Geophagus Eartheater Cichlid

Geophagus Eartheater Cichlid


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SKU: geophagus-eartheater-cichlid Category:

2 reviews for Geophagus Eartheater Cichlid

    Geophagus Eartheater Cichlid photo review
    Geophagus Eartheater Cichlid photo review
    Geophagus Eartheater Cichlid photo review
    James S., Myrtle Beach, SC (Verified Customer) January 21, 2024
    February 3, 2024

    Here is the set up we have. All student done with suggestions from me. They take care of them as part of the class. 

    Geophagus Eartheater Cichlid photo review
    Dawn S., Bullhead City, AZ (Verified Customer) October 29, 2020
    November 11, 2020
    Here is a photo of the fish.

    They are in a 100 gallon tank.

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Common names: Mother of pearl eartheater, Surinam Geo

Scientific nameGeophagus surinamensis


Max size: Around 10″

Origin: South America (Surinam and surrounding areas)

Care: Neutral pH (7.0), temp should be around 80F (27C). This fish needs a very fine substrate in order to thrive in aquarium life. Geophagus species are called eartheaters because they constantly sift through whatever their substrate might be, looking for food. Sinking foods are best for these fish, as their mouth isn’t adapted to eating from the surface, and if forced to do so, the fish may become malnourished from a lack of food. These geos can be kept in a small group or singly, although mine is kept with other fairly large growing cichlids.

Diet: Sinking pellets/wafers or sinking frozen foods are good.

Sexing: Females may have less finnage.

Breeding: They should breed once you have a pair, they are mouth brooders, so don’t expect to see eggs.

Comments: This is a great fish for a dedicated and patient fish keeper. While Surinam geos are bland in color while young, they get More beautiful as they age, and they will grow fin extensions on their claudal, dorsal, and ventral fins (Tail, top fin, and rear bottom fin) They are very active in nature, and have a great personality, they definitely make a good addition to the right tank.

Every fish we sell bears our gold seal that represents the promise to our customers. When you make a purchase with us, you are entrusting our team with shipping you a collector grade specimen of unparalleled quality, beauty, size, and heft based on our judgement accrued over 25 years of experience. We guarantee the fish you receive will match the exact fish represented in our product photos. We are the gold standard of discus. Note: our discus are always measured from tip of nose to end of tail.


Category Rating
Care Level: Moderate, see our Learning Center for comprehensive care.
Temperament: Peaceful
Color Form: Huge variety available
Lifespan: 15-25 Years
Adult Size: 8-12 inches
Diet: Omnivorous
Family: Cichlidae
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Tank Set-Up: Bare-bottom, or Intermediate
Compatibility: Often compatible

Natural Habitat for Discus

Discus are found in floodplain lakes and flooded forests of the lowland Amazon River basin and some of its tributaries, including the Rio Negro.  These areas experience extreme changes in water level due to seasonal flooding.  Discus tend to congregate near fallen trees, known as “galhadas”, along the shore.  They prefer quiet water, and are rarely found in areas where there is strong current or wave action.

Discus Water Requirements

Discus prefer warm, soft, acidic water.  pH should be between 6.0 and 7.0, with hardness between 1° and 4° dKH (18 to 70 ppm).  Temperature should be kept between 82° and 89° F. Water conditions for both wild and hybrid discus are the same. While captive bred discus can be kept in dechlorinated tap water  reverse osmosis or deionized water supplemented will ensure the the best conditions. Discus require pristine water quality, and depending on the filtration system being used, a weekly or bi-weekly water change of 10% to 25% is highly recommended. Don’t forget to treat tap water with conditioner before refilling your aquarium!  

Housing Requirements for Discus

Discus grow to be quite large, and full sized discus will require an aquarium of 50 gallons or larger when they reach adult size.  Tall aquariums are best, to accommodate their body shape.  Current should be gentle, and décor if used at all should include large broadleaf plants and driftwood that is arranged vertically to simulate downed branches and trees.  A few floating plants can also be added to provide shaded areas and cover. Substrate should be fine to medium grade and smooth surfaced, as discus like to forage along the bottom for food.

Discus Behavior/Compatibility

Discus are generally calm, peaceful fish, but as cichlids they can be aggressive toward one another, especially when attempting to pair off and spawn.  Shy or submissive fish should be removed if they are unable to compete. Most serious hobbyists do not mix their discus with too many other species. However, suitable aquarium mates include cardinal tetras, neons, emperor and rummy nose tetras, as well as clown loaches and dwarf cichlids such as rams and Apistogramma species. All of these fish tolerate the high temperatures and low pH/hardness required by discus.  

What do Discus Eat?

In nature discus eat a considerable amount of plant material and detritus, but also forage along the bottom looking for worms and small crustaceans.  They are omnivores and will thrive on freeze dried black worms, beefheart, frozen blood worms, and a variety of pellet and flake food. Frozen and live foods may be fed as treats or to help induce spawning.  For best results, rotate their diet daily and feed only what they can consume in 2 to 3 minutes, once or twice a day.

Discus Breeding Level – Difficult

Captive bred discus will pair up and spawn relatively easily, but young, inexperienced parents may eat their eggs the first few times, particularly if other fish are present.  After hatching the young feed on heavy body mucus secreted by the parents for a few days until they begin to free-swim.  Parents will transfer the young back and forth several times a day.

Q: How are your stated fish measurements conducted?

A: All measurements are made from tip of nose to end of tail. Photographs are representative of the strain or variety, and not the exact specimens that will be shipped.

Q: How do I make a purchase?

A: Every discus you see on our website is available for immediate purchase and ready to be shipped to you. Click the “Add to Cart” button on your desired products, adjust your quantities, and follow the checkout instructions. We honor all special requests. Please allow a 2-day minimum handling period for discus.

Shipping Tiers for Live Tropical Fish: 

  • Discus/Altum orders over $600: choice of a free gift of a breeding cone or t-shirt. Use the promo code BONUS-CONE after adding your selection to your cart.

Blackworms: Free USPS Postal Shipping

Plants: $10 FedEx Priority Shipping, Minimum Order: $15

International Buyers Please Note: Import duties, taxes and charges are not included in the item price or shipping charges. These charges are the buyer’s responsibility. Please check with your country’s customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to purchasing.


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