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Orinoco eartheater - Biotodoma wavrini

Orinoco eartheater - Biotodoma wavrini

Scientific name: Biotodoma wavrini

Common name: Orinoco eartheater

Family: Cichlidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 8 - 11 cm (3.15 - 4.33 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6.4 - 7.2

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 6 - 19°N (107.14 - 339.29ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 24 - 28 °C (75.2 - 82.4°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: South America

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels

Food and feeding

When Orinoco eartheater is settled into the aquarium it may consume quality flake or cichlid pellets. When first introduced live or frozen foods need to be given. Blood worms, brine shrimp and daphnia are ideal.


South America; Orinoco eartheaters are to be found in the Rio Orinoco, primarily in Colombia and Venezuela.


Virtually impossible to sex, if Orinoco eartheaters are being kept for breeding purposes, it is best to purchase a group of juveniles.


Pits are made in the substrate ready for the eggs. When the eggs are laid, the female will tend the nest while the male will defend the territory very aggressively. After 10 days the fry should be free swimming and can be fed on Infusoria initially. A few days later they should accept newly hatched brine shrimp.


The expected life span for Biotodoma wavrini is 3-5 years.

Short description

Orinoco eartheaters are quite rare in the aquarium hobby. As juveniles, they may look a bit drab but they will colour up beautifully as adults. Sand must be used as a substrate for the tank as they sift through this looking for food.


Bought by from eartheater, picture 1 Orinoco eartheater, picture 2

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