Aquarium Fish

Surinamensis Geophagus

posted: 05/15/12
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Surinamensis Geophagus
Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith
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The Surinamensis Geophagus, also known as the Redstripe Eartheater, the Mother-of-Pearl Eartheater, and the Opalescent Eartheater, has a long nose with eyes set high on the head and amber in color. Some Surinamensis Geophagus have a gray-black blotch, resembling an ink smudge, on their sides. The background color is olive-green to pearl gray, with iridescent blue-green stripes on its sides and small iridescent blue spots on its fins, with the exception of the pectoral fins. Wild Surinamensis Geophagus exhibit deep red lateral stripes, which fade in an aquarium.

The Surinamensis Geophagus requires a tank of 40 gallons or larger with a sandy bottom and flat rocks. The rear of the tank should have caves made from stones and roots, and the edges of the tank should be decorated with hardy, potted plants. It is a confirmed burrower, and care should be taken when creating the caves, so that they do not collapse. The Surinamensis Geophagus can be kept in tanks with large catfish as tank mates.

The Surinamensis Geophagus will pair up and form nuclear families. It is territorial and extremely aggressive during spawning. The Surinamensis Geophagus are larvophile mouth brooders, meaning they lay eggs, and right before, or as the larvae hatch, both the female and the male take them into their mouths for protection.

Surinamensis Geophagus is an omnivore and will eat most prepared and frozen foods including freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and ocean plankton, as well as flake food and Cichlid pellets.

Ideal tank mates include similar sized: Other South American Cichlids, Plecos, Scavenger Catfish and similar sized, miscellaneous fish.

Fish Facts

Name: Surinamensis Geophagus (Geophagus surinamensis or Geophagus proximus)

Family: Cichlidae

Range: Guyana to the Amazon

Size: Up to 12 inches

Diet: Omnivore

Tank Set-up: Freshwater: Sand, flat rocks, caves, hardy plants

Tank Conditions: 72-77°F; pH 7.0; dH 10

Minimum Tank Capacity: 40 gallons

Light: Low

Temperament: Aggressive

Swimming Level: Bottom

Care Level: Difficult

Reproduction: Mouth Brooder

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