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PCS & Stuart M. Grant - Cichlid Preservation Fund - Details here

September Fish of the Month - Uaru amphiacanthoides "Triangle Cichlid" - Details soon

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Fotm - Vieja Argentea

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#1 Stormfyre


    PCS President, Secretary & Sponsor Liaison.

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 12:48 PM

As the Fish of the Month for October, there will a bag of 5 x Vieja argentea around 5cm available at the PCS Meeting for auction.




This is a special lot to raise money for Stuart Grant Fund for Cichlid Preservation and have kindly been donated by one of our PCS Premium Sponsors - Aquotix.




Vieja argentea.

This species is from the river Usumacinta drainage in western Mexico


Common names: White Cichlid, Silver cichlid,
The male is the larger fish and develops a nuchal hump. Dorsal and anal finnage is also extended. A strikingly coloured, if somewhat aggressive fish. A large, pearl-coloured fish with numerous small black spots on its body and fins. There are additional large black patches on the forehead, flanks, and the base of the tail. This fish has a metallic sheen that gives it different colours depending on mood and lighting.


Maximum length is around 12″ (30cm).



Order: Perciformes Family: Cichlidae Subfamily: Cichlasomatinae



Vieja argentea are endemic to the river Usumacinta drainage in western Mexico. They inhabit shallow waters around rocky parts of the shoreline.





Primarily herbivorous in the wild, this species is not a fussy eater in captivity. Use a good quality cichlid pellet as the staple diet. Vegetable matter in the form of spirulina or algae wafers should form an important part of the diet.


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.


Feeding Frequency: Feed once or twice a day.



The tank should be decorated with rocks and driftwood. Care should be taken to secure any decor as the fish will often re-arrange it to suit themselves. Plants can be used but are likely to be uprooted. Lighting levels are not critical and decent filtration should be provided as this fish is a messy eater.


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.


Water Changes: Weekly - They must have excellent filtration as this fish is a messy eater.


Temperature: 78-86°F (26-30°C)   pH: 7.0   Hardness: 10-15°H





An aggressive species, especially towards conspecifics. It may be possible to successfully keep this species in a community of robust Central American cichlids, if enough rock and driftwood is provided to form sufficient territories for all the fish. There is no guarantee of success if trying this. A bonded pair will often live quite happily together but care should be taken to ensure the female is not bullied.




White cichlids are extremely difficult to sex but when mature, the males tend to be slightly larger than the females.


The main challenge inbreeding this species is getting the pair to co-exist in the same tank! If this can be achieved, then the fish should spawn readily.
The pair will prepare a site for spawning – usually a large stone or sometimes inside a cave. The site will be cleaned and any detritus or other obstructions removed. Spawning will then begin on the prepared site and during spawning the male can be aggressive towards the female. This is normal but the female should be removed if the violence becomes excessive.
Up to 1000 eggs will be laid in a pit and 3 days later the eggs should hatch.
Eggs hatch in 2 – 3 days and fry are free swimming approximately 4 days thereafter. Fry should be offered newly-hatched brine shrimp as an initial food and from there progressed to micro worm, fry foods and crushed adult flake / pellets.
The adults make excellent parents but may begin to grow aggressive towards their brood if they are ready to breed once again. Fry should be removed at this point.

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