Geophagus Dicrozoster (Dicrozoster Eartheater): Ultimate Care Guide

Owning a pet, any pet is a serious task that should only be undertaken when you are fully prepared for it. There are too many stories of pets getting neglected and abused. Many people believe that owning a fish or an aquarium is an easy task — One that requires little to no maintenance. That could not be further from the truth. Aquariums, and fish, can be very difficult to keep and maintain. But with just a bit of prior research, you can own and maintain a gorgeous tank filled with beautiful and unique fish. If you’re looking for one that is truly unique, then look no further than the Geophagus Dicrozoster.

Geophagus Dicrozoster, also known by its classification as Dicrozoster Eartheater, is a species of freshwater cichlid that is usually found in South America, specifically in Venezuela. This species of tropical fish is relatively new – it was only discovered in 1990. The name Geophagus can be traced to Greek origins, with geo meaning earth and phagos meaning to eat. Dicrozoster can be broken down into dikros which means forked, and zoster which means belt. These names are likely derived from their physical characteristics. Geophagus Dicrozoster isn’t as popular as they should be. However, the word Eartheater and Geophagus, meaning “to eat earth,” are due to the way the Geophagus Dicrozoster feeds. When they eat, they take a mouthful of the substrate. They then sift through that mouthful of substrate for food and expel anything that isn’t. These uniquely shaped fish tend to have a gorgeous, almost rainbow hue to them. If you plan to add a new fish to your aquarium, you definitely won’t go wrong with the Geophagus Dicrozoster.

Geophagus Dicrozoster (Dicrozoster Eartheater)
Geophagus Dicrozoster (Dicrozoster Eartheater)

Geophagus Dicrozoster Care

Caring for any fish is extremely important and something that should absolutely not be overlooked at all. Setting up your tank properly is the most important aspect of caring for a Geophagus Dicrozoster. It would be best to ensure that your pH and temperature levels are where they need to be. It is also recommended to check those routinely check the levels to ensure they do not fluctuate at all. Other things, such as substrate and how to properly design your tank, are also extremely important. Research is all you should need to be able to care for a Geophagus Dicrozoster properly and in the way this beautiful fish deserves.

Are Geophagus Dicrozoster easy to care for?

Caring for Geophagus Dicrozoster isn’t too difficult. They don’t have outlandish or hard-to-achieve water parameter requirements. Geophagus Dicrozoster also tends to be very peaceful, meaning that they can easily be housed in a community tank. Also, it is important to keep a number of Geophagus Dicrozoster together; most experts would recommend keeping a school of at least 5 Geophagus Dicrozoster together. Feeding Geophagus Dicrozoster isn’t difficult. However, they need to be fed mostly high-quality foods, which may be a bit expensive for some people.


Temperature is an important parameter for any tank and any fish. It should absolutely not be overlooked. Typically, Geophagus Dicrozoster prefers warmer climates and water conditions. The water in a tank that houses Geophagus Dicrozoster should be between 26 to 30 degrees Celsius or 78 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. To achieve and maintain this temperature range, you will need a heater capable of heating your entire tank.

Water pH

Water pH is an essential tank parameter that is occasionally overlooked by beginning and inexperienced aquarists. Any slight changes or fluctuations in pH can detrimentally impact the fish in your tank. This is why it is imperative to carefully watch and maintain your water parameters. When setting up a tank for Geophagus Dicrozoster, you must ensure that your pH level stays between 4.0 and 7.0. Weekly checks can ensure that your pH level is stable and not in danger of changing and affecting every species in your tank.

Geophagus Dicrozoster (Dicrozoster Eartheater)
Geophagus Dicrozoster (Dicrozoster Eartheater)

Geophagus Dicrozoster Size

When fully grown, the size of any fish is extremely important and should be researched well before deciding to add one to your tanks. The size of fully grown fish directly influences and affects the size of the tank needed for them. The largest recorded size of a Geophagus Dicrozoster was just under 8 inches when fully grown. On average, your Geophagus Dicrozoster will likely reach a max size of around 7 inches when fully mature.

Food and Diet

As their name and classification reveal, the Geophagus Dicrozoster eats earth. However, that is not exactly literal. They will filter substrate in their mouth while looking for food, and they will spit that substrate back out through their mouths and gills. Because of their eating habits, a high-quality substrate is absolutely essential for Geophagus Dicrozoster. Bloodworms, Tubifex, and larvae are all great options. You need to feed your Geophagus Dicrozoster will high-quality food because they may not be able to eat subpar food.


The lifespan of any fish and any pet, for that matter, is entirely dependent on the care they receive. If cared for properly, your Geophagus Dicrozoster should have a lifespan of just around 5 to 6 years. However, they can even live up to 7 years.

Tank Size

Tank size for the Geophagus Dicrozoster is very important. Since you need to keep your Geophagus Dicrozoster in a group, you need to have a tank that can accommodate their size. On average, for a group of Geophagus Dicrozoster, you should start with a tank size that is around 170 gallons.

Tank Setup

The substrate is the most important part of setting up a tank for Geophagus Dicrozoster. A soft, sandy substrate is the best choice for a Geophagus Dicrozoster tank. Geophagus Dicrozoster needs a softer substrate since they eat it; anything coarse will injure the fish.


The most difficult part of breeding Geophagus Dicrozoster is sexing the fish. There are no noticeable differences between the sexes. So those experienced with breeding Geophagus Dicrozoster will keep them together from a young age to allow them to naturally pair up.

Where can I find Geophagus Dicrozoster for sale?

As with everything else, you can purchase Geophagus Dicrozoster online. If you plan to purchase one online, make sure you only use a retailer you can trust. The same goes for buying any fish, even in person. Online, the Geophagus Dicrozoster sells for an average of around $12. However, that number can quickly balloon when you realize that you need to purchase at least 5.

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