Geophagus sp. 'Tapaj?s redhead'
to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image
Rio Tapaj?s, Brazil.
In mature fish, the males are larger, more
25-29 deg C (77-84 deg F)
Soft and acidic. pH: 5.0-7.0, dH: up to 12
Softwater community of medium-sized fish.
The Redhead Tapaj?s Eartheater is a currently undescribed
species known only from the lower Rio Tapaj?s, a major tributary of the Amazon
River. The typical habitat has little in the way of aquatic vegetation, but
instead, large expanses of sand and scattered rocks, leaf litter, and submerged
tree roots. The aquarium should be biologically mature and spacious, with a
large expanse of soft sand substrate as these fish like to sift through the
substrate in their ongoing search for food items. Provide plenty of hiding
places amongst tangles of driftwood, rocky caves, and robust planting
cultivated on the wood (such as Anubias sp. or Java Fern). Vegetation planted
into the substrate is likely to be dug up, so is best avoided. Filtration
should be efficient with areas of moderate water movement and some calmer
resting spots out of the current. Frequent partial water changes will help keep
nitrate to a minimum, particularly important as this species is sensitive to
deteriorating water conditions. Unless breeding, the Redhead Tapaj?s Eartheater
is generally peaceful, and in the wild is found in loose aggregations. In the
aquarium, this species is best maintained in groups of 8 or more so that a
natural hierarchy can form. This will not only meet their social needs but it
will help spread any minor aggression amongst the shoal, so that no one fish
bears the continual brunt of any sporadic antagonistic behaviour. Tankmates
should be of similar size and temperament, occupy the upper levels of the water
column, and thrive under the same soft, acidic conditions. May also be seen on
sale as Geophagus sp. 'orange head'.
Omnivorous. Requires small aquarium foods compared to its
adult size. Try to keep it varied with good quality carnivore and herbivore
flakes, small sinking pellets, and a mixture of frozen foods such as white
mosquito larvae, bloodworm, black mosquito larvae, vitamin-enriched
brineshrimp, and daphnia.
This species has been bred in the home aquarium. When ready
to spawn, there will be a typical courtship display consisting of circling,
fin-flashing, lateral displays, and mouth gaping. If the female is receptive,
she will swim over the chosen pre-cleaned spawning site in a series of ?dry
runs?, after which she will begin depositing eggs in small batches. The male
immediately follows behind her and fertilises them, and this is repeated until
the female is spent of eggs. The female stays with the eggs, fanning them with
her pectoral fins, whilst the male guards the perimeter. 48-72 hours later, the
eggs will hatch (the parents may assist with this) and the wrigglers are taken
up into the mouths of both the female and male, who share in incubating the
young for a further 8-10 days until they are free-swimming. At this point they
can be offered Artemia nauplii and powdered flake food. If the parents sense
danger, the fry are urged back into their mouths as quickly as possible.
Sometimes only one parent takes on mouthbrooding duties, whereas other times
both are involved, or they take turns.