The Jack Dempsey Fish got its name from former boxing champion Jack Dempsey. Jack Dempsey Fish are sturdy and full of energy. They are among the types of Cichlids that aquarium hobbyists prefer, because they can adapt pretty well to their given environment. However, there are a number of factors that have to be considered to ensure that your Jack Dempsey Fish live a long and happy life.
- Set up your aquarium correctly. Jack Dempsey Fish can grow up to a foot in length. Keeping them in an aquarium with lots of space is highly necessary. A 45-gallon tank should be the minimum, and consider a larger size if you plan on having tank mates for your Jack Dempsey. Set up a heater to control the water's temperature. Most experienced Jack Dempsey Fish owners maintain the temperature between 22-25 degrees Celsius, although it can be regulated up to 30 degrees Celsius. Keep the pH levels between 7.0 to 8.0 and dGH at 9 to 20. Put in aquarium fixtures such as caves, flowerpots or wood that will serve as hiding places. Do away with live aquatic plants, as Jack Dempsey Fish are highly likely to eat them.
- Feed your Jack Dempsey. Jack Dempsey Fish are hearty eaters. In their natural environment, they feed on crustaceans, insects, worms, frogs, shrimps and other smaller fish. Offer these live treats to your Jack Dempsey if possible. However, veggie flakes and pellet fish food can also be given as a staple.
- Monitor your Jack Dempsey's health. Jack Dempsey Fish sometimes have color alterations that can be a signal of distress. It can mean that the food you are feeding it isn't nutritious enough. It can also indicate stress or illness. A healthy, adult Jack Dempsey Fish should have a purple color with gold, green and blue spots. Meanwhile, a young Jack Dempsey Fish is usually gray or tan in color, and the spots are only slightly visible.
Jack Dempsey Fish are a favorite among seasoned aquarists, because they require very little care and maintenance. However, they can be fairly temperamental and will sometimes exhibit violent behavior. An inexperienced Jack Dempsey owner may have a few problems managing these unique traits of the Jack Dempsey, so patience and keen observation are needed.