Jack Dempsey

Common Name: Jack Dempsey
Latin Name: Cichlasoma Octofasciatum
Origin: Central Amazon basin
Temperature: 75-80°F
PH: 7.0-8.5 (not critical)
Ease Of Keeping: Medium
Aggressivness: Agressive
Adult Size: Grows to 12″ (30cm)
Minimum Tank Size: 45 gallons, if kept alone
Spawning Method: Egg layer


Life Span: 8-10 years

Description: Color varies from bluish black to yellowish brown. Dorsal fin has a red border. Young fish will have a black spot on each side of its body and tail. These spots become less visible as the fish matures and may disappear altogether at adulthood. The Jack Dempsey is capable of very fast color changes from dark to light when frightened.

Sexing: Females are smaller and more blandly colored. Males have a longer more pointed dorsal fin then the female. Sexing this fish is very difficult when it is young, it is much easier to sex adults.

Care:Young are sociable but adults should be kept in a large species tank with lots of places to hide. Jack Dempseys can be agressive towards its own kind, adults sometimes fight by locking jaws. Caves and rocks should be provided with deep substrate, to insure they are secure. Jack Dempseys are diggers and plants will most likely be uprooted. Plants are possible if planted deeply in the substrate.You may want to consider placing plants in a pot and burying the pot in the substrate.

Feeding: Jack Dempseys have a large varied diet which includes….live fish, lettuce, fish flakes, spinach, zuccini, cichlid pellets, bloodworms, krill, shrimp,earthworms, snails or other crustaceans, tubifex, and beef heart. There are many foods the Jack dempsey will eat. Adults can be fed 1-2 times a day. Juveniles should be fed 2-3 times a day.

Added By: Laurel
I’ve had my Jack Dempsey for over a year now and he has survived everything including a 14 hour move. If you have a big enough tank then I really advise buying one.