Balzani's Earth Eater (Gymnogeophagus balzanii)

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Balzani's Earth Eater

Gymnogeophagus balzanii.JPG
Balzani's Earth Eater

Gymnogeophagus balzanii

208 Litres (55 US G.)

10.9-11.9cm (4.3-4.7 ")




6.0 - 7.5

22 -26 °C (71.6-78.8°F)

5-19 °d

1:1 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods

5-8 years



Additional names

Balzani's Earth Eater, Argentine Humphead, Paraguay Mouthbrooder, Paraguay Eartheater, Balzanii

Additional scientific names

Geophagus balzanii


Males are larger and more colourful than females, they also display a large nuchal hump once they are mature.

Tank compatibility[edit]

This fish can be territorial but is generally peaceful. Keep one male with a harem of 2-3 females. It can be kept with other fish such as catfish, Silver Dollars, other cichlids such as Severums and Festivums or other larger characins.


Prefers a meaty diet of pellets and live/frozen food such as brine shrimp, tubifex and they may also eat snails.

Feeding regime[edit]

Feed once or twice a day.

Environment specifics[edit]

This fish will burrow so soft sandy substrate or fine gravel must be used. Due to this, only potted plants or plants bound to décor would survive. They like large flat river stones to rest on and hiding places in bogwood should be provided.


A territorial, but peaceful and tolerant species that can be combined with other calm fish.


An oval shaped fish with a tiny mouth. Males develop very large nuchal hump that extends from the front of the base of the dorsal fin, to the lips. The body is generally coloured light grey to brown on the upper flanks. The belly and the lower flanks are golden-yellow to chestnut brown. Occasionally a few orange spots may be scattered on the hump, near the eye. The fins are yellow to gold in coloUr with some white spots on the edge of the anal, dorsal, and pelvic fins. Females develop a dark spot and a stripe running from the eye to the cheek in their spawning dress. Some fish may have five to eight, vertical stripes on the body.


External links[edit]