Mike's Fishy Log - Years 2000 through 2001
This page contains the log for the year 2000 through the year 2001.
2/13/00 General Update
Not much has been going on in my fish tanks for the past couple of months.
The PH is still very low for some reason, even though the tap water PH
is around 7.4. One of the inch long Dempseys in the 55 gallon
tank has taken over and killed most of the other young ones in that tank.
The parents still seem to tolerate the little ones. The parents have
not spawned again, but I believe that is do to lack of variety in diet.
Feedings in winter around here are pretty spartan, as insect life is not
very plentiful and I haven't tried digging for earthworms in the frozen
ground. The young Dempseys in the 7.5 gallon tank seem to be still relatively
peaceful. Most of the Anacharis in the 55 Gallon tank has died.
I think that is do to lack of some sort of nutrients. I am
kind of thinking that now that we have succeeding in spawning Jack Dempseys,
it may be time to move on and try a different species. We do like
the Dempseys quite a bit, though.
6/2/00 General Update
Not much has been going on in my fish tanks for the past couple of months.
We have one young male Jack Dempsey left in the 55 gallon tank with the
single adult male/female pair. About 5 small ones are left the 7.5
gallon tank. I should donate them to a locale fish store as they
certainly can't grow much in that little tank. The 10 gallon tank
that Cleo lives in was broken a couple of months ago and promptly replaced.
Cleo was not injured.
We have been trying to get big Jack Dempseys to spawn again, but they
don't seem up to it. Feeding them with worms and live insects just
hasn't got them into shape. Another problem we have had is that the
algae has really taken off again, this started after the PH really
dropped down a while back. The PH has never come back at all.
Finally the Anacharis and remaining Amazon Swordplant gave up the ghost.
With no competition, the algae has free reign. It also tends
to clog the input screen of my canister filter every couple of days.
Finally I have taken the screen off of the intake. The Dempseys
are so big, that this shouldn't be a danger to the fish.
10/19/00 Dempseys Spawn After a Year Long Break
On the afternoon of 10/14/00 I found my pair of Jack Dempseys were spawning
again after over a year since the last spawning. The site was the
same rock as has been used before. This time, after the spawning
the female has abandoned care of the eggs and fry to the male for unknown
reasons. She has crossed through the partition to the other side
of the tank where the male cannot reach her. She has not returned
to care for the fry. The male is giving the fry casual care, but
is not moving them from hole to hole, like the female normally would do.
It will be interesting to see what happens as the fry become free swimming.
1/5/01 Dempseys Spawn Again
The previous spawn was consumed by the female and a small male that lives
on the other side of the partition from the large male that spawned.
On the afternoon of 12/27/01 my pair of Jack Dempseys spawned again.
This time the female started being very aggressive with the much larger
male. My wife separated the two and since then the spawn went
3/18/01 Air Pump Rebuilt
Last week I rebuilt the Hagan Optima air pump I have been using on
the 55 gallon aquarium. I've had this air pump for about 13 years
and it was on it's last legs, barely able to pump any air at all to the
bottom of the 55. Hagan makes a fairly inexpensive rebuild kit (available
by mail order for under 5$). If you have a bit of mechanical aptitude,
I highly recommend this rebuild. This kit includes replacements for
all parts that could wear on this unit. After the rebuild, my Optima
air pump is as good as new - I am impressed by the results.
4/21/01 Interior House Painting Requires Tear down
of 55 Gallon Aquarium
A couple of weeks ago we repainted the room our aquariums occupy.
Since the 55 was too close to the wall to allow repainting behind it,
I had to tear it down in order to temporarily move it. This tear
down, painting and putting everything back took the better part of an afternoon.
In order to move the tank and stand, I even had to scoop out much of the
gravel. 55 gallon tanks that have been in place for a while,
really want to stay where they were planted. I put everything back
pretty much as it was, except I finally took the Cryptoryne Wendii out
of the pots they came in so long ago. I noticed that what appeared
to be 2 plants were actually 2 clumps of several plants each. I split
the clumps up into individual plants and deposited them directly into the
gravel. It will be interesting to see how they do. It
was also kind of surprising how large the male Dempsey has really grown
when moved out of this tank into a bucket for the afternoon.
Our late male Jack Dempsey tending some eggs
5/9/01 Our "King" Jack Dempsey Suddenly Dies
This was probably our favorite fish, except perhaps for Cleo, and the loss
is felt by everyone here. We have no idea what happened to him.
He showed no outward signs of sickness until last night and he never lost
his color. The only thing that was really odd, was that recently
he allowed one of the smaller fish from our successful spawning to share
his territory. The other fish in the tank look fine. He was
about 4 years old, so maybe his time has just come. His size at death
was 8.5 inches long and 6.25 ounces. My two reference books show
a length of 8 inches for Jack Dempseys, so he certainly was a large one.
7/14/01 Another spawning
It has been quite while since the last spawning. This one occurred
two days ago (on the 12th) and everything is progressing well. Like
usual, the female is doing the majority of the work. Instead of digging
a little steep sided hole, right now she is digging a big hole in the center
of her half of the tank. I blocked up part of the hole in the divider
some time ago so she couldn't harass one of the small males that is living
on the other side of the tank. The hole will allow the two
smaller males to swim back and forth, but the female is trapped on the
right side of the tank. The male she spawned with is harassing that
other male to a great extent, but so far I haven't had to block up the
passage. I'm trying to take some pictures with my 35mm camera.
If they come out well, I will scan and post them. By the way, photographing
fish in an aquarium is not an easy task.
7/21/01 Tidbits on HowJack Dempsey's Care for
For those of you who are interested in breeding Jack Dempsey's, here is
a couple of things I have noticed.
1) The eggs seem to hatch in about 3 days.
2) After hatching the parents move the fry
into steep sided pits. It appears that the male is responsible or
at least required to be present for periodically moving the fry to new
pits. My male apparently got too big for the hole in the partition
and got trapped on the other side. As soon as I enlarged the
hole, he rejoined the female and they immediately relocated the fry to
a new pit.
3) In the most recent spawning the fry absorbed
their yolk sacs and became free swimming 8 days after the spawning.
4) The parents take in stray fry in their
mouth and will spit them back into the midst of the main swarm - very interestng
behavior. It also appears the the parents seem to scrub the
young around in their mouth. Perhaps a bit of a cleaning.
5) Though I haven't really noticed the fry
eating slime off of the parents, at least very much, as reported in
books. The female (I haven't noticed the male doing this), will chew
up food and spit it out again for the young.
12/16/01 Our Original Female Jack Dempsey Dies
The spawning logged back in July eventually failed as the female started
harassing the male and one of them devoured the fry. There was another
spawning a few weeks later that ended up in the same way. In November
our last female Jack Dempsey died. She faded away over a period of
a month or so. Just refused to eat and slowly faded. I guess
the male dying earlier in the year might be an indication that Jack Dempseys
only live 4 or five years, at least in the environment, I've got
mine in. I dismantled the 5 gallon tank and now have 2 males Jack
Dempseys sharing the 55 gallon tank. Of course there is a divider
in there to keep them from tearing each other apart. We'll probably
trade them in at some point in order to try our luck breeding some other