View Full Version : Jag hiding
I would like some input from the forum members. My jag has taken to hiding all day in his cave. In reality, the cave isn't even big enough for him, but he'll cram himself in there at an angle in order to hide. As soon as I turn off the tank light though, he comes right out and swims around. Consequently, I think he doesn't like the lighting in the tank. I think I would see more of him in a more dimly lit tank, but I still need some light to enjoy his colors. I was thinking of using some plants to filter the light and add some hiding spots to the tank. Anyone have any suggestions? Would something like water sprite work? What about vallisneria? The tank is a 35 with a standard 20 watt strip light. It has a Whisper 2 and a Penguin 170. Water temp is about 82. Please give me any advice you can as I want to make my jag more comfortable so I can enjoy him more.
Yeah, it's definitely the lighting that's putting him off.
I stay away from rooted plants, etc. since Jags etc. will mostly just trash them eventually, but I love using floating plants. Go online to one of the big suppliers (e.g. Drs. Foster and Smith Live Aquaria) and get some pond plants (i.e. floating plants). Water lettuce is great. You won't have to reduce your lighting as the floating plants will filter the light (actually creating some nice effects on the Jag). Fish feel much more comfortable with a layer of floating plants, and the fast growing plants are very good at sucking up extra nitrates, etc. that are always present in tanks such as yours (that is, those with big, messy fish). It's also cool to watch the fish search through the floating layer looking for that last pellet or morsel of food. They'll keep it up for hours sometimes.
Another good thing about floating plants is they will not obstruct your filtration system since your intakes are submerged. If you got a bunch of anacharis or similar they Jag would shred them, and the filter intakes would be covered before you knew it.
Adding more decorations would also help, but you don't want to over do it. Think about standing some slate-like rocks against the back wall of the tank (if you can GUARANTEE the Jag won't be able to knock them over!.... they are very strong!..... wedge them in among very heavy rocks). That won't take up too much space, and he'll know he doesn't have to dart down to the bottom of the tank for cover. For a fish like yours, you'll want to give him plenty of swimming room out front so you can see him and he can see you!
You could also go with some dither (any type of common free swimming fish) fish. Dithers work to calm down the Jag by making him feel it's safe since they are swimming around. I don't know how big your Jag is, but dithers often become feeders at some point! You may want to go with cichlids as dithers. Convicts work well in this role as they are cheap and manage to stick up for themselves (just make sure the jag can't fit into their caves).
Hope that helps!
03-05-2003, 04:21 PM
Very well said chc.
I second the floating plants and dither fish. Water sprite and Convicts have worked wonders for my Striped Midas. Those were some shy fish......At first anyway. How big is your Jag now? When are you planning to upgrade tanks?
Good luck Chet,
My jag is about 8", including the tail. It has all but stopped growing length wise, although it has thickened up some in the past month or so. I change 30% of the water twice a week and keep the gravel and the filters very clean. I though about putting some small convicts and some rock piles in, I just worry about the convicts sneak attacking the jag. I guess as long as I remove them before they get to large, it shouldn't be a problem. I will upgrade to a larger tank just as soon as possible. Most likely a 75. The financial situation has not permitted such a move, but I hope to straighten that out before the jag totally outgrows the tank it's in. Luckily the tank I am housing the jag in is 12" wide for most of the tank, so it has plenty of turning room and swimming room. I will try some water sprite and some small convicts, along with increased decoration, primarily for the benefit of the convicts.
You can see a pic of what the tank and jag look like now at:
Nice looking fish!
I can see he might be a bit skittish in that tank, especially with its unique shape (it is difficult for him to get away from thing as almost the whole length of the tank is the "front").
I'd put a very big flowerpot in there, one big enough to stand upside down and still allow him to fully hide inside (just slllooowwlly chip away at a side with the prong of a hammer until you get a pin hole that you can gradually work bigger and bigger). Perhaps if you got one of those giant plastic plants (I think the brand name might in fact be Giant) to break up the view a little from one end of the tank to the other he might also feel more comfortable.
The other ideas could work also.
BTW.... don't worry about any convict sneak attacking the jag.... worry for the convicts!
03-07-2003, 07:11 AM
I too have a jaguar cichlid but its kept in a much different environment. My tank is alittle over twice the size of yours but I keep more fish with the jag. Your jag maybe shy because there are no other fish around and there is no cover besides the cave. Atleast one or two large amazon swords would be nice to give him some cover. The jag will dig them up but this will also give the fish something to do. I would place these plastic plants on the other side of the tank from the cave but closer to the front to give the fish some cover. My Jag also likes to chase some smaller quicker cichlids a young texas cichlid is the favorite target. A pleco will also help out, my jag loves to investigate this strange looking fish. If you add some small cichlids make sure you up your water changes and increase you filter capacity if required. Luckily my jag is not very agressive and has not killed any fish in the two years I have owned it (I think it maybe a female but I am not too sure). My jag is sensitive to light and is much more active once I turn the light out, this is most likely because the fish is a natural predator that hunts in open water and needs excellent vision. Good luck I hope this helps
03-07-2003, 07:16 AM
Here is a picture of the jag with his best bud a tiger oscar
I have removed the plastic stump and the large rocks. The jag cut its lip pretty badly in an attempt to move them out of the hole. These fish love to dig and have created a home in the rear center of the tank. The oscar will attack the siphon of the python when I clean the hole. once again good luck.
I previously had the tank well deorated, but in inhibited the jag's swimming space, so over time I removed the decorations. I added a few plastic plants the other day. The jag responded by trying to throw them out of the tank. I think I am going to buy some water sprite for the surface, add some rockwork and a few small convicts, and make a large, solid cave out of concrete or some other substance. For a long time, the jag had tankmates, but one by one he terrorized them until even the pleco had to be removed. I was hoping that as a single specimen, he would be more interactive, but that has not been the case so far. I occasionally add giant danios, but he has gotten to where he can catch and eat 5 giant danios in a few hours. He is a very stealthy hunter. Thanks for everyone's input. If you think of anything else, please let me know.
03-07-2003, 10:04 AM
I was just checking out your older pictures and maybe you could return the driftwood to its previous location and add the floating plants. Maybe a large snail would provide your fish some comfort. Does your jag still like to eat earthworms, if she does maybe you could use worms do draw the fish out. I am running out of suggestions. On a positive note your fish is very nice looking apears to be very healthy. good luck
I removed the driftwood initially because the jag kept hurting itself on the sharp tips of the wood, and it was taking up too much swimming space. I do have a smaller, rounded driftwood piece that I could use instead. A large snail would be great, as it would cut down on leftovers in the tank, but I don't know how long it would last. The jag still gets earthworms occassionally, along with a some other treats. I will try to implement the suggestions of the the forum and keep ya'll updated. Again, thanks for everyone's help.
Oh, where should I look to find water sprite?
Also, what would be a good structure to provide a hiding place for the convicts, without taking up too much space, and that won't be moved by the jag or destroy my tank?
As you know Chet I just did this with my Festae.
I have pvc elbows with river rocks and slate around and on top of them. The festae swims around them, but can't get in. Looks kind of cool too.
03-10-2003, 05:58 AM
I would suggest upside down clay flower post with a small opening for the convicts. You could silicon gravel or small rocks to the side for a more natural look and to help weigh it down. But I would place that man made cave on the opposite of the tank from the jag's cave otherwise he might take offense to the new addition and attack it relentlessly.
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