January 25, 2010
Why is my Jack Dempsey so pale and colorless?
If your Jack Dempsey cichlid suddenly changes its coloration, the alteration can have been caused by a number of factors. Sudden changes can be caused by mood swings, and stress can also make the Jack Dempsey cichlid dampen its colors. A varied and nutritious diet is also necessary if you want your Jack Dempsey cichlid to display really great colors. Age and health will also affect the coloration of a Jack Dempsey cichlid. If your Jack Dempsey cichlid becomes ill or experience a lot of stress in the aquarium, it can turn much paler than normal and look dull. The dots and bands will be less visible.
A healthy, adult Jack Dempsey cichlid will typically feature a strong purple coloration with shimmering spots of blue, green and golden. You can clearly see a dark dot on each side of the body and tail, and the dorsal side features dark bands. If you closely at one scale, you will notice green or yellowish spots against the darker background. In older specimens, these spots will gradually become less visible. Really young specimens on the other hand will not have the purple coloration of the adult Jack Dempsey cichlids. Young Jack Dempsey cichlids are camouflaged by a pale grey or tan coloration, and have bleak turquoise dots. The mature male Jack Dempsey cichlid differs from the female, since the ends of his anal and dorsal fins are elongated and pointy.
It can’t be stressed enough that a varied and nutritious diet is very important not only for the coloration but for the health and longevity of your pet. A crowded aquarium or one with constant aggression by other fish will cause stress to ALL the fish and effect many in the display of their natural colors. Take care that you eliminate as much stress as possible, it’s a killer not only of color, but of your fish.
… Jack Lamountain
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