View Full Version : jag tank

01-19-2004, 09:44 AM
i just aquired 2 young jaguars. right now they are in a 29 gallon long tank. i have just built a custom tank stand for a 125 or 135 gallon tank. i will be purchasing one of those tanks pretty soon. now my question is what should i put in the tanks? i found some bad ass drift wood by a lake but just found out that it floats. so what should i do? or what would you people out there put in a jaguar tank... also tank mates?

01-19-2004, 12:38 PM
You have a lot of options really, although having two jags in a 125 or 135 could be very interesting... You'll probably want to or need to keep just one of them, unless they pair up and breed. I preferred to have my jag as the centerpiece fish, and just have other, smaller cichlids for movement and to keep him busy. You can look at my 135 jag tank here:


01-19-2004, 01:01 PM
you have to soak the driftwood for a while depending on its size.. It will sink when it's saturated. I got one that was about 2 feet tall with twisted branches and was around 10" thick at the base. It took 2 weeks to saturate it - I set it in a tub and covered it with a couple of rocks and it finally stayed down... It's a pain - but it is worth it in the end.

01-20-2004, 01:31 PM
chet - thats a good idea. i think they are male and female but then they might be brother and sister. i bought them from the same tank. so i might get rid of the female. how about some black convicts for the big tank?
cichgirl - thanks for that info. the drift wood is about 4 1/2 or 5 foot long so i might not use it. but it would look killer in the tank wouldnt it ?

what other tank buddies should i put in ? they would probably have to be small south or central americans.

p.s. nice jag chet...how big is he and how long did you have him, and what size is your tank???

01-20-2004, 06:49 PM
Originally posted by Chet
You have a lot of options really, although having two jags in a 125 or 135 could be very interesting... You'll probably want to or need to keep just one of them, unless they pair up and breed. I preferred to have my jag as the centerpiece fish, and just have other, smaller cichlids for movement and to keep him busy. You can look at my 135 jag tank here:


Sorry to intrude on your post Joey, but Chet, what's you chem stats for your Jag tank??? I have a small tank with Firemouths but am struggling to keep the pH below 8, (limestone) but if I use normal rock it keeps moving the other way to 6.5 or lower. It's costing me a bundle in pH up & down chem's. (I hate using chem's anyway!)

01-20-2004, 06:50 PM
P.S. For the record, that is one awesome Jag! I only found out about them thru this forum, they're a beautiful fish. I'm in Perth Western Australia and haven't been able to find any here yet. Still searching!!!!

01-20-2004, 08:19 PM
hey barramundi, instead of buying ph up solution, why not just add baking soda? i've done this a couple of times with no problems, it's a bit easier on the 'ol wallet. but i'd wait to see what others have to say about this first, as i'm not the most experienced aquarist.

01-21-2004, 06:13 AM
From what I know about firemouths, they should actually be fine in the higher or lower ph range. They can survive a large range of water conditions

01-21-2004, 11:36 AM
Thanks for the compliments. My jag is about 10" and he resides in a 135. In addition, the tank has 3 black convicts, a salvini, a uropthalmus, a texas, a thorichthys or thorichthys hybrid, 3 gold gouramis, and a 6" pleco. All of these other fish are basically there to add movement and lend a sort of ecosystem feel to the tank. Two of the convicts are paired up and have produced fry several times, although none have survived much past the free-swimming stage.

The jag has only eaten two of his tankmates in the year of so he's been in this setup. In both cases, they were convicts who were continually terrorizing him in defense of their fry. My jag definitely seems capable of hatred and annoyance, and certainly can hold a grudge.

All of the other fish, especially the gouramis, can swim right past his mouth without him even taking notice in most cases. I am sure this is quite out of the ordinary for most jags, as they are piscivores, but it is enjoyable to watch.

One word of caution on jag tankmates. Never house them with something that is fast moving or requires constant movement, like giant danios, bala sharks, or tinfoil barbs. My jag is easily excited by any sort of quick movement, especially panicked swimming, and will set out to destroy the culprit. I don't care how fast danios or tinfoil barbs are, the jag will catch and kill or eat them. If he can't do it during the day, he'll destroy them at night. It is quite a sight to behold, and I do recommend occassionally buying some giant danios to watch you jag hunt, and give him a little exercise. The best way to observe this behavior is in a room with a dimmer light. You can dim the light down to where you can just see. It gives the jag the light conditions he would prefer to hunt in, and allows you to watch in a very natural setting.

01-21-2004, 11:41 AM
Oh, about water parameters and pH. I don't fret about that at all, and I wouldn't with most American cichlids. Your firemouths are quite hardy and will probably be fine. Where you get into trouble is constantly bouncing the pH up and down. That will stress your fish more than a steady pH that is above normal. My tap water has a pH of about 7.6 - 7.8 and all of my fish seem fine. Just remember, if you bought your fish from a LFS with the same water source as you, they have the same pH and most LFS will not treat their water, as it is too costly and time consuming. Adding a large piece of driftwood can buffer the pH lower over time, and the inevitable build up in organic material and waste in your tank will do the same.

01-21-2004, 08:20 PM
Thanks Chet, I really appreciate that. I've just tried putting some peat moss into the filter (Fluval 304), and then I'll leave it I think, as you've suggested. I am breaking the tank down this weekend, to change the substrate. I currently have a coral and shell grit mix with beach sand which is about 3 inches deep. Reading on this board that's not a great idea being that thick. I'm changing it to pool filter sand, about an inch thinck. Everything else will remain. And then I'm leaving it alone. I want my FM's to breed, so I can sell the fry and eventually get a 1000litre tank which will be my pride and joy. I am hoping to put a Jag in it as the centre piece fish cos reckon they're awesome!!!!
Thanks again for the info Chet, and thanks to poet8102 & pgdark19. Very much appreciated!:ok:

01-22-2004, 08:40 AM
PS Sorry again for crashing you post Joey!:oops:

03-20-2004, 07:46 AM
I agree with chet, those jags definately like to kill at night. I had a 10 inch. jag and just chilled in the center of my 65 g., I would put 5-10 feeders in with him and during daylight he wouldn't even care but by morning the next day, no more feeders.

04-26-2004, 12:05 PM
I think they eat at all hours. Having trouble getting mine to eat anything but live food. Good luck with tankmates. Mine has killed everything I have put in including an Oscar and one of his own.

04-26-2004, 11:05 PM
Jags are great fish, if you can house one successfully, that's good, I've always wanted a jag tank with cons. I'm impressed chet, keep it up. I'm jealous.-salty

04-28-2004, 10:22 AM
I'll have to post some new pics of the tank. I have rearrange some things and opened the tank up some. The convicts and several growing fry swim around pretty much in the open. The jag doesn't seem interested in eating them, although he has singled out the salvini recently and show a definite interest in killing him. I really don't think the jag can catch the sal, and he doesn't really try all the hard to do so. It's a really fun tank to watch. I'll try and get some new pics up next week. Maybe some during feeding time...

04-30-2004, 08:43 AM
sweet, I'd really like to see. Jags are just so cool looking.

04-30-2004, 09:08 AM

I dont think you have to worry about the fish being brother and sister. Its not like you'll have any problems with the fry if they mate. Good luck

05-19-2004, 09:04 PM

05-19-2004, 09:09 PM
Jags.............wow what can i say about jags they hold their ground dont take nothing from most fishes but it my jag got beat up only my my big female rd i had 5 inch rd with 4 inch jag before my female almost killed him poor guy then i moved him to another tank with a pair one male red devil one female parrot (theire pairs but never can have babies for those who dont know) he held his ground they both ganged up on him but he held his ground they get along great.

Jags ARE HUNTERS theyre like lions of the cichlid world have you seen them eating a dither? i had giant danios in my tank and every day 1 would go missing.........jag had a bump belly.......
for looks i think jags are good looking untill theyre about 6 inches when they get bigger i think for me they get uglier
jags have huge mouths i love that.

05-19-2004, 09:53 PM
My Jag got its ass kicked by an adult male jack dempsey, both of them were about 8-10", I felt bad after they fought. Fish like that are not for me right now, If I had a very large tank and could house jags and maybe others, I would keep them, but jags, red devils, oscars, jacks, and a few others need space, I don't have it. Yes, jags are great hunters, and I think they are great fish, but I would only get one if I had at least a 120 gal. for it. - salty