Electric Blue Jack Dempsey Cichlids

Electric Blue Jack Dempsey cichlid

The Electric Blue Jack Dempsey - A Flashy Aquarium Hybrid

Selective breeding efforts to intensify color in cichlids have produced the brilliantly-colored hybrid known as the Electric Blue Jack Dempsey. By crossing electric blue variants of South American and Central American cichlids, vibrant offspring result.

Normal Jack Dempsey cichlids have a more subdued gray, green, and blue coloration. Intensifying the metallic blues through crossbreeding created the Electric Blue Jack Dempsey, an aquarium-only hybrid. Its parent species likely include the regular Jack Dempsey, Electric Blue Acara, and possibly Blue Gene Jaguar cichlids.

This hybrid fish grows to 8-10 inches long and does well in a 55+ gallon aquarium with rocky caves, driftwood, and open swimming space. Despite its showy appearance, it has the typical aggressive Jack Dempsey temperament, especially around breeding time. Tankmates should be robust, similar-sized cichlids.

Feed Electric Blue Jack Dempseys a nutritious cichlid diet including meaty foods, vegetables, and quality pellets or flakes. Perform regular partial water changes to keep nutrients low and provide strong aeration. Ideal water temperature is around 75-82°F.

While man-made hybrids are controversial, the Electric Blue Jack Dempsey offers a visually startling fish for experienced aquarists. Its neon blue sheen contrasts elegantly with the oval black spots. Yet its feisty attitude means providing a large habitat and careful tankmate selection. Beauty and brawn combine in this custom hybrid.

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The Jack Dempsey cichlid (Rocio octofasciata), often simply referred to as the Jack Dempsey, is a popular and strikingly colored freshwater fish species that has a rich history in the aquarium hobby.

Here is a brief history of the Jack Dempsey cichlid:

Discovery and Naming:

The Jack Dempsey cichlid is native to Central America, specifically found in the freshwater rivers and lakes of Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize. It was first discovered and described by American ichthyologist Seth Eugene Meek in 1912. The fish was named after the famous American boxer Jack Dempsey due to its aggressive and territorial nature.

Popularity in the Aquarium Trade:

Jack Dempsey cichlids gained popularity in the aquarium hobby due to their vibrant coloration, distinctive appearance, and fascinating behavior. Their body is typically covered in iridescent blue-green scales, and they have a series of dark blotches along their sides. This eye-catching appearance has made them a sought-after species among aquarists.

Natural Habitat:

In the wild, Jack Dempsey cichlids are typically found in slow-moving rivers, streams, and lakes with muddy or rocky substrates. They prefer warm water conditions and are often found in areas with submerged logs or rock formations, which they use as shelter and breeding sites.

Behavior and Reproduction:

Jack Dempsey cichlids are known for their territorial and aggressive behavior, especially during the breeding season. They are substrate spawners, meaning they lay their eggs on a flat surface, such as a rock or the aquarium substrate. Both the male and female play active roles in guarding the eggs and fry, and they can be highly protective parents.

Varieties and Crossbreeding:

Over the years, selective breeding in captivity has led to the development of various color morphs and variations of Jack Dempsey cichlids. These include Electric Blue Jack Dempseys, Gold Jack Dempseys, and more. Additionally, some hobbyists have attempted to crossbreed Jack Dempseys with other cichlid species to create new hybrid varieties.


While Jack Dempsey cichlids are abundant in the aquarium trade, their wild populations face threats from habitat destruction and pollution. Efforts to conserve their natural habitats are crucial to ensure the long-term survival of this species in the wild.

In summary, the Jack Dempsey cichlid is a popular and iconic freshwater fish in the aquarium hobby, known for its striking appearance and interesting behavior. Its history includes its discovery in Central American waters, its association with the famous boxer Jack Dempsey, and its continued popularity among aquarists worldwide.


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