- [6:03:27:] <craig> Good evening everyone! Welcome to tonights
- [6:04:08:] <craig> Our guest speaker is one of our very own
from Badmans--Garret, speaking on Earth Eaters.
- [6:04:14:] <craig> Garret, take it away!
- [6:04:31:] <G> Thanks Craig...but I thought Garrett was speaking...
- [6:05:18:] <G> Anywho...to rip off the late Bob Ross, tonight
I present to you the Joy of Eartheaters...
- [[6:08:16:] <G> Before continuing, when I refer to "Eartheaters,"
I am generally referring to the fish found in Thomas Weidner's book
"South American Eartheaters." For those of you who don't
own the book (and I would guess that only one or two people in the
chat tonight own it) he covers seven different genera, Acaricthys,
Biotodoma, Geophagus, Guianacara, Gymnogeophagus, Retroculus, and
- [6:11:42:] <G> All Satanoperca I've kept have done fine with
a water temperature between 74-80F, and have been more than happy
in my hard tap water with a pH around 7.6. I wouldn't personally recommend
keeping them in a pH much higher than 7.6, and would recommend (especially
if trying to breed) a pH of around 7. Some species of Satanoperca
(leucosticta excluded) need a pH of 6.5 or lower in order to breed.
- [6:12:26:] <G> Lee Newman, whom some of you may have heard
of, has been successful in breeding Satanoperca acuticeps and S. daemon,
but it took a pH below 6.5 before he was successful.
- [6:13:01:] <G> Another commonly seen Eartheater is the Red
Hump Eartheater, Geophagus Steindachneri (Geophagus pellegrini and
Geophagus crassilabris may also be found in stores and are nearly
identical in keeping, and very similar in appearance). This "family"
of Eartheaters is, to my knowledge, the only family of Eartheaters
where specimens can be found in Central America.
- [6:14:56:] <G> Being found in Central America, Red Hump Eartheaters
can generally tolerate (and prefer) a higher pH than most of their
other South American counterparts. I have seen them mixed in with
Rift lake catfish and some rift lake cichlids even... although I honestly
have no idea why you'd really want to mix them with African rift lake
cichlids (they probably wouldn't fare too well with the aggressive
nature of many of the Africans).
- [6:19:08:] <G> It should also be noted that this fish tends
to dig a LOT. While all Eartheaters sift the substrate looking for
food, the brasiliensis seem to like digging large pits.
- [6:20:01:] <G> From what I have observed and read, this fish
can easily get up to a foot in length. I saw a couple at the ACA convention
last year that were a good 14+ inches... although I suspect 10-12
inches is more the norm. Water parameters are also quite flexible
for this fish; a pH in the high 6's and just about anywhere throughout
the 7s should be fine.
- [06/25 20:22] <+G> Another commonly found Eartheater is Geophagus
surinamensis. Surinamensis are a member of what some may call the
"true" Geophagus. Although Red Humps and Brasiliensis are
currently classified as Geophagus, I have heard that this will eventually
change and the Red Humps and Brasiliensis will each be classified
into a separate genus, leaving the "true" Geophagus such
as the surnamensis, proximus, altifrons, etc...
- [6:24:30:] <G> That is about it for the Eartheaters commonly
available in stores. As I mentioned, the care for many of the Eartheaters
is very similar. The pH and temperature may vary slightly, however
they should all eat about the same diet and can generally be mixed
with each other as well as other semi-aggressive cichlids and even
larger tetras (my large Geophagus in my 125 have a few Columbian and
Bleeding Heart tetras mixed in with them).
- [6:25:22:] <G> As long as the tank mates are larger than bite-size
they should be ok... of course, don't underestimate the size of the
fish's mouth. I once had some gobies mixed with my Geophagus that
I thought were large enough, and walked downstairs one morning to
see one of my Geophagus proximus chomping on what looked like a "Goby
Cigar." It was funny looking, but also was unfortunate that I
lost a Goby to a hungry Geophagus.
- [6:26:21:] <G> Being a fish that tends to spend time close
to the bottom, sifting through sand and looking for food, it might
be advised to stay away from other small fish that also like to hang
out near the bottom as potential tankmates.
- [6:28:27:] <G> Before I close and open the floor to questions,
I would quickly like to share a few interesting facts that I neglected
to share at the start of the talk.
- [6:29:27:] <G> The most interesting of these is that the name
Satanoperca translates to Satan's perch. This stem's from the fact
that natives believe the fish are possessed by demons.
- [6:30:12:] <G> For instance, Satanoperca jurupari would loosely
translate to Satan's perch for Satanoperca and I believe devil or
demon for jurupari.
- [6:31:11:] <G> And of course, Geophagus (Which translates
to Eartheater) got their name from the way in which they sift through
the sand on the river bottom looking for food.
- [6:31:44:] <G> A coworker once commented to me how the constant
"chewing" of the sand by the fish reminded him of a cow
chewing its cud.
- [6:32:14:] <G> An odd comparison I suppose, but a good one
- [6:32:40:] <G> With that, I end my chat and hope to be asked
many questions about all the things I neglected to cover....
- [6:32:53:] <G> Thanks for "Listening.:
- [6:33:03:] <craig> Thank you Garrett! :-)
- [6:33:36:] <craig> If you have any questions on tonights topic,
please type: /query craig I have a question.
- [6:33:43:] *** craig has voiced Milk
- [6:33:46:] <craig> Adam.. :-)
- [6:33:52:] <Milk> Woo hoo.. first 2 chats in a row!!
- [6:34:15:] <Milk> G, I've never kept eartheaters, don't know
much at all.. but my big wonder.. is what and how to feed them
- [6:34:50:] <G> Most all of the eartheaters should be quite
easy to feed...
- [6:35:14:] <G> I think I breifly mentioned the diet I feed
my various Satanoperca and other Geophagines...
- [6:35:35:] <G> To recap, you'll want to feed them anything
- [6:35:59:] <G> Well, maybe not anything, but none of the eartheaters
have been picky eaters in my experience.
- [6:36:12:] <G> The main food all my eartheaters get are OSI's
- [6:36:24:] <G> I also will sink some flake food to them on
- [6:36:44:] <Milk> so they will come up to eat fine?
- [6:37:09:] <G> Last night they got some freeze dried krill,
and may also get FD plankton, the occasional shrimp pellet, frozen
bloodworms, earthworms, ghost shrimp...
- [6:37:33:] <G> Yes, they have few qualms about coming to the
top of the water to eat, although it may take them some time to get
used to it
- [6:38:13:] <G> Mine can soak me pretty well at eat feeding
if I'm not careful about standing back...even when I throw sinking
- [6:39:01:] <craig> Anyone else have a question?
- [6:39:04:] <G> at each feeding rather, not eat feeding.
- [6:39:21:] *** craig has voiced sully
- [6:39:26:] <craig> Go Sully. :-)
- [6:39:30:] <sully> g, you mentioned temp ranges. i do not
have the book you referenced, but i tend to read papers and what not.
i thought the "warmer the better" was an operative phrase
with the leucosticta
- [6:39:51:] <G> Actually, that reminds me of two things I forgot
- [6:39:59:] <sully> warmer even into mid 80's
- [6:40:17:] <G> First, my leucosticta have always been kept
around 78 degrees (as is the same with most of my fish in general)...
- [6:41:35:] <G> From what I've read and seen, they can be kept
well into the 80s with few problems...
- [6:42:37:] <G> If trying to breed, I wouldn't doubt that you'd
want to at least keep them in 80+ temps for a while....
- [6:42:55:] <G> however they seem to do quite well in the upper
- [6:43:04:] <sully> what is real, expected growth rate over
the first 6 mos, than next 6--up to about 18 months for the leucosticta?
- [6:43:31:] <G> lower temps will also, to some extent, keep
the amount of waste they produce lower, and reduce the amount of food
they need. Some will also agrue that lower temps equal less aggressions....
- [6:43:47:] <sully> and related to other question--will temp
change the rate significantly
- [6:44:10:] <G> Before I answer that next Q Sully, I would
like to add that with any of the Eartheaters, you need to keep an
eye on Nitrates...
- [6:44:41:] <G> If water changes lapse and the nitrates climb
too high, they are somewhat susceptible to hole in head.
- [6:44:53:] <G> As far as growth rate...
- [6:45:56:] <G> many of the Satanoperca are slow growers. I'm
not too familiar with leucosticta, but if I remember correctly from
my correspondence with Lee Newman, S. acuticeps and daemon can be
an inch within about a month and I believe a couple inches in 3 months
- [6:46:40:] <G> The daemon I purchased reached roughly 6 inches
in a year or so, and they were purchased at about 1.5-2 inches
- [6:47:07:] <G> now the largest is probably around 8 inches,
and they're a couple years old.
- [6:47:29:] <G> The leucosticta in our display tank have grown
quite rapidly, they're already larger than mine and have only been
in the tank 1.5 to 2 years
- [6:47:38:] <G> They're a good 8-10 inches
- [6:47:51:] <G> they started out at around 3-4 inches if I
- [6:48:26:] <sully> thanks one more? are the satanopercas at
all communal? or do better by self or pairs?
- [6:49:24:] <G> From my observations, the leucosticta tend
to school until at least 4 or 5 inches...
- [6:49:53:] <G> my daemon were fine in a 125 until about 6
inches, at which point I observed a possible pairing...
- [6:50:49:] <G> After the possible pairing-off, the two that
were the pair were fine, but the other two daemon in the 125 (along
with about 10 other larger Geos at the time) were chased by the pair...
- [6:51:09:] <G> The other daemon were chased, the other Geos
were mostly left alone unless they wandered into the "pit."
- [6:51:28:] <G> When they spawn it generally seems to be a
pair...not a group
- [6:51:53:] <sully> was it conspecific or hetero specific chasing/aggression
- [6:52:38:] <G> mostly conspecific...
- [6:52:57:] <sully> female initiated? or male?
- [6:53:50:] <G> it was difficult to sex the fish..
- [6:54:08:] <G> It appeared mostly male initiated, although
the suspected female appeared to give chase on occasion
- [6:54:09:] <sully> lol, yes it is--thanks g. great stuff
- [6:54:35:] <G> I would say the male will defend the nest while
the females tends the eggs...
- [6:54:49:] <G> That's not only what I would say, but rather
that's what will happen...
- [6:55:01:] <craig> G again, thanks for taking the time to
be here this evening. With that said, the floor is now open.
- [6:55:11:] <Jessica> garrett, thank you much :-D
- [6:55:20:] <G> Not a problem...thanks for having me...hope
everyone is still alive and kickin
- [6:55:24:] <Christine> Great presentation G!
- [6:55:25:] <Jessica> definately
- [6:55:32:] <Jessica> very interesting.
- [6:55:40:] <G> ...and there's a ton more where that came from...so
just be careful what you wish for :P
- [6:55:51:] <Jessica> i'll take it ;-)
- [6:56:04:] <russ> Very informative presentation.....I loved
- [6:56:07:] <sully> so will i==need to learn more
- [6:56:10:] <G> Thanks russ...
- [6:56:17:] <Jessica> i notice my satanoperca likes lipping
plants, do they ever become dangerous to plants except t those that
- [6:56:17:] <G> and Jessica and Sully...
- [6:56:42:] <Kevin> was a great look into the eartheater G
- [6:56:44:] <G> I only have java fern and maybe one crypt in
with mine, which they leave alone...
- [6:56:58:] <G> I have noticed the ones at the store eating
the riccia floating in their tank
- [6:57:14:] <G> Everything in the tank with them is attached
- [6:57:16:] <Jessica> oh yes, theres that.. lol.. he cleared
the ricchia out fast
- [6:57:18:] <G> Thanks Kevin
- [6:57:29:] <sully> jess, mine are getting into the red hygro
pretty hard--they seem to love micro grass--and are starting to strip
- [6:57:30:] <G> Everything in my tank...
- [6:58:22:] <Jessica> interesting sully
- [6:58:23:] <G> is attached that is...not the store's tank
- [6:58:46:] <sully> but i got 12 of the little devils in there
- [6:58:50:] <Jessica> truw
- [6:58:52:] <Jessica> true
- [6:58:54:] <sully> they get hungry fast
- [6:59:00:] <G> Some of the Satanoperca are found in areas
filled with vegetation...so I wouldn't be surprised if they munch
- [6:59:17:] <Jessica> though i may have to put some microsword?
or hairgrass? in there forhim
- [6:59:29:] <Jessica> he lips everything, i just dont see any
- [6:59:29:] <sully> they have cleaned beard algae of anubias
very well--and off the swords
- [6:59:34:] <G> You probably know this already, but they will
often spawn on a leaf or other movable object and then drag it around
the bottom of the tank if they don't like the spot its in
- [6:59:34:] <Jessica> wow
- [6:59:47:] <Jessica> garrett... awesome
- [7:00:14:] <G> I have a ton of beard algae in my 125...don't
know if they touch it at all or not....
- [7:00:21:] <G> it's to the point of looking cool, so I leave
- [7:01:44:] <russ> My Meridianalis had the habbit of spawining
on the tak glass, then moving the eggs to various spots all over the
- [7:02:04:] <G> That's pretty cool...
- [7:02:22:] <G> I've never had fish spawn and move the eggs
- [7:02:47:] <russ> But they are seasonal spawners. Only late
Dec to mid Feb
- [7:03:28:] <G> Gotta make em work then when the time comes
- [7:03:53:] <russ> and during that time their colors are outstanding:-)
- [7:04:20:] <G> Yeah...they're a sweet lookin fish
- [7:04:58:] <G> Found an e-mail from Lee Newman...here's what
he said regarding S. daemon
- [7:05:16:] <russ> yep. Again, great presentation. I must depart
for the eve. Take care:-)
- [7:05:33:] <G> the pair spawned and the
- [7:05:39:] <G> eggs hatched at a pH of 4.2
- [7:05:42:] <sully> g. if you come across any gymno--brasiliensis
let me know. still looking for a couple of more
- [7:06:06:] <G> gymno brasiliensis?
- [7:06:36:] <sully> yes it is a local listing really
- [7:06:55:] <G> you mean geo brasiliensis? or gymno balzanii
- [7:07:00:] <G> I'm not familiar wit that
- [7:07:17:] <sully> no gymno geo brasiliensis--look a little
you will find it
- [7:07:45:] <sully> that was the one i was trying to id a year
ago--jeff rapps finally pinned it down
- [7:08:06:] <G> They're calling it a Gymno now??
- [7:08:39:] <G> http://www.elacuarista.com/atlas/FG/Gymnogeophagus_brasiliensis.htm
- [7:09:05:] <sully> i dont know what they used to call it.
wayne leibel got the id screwed up in mid 90's with some congusion
with the geo-brasiliensis
- [7:09:16:] <sully> confusion
- [7:09:33:] <G> Hmm...
- [7:09:50:] <G> those are what we generally call Geo. brasiliensis...the
ones that spawn allt he time and still get large
- [7:10:02:] <G> yours getting big or staying small?
- [7:10:12:] <G> Good old Wayne...I'll have to give him some
crap about that one...
- [7:10:24:] <G> of course, he probably wouldn't know I'm kidding
and forever hate me
- [7:11:03:] <sully> it seems to be maxing out around 6"
- [7:11:18:] <G> Hmmm...
- [7:11:39:] <G> There must be two very close looking species
- [7:12:20:] <G> Well...they spawn like crazy anyway
- [7:12:31:] <G> The new Convict if you will
- [7:12:45:] <sully> it is technically a gymnogeophagus gymnogenys
brasiliensis. my links to sites are on lap top at office-
- -i will get them to you. it is very pretty--and similar to the geo
- [7:13:11:] <G> Alright, I would enjoy seeing some more info
- [7:13:17:] <G> I think I've heard of that now that you mention
- [7:14:14:] <sully> and in a couple of articles wayne has published
he steps right up and claims some share of responsibility for creating
confusion--at least he is not afraid to admit mistake
- [7:14:44:] <G> yeah...he seems like a pretty nice guy, and
without a big ego or anything...
- [7:14:57:] <G> unlike Paul Loiselle...he seems a little more
cocky at his talks
- [7:15:05:] <G> but still seems like a nice guy
- [7:15:18:] <sully> well, i gotta go--thanks for the info--good
presentation--i'll get you those links next week/
- [7:15:25:] <Jessica> have a good night sully
- [7:15:27:] <G> alright, later Sully
- [7:15:34:] <sully> :*
- [7:15:37:] <Jessica> :*
- [7:15:41:] <G> :!
- [7:15:45:] <Jessica> lol
- [7:16:05:] <G> I know which ones make smilies...but don't
know which smilies
- [7:16:11:] <G> it's funnier that way
- [7:16:34:] <Jessica> lol, yeah, bombs ;-D
- [7:16:37:] <G> Not bad for a hastily thrown together chat,
- [7:16:45:] <Jessica> excellent. i enjoyed it
- [7:16:59:] <G> Now I can go back through and add all the stuff
I forgot about and end up with an article suitable for print.
- [7:17:07:] <Jessica> :-D
- [7:17:11:] <G> Are you a member of the ACA?
- [7:17:15:] <Jessica> nope
- [7:17:19:] <Kevin> pretty informative to those of us that
are just finally sitting to learn about fish
- [7:17:20:] <G> I think I've asked but will ask again...
- [7:17:24:] <craig> I must admit to being a keeper of easy
- [7:17:29:] <G> Yeah, that's what I hope for...
- [7:17:34:] <Jessica> you have rams, craig
- [7:17:39:] <JP> Nice chat G.
- [7:17:51:] <craig> Not doing anything special for them either
- [7:17:53:] <G> I don't think many people know about the Eartheaters,
which is unfortunate because they're pretty easy to keep, very interesting,
and very nice lookin
- [7:17:53:] <JP> I have hard-headed cichlids......
- [7:17:59:] <G> thanks JP
- [7:18:07:] <Jessica> tho, santa lu's starting to look worse
- [7:18:21:] <G> People ask me why I don't have any salt tanks,
and then they see my Geophagus and understand why
- [7:18:36:] <G> Can't improve upon that color
- [7:18:46:] <Jessica> they're very beautiful
- [7:18:49:] <craig> Why do people always ask about marine tanks
- [7:18:51:] <Jessica> got nice personality as well
- [7:18:57:] <G> Not sure about the Craig...
- [7:19:13:] <Jessica> all the people with money have them?
- [7:19:15:] <G> I think most people assume they almost have
to have a salt tank if they're to be considered hobbyists...
- [7:19:21:] <Jessica> lol
- [7:19:28:] * Jessica will probably never have a salt tank
- [7:19:33:] <Jessica> too much to do with freshwater
- [7:19:50:] <craig> Pfft, those folks need to tour my house.
- [7:19:51:] <G> It's funny how many people come into the store
starting out with fresh that say some day they'll have a salt, but
want to learn wit the freshwater first, make sure they enjoy it, etc...
- [7:20:10:] <Jessica> true craig.. i've got enough invested
here to do salt ;-D
- [7:20:11:] <G> The MOST annoying thing to me is when people
say "Saltwater fish have more color."
- [7:20:18:] <Jessica> er
- [7:20:20:] <Jessica> whatever
- [7:20:23:] <craig> um..
- [7:20:24:] <G> I could do several nice salt tanks...but it's
not worth it
- [7:20:27:] <craig> What Jess said.
- [7:20:31:] <Kevin> cause salt tanks were the in thing years
back and now its fresh tanks for the color much more eye pleasing
- [7:20:55:] <G> Saltwater fish can still be butt ugly, they
just either haven't seen the right freshwater fish, or don't want
to spend $10-$20 each on bright Africans
- [7:21:13:] <craig> Or $40 on a small pleco.
- [7:21:16:] <G> yeah...
- [7:21:21:] <Jessica> cardinals aren't $20 each and a school
of them is VERY bright and colorful
- [7:21:23:] <G> rather spend $150 on an Angel
- [7:21:25:] <Jessica> they practically glow
- [7:21:33:] <Jessica> true garrett.. lol
- [7:21:44:] <craig> White clouds are pretty spiffy too..
- [7:22:01:] <JP> My angels look better than any saltwater angel.
- [7:22:02:] <Jessica> i got me some of them.. the loaches thought
they were tasty too
- [7:22:03:] <G> All the saltwater fish I like aren't very brightly
colored to be honest...such as jawfish, gobies, etc...
- [7:22:09:] <JP> Especially blacky.
- [7:22:18:] <G> they still look neat and have some nice coloration,
but aren't bright purple and yellow or anything like that
- [7:22:53:] <Jessica> true..if i went salt, it would likely
be for leafy sea dragons or something really nice.. but...
- [7:23:14:] <G> I like the inverts too...I'd almost have an
all invert tank...
- [7:23:15:] <Jessica> too many fish in the world, not enough
tanks or time ;-D
- [7:23:21:] <craig> I did the research for salt, then decided
- [7:23:25:] <G> maybe a goby and a shrimp...
- [7:23:28:] <G> that would be cool
- [7:23:43:] <G> the watchman goby...or whatever it is that
lives with the pistol shrimp
- [7:24:00:] <G> been at the store 5.5 years and still haven't
bothered to learn what I should about salt...
- [7:24:13:] <JP> I don't ever plan to go saltwater. To be honest,
I think they're ugly almost. SW tanks that is.
- [7:24:20:] <G> of course, nobody seems too intent on teaching
me either, so I don't care...I know inverts pretty well, but still
lack at some fish compatibility
- [7:24:34:] <G> Yeah, some SW tanks almost look fake with some
of the stuff inthere
- [7:24:51:] <G> A nice reef isn't bad to look at, but I don't
know that I'd want one either.
- [7:25:23:] <G> This one guy at work I think sets up tanks
to try impressing people, but not necessarily because he likes them...
- [7:25:38:] <G> He had some africans and a reef tank and then
some lionfish in another tank...
- [7:26:03:] <JP> I do plan to have an African tank someday.
Not anytime soon though. I need not more tanks and fish.
- [7:26:28:] <G> then he wants to do Discus in a planted tank,
but I don't think it's because he likes Discus, I think he thinks
it'll impress people or he thinks he's trying to prove he can keep
- [7:26:51:] <G> It's almost stupid to me...but whatever
- [7:27:05:] <G> Why set-up a tank for something you aren't
really interested in
- [7:27:09:] <JP> Speaking of discus, Jess guess what was in
weird lfs the other day.
- [7:27:14:] <G> Discus>
- [7:27:15:] <G> ?
- [7:27:38:] <Jesss> I mean, Discus...
- [7:27:39:] <Jesss> hehe
- [7:27:40:] <JP> A pair of full-grown red discus.
- [7:27:44:] * JP died in lfs.
- [7:27:45:] <Jesss> I was right...
- [7:28:17:] <JP> I also considered evicting all the 55 fish
to get them...
- [7:28:30:] <G> A friend of mine started breeding discus, then
decided he didn't really like them and sold em all
- [7:28:47:] <Christine> How much $ JP?
- [7:29:01:] <G> brb...gotta feed
- [7:29:06:] <JP> $50 apiece.
- [7:29:14:] <JP> I would have spent that too.
- [7:29:15:] <Christine> worth it
- [7:29:18:] <JP> ;)
- [7:29:34:] <Christine> they live up to 20 years don't they?
- [7:30:02:] <JP> I wanted discus before setting up my 55, but
- [7:30:13:] <G> that's a good price
- [7:30:18:] <G> unless they were reall small
- [7:30:24:] <JP> They were huge.