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Nandopsis octofasciatum (Jack Dempsey)



An Article by Francesco Zezza

Photos taken while the fish was still in the quarantine tank, before transferring it (her) to its more luxurious final compartments.

 

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Fast facts on Nandopsis octofasciatum

formerly Cichlasoma octofasciatum.

Biotope: It’s said (mine is an aquarium specimen of “unknow origin”) to come from Central Amazon Basin. Attains, in wild, a size of 20/30 cm (8 to 12 inches). A “Blue” and a “Gold” morph are also reported but I feel both pf them are “human made” morphs. I may be wrong on this point but this is my feeling. NOTE: This fish is also known (wrongly I believe) as Cichlasoma biocellatum.

Tank: Lots of rocks, and bogwoods (to create hiding spots suitable for the size of this fish). The type of gravel has to be considered carefully: this fish is a “digger”; I decided to go for a blackish, big sized gravel (bean size) even though I am not sure if this is the right choice. Large grains are said to trap the dirt. Not yet tried to add plants but I do not expect them to thrive. Size: I keep a single specimen, alone, in a 130 lt /33US gals)

Water chemistry: a pH in the range 6.7 – 7.2 is considered ideal; in realitly my fish is kept in the upper values of this range. Water temp target is 22° to 25° C (72°-78° F); it’s said that a further increase of the temparature, up to 26° - 27,5° C (80° - 82° F) may induce breeeding.

Spawning: No personal info on this matter. I happen to have a single specimen – see below why! - and, furthermore, I’m not an expert in “new world” cichlids keeping.

Food: Flake, pellets, tablets, frozen stuff, worms (earthworms, blood worms) almost everything, possibly including live matter.

Tank Mates: This fish is reported to be really “BAD” mannered! Then likely additions are: loriicarids (actually only tankmate is an Ancistrus), other similar sized cichlids (i.e.: A. nigrofasciatum; T. meeki. N. salvini) and/or so called dither fishes. I refer to considerably smaller specimens, rough, fast swimmers that could – possibly – stand the “Jack Dempsey” (American common name) aggression; i.e.: middle-sized characins.


Remarks on my – own – fish: The way this fish has been kept BEFORE I rescued it, is a very good example of how a fish (no matter which one) should NOT be kept! As a matter of fact I found him at a fish shop I visit every now and then. The fish had been returned from someone else, since the poor fellow had outgrown its tank. It was badly crammed in a 40 liters or so (10 US gals) tank - at most. When I saw it, lying at the bottom (almost laying), with badly torn fins, on its side. Remember: the fish was something like 20 cm in size! I got it for a few, REALLY few, bucks! This fish is reported to be a female about  four - five years old and, despite it is almost fully grown, because of the previous BAD living conditions, is not used to swallow anything but the tiniest particles of food. Feeder fish offered by the shop-keeper were happily swimming here ‘n there in the tank! After I took it home I offered her (assuming it is a "she"!) a 130 liters (30 US gals) tank of her own, aquascaped in such a way to meet her needs ( to the best of my knowledge). Day by day she is regaining “shape”, colour and may I dare to add … “temper”. I DO hope, her nightmare is OVER; Once and forever!!!


The above mentioned story forces me to make - once more - the following statement: A fish is NOT A toy. Chose fishes according to the size they will finally attain (once fully grown!) not the size they have at the moment you buy them!!! Besides: be sure to have a tank suitably sized for your new pet’s final size, which is set-up and correctly running BEFORE (at least: at the moment) you actually get him. Never “bet” on the future: that, highly awaited, 200 US gals (750 liters) tank could, for whatever reason, never arrive! DO NOT FORGET, when getting a new fish, YOU’RE GOING TO DEAL WITH A LIVING CREATURE; act consequently! Period! Any way (see pictures above), things are getting better now (even if damaged fins are still detectable)…

Finally I'd like to thank "The Age of Aquariums" (you may check their clipart section); from which I picked the cute Jack Dempsey's wallpaper shown in this page.

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 Page last modified on 26/02/2002  

 

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