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Jack Dempsey Cichlid (Archocentrus Octofasciatus)

Photo of: Jack Dempsey Cichlid (Archocentrus Octofasciatus)

Scientific Name(s): Archocentrus Octofasciatus


Common Name(s): Jack Dempsey


Family: Cichlidae


Species Type: Central American Cichlids


Maximum Size: 10 inches


Life Span: 15 years


Natural Habitat: Central America - Yucatan peninsula, Guatemala, Honduras


Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons


Tank Region: All over


Possible Tank Mates: Quite intolerant of other species. Some aquarists have reported successfully keeping jack dempsey cichlids in combination with firemouth meeki, convicts, green terrors, catfish and plecostomus.


Physical Description: Jack Dempsey Cichlids are large and aggressive fish from Central America. This is a very popular fish with home aquarists because it is quite striking with beautiful coloration. A casual observation of a jack dempsey would lead one to believe they are blue or green in color. Upon further examination, you would see that while the overall color of a Jack Dempsey is blue or green, there are a multitude of speckles and spots that can be black, brown, blue, green or even silver.


Advice for Keeping this Species: The Jack Dempsey is a hardy fish that will tolerate less than perfect water conditions. They are very energetic and aggressive so care must be used when choosing aquarium decorations and other tank mates. Most experts recommend that only heavy decorations like rock or driftwood be used for decoration. Also recommended is that Jack Dempsey fish be kept in a species only tank.


Temperature Range: 70°F - 80°F



pH Range: 6.5 - 7.8

pH 5.0
pH 6.0
pH 7.0
pH 8.0
pH 9.0


Hardness Range: 15° - 25°



Breeding Information: The breeding behavior of Jack Dempsey Cichlids is similar to other Central American Cichlids. They will search for a flat area to clean off for a nesting area. The clean this area and will lay the eggs there. The parents are protective and will watch over the eggs and fry. Incubation takes about 4 days. After the eggs have been incubated, they will become wigglers and you will be able to see them move. In about another 48 hours the wigglers will be released and become free-swimming. The fry are relatively easy to care for due to their larger size. You can feed them brine shrimp or crushed flake food.


Sexing Information: It is fairly easy to determine the sex of mature Jack Dempsey cichlids. Males tend to be larger with more pointed anal fins. The females also have blue coloration on the gill plates, while males tend to have little or no blue coloration on the gill plates. Finally, the males tend to be much more colorful than the females. The difference between sexes becomes quite apparent with a male and female sharing the same tank.


Diet: Omnivorous - does well with pellet or flake food and live worms, krill or brine shrimp.


Temperament: Very aggressive


Common Diseases: HITH (Hole in the Head)


This Jack Dempsey Cichlid profile has been viewed 6885 times.


Central American Cichlids


Keith Pardee

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