White cichlid - Vieja argentea
Scientific name: Vieja argentea
Common name: White cichlid
Usual size in fish tanks: 25 - 29 cm (9.84 - 11.42 inch)
Recommended pH range for the species: 6.6 - 7.4
Recommended water hardness (dGH): 5 - 20°N (89.29 - 357.14ppm)
0°C 32°F30°C 86°F
Recommended temperature: 24 - 28 °C (75.2 - 82.4°F)
The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning
Where the species comes from: Central America
Temperament to its own species: peaceful
Temperament toward other fish species: aggressive to smaller
Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels
Central America; White cichlids are found in the waters of Mexico and Guatemala.
If given the correct conditions, Vieja argentea can live up to 4-5 years but its life span will be reduced if not looked after properly.
Vieja argentea is very aggressive and should be kept in larger tanks to give it plenty of room. A pair will require a four foot tank to be happy. Include some hiding places but the fish may decide to re-arrange the décor to their liking. The use of plants is not advised as these are a destructive species of fish and all plants will be uprooted constantly giving them no chance of surviving in the aquarium. Lighting can vary according to your set up, the white cichlid is not too fussy as to the lighting level but if adding a pair to a breeding set up you will get better results with dimmed lighting.
They are an aggressive species and should only be housed with similar sized cichlids that can handle themselves, make sure that the fish have plenty of room to establish territories and this should ease the aggression slightly. Like all large cichlids, they are high waste producers so make sure that the filtration system can handle the waste and make sure that regular water changes are performed.
Food and feeding
Use a quality flake or cichlid pellets for the staple diet. Ensure that you vary the diet by adding chopped earth worms, bloodworms and brine shrimp to keep the fish interested in food. To get the best colouration use some vegetable matter to the diet. They are not fussy eaters but it may take a couple of days for them to settle in the aquarium before they regain their full appetite. Providing a varied diet will ensure that they will display their best colouration.
White cichlids are extremely difficult to sex but when mature, the males tend to be slightly larger than the females.
Breeding should be quite easy with this species. When a pair is added to the breeding tank you must make sure that the female is not being bullied to the extent of over stressing her or even physical damage. If this does occur it may be best to separate the pair for a few days and then try again or as a last resort try to pair the male with a different female. There will always be some aggression during spawning but as long as the female can cope with this you should not have any problems.Up to 1000 eggs will be laid in a pit and 3 days later the eggs should hatch. Once the fry are free swimming, they can be fed on newly hatched brine shrimp.
Bought by aqua-fish.net from jjphoto.dk.