My 33 cm male Jaguar fish named Quark died last night. I had him for for over 12 years. He was an aggressive excavator and I couldn't keep anything like plants or a heater in there as he would destroy them. He would eat anything I gave him including pellets, beef heart, worms, grasshoppers, etc. He liked staring contests with my cat and would always chase or splash him as he went by the aquarium. He was very beautiful with vibrant color. I'll miss him.
Perhaps one of the most aggressive species of cichlidae that I have ever owned. Not only is this voracious predator a formidable contender in any tank; it also demonstrates a very deep, playful personality (at least when it's not murdering other tankmates). Hands down the best fish I have ever had the pleasure of owning. I might add that when these fish are grouped in tanks as juveniles, they will proceed to establish dominance. Once dominance has been established the colors of the individual jaguars demonstrate their place within that particular community. The weaker, submissive individuals display a very dark coloration while the more aggressive domineering individuals will display a light coloration. As a side note: purchasing a jaguar that is believed to be an underdog and is expected to retain the same position in its' new tank is simply a bad idea. I know because I did it without expecting much attitude from the 6 cm little tike. Sure enough, to my dismay he surprised me by killing off 3 jewel cichlids, a 10 cm green terror, two 8 cm tiger oscars, and a jack dempsey all within the first week. I guess 320 L of tank space wasn't good enough for him. Aside from all that, he is still the coolest fish ever.
A few years ago I had jaguar cichlid and he was easily the nastiest fish I have ever owned. I started off with two of them that I purchased at about 5 cm in length. Within 48 hours one had killed the other. Over the next few months I tried out several tanks mates for my lone jaguar. At 8 cm I had him in with a 20 cm oscar. Initially I was concerned that the oscar would eat my jaguar. Within a week I was forced to separate them because the jaguar had ripped off the oscar's bottom lip. On separate occasions I paired him with a pike cichlid and a red devil (both were larger than him) and neither of them survived a week. I conceded that this fish would need to remain solitaire and moved him to a 200 L tank. He displayed all the same behaviors others have mentioned. Each day he moved ALL of the gravel to one side of the tank and the next day he would move it back. Several times a day he would smack into the glass (and soak the wall behind the aquarium) in an attempt to attack you when you walked by. I fed him exclusively live food and his appetite was huge. Eventually I got him to take food from my hand. I would hold goldfish by their tails just above the surface of the water and he would pop up and take them out of my fingers. Once he actually bit my friend's finger and drew blood (it was just a little pin hole, but it bled). I finally sold him back to the pet store when he was about 25 cm in length (and extremely colorful). I hope to get another some day when I have room for a larger tank. If you are interested in large, aggressive cichlids you should think about the jaguar; they are very impressive fish.
I have a 10 year old male 23 cm Jaguar cichlid (I have kept aquariums for over 40 years). This fish was purchased 10 years ago with several small cichlids of various color, etc. They were eventually eaten by this one. He is in a large tank by himself. The strange thing is that he knows me and will allow me to stroke his back. Everyone else gets their finger bit and he dislikes any strangers. He will blow his cheeks out and attack the glass. I need to purchase a larger tank for him and wonder if he will live long enough to make it worthwhile.
My large jaguar Bob is by far my all time favorite cichlid. And though other people have had bad experiences, I think that it depends on the individual fish. Perhaps it's because my jaguar was the smallest fish in the tank when I got him and eventually grew up with them all. His tankmates are 3 Jack Dempseys, 2 black convicts, and 4 various plecos. Bob does tricks, likes to play tag around the tank, and even likes being hand fed. I'll hold large krill on the edge of the water and he'll come right up and eat them from my hand. He knows the difference between the shrimp and my fingers, and even knows the shrimp container compared to the other foods! He shows off when he's hungry too. He's without a doubt the king of the tank, all the other fish will wait for him to get his krill from me first, and then they'll come up for theirs (I like hand feeding my fish). I have no problems with aggression in my tank except for when my large Jaguar gets touchy and chases the other fish, but he never bites them or hurts them. Sometimes I think it's a game. He doesn't even mind the small jaguar Bruce I bought a few months ago, who likes to tag around with him from time to time, he likes to dig and move gravel everywhere just like Bob. Bob is never a single problem when I'm cleaning the tank and vaccuuming the gravel. He just sits on the other side of the tank with all the other fish hiding behind him watching as I clean the tank. If anything, the convicts are the only ones that ever cause trouble in the tank. But they're so tiny in comparison that I never worry. I try to talk all my friends that like fish into getting jaguars. They're the most unique and fun fish I have ever owned! The only thing is I don't know how to tell males and females apart and I think Bob may be a girl.
I have breeding pair of Jaguar cichlids that have grown to about 25 cm. The male is younger than the female but they have successfully hatched fry twice now. Together they live in a large tank with other aggressive adult cichlids. I have found that the largest of the fish, a male oscar, keeps relative peace in the tank. His relaxed temperament and dominance in the tank keep the other fish very relaxed and highly social. This effect seems to be consistant with most Amercan cichlids. The personality of the dominant fish rubs off on the other tankmates. I've had little or no trouble with my jaguar pair being overly aggressive, and I believe it is because of the effect of the Oscar's dominance.
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