Common Name(s)
Jack Dempsey, Electric Blue Jack Dempsey, Neon Jack Dempsey
Scientific Name
Rocio octofasciata
Found mainly on the swampy slow moving rivers and canals of Central America.
Aggressive in smaller tanks, but it can be fairly peaceful in a large enough tank.
Maximum Size
8-10 inches (20.32 -25.4cm)
Minimum Tank Size
55 gallon for one, by itself.
Tank Setup
They need a lot of space for swimming. Gravels with some rocks are suitable for decoration but plants will not work as they will uproot them. Requires a good filtration as they are messy eaters. Perform 25-30% water change every week.
Tank Region
Bottom to mid dweller.
Jack Dempsey is carnivorous in nature .Feed them a good mixture of high quality cichlid pellets, krill, frozen bloodworms, earthworms, crickets, etc. Feed them 2-3 times daily to enhance the blue colour.
If you have a pair, then it is obvious that you will have some fry. Try a breeding pot or a cave so that the female can lay the eggs. Eggs can vary in number in between 500-600. They are bi-parental and will protect the fry from danger. It is best to move the mated pair in a breeding tank as they become very aggressive towards other tank mates.
It is best to keep them with same species only. But they can be kept in a community if the tank is large enough, 125g or bigger.
Ease of Keeping
Easy to keep and are hardy in nature.
pH: Doesn't matter; Temperature-72.0 to 86.0° F (22.2 to 30.0° C). Since they are messy eaters Canister Filter is really good for them.

By User:Zhyla (?) - en: Image:Jack dempsey.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Jack Dempsey is named after the famous boxer from the 1920's. Males are generally more colourful than females. Since they are hardy fish, they can live for 15 years with their owner.