May 4, 2024

Geophagus Surinamensis: A Comprehensive Guide to Care, Maintenance & Breeding

Understanding Geophagus cermensis

The Geophagus cermensis, often known as a species of cichlid, has been intriguing scientists and hobbyists for over 230 years. The key characteristics that differentiate it from other geophagus species are the absence of dark markings along the head and a dark spot found on the lateral line.

Proper Maintenance for Geophagus cermensis

The maintenance of this species requires specific environmental conditions. Fish keeping enthusiasts should have a soft sandy substrate, wood, and rocks for the Geophagus cermensis’ habitat. Beyond this, it needs soft water with a pH between 6 and 7.5 and temperature ranges between 77-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Identifying characteristics

Typically, the Geophagus cermensis is a larger growing species that can reach up to 12 inches in the wild, with males more often than not, being larger than females. Their feeding habits are omnivorous, and their diet consists of a myriad of foods. As these cichlids mature, they develop more vibrant and bright colors.

Reproduction and Sexual Maturity

These cichlids notoriously indulge in mouth-brooding. Both male and female fish share the responsibility of caring for the eggs and fry. Upon reaching around 18 months old, they usually become sexually mature.

Geophagus cermensis and Misidentification

The late 80s and mid-90s witnessed a maelstrom of confusion surrounding the correct identification of Geophagus cermensis. Quite a number of these cichlids were mislabeled and sold under wrong species names in the hobby of fishkeeping.

Adding Geophagus cermensis to Your Tank

My personal experiences with Geophagus cermensis have been largely positive. I keep them in a community tank along with other fish species and find them to be peaceful, not to mention, colorful additions. Not to discount their lack of popularity in the hobby compared to more recent or newer cichlid species, but the Geophagus cermensis remains an interesting and beautiful fish to keep.

Understanding Geophagus Surinamensis: The Surinam Geo

Popularly named the Juvenile Geo Eartheaters, the Mother of pearl eartheater, or Surinam Geo, they belong to the same family as Geophagus cermensis but forms part of the Geophagus surinamensis species. Their native habitat spans the regions of South America, predominantly Surinam and the surrounding areas.

Optimum Centric Care

These fish demand exceptional care, requiring neutral pH conditions at 7.0, and water temperature around 80F (27C). A very fine substrate in their aquarium setting is non-negotiable since they have a habit of sifting through it constantly seeking food.

Feeding Habit and Dietary Needs

Feeding the Surinam Geos large cichlids is feasible. However, their diet should largely consist of sinking wafers or pellets, or sinking frozen foods. In several cases, females have been seen to possess less finnage than the males, making the habit of distinguishing necessary for any fish keeper.

Breeding the Surinam Geos

Breeding these geos requires an apparent pair, all thanks to their mouth-brooding ways. One thing to note is that during their breeding period, eggs may not be visible. But as they mature, these geos develop more color and fin extensions, not to forget their unique personalities, which warrants them a great addition to any suitable aquarium setup. Keeping the Juvenile Geo Eartheaters most definitely urges the commitment and patience of the fishkeeper.

Passionate and knowledgeable aquartist. Aquariums have always fascinated me. I enjoy sharing and learning about the wonders of a fish tank.

Justin A

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