Name: Vieja bifasciata
Origin: Central America
These are among the most beautiful fish from central america. The juveniles are difficult to distinguish from synspilum and fenestratum. Aqualog has many beautiful pictures and is helpful in identification. A fish well worth having if one is willing to get a large tank for them. Like many of the paratheraps, they are very personable & intelligent, but highly aggressive and intolerant of heterospecifics and conspecifics alike.
I have several breeding pairs that produce about 500 - 1000 babies every 6 weeks. This fish is hard to catch, fast swimmer. They change color when they have a brood, going to a dark and dull color, but the eyes are a spooky, almost fluorescent yellow. Breeding colors are outstanding and they communicate constantly. I have never seen them eat anything but they sure do grow fast.
This fish has got to be the most colourful of all the central american cichlids. A very intelligent fish, if a little agressive! Ours would even chase the dog when it walked along the side of the tank! Our Bifas would totally rearrange the gravel and decorations, to clear an area to lay her eggs. No point trying to grow any plants in a tank with this fish. Make sure you get a heater guard and fix the guard down with silicone sealer. If you have got a big tank and want a tank buster with character then this is the fish for you.
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