Satanoperca Jurupari


    It’s an eartheater. A sifter of sand. A rock gobbler. It is a bottom feeder that finds its food by sifting the substrate in search of morsels

Quick stats:

Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: Up to 10″ (25cm) Total Length
Tank: 55+ gallons
Strata: Bottom, middle
PH: 6.0 to 7.8
Hardness: Soft to medium. dH range: to 22.0
Temperature: 74°F to 82°F (23-28°C)


Order: Perciforms
Suborder: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Family: Cichlidae
Genera: Satanoperca
Species: Jurupari

Common name:

Eartheater, Demon eartheater


    1. South America: Amazon River basin, from Peru, Ecuador and Colombia to the mouth of Amazon River, in Amapá (Brazil), and eastern French Guiana, also in the Bolivian Amazon drainage except the Guaporé River.

Fish Base list of Countries where Satanoperca jurupari is found
Profile:The tank set-up must be geared to its’ feeding habits. If not the fish will fade away and become stressed and diseased. The substrate for small juveniles should be sandy, or leafy. Even muddy. That way you will be creating an environment geared to the physical limitations of its size. As the fish matures it is easily able to handle a fine gravel substrate without the problem of pebbles being lodged where they should not be. It is no fun having to remove a small stone from the gill structure of a fish. And, as the fish grows to maturity it feels no compulsion against rearranging tank décor however it sees fit.

It comes from slow moving water areas. Yet evidences a strong swimming ability so the typical aquarium water flow should not offer any problems under 10 turns and hour. Anything higher than that and you may not have a tank suitable to accommodate finer, earthier substrates

One of the first things to understand about this species is that your local fish store probably has it mislabeled, or confused with the other members of the Satanoperca genus. You may have to put in a little bit of effort to properly identify the appropriate species when you have brought some of these fish home. The S. jurupari is often confused in the hobby with the S. leucosticta. The easiest and fastest way to differentiate species is the absence of white spots on the operculum of the S. jurupari. You will also often see a mislabeling of the S. auticeps, S. daemon, and if lucky the somewhat harder to find S. lilith. An excellent resource to assist in identifying the precise species is

The “Jurupari” Project
The information and photos are extremely beneficial in your id effort.

That being said the Satanoperca jurupari is an excellent addition to a large sized South American community tank. The S. jurupari also fits neatly and beautifully into a species or eartheater specific community. It is a large fish growing to nearly 10’s in total length. It offers a striking color to provide beauty and variety to the tank. The coppery to emerald green coloration creates immediate eye appeal. And, it has a relatively gentle nature allowing it to get along with other species in the tank without undo disruptions. Do not, however, mistake its’ gentle nature for an unwillingness to defend itself.

While the S. jurupari is often found in black water conditions it easily acclimates to the higher ph ranges. They have been safely kept in waters reaching into the high 7 and low 8 ph range. Breeding is best achieved by replicating lower ph and lower total dissolved solid parameters found in the wild.

Its’ diet should consist of live foods (i.e., black worms, chopped earthworms), vegetables and fruits, in addition to the basic flake and pellet foods.

Like the other mid to large bodied cichlids the Satanoperca jurupari is susceptible to Lateral Line or Hole-In-The-Head disease so attention to water quality is essential. A steady diet of water changes must be practiced for fish health. It is an active fish, as well as gentle. It will endear itself to you as soon as it has become comfortable in your aquarium by its’ antics at feeding time. For additional information pertaining to disease and related treatments that are sometimes encountered with this species

Fish Base List of diseases for Satanoperca jurupari
Simply follow the link there by disease type for complete info.


The S. jurupari is an immediate mouth-brooder. Meaning it will pick up the eggs immediately after fertilization and carry them until hatched. After which time the fry are attended to in the same manner for protective purposes. There is some discussion whether this particular species is monogamous or polygamous. Different populations have exhibited each of the behaviors. Since, however, this fish takes awhile to reach sexual maturity (nearly 2 years) you will have to wait to enjoy the fry.


This profile was written by Sully, a regular on the sites message forum.

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