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The striking Redhump Eartheater (Geophagus steindachneri) is a captivating fish renowned for its unique feeding behavior, earning its name from its distinctive habit of sifting through the substrate of its aquarium. Belonging to the Geophagus genus, which translates to "earth eater," these fish exhibit a fascinating feeding technique where they ingest mouthfuls of sand and gravel, sifting it to extract food particles before expelling the remaining substrate.

While the Redhump Eartheater may not boast the most vibrant coloration, it possesses a subtle and distinctive beauty. Mature males are characterized by a striking red nuchal hump, a feature that lends them their common names such as Red Humped Eartheater or Redhump Geophagus. Additionally, metallic bluish-green speckling along the posterior half of the body adds to its allure.

Notably, the Redhump Eartheater is considered highly specialized due to its unique breeding behavior. It is the only South American mouthbrooder where the female retrieves the eggs into her mouth even before fertilization. Utilizing dummy eggs, indicated by orange spots near the mouth, the male lures the female, releasing sperm to fertilize the eggs as she attempts to mouth them.

In aquariums, Redhump Eartheaters are undemanding and suitable for beginner cichlid enthusiasts. While they can reach nearly 10 inches (25 cm) in the wild, captive males typically grow to around 6 inches, with females slightly smaller. They coexist peacefully with non-aggressive tank mates and contribute to substrate cleanliness through their digging behavior.

To facilitate their well-being, provide hiding spots such as rocks and sunken driftwood, along with dense vegetation. While they enjoy digging, they typically do not disturb plant roots, but monitoring is advisable. Regular water changes are essential for their care, and it's recommended to avoid sharp substrate items to prevent injury during sifting.

Breeding Redhump Eartheaters is relatively straightforward, requiring consistent water changes and appropriate filtration. However, it's advisable to avoid under gravel filters due to their digging behavior. Instead, opt for external filters like hang-on-the-back or canister filters for optimal water quality.


Species – Geophagus steindachneri
Common Name – Red Hump Eartheater
Origin – Amazon River basin of South America.
Diet – Omnivore
pH Range – 5.5-6.5
Temperature – Tropical 24–29°C
Breed Type – Egg layer
Max Size – 15cm
Sex – Un-sexed

Geophagus Steindachneri

AU$50.00 Regular Price
AU$45.00Sale Price

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