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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I'm new to this forum so I'd appreciate any tips you guys have! I have a 55 gallon and have two convicts and two jack dempseys. These four have been together for several years and get along pretty well. I recently adopted them from a co-worker. Do I have anymore room to add more fish? If so, any recommendations on what to get or what to avoid? If possible, I'd like to get brighter colored fish since these four are darker. Any suggestions will be a great help!

Also, how can I tell which of the convicts and which of the Dempseys are males/females? None of them have locked jaws or tail slashing or anything like that. They all leave each other alone. One convict does chase the other convict around but that's about it.
Thank you,
Sarah
 

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In your current setup, i don't think you could add anything else and be successful. The jacks will get around 10" each and the cons will get between 4-6". So i think your stocked to the max right now.

As for telling the sexes apart, you have two pretty easy ones to sex:).
With the cons, the female will have an orange belly and the male will lack this.
for the jacks, the male will have small spots or worms on the gill plate. The female will have smears of color on the gill plate and will be duller in color, usually, on the body.
Disclaimer time, not all fish will follow these normal patterns, but this is pretty close to 99% accurate, most times.
 

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Take picture's tell us size's. oh, and if you don't know how to get pictures put them on www.photobucket.com then put the img with these around them
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Neither one of the cons have orange bellies. One is slightly bigger and much darker and he's always chasing the smaller and lighter one around. So I just assume that one is the male?

As of the JDs I'll attach a picture on the bottom of the two. Just so ya'll know, they're about 8 years old so they're pretty much full grown. On a side note, how long do they typically live? I've heard 15-20 from some sites and 8-10 on some others. The first pic you'll see, this one is a little smaller and has a darker background color, almost black. The second pic, that one is bigger and is almost grey in the background and he hides a lot. The first one is a little more active/social. So any thoughts on these guys will be a big help!



 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Also, isn't the general rule of thumb, an inch of fish to a gallon of water? Or is that different with cichlids? Sorry about all the questions, I'm still learning and don't want to harm any fish in the process!
Sarah
 

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They look both male to me.
 

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Hi volgirl4life,

Sounds like both your cons might be male as well. If they never spawned in your friend’s tank it is likely they are both males.

The gallon per inch of fish rule does not really apply, especially to cichlids. With most cichlids it is the floor space that matters as cichlids like to claim territory as their own and defend it against "intruders".

To bring the Jack Dempseys out a bit more you can add dither fish; which are smaller active non-cichlids that are used to make cichlids more comfortable. I would recommend trying 6 giant danios. However decent sized tiger barbs could work as well. I have not had much luck with any tetra species and my JDs/CA cichlids.

Thanks,
Matt
 
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