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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I am new to this forum. I am sure most of you have answered this questions a dozen times so bear with me.

I currently have two JD's in a 55 gallon tank. Got them at the same time at a pet store, so they have been together since then. From research I have done on the internet this is the following information I have found

1) Males are bigger than their female counterparts

2) Females have the blue specs on the jaw, where males do not.

3) Males tend to have more color in their body vs their counterparts

4) Males are the more aggressive of the two sex's and will harass the female in a tank environment.

So now let me tell you what I have

Jack Dempsey 1: This is what i would consider the Alpha dog of the two. It is considerably larger in length, width, and girth (4.5 to 5 inches at this point) Is dark in color, very prominent vertical striping. not alot of speckling on the top half of the fish, mostly in the belly and thats it. bottom of the gills/jaw is almost completely blue. It is also the aggressor and will chase the other dempsey.

Jack Dempsey 2: It is probably only 3.5 inches or so at this point. No speckling in the bottom of the gills/jaw areas. lots of speckling down the full length of the body. Much lighter in color, faint vertical striping. it is orangish-white bottom.

I have also observed them "sizing up" and locking jaws.... and *** been told both can be signs of aggression and mating...

Im a bit perplexed, can someone clear the air for me?
 

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Well the larger one is definitely a female if the bottom gill\jaw is completely blue. Being dark is also a sign of dominance and breeding.

The smaller one definitely sounds male, light color means he's probably stressed, the lip locking was the female testing his strength to size him up as a mate and I think the male JD may have gotten rejected for now.

How old is the smaller JD? 3.5 inches might be a little small for him to mate. If you fatten him up and let him grow a little so he can catch up to the female, I'm sure they'll pair up just fine.

You might want to consider a divider until he gets larger and it'll be less stress on the male.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dempsey #1 (this dempsey looks smaller because my tank bows in the middle and this fish was towards the back of the tank vs the other one being up in the front when i took photos of this)

https://flic.kr/p/9nrhDm
https://flic.kr/p/9nrheQ There is a gorami in this photo... the other dempsey is thicker and a tad longer than the gorami to give you a visual comparison in the size of the two

Dempsey # 2

https://flic.kr/p/9noenT
https://flic.kr/p/9nrgTC
again, I got both dempseys the exact same day from the exact same tank, they were equal in size when I got them... So perhaps either that 2nd dempsey is a runt or the 1st dempsey is abnormally large? I got them in september when they were both around 2 inches.
 

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You definitely have a male and female. What are the dimensions of the tank, is the female very aggressive to the male to the point that the male dempsey just hides near the top of the tank? Or is it just mild chasing?

If its not too serious, then I would just leave them together. The male will probably need to grow some more before they pair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
im guessing at the dimensions but its like 2.5 feet deep... 3 ft long... 12 inch wide at the sides and 15 inches in the middle.

Its a wierd dynamic... because she does chase him to the top behind the water filtration unit, but its not a constant thing, they will roam together or just hang out in the same place. And then they both hide in different spots. She was hiding in an "urn" and he would hide in a floating log i put in.... Then I got a plecko because they ate my chinese algae eaters and hes taken over the urn. I have to get her a new object to hide in... but for now she hides in the plants.

I know they respond to people, and she only seems to be aggressive when he comes to the front of the tank to greet us.

she use the chase him all the time, but its definately slowed down over the last 6 weeks or so.

But is it typical for the female to outgrow the male? I know in our native species (like bass) the females grow much larger than the male (male base rarely get over 2.5 to 3lbs where female bass can get all the way up to 20+). I just heard in chiclids this was not the case.
 

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Males usually should get bigger than females but I wouldn't worry too much about her seeming to grow faster, for one, you don't know how old the fish really are when you get them from the fish store. The female may actually be a few months older and that would account for why she grew larger first. As long as the male JD isn't getting too stressed and is eating normally, he should catch up in size.

The tank will be a little bit small for them but doable for now. Also for a cheap hiding place and a place for them to eventually spawn, clay flower pots. Lots of people use them and they work great. Just make sure they are not the glazed kind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i was going to get a small clay pot and break it and put half in... (or do you think keeping it intact is better?)

He eats just as much if not more than her and he always acts hungry (the air chomping)

I kinda figured my tank would be too small for two full size dempseys, i have other fish in there (and understand they are on the short list for lifepsan)... i will keep an eye on them... perhaps him being smaller than her to begin with may make the living environment better for ... if not, i have a pet store nearby that buys fully grown fish.
 

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Hi ClarkIR,

If they eventually pair up, I think your tank could work for them. It sounds like you have a 46 gallon bow front. I have seen JD pairs in wide 3ft tanks before. You will just have to make sure it is decorated well with distinct areas for them to hide in. However, you are right, just keep an eye on them because it will be tight.

I have also seen stronger females beat up on male JDs; but, since he is actively eating I am sure it will even out in time.

As for the clay pot, since they are still small breaking the pot in half could be a good idea. However, when they are larger the full pot works well. I have never broken clay pots before, but I herd they have a weird plastic liner in the middle. Maybe just try and buy a clay pot that looks like it would be the right size for the fish. Either way should be good.

Thanks,
Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
my females been rubbing up against varies objects recently with her side (Side of the aquarium, plants, the gravel on the bottom)

any ideas what she is trying to inform me of w/ this activity?
 

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ClarkIR said:
my females been rubbing up against varies objects recently with her side (Side of the aquarium, plants, the gravel on the bottom)

any ideas what she is trying to inform me of w/ this activity?
How often is she doing it? If its constantly, you may have an outbreak of Ich. Do you see any white crystal on her?

If it's just occasionally, that is normal. Fish will sometimes flash on objects, especially after water changes. Also might be a sign of breeding behavior as well. Has she turned very dark and shudders occasionally?
 

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I currently have 5 JDs in a 55gal. two of them are 3-3.5 in and the other three newly added are about 1.5 in. I know youre thinking theyll get demolished, but im only keeping them in there to pair up one couple then the rest will go to friends or a possible new tank.. anyways the tank is 55 with two 50 gal filters, lots of hiding spots, including smaller holed decorations for the lil guys. How long will it take them to pair up/ how big must the be to properly sex?
 

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jegrego1 said:
I currently have 5 JDs in a 55gal. two of them are 3-3.5 in and the other three newly added are about 1.5 in. I know youre thinking theyll get demolished, but im only keeping them in there to pair up one couple then the rest will go to friends or a possible new tank.. anyways the tank is 55 with two 50 gal filters, lots of hiding spots, including smaller holed decorations for the lil guys. How long will it take them to pair up/ how big must the be to properly sex?
The ones that are 1-1.5 are too small to really pair up so it might be a while. The other 2 that are larger may pair up soon if they are of the opposite sex. You need to try to get fish close to the same size when trying to get pairs. Generally the 2 strongest fish will end up pairing anyway.
 
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