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hydrophyte 09-13-2010 05:43 PM

75G Riparium for Gymnogeophagus
This is a pre-journal at this point, but I think that I have scored a pretty sweet tank to use for a new setup. My main intention for this display is to make a nice habitat for the new little group of Gymnogephagus labiatus that I scored back in July at the American Cichlid Association Convention in Oconomowoc, WI. Here are these little devils that I bought from a skilled Milwaukee-area fish breeder.

They came with locality information too, "Rio Olimar". I don't know any more specifics about the collection point, but I might be able to figure that out by asking around some more.

These things are awesome when they grow up into adults. Just look at this show fish.

I think that one might have placed in the show. I was immediately in love with these Gymnogeophagus cichlids when I saw them there. I had never really heard of them before and I understand that they are experiencing a lot of recent interest among hobbyists. They only grow to about 6" and have relatively mellow temperaments, so I think that a 75G will be a good match for a small group. At the convention I also caught part of the presentation by Scott Arney and Jeff Cardwell, Collecting in Uruguay, about the Southern South America habitats where these fish originate from. Uruguay is pretty far south and has an almost temperate climate. The pictures of the fish biotopes looked to me more like rivers in Wyoming than the tropical rainforest habitats that are more commonly associated with South American cichlids.

Here is a link to an awesome photo thread over on with pictures of Gymnogeophagus and other fish along with biotopes in Uruguay.

I want to put together a nice riparium planting for this tank. I might research plants to a certain extent, but I will for sure take some liberties with plants that aren't necessarily representative so that I can get a nice riparium layout. I do want to add some kind of shoaling fish that will be more or less authentic for the habitat for this Gymnogeophagus. I'll have more ideas and specifications in the next few posts. I need to work on getting the new tank here because it is still over in the next county.

lauraleellbp 09-13-2010 05:45 PM

Beautiful fish and I'm sure the tank you put together for them will be equally as stunning!

slapnutz 09-13-2010 06:02 PM

I used to keep a few different gymngeos (el norte, blue neon valentine), miss those guys some days.

Also kept them with red ceibals:

They love sand, and love to sift through looking for food. If you're going to try plants in the substrate, good luck!

edit: you can find some more info here.

hydrophyte 09-13-2010 06:07 PM

Nice fish! I admired the red ceibals there at the convention too--they were also quite popular and I saw a number of them.

This tank is going to have a broad sand bottom with maybe just a few stones. There will be a real full layout of riparium plants, but I might also include a few swords underwater planted in tank planters to brighten that area up with some greenery.

rountreesj 09-13-2010 06:08 PM

that is a cool fish!!!

hydrophyte 09-13-2010 06:10 PM

They are awesome fish. the largest of mine is still only about 2 1/4" but he already has real bright vivid colors and pronounced nuchal hump. He looks a lot like a tiny sperm whale.

slapnutz 09-13-2010 06:18 PM

gymnogeos and red ceibals come from the same area, must help the fact that they get along well. I can't wait to see this tank progress!

hydrophyte 09-13-2010 06:38 PM

I am looking at getting a shoal of cories to go with these. It would be nice to find a cory species that is more or less representative for Uruguay rivers.

RipariumGuy 09-13-2010 08:28 PM

I just read an interesting artical in TFH about collecting these awesome fish in Uruguay! I am glad you will be making this rough biotope riparium for these guys, I am sure they will love it! What riparium plants, if any, have you decided on yet? Good luck, and can't wait to see the thing up and running!

hydrophyte 09-13-2010 09:15 PM

This should be a fun setup--nice and roomy.

I am still pondering the kind of riparium to do, but now I am leaning toward using some Cyperus umbrella sedges in combination with emersed, sprawling stems something like what I had going in my 50 last winter.

problemman 09-13-2010 10:06 PM

They are so stinking cute!

hydrophyte 09-14-2010 12:03 AM

Yep they most certainly have a high cute factor.

I hope that they will stay this easy-going. The largest male fish (still small) doesn't beat up on anybody else, not yet anyway.

problemman 09-14-2010 12:53 AM

Exactly, not yet.we need to remember that they are cichlids lol

slapnutz 09-14-2010 01:14 AM

Honestly, I see more aggression in the discus I have now compared to the gymnogeos I had. Mine were uber peaceful.

hydrophyte 09-15-2010 01:48 AM

A member over on recommended Bryconamericanus or Astyanax tetras as possible companions for these gymnogeos. Thos kinds of fish aren't super pretty, but they will probably be plenty active and swim around a lot midwater.

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