The Sven's Eartheater Cichlid (Geophagus sveni) is a stunning and peaceful cichlid species native to Brazil. It is considered one of the smaller and more colorful "earth-eating" species within the Geophagus genus. These cichlids are known for their feeding behavior, where they scoop mouthfuls of substrate, separate any small invertebrate prey, and expel the sifted substrate through their gills.
To provide a suitable environment for the Sven's Eartheater Cichlid, it is important to have a soft, sandy substrate in the aquarium, along with various hiding places such as clay pots, driftwood, and rock formations. Larger substrates like gravel should be avoided as they can damage the fish's gills and organs during feeding. While this species may dig and occasionally consume soft-leaved plants, it can coexist with more robust plants that can be attached to rocks or driftwood. When kept in groups of six or more, these cichlids tend to exhibit their best coloration and are generally compatible with other peaceful fish. However, territorial behavior may intensify during spawning. It is not advisable to keep dwarf shrimp or delicate invertebrates with the Sven's Eartheater Cichlid, but larger and hardier shrimp and snails can potentially be suitable tankmates in a sufficiently large aquarium. Schooling fish like large tetras and Corydoras catfish, as well as peaceful cichlids like severums, angelfish, and discus, can also be compatible tankmates. If breeding is desired, it is best to minimize or avoid introducing other species as tankmates.
Feeding the Sven's Eartheater Cichlid is straightforward, as they readily accept high-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods. Offering a varied diet of quality food is essential to maintain the fish's optimal health and vibrant coloration. Due to their unique feeding behavior, it is important to provide them with appropriately sized food, such as bloodworms and small to medium-sized dry foods, even as they reach adult size.