Greenstreaked Eartheater Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: November 9, 2022

The Greenstreaked Eartheater (Geophagus altifrons) is a beautiful freshwater fish that is native to South America. They get their name from their diet; which consists mostly of earth and algae.

This fish is a great addition to any peaceful community tank. They are relatively easy to care for and make a great beginner fish.

In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about Greenstreaked Eartheater care. This includes their diet, tank mates, lifespan, and more!

Species overview

Greenstreaked eartheaters (Geophagus altifrons) are found in the freshwaters of South America, primarily in Brazil, Guyana, and Suriname.

They prefer habitats with a sandy bottom and plenty of hiding places among the rocks and plants. These fish are also known to dig a lot, so if you have one in your aquarium be prepared for some potential damage to your plants!

Greenstreaked eartheaters are omnivorous and will eat just about anything you give them. In the wild, their diet consists of small invertebrates, plants, and algae.

These fish are typically very peaceful, although they can be a bit nippy toward smaller tank mates. They are also known to be quite shy, so don’t be surprised if they spend a lot of time hiding when you first get them.


Greenstreaked Eartheater

The first thing you’ll notice about this fish is their coloration. They’re green… but with streaks? You bet! These fish have a light green body that is absolutely covered in dark green streaks.

The streaks on their body are very prominent and run horizontally from head to tail. These streaks are what give this fish their name.

The base color of their body can vary depending on the fish. It can be more of a yellow-green or a blue-green. The streaks are always a dark green no matter what the base color is.

Eartheaters have a long and slender body that is slightly flattened from top to bottom. This helps them maneuver through the substrate with ease.

Their fins are all rather small and compact. The dorsal and anal fins are both positioned towards the back of their bodies and are relatively the same size.

The caudal fin is forked and a bit taller than the rest of their fins. This fish also has a long adipose fin that is positioned behind their dorsal fin.

Eartheaters have small eyes that are set towards the top of their head. This gives them a good view of their surroundings as well as any potential prey.


These fish have a lifespan of between 5 and 8 years in captivity. In the wild, their lifespan is probably a bit shorter due to predation and other risks.

As with any other fish, the lifespan of a Greenstreaked Eartheater can be impacted by a number of factors. The quality of the water they live in, their diet, and whether or not they experience stress are all important factors.


The average size for a Greenstreaked Eartheater is around 4 inches, but they can grow to be 6 inches in length. These fish are a bit on the smaller side, which is good news for those who don’t have a lot of space in their aquarium.


Tank Size

The minimum tank size for a Greenstreaked Eartheater is 30 gallons. If you want to keep more than one Greenstreaked Eartheater in your tank, you will need at least an additional 10 gallons for each fish.

Greenstreaked Eartheaters are not the most active fish but they do require a fair amount of space to feel comfortable. They are also known to be somewhat aggressive so you will want to make sure you have enough space for them to coexist peacefully with their tank mates.

Water Parameters

The Greenstreaked Eartheater is a freshwater fish that is native to the Amazon Basin. In the wild, they inhabit slow-moving waters with plenty of vegetation.

To keep your Greenstreaked Eartheater healthy and thriving in captivity, it’s important to maintain water conditions that are similar to their natural habitat.

That means warm water with a neutral to slightly acidic pH level. The water should also be well-oxygenated and soft to moderately hard.

Here are a few water parameters to keep in mind when setting up a Greenstreaked Eartheater tank.

  • Water temperature: 75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH levels: 6.5 to 7.2
  • Water hardness: 2 to 12 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4-8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

The Greenstreaked Eartheater is a freshwater fish that’s native to South America.

In the wild, these fish can be found in a variety of habitats. This includes everything from rivers to lakes.

As a result of this, they’re not too picky when it comes to their aquarium set-up.

A classic gravel substrate will work just fine. You can even use sand if you want (they’re not known to be big diggers).

When it comes to plants, you have a few options. These fish are known to nibble on vegetation, but they’re not total plant-destroyers.

You can go with something hearty like Hornwort or Java Fern. Or, you can go with something a little more delicate like Water Wisteria or Cabomba.

It’s really up to you!

These fish also like to have a few hiding spots. This can be anything from caves to driftwood. Just make sure whatever you use is secure and won’t fall over on your fish.

Common Diseases

Greenstreaked Eartheaters are actually quite hardy fish. They’re not immune to disease, but they’re not as susceptible as some other species.

The most common disease that you’ll see in Greenstreaked Eartheaters is ich. This is a very common freshwater disease that can affect just about any species of fish.

It’s caused by a parasite that attaches to the fish and causes white spots to form on the body. If left untreated, it can be fatal.

Fortunately, ich is relatively easy to treat. There are a number of products on the market that are designed specifically for treating ich.

You’ll also want to keep an eye out for any cuts or scrapes on your fish. These can easily become infected, so it’s important to act fast if you notice them.

The best way to prevent your fish from getting sick is to maintain a clean and stable environment. A well-maintained tank with high-quality water will go a long way in keeping your fish healthy and disease-free.

Behavior & Temperament

Greenstreaked Eartheaters are a peaceful and social species of fish. They do best when kept in groups of 3 or more fish. They are also a very active fish and love to swim around the tank.

Greenstreaked Eartheaters are very peaceful fish and get along with other fish very well. They are also a very active fish and love to swim around the tank.

Tank Mates

The Greenstreaked Eartheater is a peaceful fish that does well in a community tank. They’re not picky eaters and get along with most other fish species.

These fish are also bottom dwellers. They spend most of their time near the substrate searching for food. As a result, they don’t compete for space with fish that occupy other parts of the water column.

Some compatible Greenstreaked Eartheater tank mates include:

  • Tetras
  • Danios
  • Rasboras
  • Corydoras
  • Loricariids
  • Other Eartheaters


These fish are pretty easy to breed as long as you provide them with the right environment. Greenstreaked Eartheaters typically spawn during the rainy season in their natural habitat.

To recreate this, you should increase the humidity in your breeding tank. You can do this by adding live plants or by using a humidifier.

The other key element is temperature. Greenstreaked Eartheaters like it on the warm side. aim for around 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the breeding tank is set up, add two males for every female. These fish are not aggressive, so you don’t have to worry about them fighting.

The next step is to start feeding the fish live foods. This will help to trigger spawning. You may see the females start to swell with eggs.

When that happens, the males will start to build nests out of plant material. They’ll use their mouths to dig a small pit and then fill it with plants.

Once the female is ready to lay her eggs, she’ll do it in the male’s nest. He’ll then carefully guard them until they hatch.

Eggs usually take about two weeks to hatch. When they do, the fry will be able to feed on microscopic organisms in the water. You can supplement their diet with baby brine shrimp or other live foods.


The Greenstreaked Eartheater is a great fish for anyone looking for a challenge. They’re not the easiest fish to take care of, but they’re definitely worth it.

These fish are absolutely beautiful and they’re sure to add some flair to your tank. Just be prepared to put in a little extra work to keep them healthy and happy.

But trust us, it’s definitely worth it.