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Jack Dempsey

Picture of Jack Dempsey cichlid Picture of Jack Dempsey cichlid

Photos taken at Wharf Aquatics
© Sean Evans

Common name:Jack Dempsey cichlid
Scientific name:Rocia octofasciata
Synonyms:Nandopsis octofasciatum, Cichlasoma octofasciatum (old genus name), also previously known as C. biocellatum
Size:Up to 8" (20cm).
Origin:Southern Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.
Tank setup:A large tank with rocks and wood. Plants are likely to be uprooted, although floating plants could be used, or those which attach easily to rocks or bogwood, such as Java Fern, Java Moss and Anubias.
Compatibility:One of the more aggressive medium-sized cichlids, it is best kept alone or mixed with other robust cichlids, medium-sized catfish, etc.
Temperature:21-25oC (70-77oF)
Water chemistry:pH around neutral (6.5-7.5), medium hard.
Feeding:An omnivore which will accept most foods, green foods can be offered occasionally.
Sexing:The dorsal and anal fins of the male are more pointed.
Breeding:Pairs form easily and become very aggressive when breeding. A large number of eggs are laid on a rock, after which the fry are herded into pits.
Comments: This can be a very aggressive fish, as the fact that it is named after a heavyweight boxer might suggest! However, it was originally kept back in a time when few similar cichlids were found in the hobby, so its reputation has probably been somewhat exaggerated.
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