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Discussion regarding only South American Cichlid species. (Oscars, Geophagines, Discus, Apistogramma, Green Terrors, Angels, Severums, Pikes, etc.)
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Re: Biotodoma Cupido

Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:56 pm

I sex the cupido by body shape, size and subtle differences in the length of fins, in a settled group they can be sexed by their behaviour and interaction with each other. I have yet to see the so called spots / stripes scenario, maybe some population of cupido show this, but I have never seen it, none of my fish show facial marking differences that can be connected to their sex.
I have not read Weiners book so can't comment on the pictures of the fish.
I have seen fish advertised as, Peru, Santarem, red fin Santarem, etc and saw some pictures by Heiko Bleher showing Biotodoma from the Rio Jari showing different colourings, I don't think I have ever seen the form 'Guyana' doing a quick google did not bring up any pictures of that form

Re: Biotodoma Cupido

Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:46 am

would it be possible for you to post a video or some pictures of your group of all male fish?

Re: Biotodoma Cupido

Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:15 pm

Only shot I have scanned, the other pictures were too dark. This was back when pictures were still taken with film, I used to shoot a lot of slides. Problem was, you shoot the fish, wait about two weeks for the slides to come back, only to find out that your settings were wrong. This shot was taken at a friend's house in Milwaukee; I had taken the three fish to him, as he was very experienced at breeding Eartheaters. He was one of two people in the US during the early 90s to have bred Satanoperca daemon, and had bred several species of Geophagus. He was the first to tell me about the blue marks as sexual indicators, which he learned from the other Eartheater specialist.

The population came into the US as "sp. von Santarem", and made a splash because it was much more colorful than the cupido we had previously seen (which were often misidentified wavrini, as well). It was later identified in Weidner's book as B. cupido Santarem. I reread the section in the book, and he only specified this population as having the sexes identified by the blue markings. Having seen your videos, I can clearly see that it doesn't apply to all populations. The book was published in 2000, but is still very useful for habitat and range data.

The sp. "Guyana" is not commercially available, as fish are still not legally exported from that region. Only a few have been collected by individuals in the last two decades. Like many fish from that region, it resembles the fish found in the Amazon basin, but is geographically isolated from them, and has different breeding habits. It could be the fish responsible for the reports of pit spawning, as reported in 1984 by Kuhlman. Arendt reported in 1995 that cupido spawned in a more typical substrate fashion, on rocks.


Re: Biotodoma Cupido

Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:17 pm

I was told by my supplier that the fish were sexable.....ofc this should mean that I too should be able to discern between the sexes. I am pretty confident I have identified my three males andcfive females. Ill post some photos and my own observations. So nteresting......thx guys :)

Re: Biotodoma Cupido

Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:57 pm

tks for the picture mr chromedome, I remember well the click, click, finish the roll off to the chemist, . a week later going to collect the 24 pictures only to find blurs, flash reflection or to hear the chemist read out the pack notes and tell you the roll was spoilt!. the youth of today don't appreciate the advances in taking photos!
the shot you posted shows a beautiful fish, it is a pity it is of only one fish, it would be easier to guesstimate the sex if there were more to compare it to, but if I were to put any money on it I would have said it was a female based on its body shape and on its fin length, I have still to be convinced about the spots / stripes.
I must make the effort to borrow a copy of the eartheater book a mate of mine offered to lend it to me on a number of occasions, I just never got around to taking him up on the offer, I know it is still regarded as the best reference book available, I would love to see a revised and updated edition being published.. as would many I would guess, esp seeing the price an English language edition goes for now that it is long out of print.
The Kuhlman paper I am familiar with, it I read a shortened version a while back when I was trying to crack spawning these fish, it was one of the reasons I added a wave maker to my aquarium,. however, now after reading the full version of the paper and what I have learned what comes to mind is the expression '' paper never refuses ink''...... re read it and let me know by pm what you see! and I will then give you my thoughts
the second paper I am not familiar with , I would really appreciate if you could forward me on a copy.
someone in Germany ( I think) recently sent me on some papers / articles on cupido including sp santaram, to be honest I have just not had the time to read them in full, I only just scanned over them I will root them out if you are interested and send them on to you.
tks again for rooting out the picture, I am still laughing as I think back to the old point click and wind on days. now that is progress

Re: Biotodoma Cupido

Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:33 pm

I havent forgot about posting just been busy......fish are eating and growing .....you will notice a change in em....ill post at weekend:)

Re: Biotodoma Cupido

Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:32 pm

Looking forward to it, I have to catch a group of young out of my own tank this weekend to give to a friend, not really looking forward to it, I planned it pretty badly, a few other people had asked me for some so I set the adults to spawn, so now there will be chaos in the tank two pairs guarding spawns and me trying to fish out 6 or 7 young, I am tempted to syphon out the fry, but they will not be freeswimming, I reckon both spawns will hatch out tomorrow

Re: Biotodoma Cupido

Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:14 pm

Sorry for not getting more footage...havin issues with kids losing phone/ tablet usb cables :)
Anyways..fish are doin great ......feedin really well and are comin up water column when I come to feed...not out hustlin my big tetra yet but its comin :)

Still have the one fish who looks stunted and stressed..he is eating but just hides...doesnt go near the group....I spot feed em..im hoping he can grow bigger and get some confidence.

One question joe....I was gonna add in a cacautoides apisto pair.....wild from the rio nanay like my biotodoma. How does yours generally respond to the apistos and the cupido to them?

Re: Biotodoma Cupido

Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:06 am

hi, I am not sure about adding a pair of cacs, they breed very easily, you could end up over run with them in the tank!
I added a few wild Apisto macmasteri redshoulder a good while back to my cupid tank, since then they have broken my heart , I would rather have a tank of snails, they have bred like rabbits, I cannot keep up with removing them, I would guess that at the moment there are about 30 plus adult to sub adult apistos in the tank, along with I don't know how many fry.... time for a big removal again! my frogmouths will welcome them!
As if I didn't learn my lesson with the apistos recently I added a pair of Nanochromis transvestitus ( nothing biotope correct there, but I have been developing a liking for some of the west African cichlids), thinking ahh sure they are tiny, they will never be successful at raising a spawn in the tank. well now I have the adult pair, about 15-20 1.5 cm juveniles and the adults with another clutch of eggs!
regarding how they get on, it is just like any apisto or small cichlid, they are not a problem and don't bother the cupido or any other fish until they are protecting a spawn or group of fry, then the female behaves just like you would expect and fends off any fish that comes too near, in so doing reduces the available free tank floor space for the cupids.
if I were to do it again I would add a species that is know to be a difficult one to get to spawn, then if they did produce fry I would accept it, maybe one of the Dicrossus species, a group of them would look pretty cool in the tank..
just my thoughts and ramblings!, I think I better just go and set a few traps now and remove some apistos and Nanochromis

Re: Biotodoma Cupido

Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:16 pm

Awesome Joe :)
Yeah Ill give it some thought.......I took the angel pair I had in the tank with cupids and put em in there own tank as the male was being hard on the cupids...female had laid eggs. Anyways eggs didnt make it, think male ate them....in there own tank now and have succesfully laid , hatched fry...they are free swimming atm ..Im just gonna let it play out as it will..hopefully male doesnt eat em but we shall see..so far so good .
Ok back on topic......yeah It was just an idea, dont wanna take floorspace away from cupids . they find it hard enough as is not to engage in brawling ;)
I still feel I could make the tank a bit better with regards to layout, wood, territories....Ill keep u posted mate.
Thanks as always Joe :)

Re: Biotodoma Cupido

Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:08 am

Hey Guys! Hi Joe,

I wrote a message to your Youtube account some weeks ago, with my questions about the cupidos since you truly are a very valueable source.

Right now I have 11 biotodoma cupido in care. The first group consisted of 6 fish, 4/2 but one suddenly female passed away after spawning like 8 times in a row. I guess they're from santarem from the looks but cant tell for sure - all of my cupidos come from aquarists who were overstrained with these fish.

To my group of 5 I added another 6 from a friend 2/4 i guess. Have to guess because he started with 11 and came down to 6 in bad shape. One "female" turned out to be male in very bad condition. Two of his females where taken from a pond of some other fishkeeper and they are the smallest of all. One female had a hole in her head, others did have spots and all had their bellys turned inwards. They are recovering very fast, i tread them with vitamin sirup (for children actually) and add a mineral mix to the water. I guess they dont like open tank setups and prefer lots of hiding spaces. If there are bigger fish than them, they feel very stressed.

That extra tank might come in handy to separate the leader for a while, i did so and now the other male are emerging with filaments and the group will be more heterogenous.

I am having trouble to originate the different variants. I guess my group is from santarem, another looks like rio nanay. But from other keepers I learned, how much the appearance can change according to their individual biography and also simply with aging. I would be thankful for photos of juvenile and adult, male and female cupidos where the origin is known.

Yesterday a pair of my cupidos spawned right under my easy close to the front of the tank. Beautiful act, i will upload video and let you know. So the eggs always got eaten, this time i reduced the pressure of other tankmates and took care for more oxygen. Guess thats vital to the development of eggs. Temperature is around 26°C in the morning and 28°C in the evening because my water cooled LED-Lighting and the PC are heating the tank. Seems fine for the fish.

Because another female started bulldozing in a different tank at exact the same time but with totally different engagement of mine into the tank, i think spawning might occure in relation to changes of air pressure like with corydoras. So if there is a low pressure coming in, it'll animate the cupidos to spawn. Any similar experiences?


Maybe itll work out this time. End of the year I am going to have 3 tanks, two of em reserved for found couples of cupidos. I am going to experiment with enviromental conditions and hopefully get to successful breed these beauties

Re: Biotodoma Cupido

Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:50 am

Hi Robert, great to see another cupido keeper joining the chat, I think I replied to your message on utube? I hope I did, otherwise I am embarrassed!
on the cupido from different regions, I would prefer where possible to keep them separate, who knows, will some of them be given species status of their own somewhere down the line?
good job on the spawnings fingers crossed they get it right this time!
the images you posted don't show on my computer, so I can't comment on them
tks again for posting here, between us all we will figure out the mysteries of this species!

Re: Biotodoma Cupido

Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:05 am

Hey Joe, hey guys,

you did reply of course, I asked wether they take newly hatched brine shrimp right the way. Now the eggs are 31 hours old. I can see small black dots marking the eyes. She fanned of quite a number of eggs but there are still plenty. I think they already might hatch today. Incredible, the nest is 5cm away from the front of the tank! Cant i upload directly to this forum?


On my PC its working.

I still can distinguish my individual cupidos, Im not sure the differences are due to origin or simply how they were kept. I have two males from the same group with totally different shape of the rear spot and its white surroundings. In the morning, the cupidos also appear different than in the afternoon. Filaments depend on feeding and rank in social hierarchy i guess. If there is already one male claiming more than his share of the tank, colouring and showing off, the others supress the filaments. Take the leader out, or just turn off the lights for one week and the others will grow up to the same stage.

Mouth and lips are different in the group I tend to think is from rio nanay but that could also come from malnutrition. They dont show as much colors yet. I put them together but so far there are no pairs between the variants. If I am lucky and able to give away young fish some time, I cant put a label on them. I dont even know where mine came from, thats why I asked. The people I got them from didn't care or ask. I got literature from Uwe Werner, Rainer Stawikowski and Wolfgang Staeck - german cichlid specialists who took pictures of cupidos of different origin. At a friend of mine I was showed pictures of wild caught adults, their F1 in early age and than adult. All three seem to show different fish. Direct relatives, sometimes siblings, and yet different colors, shapes, behavior because of nutrition, age and enviroment.

Id be glad to post some pictures here, where should I upload? As you guys I had problems sexing them at first, the more you spectate and read about it, the more intense the details appear. I talked to a lot of cupido keepers, thats the way to figure out the species. When it comes to the "all male" story, I think thats a myth. They are rare, ok. I had to search for 3 month to get a group for a reasonable price (120 Euro for 6x10cm incl. shipping over night). I came to these because a friend of mine has 10 F1 in care. He got them from another friend who successfully bred one pair in a community tank with altum. When I first saw these small earth eaters very peaceful, almost shy in the 350L Tank, I immediatly fell in love. So they work in small numbers as well as in large groups. Another problem with keeping the line might be the scheme I already encountered quite some time: 10 Fish are bought, 5 survive and are given away so the next owner must stack up. If you dont know the origin of your group thats a problem. Furthermore if you do know their place of birth, who tells you that the Seller does know exactly? Sometimes they just label them "Brazil". Or maybe theres "Santarem" or "Sunside" suggesting a more colorful variant which truly is from venezuela or even colombia because of strict import laws or other reasons. I hope, I can sell strong and robust F1.. if the "Santarem" or "Nanay" label is that important, one has to buy the stressed and sensible wild caught for 30 Euros (5-6cm) from trusted channels instead of the nameless F1 for 10 Euros off me. Nonetheless, I am working on identifying the variants.

After a couple of month in care now I know my 11 individuals so there is less chance of crossing. Ill keep you updated!


Re: Biotodoma Cupido

Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:47 am

Images on this forum have to be uploaded to a photo sharing site first, then linked from there. It's the only Cichlid forum left, so far as I know, that still does not have direct upload capabilities.

If you do not have a dependable origin/location name for the line, it is best to just refer to it as Aquarium Strain. It is a shame when this has to be done with rare and beautiful fish like the Biotodoma, but it is better than putting the wrong name and letting them get mixed with known lines. It doesn't really reduce the value of these fish, as they are rare enough that even getting a tank bred line is a treat. I just bought some Retroculus lapidifer that are F1, but without a location name. They are still my greatest current treasure.

Re: Biotodoma Cupido

Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:31 pm

Which would you recommend? Flickr? So you cant see my pictures either? They're uploaded to a german forum.
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