21-10-2022, 17:12
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Gymnogeophagus gymnogenys

Gymnogeophagus gymnogenys, synonyms: Geoophagus gymnogenys (Hensel, 1870), Geoophagus pygmaeus (Hensel, 1870), Geoophagus camurus (Cope, 1894), widely distributed in water bodies of Brazil and Uruguay, South America. The fish keep in low currents, in coastal areas of small channels and rivers, in quiet pools with sandy or muddy bottoms.

Because of the large habitat Gymnogeophagus gymnogenys have a variety of colors and body shape. There is still an ongoing debate as to whether all these different forms and colors are phenotypic variations within the species, or whether they are actually different undescribed varieties. In both sexes, the basic coloration ranges from greenish beige to yellow. There is a dark, sometimes rectangular lateral spot on the sides. In front of it, depending on the mood, an oval spot may appear, often connected with the lateral spot itself. Males and dominant specimens have interorbital lintel and saddle-shaped scutellum at the beginning of dorsal fin. The area between them is colored bright yellow and can turn into a occipital hump. In addition, males have iridescent bluish spots on their flanks. The unpaired fins, as well as the pelvic fins, are reddish with numerous iridescent bluish spots. The pectoral fins are colorless. Males are more colorful and may have a neck hump. The size of males reaches 20 cm and females about 15 cm.

Gymnogeophagus gymnogenys

Geoophagus gymnogenys is a territorial yet peaceful fish. They can be kept in a common aquarium with other peaceful fish, preferably inhabiting the upper layers of water.

Keep Geoophagus gymnogenys recommended in the proportion of 1 male to 2-3 females. For such a number of fish need an aquarium of 300 liters. Since the fish are constantly digging in the soil as a substrate used coarse-grained river sand or fine polished gravel. You can plant aquarium plants, and you should choose the strong bushes with a strong rhizome, planting them in ceramic pots. This should be done due to the fact that the fish digging in the substrate plants are pulled out of it along with the roots. At the bottom have large rocks, snags, grottos, which will act as hiding places.

Water parameters: temperature 21-25° C, hardness dH 1-10°, pH 6.5. Should not contain fish for a long time at a temperature above 25° C, as their natural environment is clearly observed change of seasons, so that winter temperatures may be close to zero, and the summer water temperature 25° C is quite normal. This annual cycle should be considered when keeping these fish in an aquarium. Thus, in winter they should be kept at temperatures no higher than 15° C (at least 2 months) and a few days allow the temperature to decrease to 10° C, and in summer they should not exceed 25° C. During the winter, fish eat very little, so they should be offered a small amount of food. Need, filtration, aeration and a weekly change of ¼ of the aquarium water with fresh.

Gymnogeophagus gymnogenys

Geoophagus pygmaeus are omnivores and eat almost any food: live, frozen, and dry. A plant food additive is required, e.g. spinach, chopped lettuce, flaked food containing spirulina. Fish food is taken only from the bottom.


Dominant males in the aquarium all the time fight with each other for the attention of females, demonstrating bright coloration. However, the courtship is actually initiated by the female. During the spawning period, she cleans the surface of a large rock of dirt and then attracts the male to her by hitting him with her side.

During spawning, the female lays up to a hundred amber-colored eggs, and the male immediately fertilizes them. After spawning, care of the eggs and fry takes over the female, for camouflage, it covers the eggs with sand. Over the next 48 hours it is above the clutch by fanning her fins. Then she collects the larvae in her mouth and swims away for cover. At this time it becomes extremely aggressive and therefore it is advisable to move it to another aquarium or enclose with dividing glass. After about 12 days, the female releases the fry from her mouth and then, for quite a long time they will swim under her supervision.

Gymnogeophagus gymnogenys

Fry from the first days of life are fed artemia at least 4 times a day. The fry grow very slowly.

Life expectancy Gymnogeophagus gymnogenys is about 5-8 years.

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