April 30, 2012
Not familiar with Gymnogeophagus altispinus, do you mean Mikrogeophagus altispinosus?
If you don't mind keeping a West African cichlids, Chromidotilapia guntheri acts a lot a Geophagus sifting through sand all day. It's also interesting as it is a paternal mouthbrooder. Also a very attractive fish that stays around 12 cm.
Biotoecus sp. are real dwarf sand sifters and only get around 5 cm. They can be tricky to keep however.
Even the Pelvicachromis types do a lot of earth eating, but again, if you want to stick to South American cichlids, you're out of luck.
There are a lot more earth eating cichlids out there, just not many that stay under 12 cm. I see you are in Costa Rica. I do research on cichlids there and have spent a lot of time in the rivers. Some of the best fish to watch eartheat are Astatheros species, notably, Astatheros rostratus and Astatheros altifrons.
Hope that helps!
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