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This profile was written by Sully, a regular on the sites message forum,  

central america



Satanoperca Jurupari


    It's an eartheater. A sifter of sand. A rock gobbler. It is a bottom feeder that finds its food by sifting the substrate in search of morsels

Quick stats:


    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Up to 10" (25cm) Total Length
    Tank: 55+ gallons
    Strata: Bottom, middle
    PH: 6.0 to 7.8
    Hardness: Soft to medium. dH range: to 22.0
    Temperature: 74°F to 82°F (23-28°C)


    Order: Perciforms
    Suborder: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
    Family: Cichlidae
    Genera: Satanoperca
    Species: Jurupari

Common name:

    Eartheater, Demon eartheater

Image gallery:

    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    South America: Amazon River basin, from Peru, Ecuador and Colombia to the mouth of Amazon River, in Amapá (Brazil), and eastern French Guiana, also in the Bolivian Amazon drainage except the Guaporé River.
    Fish Base list of Countries where Satanoperca jurupari is found


    The tank set-up must be geared to its' feeding habits. If not the fish will fade away and become stressed and diseased. The substrate for small juveniles should be sandy, or leafy. Even muddy. That way you will be creating an environment geared to the physical limitations of its size. As the fish matures it is easily able to handle a fine gravel substrate without the problem of pebbles being lodged where they should not be. It is no fun having to remove a small stone from the gill structure of a fish. And, as the fish grows to maturity it feels no compulsion against rearranging tank décor however it sees fit.

    It comes from slow moving water areas. Yet evidences a strong swimming ability so the typical aquarium water flow should not offer any problems under 10 turns and hour. Anything higher than that and you may not have a tank suitable to accommodate finer, earthier substrates

    One of the first things to understand about this species is that your local fish store probably has it mislabeled, or confused with the other members of the Satanoperca genus. You may have to put in a little bit of effort to properly identify the appropriate species when you have brought some of these fish home. The S. jurupari is often confused in the hobby with the S. leucosticta. The easiest and fastest way to differentiate species is the absence of white spots on the operculum of the S. jurupari. You will also often see a mislabeling of the S. auticeps, S. daemon, and if lucky the somewhat harder to find S. lilith. An excellent resource to assist in identifying the precise species is

    The "Jurupari" Project
    The information and photos are extremely beneficial in your id effort.


    That being said the Satanoperca jurupari is an excellent addition to a large sized South American community tank. The S. jurupari also fits neatly and beautifully into a species or eartheater specific community. It is a large fish growing to nearly 10's in total length. It offers a striking color to provide beauty and variety to the tank. The coppery to emerald green coloration creates immediate eye appeal. And, it has a relatively gentle nature allowing it to get along with other species in the tank without undo disruptions. Do not, however, mistake its' gentle nature for an unwillingness to defend itself.

    While the S. jurupari is often found in black water conditions it easily acclimates to the higher ph ranges. They have been safely kept in waters reaching into the high 7 and low 8 ph range. Breeding is best achieved by replicating lower ph and lower total dissolved solid parameters found in the wild.

    Its' diet should consist of live foods (i.e., black worms, chopped earthworms), vegetables and fruits, in addition to the basic flake and pellet foods.

    Like the other mid to large bodied cichlids the Satanoperca jurupari is susceptible to Lateral Line or Hole-In-The-Head disease so attention to water quality is essential. A steady diet of water changes must be practiced for fish health. It is an active fish, as well as gentle. It will endear itself to you as soon as it has become comfortable in your aquarium by its' antics at feeding time. For additional information pertaining to disease and related treatments that are sometimes encountered with this species

    Fish Base List of diseases for Satanoperca jurupari
    Simply follow the link there by disease type for complete info.


    The S. jurupari is an immediate mouth-brooder. Meaning it will pick up the eggs immediately after fertilization and carry them until hatched. After which time the fry are attended to in the same manner for protective purposes. There is some discussion whether this particular species is monogamous or polygamous. Different populations have exhibited each of the behaviors. Since, however, this fish takes awhile to reach sexual maturity (nearly 2 years) you will have to wait to enjoy the fry.


Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: fischmann
Satanoperca jurupari is an amazing fish species to keep because of it's eating behaviors, schooling dynamics, physical characteristics and personality. Needs a large tank and clean water. It does OK with live plants as long as the plant base is protected from the fish's unending substrate sifting. Also, this fish prefers a water temperature at or above 80 degrees(f). The name Satanoperca has nothing to do with the temperament of the fish - it is a reference to the fact that the indigenous peoples that live where these fish naturally occur believe that the devil's soul resides in them. The name "jurupari" is the peoples' word for "devil fish".
From: Sharon Waters
I would just like to state, that one can not just pick and choose what scientific name to use. The fish is called Satanoperca and not Geophagus, because it is significantly different from any Geophagus-species. Yes, the fish is gentle and doesn't deserve a reputation as a "satan", but that is however it's correct name. One should use it, so confusion is avoid.

From: Elisabeth Schrøder
As you guys stated,this is a misnamed fish. They are one of the most peaceful cichlids you can have. The only aggression seems to be towards each other,and a lot of that behavior goes with breeding. I have been breeding cichlids for 25 or more years now,and watching the breeding rituals of Juripari,has been a most rewarding experience. I bred them in a 30 gallon show tank,it isn't the easiest fish to breed but keeping optimum water conditions,and good feeding should produce a spawn. I wouldn't recommend breeding them as your first breeding experience,but they are very interesting to breed. I would not ever be afraid to put them in your community tank as long as the other fish are not extremely small,and you should have at least a 55. This is a great tank fish,one that does get to be rather large but it grows slowly compared to other large cichlids Jurupari is very willing to get along with tank mates. Just make sure that all your fish prefer acidic water,Jurupari does best between 6.2-6.5 I have found,but the usual 7.0 didn't seem to cause a problem,they are just happier fish(and need the lower ph for you to bring them into breeding condition) .This is a cichlid that doesn't have a nasty temperament and a great addition to the right tank. Check them out.

From: Hop
A very gentle cichlid, yet tough enough to handle itself in many different community tank situations. With an impressive crest and metallic blue markings Jurupari is an awesome cichlid to view and observe. They grow slowly to a length of about 8 inches or so. Give them a meaty diet of live tubifex, and earthworms to get them into breeding condition. Great cichlid to try for the aquarium keeper fed up with aggressive types. One other point I would like to make about these great cichlids is that I am not observing the name "satanoperca". This name meaning satans perch is absolutely the most undeserving label ever put on a fish. These are peaceful cichlids, so the old genus name of geophagus is the one I still call it by and encourage others still to use.





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