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Pearl Cichlid

pearl cichlid

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Scientific Name:   Geophagus brasiliensis      
Min. Tank Size:   100 gallons      
Personality:   Territorial      
Temperature:   65-82°F      
pH 6.0-7.0/5-10°dGH      
Size:   10"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept with other large, aggressive species or in a species tank.

Pearl Cichlid

The Pearl Cichlid is a South American Cichlid and is quite popular in the aquarium hobby. These fish are native to Brazil and Uruguay and can be found in the river systems in these countries which drain into the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to its native environment, populations of Pearl Cichlids have also been introduced into the United States, Taiwan, Australia and the Philippines. The overall body coloration of Pearl Cichlids tends to vary from light brown to a dark purplish color. Most specimens exhibit a dark spot near the tail as well as several vertical black bands running along the body. This species is named for the bright blue pearl-like dots covering the bodies of healthy specimens.

Tank Set-up

Pearl Cichlids can be sensitive to poor water quality and should only be introduced into tanks that are already biologically mature. Efficient filtration is very important for this species and weekly water changes of 50% of the tank volume are recommended. Tanks for Pearl Cichlids should have sandy substrate and should be decorated with flat rocks and pieces of driftwood. Any stacked rock should be secured in place. Pearl Cichlids tend to become territorial and are thus best kept only with other large, aggressive species.


In the wild, these fish are omnivores and thus are best fed a varied diet of sinking pellets and granules along with live and frozen foods such as brine shrimp and bloodworms. Feed a regular varied diet to help promote optimum health and coloration. 


Sexing this species can be difficult which often makes breeding tricky. If a compatible breeding pair is established, however, these fish can lay up to 150 to 200 eggs in a single spawning. As is true of many Cichlids, Pearl Cichlids will not eat their own young - they may actually care for and guard their young against predators.

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