The Paraguay eartheater (Gymnogeophagus balzanii) offers a delightful challenge for more experienced aquarium owners. Originally found in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay, these fish have several special requirements to consider before you make a purchase.
Paraguay eartheaters require cooler temperatures than many other cichlids from South America (averaging around 70-77 degrees Fahrenheit). They also do best if you provide them with “overwintering” conditions, or a period of three to four months where you reduce the temperatures in the tank to around 60-64 degrees Fahrenheit.
They also prefer a sandy substrate in their tank as they naturally root around to find their favorite food sources. Avoid gravel in the tank as they may ingest pieces of this substrate, causing damage to their delicate gills.
The Paraguay eartheater does well when you keep one male with a harem of females in a tank, as they are a polygamous species. However, they do not interact well with other cichlids, with males becoming notably aggressive before and during the time they spawn.
You may stock your aquarium with species that prefer to shoal in the upper areas of a tank, like characins. Keep in mind that any other fish in the tank must withstand the cooler temperatures required by the eartheaters.
Our food of choice: Sinking wafers.
You have multiple options for feeding your Paraguay eartheaters. These fish accept most sinking foods, as they generally only eat items found in the substrate. You can provide flake and granular foods, as well as frozen or live food.
Paraguay eartheaters do well with the addition of vegetable matter into their diet. Consider feeding them shelled peas or blanched spinach to supplement their diet throughout the year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Male and Female Paraguay Eartheaters Look the Same?
No, Paraguay eartheaters display sexual dimorphism. Males will be larger and have more colorful scales. They also have more developed dorsal and anal fins. A dominant male in a tank may also develop a nuchal hump.
Keep in mind that you should only have one male Paraguay eartheater (balzanii) in a tank for best results.
How Large Are Paraguay Eartheaters?
Your Paraguay eartheater may reach around six to eight inches in length. Expect males to grow slightly larger than your females. Due to their size, we recommend a minimum tank size of 30 gallons, though if you keep more females, you may want a larger tank.
While this is a rare occurrence, it can and will happen from time to time. Fish are live animals and we cannot ensure that every one will arrive alive or remain alive.We do ask that if your fish arrives dead (DOA), submit a picture of the deceased fish that is in the bag within 2 hours of the delivery time of your fish. We will work quickly with you to resolve the problem.
We will offer replacement fish for any losses, but do not offer refunds at this time. We can replace fish butshipping costs is the responsibilityof the buyer.If you put the fish in your tank and it dies or is not acting properly, please contact us, with pictures,within 24 hours. We will again, do everything in our power to resolve the issue and ensure that you have a great experience with these fish.
Most Shipments will be 2-day unless otherwise noted. We shipfish on Mondays and Tuesdays only (excluding holidays) to ensure fish arrive before weekends. This allows us to completely prepare the fish for shipping andensure they are healthy prior to arriving at your door. All fish will be shipped with oxygenated water and specific additives in the water to ensurethey maintain their health and stability during shipment. Depending on the species of fish and current weather conditions, the fish may arrive with a heat pack or ice pack to maintain the optimal temperature which further ensures thehealth and safety of your fish. All costs of shipping (postage, packaging,heat/ice packs, etc.) are included in the Shipping fee. We ship to only thecontinental United States and are unable to ship to P.O. boxes, must bephysical address.
"The fish I received do not look like the fish in thepicture. Why is this?"
- We typically take photographs of one or two fish when we initially get them in. Since we have a large quantity of most of the various species of fish, it would be understandably impossible to provide a picture ofevery individual fish with a specific species. For some of our more rare orlarger fish, the picture listed may be the actual fish that you are receiving.If this is the case, it will be designated by ?WYSIWYG?, meaning ?what you see,is what you get?.
"What happens if my fish arrive dead?"
- While this is a rare occurrence, it can and willhappen from time to time. Fish are live animals and we cannot ensure that everyone will arrive alive or remain alive.We do ask that if your fisharrives dead (DOA), submit a picture of the deceased fish that is in the bag.We will work quickly with you to resolve the problem. We will offer replacement fish for any losses, but do not offer refunds at this time. We will reship any replacement fish at the buyer's expense.If you put the fish in your tank and it dies or is not acting properly, please contact us, with pictures, within 24 hours. We will again, do everything in our power to resolvethe issue and ensure that you have a great experience with these fish.
"What if I'm not home when the fish arrive?"
- We will always provide you with a tracking number. While the fish are packaged to survive about 72+ hours within the shipping containers, we do ask that you make arrangements to arrive home to inspect your fish as soon as possible after they are delivered to your home. Itis always suggested to provide an area for the delivery person to place the boxthat is out of direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.
"What do I do with my fish once I've unpacked them?"
- Like you would with any new fish, let the entire bag float in your tank for 15-30 minutes. This allows the temperature withinthe bag to adjust to the same as your tank and will reduce temperature shock onthe fish. After this time, you can add all of the fish and water that is in thebag into your tank. The products used within the water for shipping will notharm any existing fish within your tank and actually makes the transition foryour new fish a bit easier. After this, expect your new fish to take a few daysto become fully adjusted, this includes hiding, floating at the top, sinking tothe bottom, and not eating. After a few days, your new fish should be acting aswimming like they normally would. At this point, enjoy your aquarium!
"I want to return my new fish because x,y,z?"
- Unfortunately, we are unable to accept returns.We do recommend contacting us via email with yourorder number and as much information as possible. We will try to assist you inresolving whatever the issue may be.
Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish:What We Like About This Fish:⠀ Active, schooling community fish that thrives in planted aquariums⠀ Compatible with many invertebrates⠀ Adults display brilliant red and blue coloration⠀ Active and easy to feed