convict or two. JD's require a lot of space for their territory, and a pair of convicts would usually be able to defend for themselves and won't add much to your bio-load. Or instead of convicts, you could try a salvini. I have one of these, and although he is aggressive, just make sure he is a few inches smaller than the JD. Just make sure that they both have plenty of cover and "landmarks" to claim and break up territory and line of vision. Another way to reduce aggression is to avoid warmer temperatures (like 80F). Try to stick closer to about 76F or 77F.

If your JD is one of those few that seems to not bother many other fish and is actually pretty sweet, then you could try a firemouth, a festivum, or maybe a severum.

Texas Cichlids and Green Terrors are also compatible, but in a 55 gallon, you'll be asking for some serious fights and one just may kill the other. You would need at least a 75 or 90 gallon to house two large aggressive cichlids, and then there are still no guarantees.

Remember to double your filtration and strive to change at least 40-50% of your water weekly. This will ensure your water quality stays top notch and your cichlids grow like they're supposed to.

I have only recently been studying up on JD's, so my experience is limited, but what I've written above seems to be a general paraphrase of what I've been reading about this beautiful fish.

01-19-2007, 08:09 PM
Ha yeah i wanted to cover all my bases. Thanks for the info. This wont be for a few weeks so ive got plenty of time to do my research. I think im thinking about getting 2 I saw that it was one of there cookie cutter setup so I'm guessing they have had some good experiences with it, I'm hoping to raise them together so theyll get used to each other. I'll prob have a canister and a HOB filter so that should be good for that. We will see what happens I'm gunna go talk to the LFS too I've got a couple good ones in my area that might be able to give me some good advice.

01-19-2007, 08:35 PM
glad to hear you're doing research first. That's always a smart move. Jack Dempseys take about a year or longer to reach their full adult size, so you could do two for now and possibly place the other one somewhere else later. Then again, if the two adults get along famously after a year, and your water quality stays awesome, then don't fix what ain't broke, you know? :) Every cichlid is different, and they may prefer to stick together since they grew up together. You never know until you try, but just be prepared. Good luck to you, and welcome to A.C!

01-19-2007, 10:01 PM
You could definitely do a pair in there assumign you have lots of filtration and do big weekly water changes. I would do a Fluval 405 and 2 Whisper 60s. To get a true pair you can get about 6 juveniles and as they grow they will pair off, we actually had a pair pair off at work when they were only about 3.5", so once the pair forms the others will still be small enough for a LFS to take them off your hands. Two fish under a foot each will be fine in there. If they are a true pair it will be much more likely to work.

01-20-2007, 12:17 AM
Hi folks...off the subject for a minute.

Your PM mailbox is full and I couldn't respond to your PM's!!!

I asked about the Jumbo Fish Formula.
All I see online is 5mm floating pellets???

03-17-2007, 06:31 AM
[QUOTE= keep one or a pair of Jack Dempseys in a 55 gallon tank.[/QUOTE]
OH NO in a 55G

03-17-2007, 12:17 PM
A pair is fine in a 55 (assuming it is cared for properly, filtration, water changes, etc.). These fish hit about 10" and a pair (which means they get along) will be fine in a 55. If anything you have room for something else small too.

03-17-2007, 03:37 PM
I also know that the 1 inch to 1 gallon rule kinda gets thrown out when dealing with bigger fish.

The one inch per gallon rule, is pretty much a load of junk. There are so many variables that affect your stocking such as, size, footprint, dimensions, water quality, frequency of water changes, and filtration, just to name a few.
Its a good idea to pay this "rule" no attention. The best way to find out how much you can stock is to ask someone with experience.