More Jack Dempseys -- 2009

 
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Introduction.  We were happily housing a half-dozen adult (6-to-8-inch) Jack Dempseys in a 55.  All of a sudden, one of our customers had to relocate and consequently added another nine even larger Dempseys to our collection.  No way would they fit in with the others.  Luckily, we had a nearly empty 55 ready and waiting for them.  After being stuffed into an insulated picnic toter, they were quite happy (but still crowded) to be released into a 55 with four African cichlids.

LA
Some of these guys were honker size in the 8-to-10-inch range.

LA
Nice colors on the nine newbies.  They spread out after a bit.

Some Getting Used to Necessary.  Usually, new fish disperse in all directions when first introduced to new quarters.  For some strange reason, these guys (and gals) felt more comfortable in a lump for a couple days.  After some adjusting, they finally spread out.  They ate very little at first.

LA
Obviously uncomfortable, several assumed this hunched up attitude.

LA
And some, like this large male, appeared to be way past their prime.  Big is not always better.

Excess Size.  Some of these bruisers were so large, they looked to be over the hill.  They're starting to look better as time and a half passes by, but we may wind up with some we need to humanely dispose of.  All these new guys sport about three times the colors of the Dempseys in our original 55.

LA
Female in the original 55.

LA
Male in the original 55.

Original 55.  For some reason, the Dempseys in this tank were all non-colorful by comparison.  They were a couple inches smaller but still breeding size.  They live with several other aggressive fishes (gars, bichers, abramites, and convicts).

LA
Of course, those same pale gals and guys colored up nicely when they felt like breeding.

LA
Meanwhile, back in the new herd ...

The New Herd.  These guys got the same food as our originals -- mostly Tetra Color Enhancing Koi Sticks.  Plus, the originals got different pellets on different days and an occasional nightcrawler when they acted  like they wanted to spawn.  Oh, and some would snag the goldfish we added on a regular basis for the bichirs and gars.  The new guys just ate mostly the koi sticks and kept their color all the time.  It could have been their age.  They were obviously all older.

LA
After a week or so, the newbies started feeling their oats -- usually two males would argue.

LA
In the original tank males and females would lip lock.

LA
Pair of the oldies in their own tank.

Not the Ritz.  We gave a lip-locking pair of the originals their own bare bones breeding tank -- wood and a flower pot to lurk in or behind, a flat rock to spawn on, nightcrawlers to the right to munch on.  The pair is in the left hand front corner.  They were not impressed.  If they spawn later, we'll add it on the bottom of this page.  If not, we won't.

LA
Meanwhile the new Dempsey males continued their lip locking.

LA
... and continued ...

LA
Ditto.

LA
They wound up trashing each others' mouths.

LA
But most of them have enough sense to avoid the frey.

In Conclusion.  Jack Dempseys are attractive fish -- but a little on the rowdy side.  They need lots of elbow room.  You can crowd them, but they look so much better, happier, and healthier if you give them plenty of room.  These particular newbies were six years old.  They live 10 years easily, probably 15 in many cases.  LA
 

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