- Aug 22, 2020
- Real Name
- Aldrein Tan
In that tank, you won’t be able to have any tankmates, your tank really isn’t big enough for one jag
+1Absolutely none. End of discussion.
In the wild, jags can reach 20"+ SL. In an aquarium, large individuals rarely exceed 16" SL, but big males will reach this size. To ensure your fish is comfortable, you are going to want a tank with a 72" x 18" footprint, which puts your minimum tank size at a 125 gallons. And even at that, you aren't going to want tank mates unless you have an excellent filtration system and experience managing aggression between large cichlids.
Here is where the arguments usually start, however. Individuals vary, with genetics and sex being the main reasons. Some individuals may max out around 12", usually females, and I won't argue that a tank with a 48" x 18" footprint (75 gallon minimum) could theoretically house a small individual comfortably for its lifespan without health complications. But, and this is a HUGE but, when a young fish is purchased there is no way of knowing any of this. So the aquarist has to ask himself what is the best way to ensure that my fish is as healthy as possible? The answer is to have 72" tank available from the start. This ensures that the fish will grow to its natural size without any concerns about health problems caused by stunted growth in a small tank. And by the time your jag hits 8" you need to be moving it to a 72" tank.
When dealing with a large fish, the footprint of a tank is more important than volume, thus my explanation in the length and width of a tank rather than in gallons. A fish needs enough area to move around. Yes a certain depth is needed for a fish to be comfortable, but standard tanks already have enough depth for that. In general, I recommend a tank that will be 6 times the length of a fish for the length of the tank and twice the length of the fish for the width of the tank as the minimum size to house an individual fish.