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Geophagus steindachneri - Redhump eartheaterMagyarul / Hungarian
Geophagus steindachneri - Redhump eartheaterGeophagus steindachneri - Redhump eartheaterGeophagus steindachneri - Redhump eartheaterGeophagus steindachneri - Redhump eartheaterGeophagus steindachneri - Redhump eartheater
  • Scientific name: Geophagus steindachneri
  • Synonyms: Geophagus hondae, Geophagus magdalenae, Geophagus pellegrini
  • Common name: Redhump eartheater
  • Group: Cichlids
  • Habitat: South America; Columbia, Venezuela
  • Size: Male: 15 cm, female: 10 cm
  • Biotope: Upper reaches of the Rio Magdalena and tributaries.
  • Social behavior: Barely territorial, the fish are peaceful towards their own species and other tankmates. They become aggressive only during spawning. Females perform matriarchal duties, while males often form harems.
  • Diet: Omnivorous; live foods, flakes, tablets, frozen foods.
  • Breeding: Quite easy
  • Tank: Minimum 200 litres:
  • Population: 1 male and 2-3 female for 250 litres
  • Decoration: They need a tank with a bottom of thick sand, 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) deep. Create hiding places among rocks and roots. It is likely to uproot aquarium plants if they are not secured or well established.
  • Temperature: 24-26°C
  • pH: 6.5-7
  • Hardness: 4-15 NK°
  • Lifespan: 12 years

Description: The body coloring differs depending on the population. Common colors are gold, green, red, orange, and black. The body is marked with irregular black spots. The fins are spotted with iridescent scales. This fish has a habit of taking substrate into its mouth and spitting it back out or sifting it through its gills. The Redhump eartheater is the only South American mouth brooder to retrieve its eggs immediately after spawning and for this fact must be considered a highly specialized species. Interestingly, the male has an orange-colored patch at each corner of its mouth. These are used just as the dummy eggs on the anal fin of certain Haplochromis mouth-brooders to guarantee fertilization.

Males have a pronounced cranial bump and grow larger than the females. Male genitalia appears ten days before spawning while those on the female are visible for only few hours prior. Males will display to females by opening their mouths and flaring their gills. Open breeders, the fish will spawn yellow eggs on selected rocks. Depending on the size of the female, from 30-150 bright yellow eggs are laid. The female will lay one or two eggs at a time, then the male will fertilize them. The eggs are immediately taken into the female's mouth. After gathering the eggs the pair split up. As with most mouthbreeders, you should not offer food at this time since the eggs may be accidently swallowed. The fry are released after 20 days and the female allow them to search for food, taking them back into her mouth when she feels threatened.