Fish of the Amazon:The ‘Jack Dempsey’

Its bright colored torso and emotions makes it a rare breed and find in many pet stores in PG County, Maryland. The ‘Jack Dempsey’ was originally named after it’s ferocious first-born descendant, Jack Dempsey the boxer. The Jack Dempsey fish can grow any where between 7-9″ long, has multi colors (which help identify it’s emotion) and is extremely aggressive. Generally they’re pretty hardy fish, until they feel their space has been invaded by the likes of another. Jack Dempsey’s possess a very territorial nature and do not appreciate sharing their ‘beloved’ tank or space with any other. It would be wise to consider a large enough tank to give these fish room to grow to their fullest potential.

The Dempsey fish generally likes to keep busy by guarding the perimeters of the tank, hiding between or behind plants and objects, digging and rearranging the plants and gravel. It’s multi-colored body often changes colors to depict it’s emotion; dark colors represent stress, lighter shades represent ease (according to my fish). At ease, Jack Dempsey’s are pretty calm and will find ways to keep itself busy throughout the day. At stress, the Dempsey usually sits still in the corner for long periods of time or glides quickly and endlessly back and forth.

No they aren’t piranhas or sharks, but they prefer a diet of smaller fish, blood worms, shrimp and or cichlid sticks. Fish flakes have yet to be eaten; as they seem to remain too ordinary a snack for the territorial fish. ‘Feeders’ for example (baby goldfish) are a favorite diet for the Dempsey. However, a consistent and much-loved diet of feeders to the Dempsey is the equivalent of our much-loved unhealthy foods. Please be very careful selecting feeders. Many of them often contain certain complicated bacteria’s that can be fatal to the Dempsey or any other fish for that matter. A healthy and varied diet can give Dempsey’s the necessary nutrients needed to be full grown healthy adults.

Be sure to note when changing their water, add cold and lukewarm water at 72-78 degrees. This tends to be a comfortable temperature for the Dempsey to swim in. It’s also a best bet to keep the tank as clean as possible with high water level. A low water level tank gives any fish less room to swim in and can cause stress.

All in all, the Dempsey is a pretty cool fish to have for a pet and isn’t very sloppy when it comes to maintenance if you stay on point. There primarily loners and shouldn’t cost you many dollars to maintain.

Shop list for the Dempsey

�· Filters (Depending size of tank; e.g. 20g, 25g, 50g,..)
�· Cichlid Sticks
�· Stress Coat
�· Obstacles (Plants, gravel, rocks, tank decorations)
�· H20 Purifier
�· Water vacuum

These are all useful artifacts that can help you maintain your tank. The cleaner your tank the less extensive maintenance they will require.

Other tips/facts

�· DO NOT MIX BREEDS WITH THE DEMPSEY (Includes algae eater)
Ã?· Take 75 – 80% of water during cleaning, but do not empty fully.
�· Including objects for hiding & gravel for digging reduces stress.
Ã?· It’s safe to feed the Dempsey at least twice a day.
�· A clean filter helps produce better oxygen.

For more information visit the following web link to

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