The Red Head Tapajos Geophagus Cichlid, scientifically known as Geophagus sp. "Red Head Tapajos," is a captivating and popular species among cichlid enthusiasts. It is native to the Tapajos River basin in Brazil, particularly in the rocky and sandy areas of the river.
One of the distinguishing features of the Red Head Tapajos Geophagus is its vibrant coloration. As the name suggests, it possesses a striking red coloration on its head and throat area, which contrasts beautifully with the rest of its body. The body coloration can vary and typically includes shades of brown, beige, or gray, helping the fish blend in with its natural environment.
In terms of size, the Red Head Tapajos Geophagus is considered a medium-sized cichlid. Adult individuals can reach a length of around 6-8 inches (15-20 centimeters) in captivity. They have a laterally compressed body shape, giving them a streamlined appearance.
These cichlids are generally peaceful, making them suitable for community aquariums with other non-aggressive fish species. However, it's important to note that they can display territorial behavior, especially during breeding periods or if they feel threatened. Providing ample hiding spots with rocks, caves, or driftwood can help alleviate potential aggression and provide them with a sense of security.
When it comes to their dietary preferences, the Red Head Tapajos Geophagus is primarily omnivorous. In the wild, their diet consists of small invertebrates, insects, worms, crustaceans, and plant matter. In captivity, they should be offered a varied diet consisting of high-quality pellets or flakes, supplemented with occasional live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, or small insects.
Water parameters are important considerations when keeping the Red Head Tapajos Geophagus. They prefer slightly acidic to neutral water conditions with a pH range of 6.0-7.5 and a temperature between 76-82°F (24-28°C). Regular water changes and maintaining good water quality are essential for their overall health and well-being.
Breeding the Red Head Tapajos Geophagus can be challenging but rewarding. They are substrate spawners, meaning they lay their eggs on flat surfaces such as rocks or clay pots. The parents will guard the eggs and fry diligently. Providing suitable spawning sites and ensuring proper water conditions can increase the likelihood of successful breeding.
Overall, the Red Head Tapajos Geophagus Cichlid is a visually striking and relatively peaceful species that can add beauty and interest to a well-maintained aquarium. With proper care, a suitable environment, and a balanced diet, these cichlids can thrive and showcase their natural behaviors in captivity.