24-05-2021, 21:30
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Red head Tapajos

Red head Tapajos was first described in 1991 by the German aquarists Christop Seidel and Rainer Harnoss from Rio Tapajos, eastern Brazil. The main channel of Tapajos contains so-called "white" water with a pH from slightly acidic to neutral and low hardness. There is a lot of suspended sediment in the water, giving it a turbid appearance. The fish prefer to keep along banks and islands with soft substrate at the bottom in the form of sand or silt, snags and large boulders. These fish can be recommended for experienced aquarists.

Red head Tapajos has a red spot on its head, which gave the fish its name Geofagus redhead. Dorsal and tail plumage with stripes of turquoise coloration with a red sheen. Faintly contrasting transverse stripes run throughout the body. There is a black spot in the central part of the body. Males have a brighter coloration, larger size and elongated fins than females. Some dominant specimens have a hump on the back of the head as they mature. Fish reach a size of 20-25 cm.

Red head Tapajos

Red head Tapajos are generally peaceful fish. They do not even cause trouble for small fish. Only during the spawning season do Tapajos become aggressive. When keeping in a community aquarium in the neighbours to them to choose the peaceful fish living in similar environmental conditions. Aggressive or territorial species in the substrate or those that require harder water should be avoided.

Keep the fish in a group of at least 5-8. Over time, a noticeable hierarchy will form in the group with one or more dominant individuals. If kept in smaller numbers, weaker individuals may be harassed by the dominant ones.

The Tapajos Geofagus redheads can be kept in a 300-litre aquarium. Soft sandy substrate is the most important decoration element, as it allows the fish to feed naturally. Coarser materials such as gravel or small pebbles may impede feeding, damage the gill filaments and even penetrate inside, which may cause internal injuries or blockages. Several snags and boulders can be placed on the bottom.

Water quality is of prime importance, as these cichlids are very sensitive to water quality deterioration and variations in chemical parameters. Due to this, the fish should never be released into an aquarium in which biological equilibrium has not yet been established.

Water parameters: temperature 26-30° C, hardness dH 5-15°, pH 4,5-7,5. Requires enhanced filtration, preferably canister type filter, aeration and a weekly substitution of at least ½ of the aquarium water with fresh.
Lighting moderate, lasting 10-12 hours a day.

Aquarium plants with these fish are unlikely to grow. The only exceptions are hardy shrubs planted in pots and reinforced with large rocks on top.

Red head Tapajos

Tapajos geophagus take substrate in their mouths during feeding and sift for edible material, while inedible material is expelled through the gill holes and mouth.

The stomach contents of wild specimens mainly consist of small aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, plant material in the form of seeds, organic detritus and sediments. Under aquarium conditions, the fish are fed with artemia, bloodworms and spirulina. Instead of one large serving of food once a day, offer the fish 3-4 small portions per day, which will have a significantly better effect on the health of the fish.


The Tapajos Geofagus redhead reaches sexual maturity at 9-10 months of age.

The fish don't need any measures for breeding, the main requirements are a varied feed and maintaining the water quality at the proper level.

During the spawning season, the male attracts the female to the intended place of spawning, which usually acts as a surface of a large flat rock.
The female lays eggs in one or more rows, and then the male fertilizes the clutch. The spawning process can take several hours.

After spawning, the female stays near the clutch and the male protects the area from uninvited guests.

After about 72 hours, the fry hatch out and the female immediately collects them in her mouth. On day 8-11, the fry are already hardened, and the female begins to release them to feed, at first cautiously, and then for a longer time. At the slightest danger, the fry swim back into their mother's mouth.

Red head Tapajos

The fry are fed with dried food intended for cichlid fry, Artemia nauplii, etc.

Life expectancy of Tapajos Geofagus redheads in aquarium conditions is 8-10 years.

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