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jack dempsey and plants and dither fish

4732 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  dwarfpike
i have a lovely peaceful 7" male dempsey which *** just re homed in a 4 ft tank on his own.
he was moved from my 6ft which also had two oscars.
i want to have a heavy planted tank with amazon swords and java fern. do dempseys eat or destroy plants?
also i want a shoal of smaller dither fish. would tiger barbs work?
thanks :thumb:
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i would think it would be ok until the JD wants to dig a breeding pit, as it most likely will, then the uprooting will begin lol, but IME they dont tear apart plants for no real reason. as far as dithers, im sure tiger barbs are a possibility. or something like giant danios or Buenos Aires tetras.
You can try potting the swords, and attach the java fern to some driftwood. You can also use floating plants like hornwort.

As for dithers, tiger barbs would be fine in general, but you do have a rather grown JD, which makes me think any small fish introduced at this point will become a meal.

I'd go ahead and try it though. I also like Serpae tetras as JD dithers, they contrast well with the JD's.
I used to have a JD and and the only plants I could keep with him were fake ones. I tried real ones once and he was constantly uprooting them and moving them to where he wanted them, although he never ate the plants though.
jd's love uprooting plants for no reason at all. If you want to avoid it, go with plastic plants, potted plants as was suggested, or a floating plant like duckweed or maybe some moss. And tiger barbs would work great with him, provided you got them big enough. I keep a school of 13 in my 125g with my 4 inch jd with no problems. I got them as babies a few months ago, 20 of them, and what survived are doing good. One thing I noticed was that the albino tigerbarbs refused to school with the regular barbs. Don't know if it was just the ones I bought or if that's how it is, but they have a much better chance of surviving if they stick together.
I like gage's idea of buenos ares tetras ... they are fast, fiesty, somewhat larger tetra and their coloring is very close to the mexican tetras of the same genus found with JD's in nature.
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