Eartheater, Geophagus Abalios Care Stats

eartheater fish care information

Eartheater, also known as Geophagus abalios, is a captivating species of fish that hails from the Orinoco and Casiquiare river basins in Venezuela. With its maximum size reaching up to 10 inches (25cm), this peaceful creature requires a minimum tank size of 75 gallons to thrive in captivity.

Its omnivorous diet, peaceful behavior, and compatibility with various tankmates make it an attractive choice for aquarium enthusiasts. However, there is more to discover about the care of these fascinating fish, from maintaining optimal water conditions to ensuring their overall well-being.

So, let's dive into the world of Eartheater, Geophagus abalios, and uncover the essential care stats that will help you provide the best environment for these remarkable creatures.

Key Takeaways

  • Geophagus abalios, commonly known as Eartheater, is a peaceful fish species that is compatible with other species in the aquarium.
  • The Eartheater population is facing challenges due to habitat destruction and pollution, making conservation efforts important for their preservation.
  • A minimum tank size of 75 gallons is recommended to accommodate the size and active nature of Geophagus abalios.
  • Providing suitable substrate for digging, monitoring water parameters, and regular partial water changes are essential for the well-being of Eartheaters.

Common Name

unusual plant with striped leaves

The Eartheater, scientifically known as Geophagus abalios, is commonly referred to by its apt and descriptive common name. However, there is some confusion surrounding the common names of Eartheaters due to the complex nature of the Geophagus species. Geophagus abalios is part of a species complex loosely defined as surinamensis, which further adds to the naming confusion. Despite this confusion, it is important to note that the care requirements for each Geophagus species within the complex are generally the same.

Eartheaters are a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts due to their peaceful nature and compatibility with other species. They prefer a diet that includes a variety of live, flake, and frozen foods. Additionally, they enjoy digging in the substrate and thrive in a tank with a temperature range of 76-84°F (24-29°C) and a pH level of 6.5 to 7.5.

Size and Habitat

Geophagus abalios, commonly known as the Eartheater, can reach a maximum size of 10 inches (25cm) and is native to the Orinoco and Casiquiare river basins in Venezuela, South America.

These unique fish have adapted to their habitat, which consists of sandy or muddy bottoms with slow-moving or stagnant water.

The Eartheater population in their natural habitat has been facing challenges due to habitat destruction and pollution.

As a result, conservation efforts are being made to protect these fascinating creatures.

It is important to ensure the sustainability of their population by preserving their natural habitats and implementing responsible fishing practices.

Tank Requirements

proper tank size and conditions

What are the tank requirements for keeping Eartheater fish (Geophagus abalios)?

When setting up a tank for Eartheaters, it is important to consider their specific needs for a thriving environment. Here are three key factors to consider for an optimal Eartheater tank setup:

  • Tank Size: Eartheaters require a minimum tank size of 75 gallons to accommodate their size and active nature. Providing ample swimming space is essential for their well-being.
  • Substrate: These fish have a natural behavior of digging in the substrate, so it is recommended to use a sand or fine gravel substrate that won't harm their delicate mouths. This allows them to exhibit their natural behavior and feel more comfortable in their environment.
  • Choosing Tankmates: When selecting tankmates for Eartheaters, it is important to choose peaceful species that won't compete for resources or harass them. Avoid overly aggressive fish like Oscars, as they can cause stress and potential harm to the Eartheaters.

Diet and Behavior

When it comes to the diet and behavior of Eartheater fish (Geophagus abalios), their omnivorous nature and peaceful disposition contribute to their overall care requirements. Eartheaters are known to accept all types of live, flake, and frozen food, making them relatively easy to feed. They are also known to dig in the substrate, which is a natural behavior for them. In terms of water parameters, Eartheaters thrive in temperatures ranging from 76-84°F (24-29°C), with a pH level of 6.5 to 7.5 and a hardness level (dH) of 5-19. It is important to note that frequent partial water changes are necessary to ensure their well-being. With their peaceful nature, Eartheaters generally get along well with other tankmates, making them suitable for beginner aquarists.

Diet Behavior
Omnivorous Peaceful
Accepts all food Likes to dig
Live, flake, frozen in the substrate

Water Parameters and Care

aquarium water quality guide

The appropriate water parameters and care are crucial for maintaining the health and well-being of Eartheater fish (Geophagus abalios). Here are three key points to consider:

  • Benefits of adding plants to an Eartheater tank: Adding live plants to the tank provides numerous benefits. Plants help to oxygenate the water, absorb excess nutrients, and create a more natural and aesthetically pleasing environment for the fish. They also provide hiding places and reduce stress for the Eartheaters.
  • Importance of regular water testing for Eartheater tank: Regular water testing is essential to ensure the water parameters are within the appropriate range for the Eartheaters. Testing for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels helps to maintain optimal water quality and prevent any potential health issues for the fish. It is recommended to test the water regularly and make necessary adjustments as needed.
  • Maintenance and care: In addition to regular water testing, maintaining the tank involves regular partial water changes to remove any accumulated toxins or pollutants. It is also important to provide a suitable substrate for the Eartheaters to dig in, as it is a natural behavior for them. Monitoring the temperature and pH levels consistently is crucial to provide a stable and comfortable environment for the fish.

Compatibility and Suitability

Eartheaters (Geophagus abalios) are compatible with a variety of tankmates and are well-suited for beginner aquarists. They generally exhibit peaceful behavior towards other species and usually do not bother their tankmates. However, it is important to avoid overly aggressive tankmates like Oscars, as they may cause stress or harm to the Eartheaters.

When considering suitable tankmates for Geophagus abalios, there are several potential options to consider. Peaceful community fish such as tetras, rasboras, and livebearers can coexist harmoniously with Eartheaters. Additionally, bottom-dwelling catfish like Corydoras or Plecos can also be suitable companions.

It is crucial to ensure that the tankmates share similar water parameters and dietary requirements with the Eartheaters. By selecting compatible tankmates and providing a suitable environment, aquarists can create a thriving community tank with Geophagus abalios as the centerpiece.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Geophagus Abalios Be Kept in a Smaller Tank Than a 75 Gallon?

Geophagus abalios, also known as the Eartheater, requires a minimum tank size of 75 gallons. However, it is not recommended to keep them in smaller tanks due to their size and care needs. Providing adequate space is essential for their well-being and overall health.

What Is the Average Lifespan of Geophagus Abalios?

The average lifespan of Geophagus abalios, commonly known as Eartheater, is approximately 8-10 years. Breeding requirements for this species include a large tank, proper water parameters, and the presence of suitable spawning sites.

Do Geophagus Abalios Require Any Specific Water Conditions to Breed?

Geophagus abalios, or Eartheater, require specific water conditions for breeding. Breeding behavior in these fish is influenced by factors such as temperature, pH, and water hardness. Providing the appropriate conditions can increase the likelihood of successful breeding.

Are Geophagus Abalios Prone to Any Specific Diseases or Health Issues?

Geophagus abalios, or Eartheater, are not prone to specific diseases or health issues. However, providing proper care, including a balanced diet, suitable water conditions, and regular water changes, can help maintain their overall health and well-being.

Can Geophagus Abalios Be Kept With Other Cichlid Species?

Keeping geophagus abalios with other cichlid species can be challenging due to compatibility issues and their specific requirements. It is important to carefully select tank mates and provide adequate space and a suitable environment to ensure successful cohabitation.


In conclusion, Geophagus abalios, commonly known as Eartheaters, are a fascinating species of fish with relatively easy care requirements. They thrive in a minimum tank size of 75 gallons and happily consume a variety of food options.

Their peaceful behavior makes them compatible with a wide range of tankmates, although aggressive species should be avoided.

By maintaining suitable water conditions and providing regular care, these captivating fish can flourish in captivity.