Apistogramma viejita, Kullander, 1979.
Origin: South America: Rio Orinoco basin, in the upper Rio Meta drainage in Colombia.
Etymology: Apistogramma(G.): With uncertain, variable line. viejeta: ?
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) Order: Perciformes Family: Cichlidae (Cichlids), subfamily: Geophaginae.
First European import: 1972, by T. Hongslo.
Description: See pictures. There are at least three type localities. Apistogramma macmasteri is a very similar species, but has a less slender body shape, differs in the lateral line, and doesn't display the blueisch lips found in A. viejita..
Care: Apistogramma viejita are a peaceful, easy to keep Apistogramma if it's requirements are met. They require a densely planted tank with lots of hideouts. Best kept in pairs or a single male with a few females in a large species tank(60-80cm). Peat filtration is necessary, the water should be at least slightly acidic, and soft. Frequent waterchanges are recommended.
Temperature: 23 - 30 °C
Feeding: Live and frozen food.
Size: Up to 6 cm.
pH: 5.5-6.5. dGH below 5
This fish is best bred in pairs, as opposed to other Apistos. In soft peat filtered
water the fish will spawn, raising the temperature in combination with frequent
small waterchanges may induce spawning. Around 40 eggs are laid by the pair, which
are guarded by the female. The fry are easy to raise, and can immediately be fed
artemia nauplii. The fry grow very slow, and mature after a year. The male / female
ratio can be as bad as 1:10/20!
Sexual dimorphism: In juveniles the difference is hard to see. The females show some color as well, although in fully grown fish the males are much more colorful. Besides that the males have an extended dorsal fin.
Prices:10-12€ a pair.
Additional: Three color forms of Apistogramma viejita are known. Color form 1 is from Puerto Gaitan, Colombia, 2 from Rio Muco and Rio Guarrojo, Colombia, and the third from tributaries to the Rio Manacacias between Santa Rita and Bengale, also Colombia. The fish have also been described from Venezuela.
Picture references: All pictures E. Naus
References: Fishbase: http://www.fishbase.org
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