The Geophagus pellegrini tolerates a wide range of water conditions, including hard water. Currently, it is difficult if not impossible to find this majestic species in North American aquariums and hardly ever available in any petstore. Females remain 2″ smaller than males. Sexually mature males show a red-orange color all over the body. Males also have a slight hump on the head. They are a very peaceful species and must be kept with tankmates that are peaceful as well.
Many cichlid enthusiasts consider the Geophagus as the crown jewel of the Cichlidae family. Though territorial like other cichlids, the Pellegrini is relatively peaceful in larger aquariums with plenty of hiding locations. As this beautiful fish matures it develops elongated spines on the dorsal fin that have a thread-like appearance.