Biotoma cupido or cf; wavrini

has anyone kept or bred the either of the two fish above?
or can anyone pass on some information about keeping them, I have had a lot of conflicting information about them, i.e only males seem to be available / they have never been bred / they are easy to breed etc
joe mc

re: Biotoma cupido or cf; wavrini

Fishermen in Venezuela call these "Juan Viejo" or "Carabonita" (translating "Old John" or "Pretty face" respectively). These fish are frequently found with P. altum and they are typical eartheaters as far as diet. They are among the smaller of the eartheater family and were formerly considered Geophagus. Like many species, they were only recently "discovered"...though I would say that they were recently reclassified and properly documented. These fish pick up a very nice turquoise-green overcast and striation pattern when mature and well conditioned. I have not bred them but I think my friend Wil was telling me something about breeding them a couple of years back. Let me see how he did as we never talked about the issue again. Water parameters would be similar to those of P. altum.
Last edited by puertoayacucho on Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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re: Biotoma cupido or cf; wavrini

any more info anyone?
is it true the males have a stripe under the eye and the females spots?
the only video of them spawning on you tube has been questioned , as in the two fish in the video are both male.
I have read that only males are available as the females seek out deeper waters and are less likely to be caught
opinions, thoughts
joe mc

re: Biotoma cupido or cf; wavrini

Hi Joe,

I have worked with this Genus quite a lot, and there is a huge amount not known.

Biotodoma cupido are indeed commonly available, I would estimate that I have seen between 400 and 500 individuals. From those I have never seen a female.
I have spoken to other aquarists, and experts who have even purchased entire boxes to and sexed fish by autopsy, all were male.

I have kept a large group, and observed early spawning behaviour. The smaller fish dug pits, and defended them, while the smaller fish took territory in covered areas. There was something missing, and they never progressed past this point, at no time did any fish appear to be a female.

My own personal opinion is that they must change sex, in some way, but I do not know how.

You may find pictures of females, in spawning mode, and my experience is that these are usually a fish refered to as cupido sp. Santarem.
I do not know if this is important.
There was a video of a 'breeding pair' online recently, with fry, but strangely the 2 fish in the video were male cupido. I dont think we are likely to ever know if that was a genuine video,,,, there lies a problem with the internet.

Regarding wavrini. I have also kept large groups of these, and on one occasion from a group of 15 1 female appeared, but then dissapeared again (I mean to say the signs of being a female).

I suspect that there are certain factors which are necessary to allow the fish to change sex.

I would encourage anyone to keep Biotodoma, they are very interesting fish and very attractive. I would not refer to them as Geophagus they are really on the edge of the Geophagini line.
They are readily available, and if you know the import prices, they should not be expensive. They are however very slow growers, and few people realise how large they grow.

re: Biotoma cupido or cf; wavrini

thank you for sharing your experiences, i have seen that video of the Biotoma with fry, I have spoke to Heiko Bleher about these fish and he has told me that they have been been spawned in captivity in Germany, also he said that the markings under the eye are not a sign of their sex, and that the stories of the young males being the only sex caught because the females dwell in deeper waters are false, maybe if Heiko reads this and has the time he might write a paragraph or two on the species, and subspecies, I for one would love to read it!
I have a couple of wholesalers on the lookout for a dozen or so of these fish for the last 6 months , all with no luck at the moment, I am hoping that they will become available alongside altums this july onwards, esp the sub species 'Warvini'
joe mc

re: Biotoma cupido or cf; wavrini

Indeed the idea that only males are captured makes no sense, I dismissed that one a long time ago.

I know they have been spawned a lot of times, but every time that I know of, they have been the sp. Santarem.

I am not saying that they are a different species, but there is something important in that fact.

I have spoken to experts in this type of fish, authors of books which are accurate regarding Geophagini species, and I have heard different opinions. Opinions which are so different that they can not be all true. The idea that the males and females are found in different waters is a popular view, because it is an easy solution.

Re: re: Biotoma cupido or cf; wavrini

joemc wrote: I have spoke to Heiko Bleher about these fish and he has told me that they have been been spawned in captivity in Germany, also he said that the markings under the eye are not a sign of their sex,
That sounds like a very brave statement to make.

The only way I would be 100% certain about the sex (especially considering my view on sex change) would be to see a fish laying eggs, or with her ovipositor showing.

Every picture I have seen of a fish in that state, has spots under the eye, not a line. The people who know and work with this fish seem to be in agreement oof one thing, and that is that the females have the spots, not a complete line.

Regarding cupido and wavrini, they are commonly available, do you have problems getting fish in Ireland? I know at least 2 sources of the genus in the UK,,, they are always on lists,,, the only thing that seems to vary is price and size.

re: Biotoma cupido or cf; wavrini

just bringing this thread back to life a bit, i have a group of 16 Biotodoma cupido in 6x2x2 tank for the last 10 months or so,they were under an inch long when i got them, they range in size from just under 3" to just over 4" in length. over the last few month they have been behaving along the lines described by Richard in an earlier post, the smaller fish digging and defending pits, the larger fish only looking on, never partaking and some mouth locking among the smaller fish, has anyone any suggestions as to how to maybe try stimulate the fish to make the next step forward and spawn?
Iam thinking that they may be seasonal spawners based on a paper i read describing the observation of a spawning pair in the wild caring for its young the dates kind of match with my fish.
re sexing them. well i am still confused and not convinced of any of the explanations! but i may be wrong!
I will upload some pictures and videos of the fish and their behavior soon to give you an idea about what i am talking about