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Cupid Cichlid (Biotodoma cupido)

Welcome to the fascinating world of Cupid Cichlids! These vibrant and lively fish are a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts. In this guide, we’ll explore the essential aspects of caring for Cupid Cichlid, ensuring they thrive in your aquarium.

Cupid Cichlid Facts

Fact Detail
Scientific Name Biotodoma cupido
Common Names Cupid Cichlid, Green-Striped Eartheater
Origin Amazon River Basin, South America
Adult Size Up to 4 inches (10 cm)
Lifespan 5-8 years
Tank Size Minimum 30 gallons
Water Conditions 75°F – 82°F (24°C – 28°C), pH 6.0-7.5
Diet Omnivorous – High-quality flakes or pellets, live or frozen foods
Temperament Peaceful
Breeding Substrate spawner, parental care exhibited
Compatibility Best with non-aggressive fish of similar size

Cupid Cichlid Profile

The Cupid Cichlid, scientifically known as Biotodoma cupido, originates from the Amazon River basin in South America. These fish are known for their peaceful temperament and striking appearance. Typically, they grow up to 4 inches in length and have a lifespan of 5-8 years with proper care.

Cupid Cichlid Coloring

Cupid Cichlids are admired for their beautiful coloration. They exhibit a silver body with a slight greenish hue, complemented by vertical black stripes. During breeding, their colors become more vibrant, making them a spectacular sight in any aquarium.

Cupid Cichlid Habitat

Green-Striped Eartheaters originate from the slow-moving, soft, and acidic waters of the Amazon River basin in South America. They thrive in environments with plenty of vegetation, driftwood, and a sandy substrate, mirroring their natural, tranquil river habitats.

Cupid Cichlid Aquarium Setup

Setting up the perfect aquarium for Cupid Cichlids involves several key considerations to create an environment where these fish can thrive. Below are detailed guidelines to help you establish the ideal setup.

Tank Size and Layout

The minimum recommended tank size for Geophagus cupido is 30 gallons, allowing enough space for swimming and territories. A larger tank is necessary for keeping multiple fish or breeding pairs. The layout should include:

  • A soft substrate, such as fine sand, to mimic their natural habitat.
  • Driftwood, rocks, and caves to provide hiding spots and reduce stress.
  • Live plants, like Amazon Sword or Java Fern, which can tolerate the conditions in a Cichlid tank and provide additional cover.

Water Conditions

Maintaining optimal water conditions is crucial for the health of Cupid Cichlids. Focus on the following parameters:

  • Temperature: Keep the water temperature between 75°F and 82°F (24°C – 28°C).
  • pH Level: Maintain a pH level of 6.0 to 7.5, slightly acidic to neutral.
  • Water Hardness: Soft to moderately hard water is preferred.
  • Filtration: Use a high-quality filter to keep the water clean and well-oxygenated. Gentle water flow is recommended to mimic their natural river habitat.

Lighting and Decoration

Proper lighting and decoration play a significant role in the health and behavior of Cupido Cichlids:

  • Use subdued lighting to create a calm environment. Bright lights can stress the fish.
  • Decorate the tank with natural elements that provide shelter and replicate their natural habitat.
  • Avoid sharp or rough decorations that could injure the fish.

Cupid Cichlid Breeding

Breeding Cupido Cichlids is an engaging and rewarding experience for aquarium enthusiasts. These fish have unique breeding behaviors and require specific conditions to successfully reproduce.

Breeding Environment

To encourage breeding, the environment in the tank should closely resemble their natural habitat. A few key factors to consider are:

  • Water Conditions: Maintain a slightly warmer temperature, around 80°F (27°C), and a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Soft water is preferable.
  • Tank Decor: Provide plenty of hiding places and potential spawning sites using flat rocks, broad leaves, or smooth driftwood.
  • Lighting: Subdued lighting can help mimic their natural breeding environment and encourage spawning.

Spawning Process

The spawning process of Cupid Cichlids involves several steps:

  1. Courtship: The male Cupid Cichlid displays vibrant colors and performs a dance to attract a mate.
  2. Choosing a Site: Once a pair forms, they will select a flat surface for laying eggs. This can be a leaf, rock, or even the aquarium glass.
  3. Egg Laying: The female lays a series of small, adhesive eggs on the chosen surface. The male then fertilizes the eggs.
  4. Parental Care: Both parents actively guard the eggs. The male usually takes on the role of defending the territory, while the female tends to the eggs, fanning them with her fins to provide oxygen and prevent fungus growth.
  5. Hatching: The eggs hatch in 3-4 days, and the fry are moved to pre-dug pits in the substrate. Here, they are guarded by their parents until they are free-swimming.

Successful breeding of Geophagus cupido not only adds to the charm of your aquarium but also offers a fascinating insight into the reproductive behaviors of these beautiful fish.

Cupid Cichlid Diet & Feeding

A balanced diet is key to the health of Cupid Cichlids. They are omnivores and thrive on a mix of high-quality flakes or pellets, along with occasional live or frozen foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms. Feed them small amounts 2-3 times daily to prevent overfeeding.

Cupid Cichlid Compatibility

Cupid Cichlids are generally peaceful and do well in a community tank. They are best paired with other non-aggressive species of similar size. Avoid housing them with overly aggressive fish, as they can become stressed and prone to illness.

Cupid Cichlid Common Diseases

Cupido cichlids are susceptible to common freshwater fish diseases like Ichthyophthirius (Ich), fin rot, and fungal infections. Stress from poor water conditions often predisposes them to these ailments. Regular tank maintenance and monitoring water quality are crucial for their health and well-being.


In summary, Cupid Cichlids are a delightful addition to any freshwater aquarium. With their serene nature and stunning appearance, they create a peaceful and visually appealing environment. Remember to provide them with the right tank conditions, a balanced diet, and compatible tank mates to ensure they live a healthy and happy life.