Acquired: Fish / pet store
Posted Jul 14, 2014
This species was not on the list, so I picked one just so I could write about this one. This is a South American cichlid from the RioTapajo and are Geophagus (geo meaning earth and phagus meaning to eat) they sift the sand for food. They take a big mouth of sand, swish it around and the sand comes flying out of the gills while the food stays in their mouth. These fish are beautiful, easy to breed but require extremely clean water, so it is definitely not a beginner fish.
They breed easily and the female releases here eggs and the male fertilizes them then the male and female take turns carrying the eggs in their mouths. Later the babies hatch and then they will ride around in their parents mouth when another fish gets too close. The parent will open their mouth and the babies go swimming in. This is also where the babies eat. The parents chew some food and the babies eat the food while they are in the parents mouth. Amazing that the parent does not swallow the babies too.
This goes on for about 7 days at which time the babies know it is time to leave the nest, but they can't because they are in an aquarium. Most experienced parents will let the babies go off on their own, hiding in floating plants and under furniture in the aquarium but sometimes the new and inexperienced parents will eat the babies either because they are new and inexperienced or because they want to start breeding again or maybe because they are hungry and see the little ones no longer as theirs, but as lunch.
I am not describing how beautiful these fish are; I'm letting the photographs speak instead.