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FAQs on Juraparoids, the Eartheaters

Related Articles: Juraparoids, Neotropical Cichlids, African Cichlids, Dwarf South American Cichlids, Asian Cichlids, Cichlid Fishes in General

Related FAQs: Cichlids of the World, Cichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid DiseaseCichlid Reproduction,

Re: Tank livestock questions (mostly Geophagines)       10/30/13
Sorry Neal I haven't emailed you sooner I had an email shutdown as well as slow computer woes.
<Indeed?>
If I get permission I plan on saving money up for another tank.
<Cool.>
Either a second 55 gallon or a 90 gallon in my room and getting rid of the computer desk/moving things around to accommodate it space wise. I'll get a cheap laptop for email/internet and save up to buy the tank/ect. (By the way what are the domentions of a 90 and a 55 gallon tank?)
<Such information is widely available online; try for example About.com, here:
http://freshaquarium.about.com/od/aquariumsandstands/a/tanksizesweights.htm
Your online or local vendor of choice will have specifics for the tanks they sell, too.>
The 20 gallon the angel and Bolivain rams are in I will give away, and put the Acrlic 50 gallon I have in its place. This weekend I plan on setting it up. It got delayed but I have been changing water and angel although getting too big is doing well. the rams even tried to spawn but the angel ate the eggs.
<Indeed.>
if i get a 90 gallon I'd like to know what kinds of Earth eaters would do well in my ph 7 water in that size tank?
<You may not have a huge amount of choice. But before getting carried away to review the needs of Geophagine cichlids generally. They usually need excellent water quality (including low nitrate, preferably below 20 mg/l), frequent water changes, lots of space, groups of 5+ specimens (otherwise bullying is common), and in some cases relatively low water temperatures too. Obviously a soft, not gravel, substrate is essential. They are considered semi-difficult cichlids. TFH has a nice article on them, here:
http://www.tfhmagazine.com/details/articles/a-survey-of-eartheaters-full-article.htm
Here in the UK, Geophagus "Tapajos" and Geophagus altifrons seem particularly widely traded at the moment, but other species, such as Satanoperca jurupari and Satanoperca daemon are regularly traded. Since Satanoperca are across the board very demanding fish, you'd probably fine one of the smaller Geophagus a better starting point. Geophagus brasiliensis is a good default Geophagine for those who haven't kept them before. They're not too big (around 15-20 cm is typical) and not too fussy about water chemistry. They do well across a broad temperature range, though not too warm, 24-25 C/75-77 F is ideal. Finally, they're less overtly aggressive than many of the other Geophagines. They combine well with peaceful midwater characins and possibly things like Corydoras too, but there will of course be competition for food. With all this said, like all Geophagines they are acutely sensitive to poor water quality, including nitrate, and will succumb to Hexamita and Lateral Line Erosion very quickly in poor conditions.>
I was thinking either that or maybe wild Red back Manacapuru Angels ( or Leopoldi angels as my store, Tropaquatic's can get these) I would maybe try a singleton Blue eye Pleco if not too big or a single royal Pleco , or a trio of striped Raphael cats.
<Good luck getting a Blue-Eyed Plec, and I hope you have deep pockets!
These sell for hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. On the other hand, a Royal Plec could work well in a 90-gallon tank. I would not add any sort of Plec to an aquarium with Eartheaters though -- Plecs are far too messy, and you want to keep such an aquarium as clean as possible. Tetras and Corydoras, fine; Plec, no, they eat too much and pollute the tank too much, making low nitrate levels hard to achieve. Ditto any other large catfish, whether Pimelodidae, Doradidae, or whatever.>
If i get a 55 instead I may go with Dwarf rainbows and zebra Plecos- do these do well together?
<Yes, Hypancistrus combine well with any small, midwater schooling fish with similar requirements. That said, most people who buy them try to breed them, so build the tank around that aspect, and choose tankmates, if any, accordingly.>
Or maybe I will get A shoal of Congos and some pajama cats to grace the bottom.
<Synodontis flavitaeniatus is a cracking catfish, and can work well in an
<<?>>
Re: Tank livestock questions (mostly Geophagines)     11/7/13

Hi Neale I set up my new Aquarium this Sunday its been up and running for over 48 hours now. The Angel went on a brief hunger strike but has sense resumed eating.
<Good.>
I added their sponge filter plus a new sponge filter plus all the old substrate and sand on top for the cores.
<Good.>
Temp is around 81 and I tested the water on Monday. it was within the safe zones for Ammonia and nitrate.
<Do remember only "safe" ammonia (and nitrite, with an "i") is zero; for cichlids, "safe" nitrate (with an "a") must be quite low, lower than for average community fish. I'd suggest aiming for less than 20 mg/l for sensitive cichlids, and certainly no more than 40 mg/l even for hardy farmed Angels.>
The Angel and rams are much more peaceful towards each other although I have noticed the angels fins have started to deterate, so I added salt and stress coat. which helped to a degree.
<Possibly, but the salt isn't doing anything useful. Would medicate as per Finrot.>
The Angel was holding a clear side fin- not sure what they are called to the side yesterday now he's moving both fins.
<Good. Healthy Angels use their fins to "paddle" along. Unhealthy Angels (and indeed unhealthy cichlids) "clamp" their fins to their bodies.>
I figured I would ask you if salt is bad for Corys?
<At very low doses, 2 g/l, then no, it can be used safely for many weeks.
But long term, or higher concentrations, yes, salt is bad for them.>
I do plan on doing a water change sometime this Friday.  Do I have to worry about a cycle even though I put in the mature filter/ect.
<No, a mature filter should survive being moved to a new/bigger aquarium and work completely normally. Be sensible though, and don't overfeed, and monitor nitrite or ammonia. If either goes above zero, act accordingly (e.g., by stopping feeding and doing a 25% water change).>
How much water  25% maybe- should I change in the beginning if it does start to cycle. As far as the bigger tank is concerned I still have not gotten word if its a doable thing or not. I do plan on giving the 20 gallon away regardless The person who decides if I can get a bigger tank is very busy. I was wondering Neale if I could send you a Query for you to review for Amazonas Magazine - I would like to write to them about my fishkeeping journey- south American fish keeping. I have found the editors name- James- and will contact him vie email if I/you feel its a good Query  Assuming you do Queries for fish Magazines I could send it to you next email.
<I don't normally answer questions for Amazonas Magazine; so do contact James Lawrence and he'll pass the letter on to whoever. Mostly I answer questions for WetWebMedia and for Practical Fishkeeping Magazine in England (and you certainly can e-mail them, and you'll get e-mails back as well as seeing your letter in print there). Cheers, Neale.>

Eartheater Cichlid Aquarium size
Adding A. hecklii  to Existing Tank  7/26/11

Thank you for answering a pervious question about adding Pictus Catfish to my South American themed aquarium. I was on my way to purchase the Pictus when I saw an incredible eartheater I had not seen before. It was an Acarichthys hecklii or Threadfin eartheater. I would love to add this fish to my South American tank. Researching I found an eartheater article in the new Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine that said these fish can be kept with other Eartheaters and Severums, so far so good. My main concern is if I have a large enough aquarium to add these to my current setup. The setup is a 120 gallon tank with a Fluval FX5 rated at 950 or so gallons per hour and a Fluval U4 rated at 260 gallons per hour. The livestock includes 5 Severums, 6 Silver Dollars, 1 Rhino Pleco and 4 Eartheater cichlids I believe are Geophagus Altifrons. I would like to add 4 Threadfin Eartheaters. Would a 120 gallon tank work for this stocklist or is an upgrade needed. Locally the largest tank I can get is a 210 gallon. Would this be a better tank for want I would like to keep? Once again thank you for a great website and sharing your time.
< Go for it. This is a great fish that will go well with your current set up. This fish gets big so when all these fish get to an adult size it might be ready for some expansion plans, especially if any of these fish pair off.-Chuck>

Substrate Recommendations for An Eartheater Cichlid 6/29/2011
I currently have a 120 gallon tank that I would like to add some Eartheater cichlids to. My current substrate is gravel of a size 3mm to 5mm. I am considering changing the substrate to a CaribSea product call Tahitian Moon Gravel. According to the manufacturer's information the grain size of this substrate is 0.1mm to 0.3mm. Would this substrate better for the Eartheaters and allow them to better show their natural behavior?
< In the wild most South American eartheater cichlids are found over a fine natural sand. Sand is mostly quartz which is Silicon Dioxide. So they are found over a naturally light colored substrate that the individual particles are smooth and well rounded for many years of being moved through the water. Since the Eartheaters will be spending much of their time picking up sand and spitting it out, the sand needs to be smooth so that it doesn't cause any abrasions in the oral cavity of the cichlid. This could lead to infections in and around the mouth. The substrate you are looking at is fine but it may be difficult seeing the fish over a black substrate since very little aquarium light will be reflected back up.>
If so my plan was to change out the substrate 1/3 of the tank at a time during my weekly water change. Would this plan minimize the stress to the fish and the biological filter? Thank you for your time and a great website.
< Doing both of these things would be a very good idea for the reasons you have already stated.-Chuck>

Geophagus jurupari Question, comp. w/ Pacus, hlth, HLLE  3/4/10
Hi Guys,
<Hello,>
I have a 55 gallon freshwater tank with 3 Red Belly Pacus and 1 Geophagus jurupari. Upon returning home from a trip I found my Geophagus, 'J.J.' looked as if he had been severely attacked by the Pacus. The fish-sitter had no idea what had happened so I am not entirely sure if J.J. developed some ailment or was simply attacked.
<Could very well have been attacked by these Pacu. Pacu generally should only be trusted with larger companions in very large aquaria. Despite being famed as herbivores, eating all sorts of fruits and seeds, they are opportunistic carnivores too, and will take a bite at anything they think they can catch. They have incredibly strong teeth and jaws. This is a real problem in cramped tanks where the other fish can't stay out of the way. Your tank is FAR TOO SMALL for these fish. The Red Belly Pacu, Piaractus brachypomus, gets to 88 cm/35 inches and weighs up to 25 kilos/55 pounds. These are food fish, and unless you have a 600 gallon tank lined up, there's no way you can properly house three specimens. Do make sure you look at his photo, on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Colossoma_macropomum_ostergaard.jpg
This is what your fish is going to grow into. To be fair, a typical size in captivity is 60 cm/24 inches, but that's still a mammoth fish almost as deep as it is long, and weighing as much as a dog.>
I had noticed little white spots on J.J. on previous occasions but assumed it was just little Pacu nips but I am extremely concerned now, since one spot, near his nostril, has a large white spot, fuzzy in appearance. The other spots are not as prominent, but the spot covering the nostril is quite alarming.
<These spots, if on the head, are more likely Hole-in-the-Head. This is extremely common when geophagine cichlids (Eartheaters, like your Satanoperca jurupari) are kept in small tanks. Geophagine cichlids tolerate almost no nitrate, and certainly levels 20 mg/l or higher cause them immense stress. Treatment is with Metronidazole, plus fixing the environment.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/metranidazole.htm
Untreated, the fish will eventually die.>
Incidentally, J.J. is eating well and is behaving normally.
<Good, you still have time. Get moving!>
I am not sure if J.J. has developed HITH or has some type of systemic bacterial infection and I am unsure how to treat him.
<See above.>
I am afraid to use anything toxic and was advised to use a 'melaluca' based medication that added daily to the water
<This is tea-tree oil, and will be of no use against Hole-in-the-Head. The infection can only be treated with Metronidazole. This should also prevent and Finrot following the attack by the Pacu.>
but have seen no results.
<No surprise.>
Please let me know if you have any advice or suggestions.
<Much advice!>
Thank you,
<My pleasure.>
Carol Lyn
<Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Geophagus Jurupari Question 3/4/10

Wow! Thank you very much for the advice and insight.
<Happy to help.>
I had a Pacu in the past, and he was quite entertaining to say the least, but he passed away when he was not entirely huge.
<Oh. Well, there are several species. The Red-Belly Pacu is one of the *really* big ones.>
I was not aware of quite how large these guys will get- I will DEFINITELY re-think my aquarium. Thank you for that advice.
<No problems.>
Thank you also for advice on J.J. I will head to the pet supply store for the Metronidazole and will definitely test the nitrates.
<Very good.>
Thank you very much; I appreciate your help.
Carol Lyn
<Cheers, Neale.>

Geophagus brasiliensis
Cichlid With Infection  11/11/09

Hi guys, hoping you can help! About 3 months ago I purchased a pair of large Geophagus brasiliensis. They took a bit of a knock in the shop the careless guy allowed the bag to drop to the floor but I still had them as they were such beautiful fish. Within a couple of days of having them, one started to develop a lump on the side of its head. I put this down to the bump they received and thought I would wait and see if this 'bruise' went down. The lump never disappeared or got any better or worse and as the fish seemed perfectly happy otherwise, eating, healthy and constantly flirting with its mate. It didn't really concern me too much. In the last week or so the lump has developed a sort of red pimple in the middle, a bit like a white head on a normal spot. I've enclosed the best picture I could take. I'm hoping you can cast some clarity on this as I cant seem to find anything online and im really hoping this isn't HITH. My fish are in a 850 litre tank with a few other new world cichlids, there is no aggression between any of the fish and all my water parameters are normal Many thanks
Dan
< Thanks for the photo. The bacterial infection is coming to a head. When it pops like a pimple, There will be some redness. At that time I would do a 50% water change and watch the site closely. It doesn't heal right away or look like it is getting better then treat with an antibiotic like Furanace. I don't think it is HITH.-Chuck>

Tankmates for Red Threadfin Acara 09/14/09
Could you tell me which tankmates would be suitable for a threadfin Acara in a 75 gallon (48") long tank ?
<Acarichthys heckelii, an interesting eartheater cichlid from South America.>
The Acara would be 1 and a half to 2 inches long.
<For a while at least! These fish will grow rapidly, and should get to around 15 cm/6 inches within a year.>
Also, are these fish too aggressive to be kept in a species tank, and what could be done to lessen aggression ?
<They are really much like other Eartheaters, and best kept in large groups, but your tank would be a bit of a push in that regard. As juveniles they are somewhat tolerant of one another, but as they mature, they'd pair
off, and bonded pairs will become increasingly aggressive. Conversely, non-brooding singletons aren't particularly aggressive at all, and by cichlids standards, are almost peaceful. So the whole question of tankmates depends on whether you're keeping one, a breeding pair, or a group of 6+.
Since they're virtually impossible to sex, unless you have access to a mature breeding pair, if you want to spawn this species -- a challenge -- then you keeping a group is the only way to go. A lot will depend on the tank. Since these fish need open space rather than plants or caves, the more open the tank, the more the fish will spread out and tolerate one another. Decorate with just some bogwood and big Anubias/Java ferns at the edges, and otherwise mostly smooth silica sand (not gravel!). No point using plants with roots, since they'd be ripped up! Floating plants good for shade as well as nitrate control. The best tankmates would be
medium-sized schooling fish that stayed towards the top of the tank, Giant Danios for example, perhaps even (wild-type) Swordtails if water chemistry allowed. Nothing too slow or dainty! For the bottom, best to avoid anything easily bullied. An L-number catfish that gets to around 20 cm/8 inches would be the obvious choice, but a school of Brochis or a trio of Megalechis might be interesting alternatives. Outside of South America, virtually any of the medium-sized Synodontis would work well. Avoid smaller Corydoras or anything that would pecked, harassed, or otherwise damaged.>
Thanks.
JD
<Cheers, Neale.>

55 gallon FW Stocking
Sand , Jurupari and Rainbow Questions   4/9/09

Hello Crew and Thank You for a great job.
I'm going to set up 55 US gallon FW tank and have some questions about this.
I want to put sand on the bottom. Home Depot sells sand for "playground".
They do not specify, what kind of sand is that. Do you have any idea if this sand is safe for a fish tank?
<In different areas of the country the sand may be different. Get a small sample and place in it some distilled water. If the TDS or pH changes then the material is leaching minerals into the water and is generally not good for use in an aquarium.>
I'd like to keep in the tank 2 Geophagus jurupari.. I do not see a lot of information about this fish. Some of the internet sites say they are very touchy and require very soft water. I assume my water is very hard (pH=8).
Are they really need soft water like discus or rams?
< Wild Satanoperca jurupari do come from areas of soft acidic water. Most of the fish today are tank bred and do much better in harder water. They may be maintained in harder water but will probably not breed.>
If that the case, I better choose different species. Please let me know, if they will adapt to a hard water.
Also would it be aggression problem between 2 Geophagus jurupari?
< They are not an aggressive species. Keep in mind that any eartheater type of cichlid will constantly be sift food from the sand. If the sand is too coarse or has angular edges then it will be abrasive and cause disease
problems.>
I also want to keep 6 boesemanni rainbowfish. If I buy 6 juveniles, would it be a problem, if I will get more males than females?
<Rainbows will be fine in a group. Males will show their best colors with some females around.>
I want to plant the tank with different kinds of Anubias, and I want to add gold nugget Pleco. Is it safe to keep this Pleco with Anubias?
< There are many types of gold nugget Plecos with different requirements.
Go to Planetcatfish.com and research the species of Pleco you are looking to get.>
What do you think about this stocking overall? Will this system work?
< The Pleco will probably be wild and may need soft acidic water. The rainbows on the other hand like hard alkaline water. Maybe look at something like Congo tetras if you are going to soften the water or get a
common Pleco that will tolerate the harder tap water.-Chuck>
Thank you, Mark

Cichlid recommendations. For a 20 gal.   5/29/08 I am recently returning into the love of fish, they're more interesting than snakes, and have been wondering about stocking a tank with Cichlids. I am really interested in the Jurupari, and possibly some of the dwarf cichlids. I plan to buy a 20 gallon tank (not much else would fit in my room) and want to know what would be a good tank mix for it? <A twenty is too small for Juraparoids/Eartheaters...> I understand that with Jurupari it is recommend to keep the water extremely clean, to prevent hole-in-the-head, and that while they are young the gravel should be thin (Sandy or such...). I would just love to know if a 20 gal is large enough for one of these beautiful fish, or possibly two. If not, which Cichlids would you recommend? <Really, S. American Dwarfs...> I understand that angel-fish are very sweet (though territorial) fish, one of my friends owns a pair. Though, I am really interested in a fish like the earth eaters... It just sounds so fun. I also want something that I can watch and not stress out, my current fancy guppies (doing well mind you) stress me from time to time... They like to freak out all over the tank, interacting with their reflections. Thanks for the wonderful resource! Heather. <Welcome... do avail yourself of the many resources on the Net, library books re Apistogramma, Nannacara... Bob Fenner>

Geophagus Sucking on Fire Eel?  11/15/07 I am sitting here watching my 150 gallon tank and I am seeing one of my Geophagus sucking on the fins of my 3.5 foot Fire Eel - <Neat!> What's up with that? The eel is prowling the surface hoping it is dinner time - an does not even flinch while the Geophagus is sucking on his tail fins... <Mmm... how to state this... fish mucus has many properties... of use to its producer, and is a food source to some other organisms. In this case, your eartheater> I assume it is sucking cause there are no bite marks or scuffing. Any thoughts? Tim <If causing no damage, I would not be concerned... the Mastacembelid can take care of itself, assuredly. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

HELP!!!!! I am scared my 6" Jurupari will not make it over night!!  5/31/07 Jurupari With Hole-In-The-Head Disease Okay this is the deal, for about 2 years we have had a 55 gallon freshwater tank and within the first year we had acquired - 2- 1.5" black tetras, 1 - 1.5" Tiger barb, 1 - 2" Figure Eight puffer, and 1 - 3" algae eater. Every thing was fine for several months, and then about 6 months ago the Puffer died, we weren't sure why, probably because I was too busy with an new baby to tend to the tank like I should have. < Actually as puffers get older they move to salt water from fresh water. this is not true for all FW puffers but it is true for most sold at stores.> We observed the fish and took care of the tank, making sure there was nothing going to harm the other fish. Since the other fish seemed fine we decided two weeks ago we would like to get another puffer (they are so much fun.) Well I went to my LFS in search for a puffer and I came upon a Beautiful 6" Geophagus Jurupari at the price of $50 - I didn't buy it, but placed an order for the puffer instead. A week later I came back to pick up the puffer and the "smart" fish guy was there so I asked about the Geophagus - he said it was a great hardy fish and that it would be fine with a puffer and the fish I had at home. < Most puffers are actually brackish fish unless you got a specific species that is found in true FW. The Satanoperca jurupari actually comes from soft, warm, acidic waters of South America.> I said I will take it, and they loaded him up with the puffer and I brought them home to there new tank. Since this was my first time to purchase a fish that cost more than $10 - I had never even heard of putting new fish in a QT before entering them into my display tank. I have always just acclimated them then added a little of my water at a time over about an 45 min. time period - and this is what I did with the Jurupari and the Puffer. After being in our tank for 2 days I noticed tiny white specs on the puffer and immediately went to the computer to learn it was ich. I decided to go with the heat, salt and daily water changes instead of the chemical route. Since I didn't have an extra tank and heater etc. I used a large clear acrylic salad bowl and placed it into the large tank to share the 87 degree temp and air with an air stone and a little gravel. Concerned about the ich and curious to know more about the Jurupari, I again turned to the web. I began to realize my water conditions were totally wrong for the Jurupari. Now I was really concerned my water conditions were going to stress this beautiful fish. I immediately began to attempt to lower the hardness, pH, & alkalinity of my tank water with water changes, aquarium salt, and a pH buffer - I just could not get it down!! After loads of research - I realized the that the Texas Holey Rock and landscaping gravel I had in my tank were causing the high alkalinity and water hardness! I immediately removed the rocks and the next day I removed the gravel replacing it with black Tahitian Moon Sand for the Eartheater - but now my bacteria is gone and I have began to notice little tiny holes on the head of my Jurupari! I immediately searched WWM and found this was HITH! I did as suggested and ordered Metronidazole (Hole-In-The-Head Guard) from DrsFosterSmith.com, along with Marc Weiss Instant Amazon, and Vita-Chem. I did a water change, then administered the HITH meds, now he wont eat and he has began to get blood streaks in his tail, he hangs out at the top and is kind of out of balance. Believe It Or Not! I am already in love with this fish!!! I am willing to do whatever it takes to save these fish!!! Other than not researching the South American Cichlid before I bought it - Please tell me what I did wrong, and what I can do to fix it!! Helpless in Houston, Beth < The genus Satanoperca overall is a very touchy group of fish. They require very clean soft acidic water to thrive. Anything less that this and they break down with a long list of maladies that you have now encountered. All of the changes have created stress in your fish and he has begun to shut down. For the short term I would isolate him in a 10 gallon tank with and airstone and a heater. The water would be 50% treated tap and 50% R/O. Set the heater at 82 F. Treat the tank with a combination of Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace. The Metro with treat the bloat and the Nitro will treat the bacterial infections in the fins. Treat on day 1, 3 and 5. On days 2 and 4 just do a 50% water change while vacuuming out any waste. When the fish acts hungry then you can start to try and bet him to eat some medicated fish food with Metro in it. In the long term the big tank really needs softened water. I would recommend using an R/O unit to remove the dissolved minerals and adding a buffer to acidify the water to a mildly acidic pH. these fish are bottom feeders so make sure some food gets to the bottom. They do not like any waste in the water. The nitrates should be under 10 ppm. This is very clean water and will require lots of water changes. the other fish will like the new water with the exception of the puffer.-Chuck>

Re: HELP!!!!! I am scared my 6" Jurupari will not make it over night!! Finding Nitrofurazone - 6/1/07 > Also, where can I find Nitrofuranace? I didn't see it on DrsFosterSmith.com. < They sell it as simply Furanace or Furan-2.> Can I use API's Triple Sulfa? < You can try it but I don't think it will be as effective as the medications I have recommended.> Am I treating hemorrhagic septicemia, is that what the blood streaks are, or is it some sort of bloat? < These medications are good for bacterial and fungal infections. Your are treating both external and internal bacterial infections.> I am going to get an extra tank right away - I guess because I will be doing a 50% water change every day I wont need a filter on the QT tank. <When you medicate a quarantine tank , the medications are affecting the biological filtration. You remove the fish waste in the tank with the water changes.-Chuck> Thank you so much with helping me on the specifics - I am extremely grateful!!!!! > Beth

Re: HELP!!!!! I am scared my 6" Jurupari will not make it over night!! R/O Water - 6/1/07 > Since I don't have access to RO water right away can I use bottled distilled for the water changes? It is 0 everything? < Distilled removes more minerals than an R/O unit so either would be fine.-Chuck.>

Re: HELP!!!!! I am scared my 6" Jurupari will not make it over night!! > Jurupari Needs Treatment - 6/1/07 > WWM Team - THANK YOU for your quick response!!! < We know how important information is when your fish are sick.> OK, I bought a 10 gallon tank, wiped it out with distilled water, and filled it with distilled water. < Pure distilled water is not needed. Next time mix 75% distilled with 25% tap water.> I heated the water to 84 so there wouldn't be a drastic temp change for the Jurupari - I am slowly lowering it to 82. Right now the tank only has the heater and an airstone in it. I also put 1 tsp of Instant Amazon and 20 drops of Vita-Chem, since I did a Metro treatment in the big tank yesterday, I won't treat him with it again today. My main concern is the other medicine you mentioned - I was unable to locate it online or at the LFS's I have near my house. I did find API's Triple Sulfate Anti-Bacterial Fish Med that is for Hemorrhagic Septicemia - should I use this to treat the water? < I looked in the Drsfostersmith.com catalog and found both medications I mentioned available. The tri-Sulpha is not as effective as the medications I had mentioned. If cannot find them then go ahead and try the triple Sulpha.> The If so, should I do it today and alternate the treatments every day, or should I wait until tomorrow and do both medications at the same time? < Treat with both medications at the same time.> If not, please tell me were I can get the Nitrofuranace and I will have it next day aired to my house. By the way the Jurupari's fins aren't clenched anymore now that he is in the Distilled Water - but it looks like he is also suffering from fin rot - is this also because of the water conditions, or is this something new? < The fin rot is a bacterial infection from high nitrates in the water. This disease will respond to the antibiotics.> Also, is there an RO unit you would suggest for my tank? <If you have a 55 gallon tank and you probably need to change up to 30% of the water every week. This means you need to generate about 20 gallons per week for water changes. So you need to get one that generates at least 20-30 gallons per week. They are usually sold in Gallons per day. So get a unit that generates at least 5 gallons per day and you can always lower the pressure and reduce the amount needed.> Now. about the big tank, my tiger barb wont eat and he is gasping for air - it looks like he has dark green patches on his sides and the top of his head - and maybe one single spot of ich on his back fin (if this is possible.) Also, yesterday the puffer looked like most of his ich spots were gone and this morning he was covered with twice as many. <The ich medication has probably affected the biological filtration. Check the water for ammonia and nitrite levels. Both should be zero. Reduce levels with water changes.> UGH! I feel like this is all my fault! Not researching before the purchase of new fish. Now I feel like I am in way over my head. Helplessly trying to reproduce the Amazon in Houston! Beth <This is all part of the learning process. We are here to help.-Chuck> Re: HELP!!!!! I am scared my 6" Jurupari will not make it over night!! - 6/1/07 > Treating A Jurupari > Well after I put the Jurupari in the 10 gallon QT tank he immediately perked up his fins and biting at the glass as if he was hungry...so I tried mixing some vita-chem and Metro in with some flakes and letting them dry, but he seemed to just make a mess with them through his gills. So I thawed some bloodworms and added vita-chem and Metro to them in a little bowl, let them soak and got him to eat two servings yesterday. This morning when I woke up he as floating at the top again with his fins clenched - I tested the ammonia and it was .5 ppm (How is that possible?) < All fish waste and uneaten food turn into ammonia. You have no biological filtration. If he is eating then feed once a day. Feed only enough food so that all of it is gone in two minutes. Remove all uneaten food while doing the water change.> Immediately, I did a 50% water change, tested again and it seemed like it was between 0 and .25. So administered the Metro and Triple sulfa. After being in the meds for an hour or se he began shedding some serious slime and his tail was kind of floating up - I waited a while and there was no change so I did another 50% water change diluting some of the meds. His fins are clenched and he seems unbalanced - and he keeps floating up - and he wont eat again. Do you think he can make it or does it seem unlikely? I am heart broken and completely consumed by the issues at hand. Thanks for your help! Beth <When a fish is stressed it develops a heavy slime so the parasites cannot get to its skin. Now the medications are diluted and you fed him three times yesterday. Your fish has gone through a lot. Currently he is not being treated and just sitting in z 10 gallon tank. If he is strong he may come back.-Chuck>

Re: HELP!!!!! I am scared my 6" Jurupari will not make it over night!!  6/3/07 Jurupari Worn Out This morning my Jurupari was upside down in the QT tank - I looked closer and he was still breathing - I stirred the water up and he swam up top, but quickly floated back down to the bottom. He is still at the bottom, although he is upright now - What should I do? Do you think he is suffering? < You fish has gone through alot. I would recommend that you keep up with the daily 50% water changes until he dies or gets better. He is probably too weak for any medications. Let him rest and build up his strength and see if he has anything left to fight back.-Chuck>

Earth Eater Eating It   1/11/07 I have an adult jupari that I acquired in an adopted 150 tank. The pH is 7 with 0 Nitrites and very slightly elevated Ammonia . < Should be zero.> The tank has just recently stabilized after many weeks of spiking ammonia and nitrites. The tank has a sand substrate and temp is 78.9. There are 4 adult Severums and 2 adult jupari and a 3 foot fire eel. One of the adult jupari started showing eroding spots on the right side of head. I moved the fish to a 10 gallon tank, added salt and Metrozol per LFS advice. < One of the treatments for hole-in-the-head.> In two days the fish developed a very cloudy lens on his left eye and other areas appear to be eroding on his head and right side. Very small  but noticeable. Per LFS I have added Tetracycline. All other fish in the tank appear fine so far. Any thoughts? < These fish come from the soft acidic waters of South America. They do not tolerate much waste in their water at all. The store's treatment is sound advice. Add some high quality food with lots of vitamins and minerals to build up the immune system. If you fish is still eating I would try the following. Take an ounce of live blackworms and place them in a plastic cup with some water. Add the Metronidazole to the blackworms. This will kill the blackworms. Feed immediately to the fish. This will get the medication into the fish where it can do the most good.> NOTE: I have found and been corrected MANY times on the name of my fish - some like Jupari, Some like JuRAPi, Some Geophagus preceded by some Satana....name.  It is an earth eater and was sold to me by LFS as a Jupari. What should it be called? I would be glad to send pic if your interested. Tim Self < This fish has historically been sold as Geophagus jurupari. A few years ago the genus was changed to Satanaperca (Devil Fish). There are actually a hand full of cichlids in this genus. Two fish that look very similar are the jurupari and the leucosticta. Care is the same for both.-Chuck>

Geophagus proximus? 1/1/06 Hey crew, if you would be so kind, I really need an ID on this please. http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/27058238/< http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/27058238/> http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/27057790/< http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/27057790/> Two are 3.5 inches, and the one shown in both pics is 3 inches. Very healthy and quite aggressive, I'm thinking they need to go...This came with that rescue tank. >> From your photos it is hard to tell, but certainly not G. proximus. I would say they are young Gymnogeophagus balzani but it is hard to tell. In any event all Geophagines get larger than 5-6". So if you do not want to have the trouble you may have to get rid of them. Good Luck, Oliver

Oliver... where's the email, pix?

No, that is definitely not it. It has the body shape just like a proximus, has the spot, but has a mark under its eye and those tiger like stripes. Can you think of anything else like this? >> I can tell you, but I can not from your photo. There are lots of Geophagus, and they look similar to each other at that size. It is not proximus for sure, because the location and size of the spot are wrong. There are dozens of species similar to proximus, Thank you, Oliver

Re: Geophagus proximus?  01/01/2006 I'll do some more research myself, thanks for your help! Send me a photo of the fish lying flat on your hand, and i should be able to tell you what species it is. O. Satanoperca jurupari with Parasites Hi, A week ago, I bought a 6 in Geophagus jurupari from a local fish store.  I noticed that he had black speckles on his fins and body that were raised as though something were attached to him. On the advice of a marine biologist from another LFS, I treated the geo for black spot disease using Fluke tabs.  The first day in the hospital tank, the geo was fine. The second day, his colors turned very dark and he acted skittish. I checked ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites, all of which tested fine. I did a 50% water change with conditioned water and continued treatment.  This morning, I found him belly-up on the bottom of the tank. The store where I bought him now tells me that they only have a 5-day guarantee and that I killed the fish by using Fluke tabs. They say that I shouldn't use this med on a "silver-colored" fish because "silver-colored" fish are more sensitive. The marine biologist at another store says that this is nonsense. Are Fluke tabs safe for Geophagus? What killed my geo?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Sincerely, Heidi Holz < Here is what happened. Your Jurupari must be wild did indeed come in with parasites. It is a parasite with a very complicated life cycle. In the fish, the parasite is pretty much inactive. It is difficult to treat because the parasites are under the skin where many medications can't effectively penetrate. The parasite stays there until the fish gets eaten by a bird or something else.  In the gut of the animal it releases its eggs which are then excreted into the water. It the water the eggs hatch and then the larvae go looking for a fish to infect and everything starts all over again. If you had left the fish alone then it probably would have been fine. Treating him with Fluke-tabs probably did kill the organism but then all this dead parasites were in the fish with nowhere to go. Depending on the infection this dead material could potentially poison the cichlid and kill it. In the future I think I would observe the fish more carefully before it was purchased. Secondly there is nothing documented about Fluke-Tabs being harmful to "Silver Fish". I think this was a fabrication by the store to cover themselves.-Chuck> 

Eartheater cichlid My Eartheater cichlid has developed a cloudy patch over only one eye. I can't tell if the eye is injured or if it is some type of disease. I've used Aquari-Sol the last couple of days to see if that would help, but it just has gotten worse. I was going to try some aquarium salt, but I didn't want to add the salt if it was not going to help. Thanks for your help. < Eartheaters sometimes damage their eyes while digging through the sand. Do a 30% water change and service the filter. Treat the tank with erythromycin and It should be better in a day or two.-Chuck>

Red-humped pellegrini I was wondering if you could point me to some information on these fish. I purchased 2 of these from the LFS. I have a 75gal. operating with an emperor 800 filter and a reverse flow under gravel. The only other thing I have in there is an 8 inch Plecostomus (please excuse the misspelling). I have had quite a bit of experience with cichlids and have done a lot of reading. However, I could not find any information on this fish. Such as; Max Size, tank mates, eating habits. Is this fish an Earth eater? <Let's see... I better take a look on fishbase.org... under Geophagus... Yep, still in that genus: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=12369&genusname=Geophagus&speciesname=pellegrini Size given there... eating habits... a juraparoid/Eartheater... typical eat most anything small (dried, frozen/defrosted, fresh), have habit of  mouth/sifting the substrate for food items... Bob Fenner> 



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