Jack Dempsey Cichlid, FishTankWeb.Com – It is indeed one of aquarists’ favorites although sufficient knowledge on this type of fish is highly required.

The proper knowledge is needed so that the fish can well establish in the tank.

What kind of special treatment does this fish need? Here is the basic knowledge about the fish you need to have.

Jack Dempsey Cichlid Physical Feature

Jack Dempsey Cichlid is scientifically named Cichlasoma octofasciatum.

It is a beautifully colored cichlid that comes in a large size and that comes from South American.

Although the fish is large, it is compact in shape and stocky. Although it is stocky, it can grow up to 25 cm or 10 inches in length.

Jack Dempsey Cichlid Color Pattern

Jack Dempsey is getting more gorgeous when it grows older. As it grows, it develops its pattern and coloration.

The full pattern and coloration of the fish may take up to one year. The adult Jack Dempsey has many colors on its body.

Dark purple mixed with gray can be found as background of the body and green, light blue, and gold are found in the spangle spots all over the body.

Male Jack Dempsey has more those gorgeous spots than the male do.

The male fish also have other physical features such as anal and dorsal fins that are in bright red.

The color of the fish listed above sometimes also come with another baseline coloring.

Nowadays some Jack Dempsey fish also has many captivating color varieties.

One of the examples of an exotic Jack Dempsey is the Electric Blue Jack Dempsey.

Jack Dempsey Cichlid Interesting Facts

The Jack Dempsey name may remind you of a famous person.

But then you question why this human name is adopted to be a fish name. These all have story.

The first time this type of fish was introduced to the hobby of aquarium, this cichlid fish was deemed quite ferocious, although know there are many other cichlid breed that are considered way more aggressive than Jack Dempsey.

However, the hyper aggression of the fish seems to be an aquarist’s impression about this cichlid breed.

That’s why. This fish was named after the 1919 World Heavyweight Boxing Champion “Jack Dempsey”.

Meanwhile, this fish also has a genus named Rocio. The name was perceived from the wife’s name of the describing author, Regan.

In Spanish, it is translated as “morning dew”, meaning sparkling scales allusion on the sides and cheeks.

Jack Dempsey Cichlid Community Tank

Although Jack Dempsey is aggressive, it is not the most aggressive cichlid.

It is also not as aggressive or combative as the Red Devil cichlid. If you worry about the fish making a mess with other fish in the tank, you can keep it single.

Jack Dempsey can be kept both single or in a large group.

If you only have limited space to keep all of your fish so that you need to keep Jack Dempsey and other fishes together, it is advisable for you to keep the fishes in large groups instead of in pairs.

If you are planning to breed Jack Dempsey, it is better for you to let the fish in their own tank.

During the breed, the end to do not well in a large group and thus they need to be kept singly in the tank.

Again, if you unfortunately don’t have any more space to keep all of your fishes, still keep all the fishes in the same tank but monitor the tank more closely and more often.

The Origins of Jack Dempsey Cichlid

This aggressive cichlid breed is naturally and originally from Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras, although the fish may also been found in other areas during warm climates.

Jack Dempsey likes to inhabit sluggish, warm water, crustaceans, fish, insects, and feeding on worms.

Like other kinds of cichlids, Jack Dempsey also has an interesting history.

More than 100 years ago, this cichlid breed started off as Cichlasoma biocellatum.

It then changed to Cichlasoma octogastiatum, then to Heros octofaciatus, then to Parapetania octofasciata, then to Nandopsis octogasciata, then to Archocentrus octofasciatus, and eventually to Rocio octofasciata.

Although the species made many changes, it is rarely to be mistaken with another kind of fish.

Despite of its aggressiveness, many aquarists still keep Jack Dempsey because this fish is easy to breed, cheap to buy, hardy, colorful, easy to keep, and able to improve with age.

This fish is also known to be boisterous and tough fish.

Jack Dempsey Cichlid Tank Size

With its large size, the fish’s ideal house or tank will be in the size of 120cm/4’ or 150cm/5’.

A tank with the size of 180 x 60 x 60 cm cannot be said to be a minimum though as the tank with this size is actually better for Midas cichlid.

Although Jack Dempsey is aggressive and boisterous, it is actually not a one-tank-one-fish creature.

Jack Dempsey can certainly be housed with other hardy and large species.

Jack Dempsey Cichlid Care

One of the reasons why Jack Dempsey is popular is because it is easy to keep and to care about.

Naturally, their waters need to be alkaline and hard. The water also needs to be in a temperature ranging from 22 – 30oC and in pH 7 – 8.

Those conditions make taking care of this fish easy as the water conditions are actually how most of aquarists keep their tropical tanks.

In addition, the fish will not be in harm if the pH of the tank goes lower or higher.

Aside from those water conditions, the way you can decorate the tank is also easy.

Simply put large rocks and large pieces of bogwood in the tank to get a natural look.

Place the rocks first to avoid getting rock falls when the fish dig.

You can also decorate the tank with some live plants such as Anubias, or Java fern on rocks or woods.

With any décor you put in the tank, make sure all of them are easy to keep clean and maintain.

Images for Jack Dempsey Cichlid

Photo Image Electric Blue Jack Dempsey Cichlid

Photo Image Jack Dempsey Cichlid Beginner Care Guide

Photo Image Jack Dempsey Cichlid Blue Electric

Photo Image Jack Dempsey Cichlid Breeding

Photo Image Jack Dempsey Cichlid Care

Photo Image Jack Dempsey Cichlid Color

Photo Image Jack Dempsey Cichlid Diet

Photo Image Jack Dempsey Cichlid Environment

Photo Image Jack Dempsey Cichlid Female

Photo Image Jack Dempsey Cichlid Food

Photo Images Jack Dempsey Cichlid Lifespan

Photo Image Jack Dempsey Cichlid Male Female

Photo Image Jack Dempsey Cichlid Pattern

Photo Image Jack Dempsey Cichlid Tank mates

Photo Image Jack Dempsey Cichlid Tank Setup

Photo Image Jack Dempsey Cichlid Tank Size GallonSee another type for this fish:


The behavior of Jack Dempsey should not be the reason to why you should pass on keeping the fish in your tank.

This type of fish is unique as unique as the way it should be cared.

So, why not trying to keep Jack Dempsey Cichlid?


[1] Keeping Jack Dempsey cichlids in the aquarium June 13, 2016, Practicalfishkeeping¹. Accessed on 01.03.2018.

[2] Jack Dempsey Cichlid, Animal-World². Accessed on 01.03.2018

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