Common Name: Paraguay Eartheater
Scientific Name: Gymnogeophagus Balzanii
Average Adult Fish Size: 5 inches / 12 cm
Place of Origin: Paraguay, S. America
Typical Tank Setup: S. American biotope with open space, some rock work, driftwood / bogwood, and live plants. Substrate should be fine to medium grade as they like to sift through it.
Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 30 gallon / 120 litre
Compatibility: Peaceful except while spawning where they become moderately aggressive.
Temperature: 24-27 Deg C / 74-79 Deg F
Water Chemistry: pH 7.0 – 7.7
Feeding: Sand sifter. They like sifting through medium to fine sand or gravel for worms and small crustaceans in the wild, but in the aquarium will readily accept pellets, flakes, and frozen foods. Choppped earthworms, brown worms, and blood worms are relished.
Sexing: Males are usually larger, more colorful and have longer fins. Males will usually have a more pronounced forehead than females also.
Breeding: The pair will spawn using an upturned clay flower pot, cave, or a piece of slate.
This species is a “Delayed Mouth Brooder.” The female will pick up the eggs from 24 to 36 hours after spawning. The male is a polygynist and this means that he will spawn with any female that is ready to spawn. 4 days is the average for fry to become free swimming, but the female will usually cares for the fry for about three weeks. When she releases the fry they will have absorbed their yolk sacs and are ready to eat newly hatched brine shrimp.
Additional Information: Not the easiest fish to obtain, but they are very interesting to keep and have a loyal following.