January 20, 2010





     Egg laying doesn’t come easy for some cichlids. Getting your Jack Dempsey fish to mate and spawn is not always an easy task. If one of them seems more interested in mating than the other to spawn then put the less interested one into the spawning tank first and leave on it’s own for 3 – 5 days. Make sure that you feed this fish well on high protein foods. (Ie. black/blood worms, earthworms, soft bodied insects and an assortment of quality frozen foods). You then need to introduce the more dominant fish and just keep an eye on them. The larger male will often bully the smaller female, resulting in damage to her or even death. Be sure to provide a place for her to retreat to where the male cannot follow. She will venture out to test his mood. When he’s ready to spawn, his aggressive nature will subside. 


     When both fish are ready they will go ahead and spawn. Remember that it may take them quite a few days to get ready and decide on the right spawning site. Sometimes you will see them clear all of the gravel away from a particular area, (see photo above) and then do the same in another area the next day. Patience is the key to successful spawning. If your Jack Dempseys are still not playing the game, do a large water change, around 40% and turn the temperature up a couple of  degrees. A good temperature to get them in the mood seems to be around 82F/28C. If they are still looking a little uninterested, then move the entire decor around in the tank. This will sometimes get them a little stirred up as they fight for the best personal territory. If after all of the above you can’t get them to spawn, try removing the uninterested fish and isolate again for a week. Then reintroduce and start the process again. Not all pairs are this difficult to get them to spawn.  It seem that after they first spawn together, further spawns are a breeze. 







Created by: Jack Lamountain (Adobe PhotoShop magic)

— Jack Lamountain



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  • ryan

    October 7, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Hi, great site.

    i have an amazingly colourfull male jd, in a 60g aquarium running 2 fluval 305(1000lph) i do daily 10% water change to keep the water parameters consistant, would i be able to keep a male female pair in this size tank?

    i have a 60litre tank with ehiem 2224(750lph) in storage so grown out fry wouldnt be a problem to hold untill i sell/give them away.

    thanks again for all the info :)

  • ryan

    October 7, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    the fluvals are 1000lph each so 2000lph on this tank thanks

  • Jack

    March 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I bought my Jack Dempsey’s a month or two ago… and this morning i was surprised by a lot of fry swimming in the tank…

  • cory

    May 11, 2012 at 12:08 am

    oddly enough i just set up a new tank that a friend gave me along with the fish 4 days ago. to my surprise i already had to save the eggs from the catfish i have. i was amazed just to see the eggs so soon. must be very friendly pair of dempseys :)

  • Kevin Bailey

    June 3, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    My Jack Dempseys breed two days ago. They moved the fry once, what do i do now or next???

  • lori

    July 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    how long does it take for eggs to hatch? i also have convics in the same tank. should i remove them

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