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Braziliensis (Geophagus brasiliensis)

Photo of: Braziliensis (Geophagus brasiliensis)

Scientific Name(s): Geophagus brasiliensis, Chromis brasiliensis


Common Name(s): Braziliensis, Pearl Cichlid


Family: Cichlidae


Species Type: South American Cichlids


Maximum Size: 10 inches


Life Span: 10 years


Natural Habitat: South American rivers


Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons


Tank Region: All over


Possible Tank Mates: Other large cichlids from Central or South America. Plecos or Catfish also work well.


Description: Geophagus brasiliensis is a South American substrate-spawning cichlid native to the coastal streams of eastern/southern Brazil and Uruguay. This fish has been known to science (and the hobby) for a long time as it was first typed by Quoy and Gaimard way back in 1824. Geophagus brasiliensis is a popular aquarium fish. It is easy to keep and breed, and readily available at pet stores. Another contributor to the success of Geophagus brasiliensis is that it is quite an attractive fish! The overall background of both males and females is a greyish-green which is covered with blue-white pearly flecks. Thus, the common name— Pearl Eartheater— is an apt descriptor. Fins are either totally red or edged with red. Male Geophagus brasiliensis attain lengths approaching a foot or more. Females remain slightly smaller. Geophagus brasiliensis will breed at much smaller sizes, however.


Temperature Range: 68°F - 75°F



pH Range: 6.2 - 7.6

pH 5.0
pH 6.0
pH 7.0
pH 8.0
pH 9.0


Hardness Range: 5° - 10°



Breeding Information: To initiate breeding use pH of 6.0-7.0 and a higher temperature of 76-78°F. The eggs are laid on carefully cleaned rocks. Do not remove the parents after the eggs are laid as they are excellent parents.


Sexing Information: No known way to determine visually.


Diet: Omnivorous - does well with flake or pellet food but should be given variety in diet including live or frozen foods. Do not feed live fish because of risk of disease transmission.


Temperament: Territorial


Common Diseases: HITH - Hole in the head disease.


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