Jack Dempsey in 12 gallon tank?

  • Thread starter

soap_chan7

New Member
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Points
151
Hi there,
My brother has a 55 gallon tank and his Jack Dempsey is very aggressive. Since it is picking on the others he has no choice but to get rid of it. Everywhere I have read it says that a single JD must be kept in a minimum of 45-55 gallon tank. I only have a 12 gallon. I understand they like quite a lot of space to move and are very territorial but they only grow between 6-10 in. and as far as I know they are not exceptions to the 1 inch / 1 gallon rule like goldfish are. So I was wondering if it could work out having only 1 female (I think it's female) JD in a 12 gallon Eclipse tank? I care a great deal for fish and would never want to hurt the Jack Dempsey, I want to be able to provide it with the best environment possible but I am also strapped financially as I am only a college student so I can't afford anything bigger. My brother is desperate for a home for the JD and I would love to give that to it so I would really appreciate everyone's opinion on this. Especially since I am afraid that a lot of these chain pet stores won't tell me the truth on this matter so they can just make a sale. Any advice would be great. Thank you very much!
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,628
Reaction score
22
Points
358
Experience
5 to 10 years
It is not the fish's size that would worry me about the tank although it will not like being so restricted. The aggressiveness of the fish will make it much more active and the more cramped an aggressive fish feels, the worse the aggression gets. He is likely to become so upset he (or she) would run into the things perhaps even the side of the tank and injure himself/herself. You would not be able to have any other fish even if you did try this and there is no gaurantee that this would work even with keeping this fish alone.

It is up to you whether you want to try to do this but be prepared with a back-up plan like even returning it to the store where it was purchased. You will probably not get anything for it, but they may take it back because of its aggression especially if you or your brother have been good customers. Sometimes they will give a store credit.

I hope you can work something out. It may be that the fish will settle down in the tank, but if you are removing it due to aggression, I do not see it being better.

I do want to welcome you to Fishlore.com. It has been my pleasure to post to you. Please feel free to browse the site, question anything you may wish to and comment as well. We have many members from all age groups, all nationalities, and many different interests.

Rose
 

Isabella

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,250
Reaction score
37
Points
358
Experience
5 years
It is very nice of you that you want to take care of the fish, instead of simply "getting rid" of it. I feel exactly the same way about my pets (including fish). But I have to agree with Rose: a 12 gallon tank is really too small for a Jack Dempsey. He will not be happy there. If you know you cannot get at least a 50 gallon tank for him, and if you can arrange for him to be taken back to the store, I am afraid this is the only option for you. UNLESS ... you know someone who would like to take him. If you find someone to take the fish, I guess you could keep it in a 12 gallon tank very TEMPORARILY, until the other person takes it. Whoever you give it to, make sure that this person has appropriate conditions for this fish (i.e. large enough tank, compatible tankmates, etc ... AND of course the tank must be cycled.)

I really wish you best of luck with the Jack Dempsey - this is such a beautiful fish in my opinion. I love Jack Dempseys. I really wish you could keep it as I know how hard it is to give your pet(s) away.
 

Gunnie

Well Known Member
Messages
2,671
Reaction score
2
Points
198
I'm definately with the ladies here.  12 gallons is definately too small, and 55 gallons is minimum in my opinion.  The reason being, I'm sure you've heard that a fish will only grow to the size of its tank.  Well that myth is a very cruel one.  It may stop growing on the outside, but not on the inside.  All the internal organs continue to grow, and it will probably die a slow, painful death.  The waste that fish will put out would also require water changes probably every couple of days in that size tank.  It does not fit with the inch per gallon rule because of its size from top to bottom. 

What I would suggest is that you check in your area to see if there is a local fish club or society.  If so, I would definately join (you will have so much fun!), and see if someone from the club is interested in your JD.  This way you know the fish will be well taken care of.  I would have a problem taking it to the LFS also. You can also advertise on forums like this one to try and sell it.  Just make sure you indicate where you are and if it's local pick up only.  Otherwise folks will expect you to ship it, and if you don't know what you're doing, that could be a disaster.  Just let us know if you need any help on finding it a new home.  If you give me your location on this thread or in a pm, I can try and help you locate a local fish club.  It should be okay temporarily for a few weeks, to keep it in your 12 gallon tank.

P.S.  Welcome to FishLore!   
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

soap_chan7

New Member
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Points
151
Thank You So Much Everyone! I really appreciated all the help. Currently my brothers 55 gallon tank is way over crowded with not only a JD but also an Oscar and several other smaller cichlids. And since the Jack Dempsey has been picking and tearing at the Oscar my brother is getting rid of the JD. We are checking to see if PetSmart will take the fish back but if not my brother will began making another bigger tank sooner than expected so he can put the JD there. Meanwhile I will have to take the JD and try to make things work for a few weeks because as the Oscar gets bigger he is beginning to fight back. We are afraid they will kill each other and are hoping that perhaps the JD will calm a bit in my tank where he can be all alone and have run of the space. The JD is young so it's not full grown but we will still try and get the JD out of my tank as soon as possible to prevent any stress or discomfort.

If anyone has suggestions as to how I could set up my tank to make the JD happiest and still be able to make it comfortable for other small tropical community fish when the Jack Dempsey is gone I would really appreciate it. Thanks so much, everyone has been so kind and helpful to me and I really do truly appreciate it.
 

Gunnie

Well Known Member
Messages
2,671
Reaction score
2
Points
198
JD's can become quite aggressive (hence the name), and the overcrowding of the tank is probably the issue. Just keep in mind that JD's are like oscars and other cichlids, they will try and eat any other fish they can keep in their mouths, so any smaller fish that are housed with them, could potentially become lunch. Since your tank size is small, I would put as little as possible in the tank for decoration to give him more swimming room, except for maybe 1 hiding place which could be with plants or a decoration. Good luck!
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom