Matt Clarke takes a look at a cichlid that's now becoming more available due to the efforts of German breeders.
Scientific name: Geophagus agyrostictus Kullander, 1991.
Origin: Known from the Rio Xingu, part of the Amazon basin, Brazil. The first specimens recorded in museum collections were caught by Michael Goulding in 1983 from a rocky pool in the Rio Xingu near Cachoeira. In 1998 Rainer Stawikowski caught additional specimens from Balneario Pedral, about five miles south of Altamira, also in the Rio Xingu drainage.
Size: Around 15cm/6”.
Diet: Flakes, bloodworm and brineshrimp.
Water: Ideally, soft and acidic.
Aquarium: Go for a spacious tank with plenty of open sand plus bits of bogwood.
Purchase a group of six if you want to try and get them to pair off naturally, as they’ll be tricky to sex when small.
Suitable tank mates for a Rio Xingu biotope include Red hooks, Sturisoma aureum and Myleus. There’s a Rio Xingu biotope guide on the PFK website if you need more guidance.
Availability: This fish is rarely seen, but suppliers in Germany have started offering captive-bred fish. We spotted these on sale at Wildwoods, Middlesex.
This article first appeared in the November 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping. It may not be reproduced without written permission.