View Full Version : Problem with growth rate....

07-12-2004, 02:48 PM
Hi all....I am the proud owner of a 55 gallon SA Cichlid tank. I have 4 JD's , a convict pair, 2 corys, and a 8" pleco. I realize that my tank is overstocked, and I plan on getting rid of 3 JD's. However, I have had these Dempsey's for about 3 months now and they have not grown one bit, much to my disappointment. I am feeding them 3 times a day and water quality is generally pretty good. Is the overcrowding what is denying my fish the right to reach their full potential size?

07-12-2004, 02:58 PM
What do you feed them?

07-12-2004, 02:59 PM
I feed them Tetra Cichlid Sticks, frozen bloodworms and frozen adult brine shrimp.

07-12-2004, 03:27 PM
jamdeck40 fish can take a few years to attain there full size. My Oscar and GT were growing at the same rate till about 4.5". Now the terror is really slowed down he is 6" and hasn't really gained any size for 2 months or so but the oscar is dwarfing him every day it seems. Anyway don't worry some fish take ages apparently i have a long wait till my red terrors reach there potential size.

I was useing tetra sticks but found that they seem to encourage my algea to grow as they flake so much does that seem strange anyone?
Anyway hakari pellets are good and try prawns too they have alot of protien otherwise you seem to be feeding them just fine.

07-12-2004, 03:33 PM
Thanks guys....Yea, I noticed that about Tetra Cichlid Sticks as well. My fish are pretty messy eaters, so when they eat the sticks, it makes a cloud of uneaten food particles. Perhaps I should switch to the pellets.

07-12-2004, 03:46 PM
The tetrasticks not being eaten could contribute to the algae and the lack of growth. You should try a floating pellet such as hikari to make sure they are eating the pellets and not just spitting them out. They could be hooked on the other foods you feed them.

For a Jack to go 3 months without growth is a bit strange actually. They may be just snacking on the brine shrimp, or blood worms which in my experience are only good for a treat once, or twice a week or your fish could get dependant and although can be high in protein, most of the crap they sell at fish stores have so much water added to the mixture it makes it less than ideal to grow fish with. Especially your fish. I would try freshwater mysis shrimp as a frozen food if you want, It grows fish like crazy I find. Also get them on a floating pellet with high protein such as hikari.

What is your water changing schedule like?

07-12-2004, 04:07 PM
Of all the cichlids I have owned, my JD was the slowest growing of them all. It does sound like your fish are growing even slower than usual, which could be do to poor water quality due to the food particles, or a high level of hormones in the water. Doing larger water changes on a more frequent basis will probably help make an immediate impact. Say 40% twice a week until their growth rate takes off, then 40% once a week to maintain good water quality. Cutting back to just one dempsey will also help immediately.

07-12-2004, 08:35 PM
I have a jd and I have had him more than a year and he'd be lucky if he has grown 1".

07-12-2004, 08:47 PM
my expierance with jacks and its been a few of them, is they start out slow till about 2" then they grow pretty quick to 5" and slow a bit, then they start filling out and get some length again.
jack dempsey is 1 of my favorite.

07-12-2004, 09:20 PM
Chets suggestion on the water changes should help immensly.

07-12-2004, 09:25 PM
Yea my water changes have been lacking a bit i guess. i usually change around 30% once a week. My jacks are around 4-5 inches now. im thinking that soon they will be way too large. the jacks definitely eat the cichlid sticks. not only do they eat them....they attack and devour them. Chet, you mentioned hormones. Are u speaking about the theory that a large fish will give off growth inhibiting hormones to stunt the growth of its tankmates? By the way, thanks for the feedback guys....

07-14-2004, 09:30 AM
I'd be careful with those 2 cory's. Eventually the jacks will try to eat them.

07-14-2004, 10:02 AM
good point, heyguy...

I would definately remove 3 of the jacks unless you are trying for a pair. All of mine have gone through growth spurts in their lives. Slow to 2"- mostly because one dominant fish will grow faster than the others, fast to 5 or 6 inches then slow again in fullness & length.

Try feeding them frozen beefheart as a treat (once a week), also crickets, shrimp or krill, peas, spinach, mealworms, etc. They really grow rapidly when fed a diverse diet. I agree with the hikari floating pellets as a staple (high protein), you want to know that they are being eaten and don't end up contributing to your wasteload.

07-14-2004, 05:57 PM
do the water changes. At least 40% a week religiously.
Heyguy is also right, I''d get the corys out of there. The JDs will try to eat them when they grow and you risk the cories getting stuck in their mouth because of their spiny fins. I almost lost Bevo that way.

07-16-2004, 08:20 AM
Crickets, huh? I'm guessing that they would have to be live? I will try your diet suggestion cichgirl. Bevoman, I have already started a new water change schedule, thanks for the input. Heyguy, I will probably move the corys to my friends Discus tank if they are in danger as you say they are. Thanks guys. I have since had no luck getting rid of my 3 other jacks. They LFS by me claims that they only "buy from their distributor." I'll probably just end up giving them to him...

07-16-2004, 09:34 AM
Will your friend be putting them with the discus. Thats a no-no they will kill the discus. Also the cories should do really well with the discus. They like the same water conditions. If you can't get rid of them try offering them for free on the internet just make them pay for shipping. Just an idea.

07-16-2004, 10:32 AM
No, only the cories are going to be put into the Discus tank. The Jacks must be placed elsewhere. If I do auction them on Aquabid or something, I really wouldnt know how to go about shipping. It sounds more like a pain in the butt than its worth.

07-16-2004, 10:35 AM
You can do live crickets or freeze dried crickets are also available. The freeze dried insects are sometimes w/ the fish foods & sometimes w/ reptile foods at the petstore.

07-27-2004, 03:22 PM
A bit of an update....I am now down to a breeding pair of 4-5 " JD's (got rid of the others), a convict pair, and the pleco. I believe I have seen some growth. I have tried to switch to hikari pellets, but the fish dont really like them. The Jack pair now have about 80 free swimming fry with them....i need to figure out what I am going to do with them. Anyone want some Jack fry? :-)