Electric blue Jack Dempsey fish makes excellent additions to your home aquarium. The fish is vibrant and electric blue, hence the name, and are beautiful to admire. However, they can be pretty aggressive, so a common question concerning these fish is, what makes the best tank mates?
Various species can match the aggression and size of the Jack Dempsey, making them great tank mates. These include; the Green terror, Midas Cichlid, Convict Cichlid, Hoplo Catfish, and the Featherin Synodontis. All these fish can hold their own in the tank and are large enough to be avoided as prey.
This article will discuss what the best Electric Blue Jack Dempsey tank mates are when trying to find companions for your Electric Blue Jack Dempsey. So keep reading! We have all you need to know about what tank mates pair well with your Jack Dempsey.
The Electric Blue Jack Dempsey
The Electric Blue Jack Dempsey is a species from the Cichlidae family, a branch of fish that thrive in freshwater. They are found in the wild across Mexico and Central America and have become extremely popular fish for home aquariums and hobbyists in recent years.
The electric blue Jack Demspey is visually appealing to admire. Its scales have a royal or dark purple hue, which is accompanied by spots that reflect any light that falls upon the fish. The luminous spots give off colors of green, blue, and yellow.
This is considered a small to medium-sized fish as the adults will generally only grow to be between 7 and 11 inches when they reach full maturity. In some cases, under the right conditions, they can grow a little larger.
If you plan to bring a Jack Demspey home, you’ll need to ensure it has a large aquarium, giving it plenty of room to roam free. The fish are relatively hardy, so as long as you ensure the temperature of the water and the pH requirement are well managed, they should live a healthy life.
The Best Electric Blue Jack Dempsey Tank Mates
Suppose you plan on bringing home an electric blue Jack Dempsey. In that case, you may have already heard that this particular fish species can be aggressive and intolerant of other fish around it, especially if placed in a tank that doesn’t fit the requirements of the fish.
The fish is actually named after a famous boxer of the early 1900s, Jack Dempsey. When researchers first started studying the electric blue fish, they noticed that it had an aggressive temperament and thus named it after a boxer with a similar character.
While these fish are generally considered to be intolerant and aggressive towards other fish, not all of them will be like this. If placed in a tank as a younger fish, they tend to become more accustomed to sharing their space with various other fish.
On top of this, if they are placed in a tank with deep sand to burrow in and a selection of miniature caves and live plants to relax in, they tend to be less aggressive.
If you intend to keep this fish in a tank, ensure it’s large enough. Either keep the Jack Dempsey as a lone fish or accompany it with various other fish, as this will ensure their aggressive behavior is not focused on a single fish.
Below we will give our recommendations on the best tank mates for your electric blue Jack Demspey fish.
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1. Jaguar Cichlid
The Jaguar Cichlid is one of the best options for a companion and tank mate to your Jack Dempsey. The Jaguar Cichlid is one of the largest and is known as a fierce predator, ensuring that it won’t be easily intimidated by the JackDempsey.
However, Jaguar Cichlids can be even more aggressive than the Jack Demspey, so you’ll want to ensure that the tank is large enough to accommodate both fish. This will ensure they can roam free, steer clear of each other, and live in peace.
2. Green Terror
The Green Terror is another excellent choice as a tank mate for your Jack Dempsey. Both of these fish are fairly evenly matched in both size and temperament. You can expect a standoff sometimes; however, neither will look at the other as easy prey.
A full-grown adult Green Terror will grow around a foot in length and tend to have fairly stocky bodies. They also have a terrific color pattern that compliments the eclectic blue color of the Jack Demspey, resulting in an attractive aquarium.
3. Hoplo Catfish
The Hoplo Catfish is a large species of fish that can thrive well in a tank with any Jack Dempsey. The Hoplo will grow to be eight inches long and well equipped with thick fins and scales, which help to ward off predatory attacks.
You’ll soon notice that the Hoplo catfish are generally a peaceful species of fish that will spend their time entertaining themselves away from others in the tank. They tend to have a much smaller mouths than the Jack Demspey, so you’ll have to consider this when feeding the fish in your tank.
4. Firemouth Cichlid
Firemouth Cichlids take their name from the red breasts, which stand out vividly with the males of the species. They are great for smaller tanks made up of but a few fish but will do well in larger aquariums.
The Firemouth Cichlid is an excellent mate for your Jack Demsey, as they tend to respect the territory of other fish. Thus, the two may rarely cross paths so long as the tank is big enough for both fish and comes with various rock formations and live plants.
5. Common Plecostomus
The Common Plecostomus is one of the largest fish on our list, coming in at almost two-feet long or 24 inches when fully grown. So, if you’re planning on keeping one of these armored catfish, you’ll need an extra large tank.
Due to their massive size and thick scales, they will not be easily intimidated or looked at as prey by your Jack Dempsey. These Plecostomus tend to wander around the bottom of the tank and have little to no care for boundaries, but they don’t tend to be overly aggressive.
6. Midas Cichlid
The Midas Cichlid is a fish that originated in various Central American lakes in countries such as Nicaragua and Costa Rica. They are fairly well matched when placed beside the Jack Demsey in both size, length, and temperament.
As these two fish are so evenly matched, you shouldn’t have too many problems keeping them in a tank together. While there may be the odd scuffle, neither fish will be in any real danger, and they will likely keep to themselves.
7. Featherfin Syndontis
The Featherfin Synodontis are known for their unique noises, which they make when they are trying to communicate with one another or when they feel in danger. They are one of the largest catfish in their diverse group.
This particular species of fish is relatively peaceful, hardy and will make a great tank mate for your Jack Demspey due to its large size. They may splash water during feeding time to intimidate the other fish, as they are heavy feeders. But this doesn’t typically lead to any violence.
8. Convict Cichlid
The Convict Cichlid is probably the most popular fish found in aquariums all over the world. Their name comes from their attractive yet subtle stripes that run vertically across their bodies in grey and white, resembling old-school prison clothing.
Even though they may seem much smaller in size when compared to a Jack Dempsey, they have a feisty personalities that won’t allow them to be bullied easily. A pair of Convict Cichlids who are in the breeding process could easily fend off a hungry Jack Dempsey who’s looking to snack on their eggs.
9. Rainbow Fish
Rainbows can also be considered great tank mates for your Jack Dempsey as they grow to be around eight or nine inches in size and are quick enough to escape any dangerous situation.
The Rainbow fish prefer to live a peaceful life nestled among various caves and rocks in your tank and don’t tend to be confrontational at all. So, they’ll likely steer well clear of a temperamental Jack Demspey and out of trouble.
Much like the Jack Dempsey species, they prefer alkaline or neutral waters. They have vivid colors that really help to bring your aquarium to life and have become fairly popular among pet owners in recent years.
10. Iridescent Shark
Iridescent Sharks can grow to be humongous aquarium fish, so you’ll need to have a very large tank if you plan on keeping both a Jack Demspey and an Iridescent shark. In general, they will grow to be between 36 and 48 inches long.
Although they grow to be huge, they tend to live very peaceful and quiet lives as a member of the catfish family. They are also quick enough to steer clear of any moody Jack Dempsey who’s trying to pick on someone much larger than themselves. Thus, they are great tank mates for your Jack Dempsey.
11. Striped Raphael Catfish
The Striped Raphael Catfish is a fish that originates in South America. This medium-sized fish is nocturnal and very peaceful, making them great tank mates for your Jack Dempsey. They have spikey fins which help to fend off attacks from predatory fish; thus, they are generally safe from attacks.
As the Striped Raphael begins to mature, you’ll see them stick to the bottom of the tank, and their stripped pattern begins to dull. They are easy to care for and will indulge in just about anything, including worms, pellets, flakes, and even frozen foods.
12. Giant Danios
The Giant Danios are excellent fish for aquariums that have larger fish. The Danios are much too large to be seen as a snack by Jack Dempseys’ and are even too fast to be caught if they are or when the Demspey is in a temperamental mood.
The Giant Danios will typically stay in the upper and middle areas of the aquarium; thus, the Jack Dempsey has plenty of room to roam around. On top of this, the Danios are hardy and easy to care for, resulting in one of the best tank mates for your Jack Dempsey
So, now you know that while your Jack Demspey might be temperamental and inconsiderate towards other fish from time to time, this doesn’t mean that they can have tank mates.
Just ensure that the tank mates are evenly matched in size, and this will result in a somewhat peaceful living environment for all fish in the aquarium.
Ian Sterling, founder of Fishlab.com, began his aquarium journey over 30 years ago, driven by a deep fascination for fish and their diverse personalities. His website, Fishlab.com, is dedicated to making fishkeeping accessible and enjoyable, offering beginner-friendly guidance, expert insights, and a community for aquarists to connect and share experiences.