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Vieja argentea



The Vieja argentea, Paraneetroplus argentea is naturally found in western Mexico in the Usumasinta River. It is an unusual silver cichlid that is not often found in aquarists' collections.

The Vieja argentea has a laterally compressed, tall body with a grey-silver colouring. The body has black spots, which are most contrasting near the forehead, on the back, at the root of the tail plumage on the dorsal fin. As the fish grows older, their colouration becomes metallic. In contrast to females, males are larger and have a characteristic hump on the back of the head, as well as a greater number of dark spots on the body. Determining the sex of the fish is problematic at a young age. The maximum length of the fish is 30.5 cm.

Vieja argentea

The Vieja argentea is a majestic, long-lived and worthy centrepiece in a large aquarium. It is a robust and rather aggressive species with striking colouration and personality. The Vieja cichlazoma does well in a large aquarium with sandy substrate and plenty of shelter, especially in the form of plants. Since this cichlid feeds on plant food, it is advisable to plant only artificial plants in the aquarium, otherwise all live vegetation will be eaten. These fish are known for constantly rearranging the internal decor in the aquarium to their liking, digging large holes in the ground and shifting rocks. The fish can also be very aggressive, so care should be taken when choosing their neighbours. They become particularly vicious and territorial during the spawning season. If planning to breed Silver cichlids, they should generally be avoided together with other fish. Nor should they be kept together with ornamental invertebrates. In order to avoid conflicts between Silver Cichlids, initially buy a group of young fish and keep them together.

Vieja argentea

Water parameters: temperature 22-28° C, hardness dH 10-15°, pH 7,5-8,5. Requires strong filtration, aeration and a weekly change of ¼ of the aquarium water with fresh.

The menu of fish consists of high-quality pelleted, frozen and live food, but still the main diet for them are vegetable food. They are fed with algae, spirulina, chopped green peas, carrots, courgettes, lettuce and spinach. The quality and variety is the key to a healthy and colourful fish.

Reproduction

The silver cichlazoma vieja silver reaches sexual maturity at around 3 years of age, although courtship begins at the age of six months.

The main difficulty in breeding these fish - creating a strong conflict-free pair. If this is achieved, the fish will spawn in the aquarium.

Producers pre-prepare a place for spawning, which is usually a large rock or cave. During spawning, the male may be aggressive towards the female. This is generally normal, but if the male is too stubborn, the female should be removed.

The larvae hatch after 2-3 days, and after 4 days the fry begin to swim freely. The fry are fed with Artemia nauplii 4 times a day.

Silver cichlids are good parents, but can sometimes be aggressive towards the fry, if ready to re-spawn. In case of the slightest aggression towards their offspring, the fry should be transferred to another aquarium.

Vieja argentea

The Vieja argentea has a lifespan of about 10 years in a home aquarium.

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