Jack Dempsey In A 55 Gallon?

Sean Casey

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Hi all, we are planning on getting a 55 gallon tank setup in the next couple weeks. I’m torn on what the stocking will be, but I have absolutely fallen in love with Jack Dempsey’s after seeing some at my LFS and doing some research on them. I’m curious as to your guy’s opinion on whether or not 1 or a pair of JD’s would do well in a 55 gallon aquarium. If I were to only get 1, I was looking for reccomendations on a tank mate or two for it. Would love any feedback and advice on these fish. Thank you!
 

bizaliz3

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My JD is in a 55. She is a full grown adult. Been in there a couple years. She is probably about 8 inches. No trouble turning around or anything like that.
People definitely have differing opinions on this one. But me personally, I think a 55 is ok for a single JD. Not a pair. Bigger is always better of course!!

Mine is kept with two persimmon parrot fish. (and has been for over 2 years) They look like blood parrots but as full grown adults their bodies are about the size of baseballs. So they are much much smaller than blood parrots (they are really hard to find though) I also have Raphael catfish in her tank.
 

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bizaliz3 said:
My JD is in a 55. She is a full grown adult. Been in there a couple years. She is probably about 8 inches. No trouble turning around or anything like that.
People definitely have differing opinions on this one. But me personally, I think a 55 is ok for a single JD. Not a pair. Bigger is always better of course!!

Mine is kept with two persimmon parrot fish. (and has been for over 2 years) They look like blood parrots but as full grown adults their bodies are about the size of baseballs. So they are much much smaller than blood parrots (they are really hard to find though) I also have Raphael catfish in her tank.
Personally, that is overstocked IMO.
No hate towards you
 

bizaliz3

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Fanatic said:
Personally, that is overstocked IMO.
No hate towards you
Ya. It could be viewed as a bit cramped. But when I look at the tank, I don't see cramped fish. I see active fish who have lived together peacefully for years.
Its certainly not overstocked bioload-wise. The weekly water changes keep the levels perfect. So I assume your concern is the tank size when you say it's overstocked. And I just have a differing opinion on the minimum tank size for a JD. If my JD ended up being 10+ inches, it would be another story. It just depends. But the average sized JD is fine in a 55 IMO.

As for the OP, Is this your first tank? Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle? Stocking also depends on experience. And if you are a beginner, things should be approached differently.
 
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Sean Casey

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bizaliz3 said:
Ya. It could be viewed as a bit cramped. But when I look at the tank, I don't see cramped fish. I see active fish who have lived together peacefully for years.
Its certainly not overstocked bioload-wise. The weekly water changes keep the levels perfect. So I assume your concern is the tank size when you say it's overstocked. And I just have a differing opinion on the minimum tank size for a JD. If my JD ended up being 10+ inches, it would be another story. It just depends. But the average sized JD is fine in a 55 IMO.

As for the OP, Is this your first tank? Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle? Stocking also depends on experience. And if you are a beginner, things should be approached differently.
This is not our first, we have a 30 gallon currently with some white skirt tetras, Serpeas, blue rams and some neon tetras. We’re just looking to try and take care of something with some sizes and African/American cichlids looked really interesting
 

bizaliz3

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African cichlids are a whole other ball game. And you can't mix Africans with americans. So the first question would be, do you want to go with Africans or americans?
 
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Sean Casey

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bizaliz3 said:
African cichlids are a whole other ball game. And you can't mix Africans with americans. So the first question would be, do you want to go with Africans or americans?
Yes I am aware they cannot be mixed. My plan was that if the Jack Dempsey in a 55 gallon was a no go, I would look into doing an African tank instead
 

bizaliz3

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Sean Casey said:
Yes I am aware they cannot be mixed. My plan was that if the Jack Dempsey in a 55 gallon was a no go, I would look into doing an African tank instead
Ok just making sure.
Well its up to you. Some say a 55 is ok for a JD, some say it is not. I think it is fine for the average JD. If you get one and it gets larger than average, maybe you will need to upgrade or rehome. Try for a female because they stay smaller than the males. They typically don't get any bigger than 8 inches. And the average female, from what I have read, is more like 6.5-7 inches. ( I also think females are much prettier!!)

As for tank mates, I can't help you there because I prefer to only speak through experience. I told you what I have with my female JD. But they are hard to find. So you'll want to look for other options. I have heard of firemouths and certain geophagus species.

An African tank would be much more active and colorful and you can have way more fish (since Africans are supposed to be intentionally overstocked to curb aggression)
 
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Sean Casey

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bizaliz3 said:
Ok just making sure.
Well its up to you. Some say a 55 is ok for a JD, some say it is not. I think it is fine for the average JD. If you get one and it gets larger than average, maybe you will need to upgrade or rehome. Try for a female because they stay smaller than the males. They typically don't get any bigger than 8 inches. And the average female, from what I have read, is more like 6.5-7 inches. ( I also think females are much prettier!!)

As for tank mates, I can't help you there because I prefer to only speak through experience. I told you what I have with my female JD. But they are hard to find. So you'll want to look for other options. I have heard of firemouths and certain geophagus species.

An African tank would be much more active and colorful and you can have way more fish (since Africans are supposed to be intentionally overstocked to curb aggression)
Thank you very much for the advice, it’s very helpful. The question I have for an African tank is, if I were to purchase some males that already have some color, and then some unsexed fish, would that cause issues due to the size difference? Or should I stock only fish that are the exact same size ?
 

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in my 60g acrylic I have a 9in male EB JD and a regular 7in female normal JD with a colony of mollies. when the mollies population starts to exceed my limits, i starve the tank for a week and the JDs will in general leave the large 3in/4in adult mollies(about 10 females and 1 male sailfin) alone cuz everyone is well fed, but anything less than 1nch (about 30 to 60 babies) is what they go for (you know the JDs tried to nail one when you hear a splash). however, my JDs are on an extreme end of the spectrum since they are trained, hand fed, and raised in a livebearer community since the JDs were the size of my thumbnail. my advice is start small and give them really good food.
 

bizaliz3

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Sean Casey said:
Thank you very much for the advice, it’s very helpful. The question I have for an African tank is, if I were to purchase some males that already have some color, and then some unsexed fish, would that cause issues due to the size difference? Or should I stock only fish that are the exact same size ?
I can't help you there. I have absolutely ZERO experience with Africans. If you decide to go that route, start a thread about it. There are a lot of knowledgeable folks on here who would be able to answer those questions!!
 
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