Click here to see several pictures. Comments: This is a wonderful aquarium fish from the southeastern part of Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and northeastern Argentina.
Behaviors: The males are rather aggressive to each other, so it's probably best to keep just one male in an aquarium with a few female, but generally this is a mild tempered Cichlid.
Breeding: this fish does not breed like the other fish in the Geophagus genus. Instead it lays adhesive eggs. It seems to prefer spawning in a terra cotta pot that is not too big but not too small.
A female lays eggs, the male fertilizes the eggs, the male and female guard the eggs, and finally female picks up the eggs and carries them in her mouth to protect them.
Temperature: this species is adapted to a warm summer and a cooler winter.
Probably 75 to 80 F. is a good range for summer, and 65 to 72 F. is a good range for winter.
Food: premium flakes when small and premium pellets when larger.
Sizes: males to almost 11" long, females to almost 6" long.
Aquarium: maybe a 50-gallon aquarium, when you have a few of them that are less than 3" long. Eventually a group of them will need an aquarium with at least 100-gallons of water.
Water: They probably prefer water with a pH of about 7 with a moderate amount of hardness.
Most of the water in the US has a higher pH and higher hardness but seems to be OK, so it's probably best not to try to adjust the water, unless you want to breed them, then you might want to dilute their water with RO-water.
Filters: a Bio-Wheel Filter is best, and a Penguin 350B Filter is the right size for a 50-gallon aquarium.If you have room for two Penguin 350B Filters that is probably better.
Later get a much bigger aquarium and add as many Penguin 350B Filters as will fit across the back of that aquarium.
Lava Rocks: are recommended as a method of reducing the nitrates in the water to the ideal range.
Click here for more about Lava Rocks.
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