- Scientific name: Biotodoma wavrini
- Synonyms: Geophagus wavrini
- Common name: Orinoco Eartheater
- Group: Cichlids
- Habitat: South America, Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia
- Size: 10-12 cm
- Biotope: This species apparently prefers blackwaters (Rio Negro, Rio Orinoco). Slow-flowing waters with a decidedly low pH, and sandy or muddy shallow bays usually with wood and leaf litter.
- Social behavior: Quite peaceful fish, but during spawning they become territorial and aggressive. They should be kept in a small group (1 male and several females), so the dominant male will share his attention between weaker specimens.
- Diet: Omnivorous; all types of small live and frozen foods are required, but will also accept flake foods. They also need some vegetable matter, such as spirulina.
- Breeding: Very rare in aquarium
- Tank: Minimum 200 litres.
- Population: 1 male, and 2-3 females for 200 litres
- Decoration: Place rocky formations against the rear glass of the tank, creating caves and other hiding places. Add hardy plants and in the foreground place sand and a few rocks. Diffuse lighting will greatly enhance the coloration of the fishes and their well being. The filtration should not be too powerful, as strong currents are not enjoyed.
- Temperature: 25-30 °C
- pH: 4-6.5
- Hardness: 0-5 NK°
- Lifespan: 3-5 years
Description: Orinoco Eartheater is very similar to its congener the Cupid cichlid (Biotodoma cupido), but the two fish can be separated by the overall body shape and placement of the single dark blotch on the rear part of the flank. Biotodoma wavrini has more elongate body and rather more pointed snout than in Biotodoma cupido. The lateral spot lies below the upper lateral line, i.e. between the two lateral lines. The body base color is silvery-green and there are no other markings on the body. There is a band on the nape, starting between the dorsal insertion and the eye, which then runs diagonally downwards, ending at the leading edge of the operculum. In adult specimens the soft parts of the unpaired fins have a reddish tinge, while the spinous portions are slightly iridescent bluish. There is an iridescent bluish area behind the eye, broken up into spots. Orinoco Eartheater reacts quickly and badly to pollution with nitrogenous compounds, and even the nitrate level should never be above 30 mg/l in the long term.
Very difficult to determine the sexual dimorphism. Males are somewhat larger and have more elongate spines in the dorsal, caudal, and ventrals. In this species too the males have fine blue lines below the eye, while in females the lines are broken into spots. In adult males a very narrow, iridescent bluish stripe maybe visible along the base of the anal fin.To date no definite data are available on the spawning behavior of Biotodoma wavrini. It can be assumed, however, that the species requires a very low pH to bring it into spawning condition, as this most closely resembles conditions in nature. The fish become extremely aggressive during spawning, and they will usually occupie a 50x50 cm territory and guard this with extreme vehemence against all tankmates.
(African fern, Congo fern)
(Yellow cabomba, Giant cabomba)
(Banded Dwarf Cichlid)